When Your Efforts Feel Like a Waste

Sometimes your efforts feel like a waste.

Maybe your plans for productivity after waking up early were thwarted by a child who woke up even earlier…

Maybe your sacrifice of leaving work two hours early for your spouse was met by two hours of bumper-to-bumper traffic…

Maybe the hours you spent in the kitchen, swatting away children who kept appearing at your ankles, were for nothing when you left one of the bags with your accomplishment on the kitchen floor…

And maybe the time and love you put into a giant cookie cake was met with the disappointing news of school closing for the day…

and all of your plans and good intentions instead felt like a giant waste.

But in that moment, you had a choice because there’s always a choice.

Maybe you griped and complained how you’re never cut a break and don’t get the help that you need…

Maybe you pounded your fists on the steering wheel, and your body tensed as your mind anticipated the chaos awaiting you at home…

Or maybe you took a deep breath and savored the smell of the garlic you chopped and the lemons you squeezed in a friend’s kitchen, enjoying more the company of friends than the improvised dish you were making…

And maybe you looked in two very disappointed eyes and knew that there was only one course of action to take…

so you had cookie cake for breakfast.

Because even though the change of plans seemed a little strange at first,

it wasn’t long before you realized that sometimes a change in plans

represents a chance for new memories that taste oh-so-sweet.

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland (Isaiah 43:19, New International Version, 2010).

When was a time that your improvisations made for a sweet memory? How do you cope when you feel like your efforts have been wasted?  Share below for this ‘Focus On It Friday.’

4 thoughts on “When Your Efforts Feel Like a Waste

  1. Jennifer, this is awesome…embracing the moment…even when it's not what you anticipated. I, frankly, don't do well with that — I'm so OCD…I don't go with the flow very easily. Working on that…

    BTW, when I first started getting up early my kids seemed to sense that I was up and they got up earlier, too — so frustrating! I would tiptoe past their rooms across the wood floors like they were landmines, trying to avoid every single squeak and creak.


  2. When you come out of the wilderness and streams in the wasteland will there be any cookie cake left for your good old Dad? As I started to read the blog I thought, "why doesn't she just sit down with the kids and have some cookie cake? That will eliminate kids under foot and brring smiles to the face.
    Way to go! Good job.



  3. Great post, I agree it's always a choice. We sat behind a lady today at church who just seemed to be looking for a reason to become offended. It never takes too long to become offended or upset when you're looking for a reason. I think back to the things that upset or offend me and I reach the same conclusions. Thanks for the example and post.
    Beautiful pictures of the cookie cake recipients!


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