Is there a better feeling than crossing an item off your list? And how about when that something was particularly difficult to succeed at, but you ended up accomplishing it? I bet not only did you feel awesome to check it off, but you are better for having done it.
I trained for a race this past fall. The week I had to run 9 miles was especially hard for me. When I finished, I wanted to scream, “That was really tough, but it’s done!”
One of my favorite authors, Lysa Terkeurst, writes about going through tough times in an analogy that I absolutely love and have shared with many people since I first read it.
The parallel is to olives.
Olive trees can only grow under very specific conditions. Conditions that are contradictory. For an olive tree to bloom and bear fruit, two forces are necessary. The tree has to be exposed to both the dry, hot, harsh winds from the desert and the winds from the opposite direction that come from the sea to bring rain and growth.
Olives are naturally really bitter, and they have to go through an extensive process to be appetizing including waiting, washing, breaking, soaking, salting, and then waiting a bit more. Then! There’s the preservation process. To preserve olives, they must be crushed to extract the oil.
No one wants to feel crushed, but being crushed isn’t the end for the olives, or for us.
We need winds of hardship and winds of relief in our lives to be fruitful. The process of curing and crushing gets rid of our bitterness. Like the oil for the olive, it gets the most valuable out of us.
So, when the tough winds blow, remember they are necessary!
We all know the phrase nothing worth having ever comes easy. It’s important to realize that when we’re in the midst of a tough circumstance or project that there’s going to be a great feeling once we get through it. If we recognize that hardships and crushing times are facts of life, we can be mindful about being positive and hopeful in our circumstances.
When you’re in a tough season, whether it be a project at work, difficult relationship, or an off day of working out like I had, just keep going. One step is still a step. The rewards will come.
You’ll be really happy when you get to that finish line and you say to yourself, “That was tough, but it’s done!”
Until next time…we are Advoco, make every minute count.
About Mary: Mary Devine is our Director of Marketing and Events. Affectionately referred to as “Make it Happen Mary,” she's been around since the early days of Advoco—making things happen! Whether it's planning exciting surprises for Connect attendees or spearheading new marketing initiatives, we're so happy to have Mary on our team. If you have a question for Mary, please send her an email.