don't cry over spilled milk...

or a failed exam...

or two failed exams... spanish and science. (good thing there are no more subjects starting with “s”)

seems that my precious and brilliant daughter (she got it from her mama) has failed 2 out of 2 exams this spring (and sing it once again “she got it from her mama”). she has 2 more exams today and 2 tomorrow. good luck to her...

*additional insert from millie, she would like to point out that she received the grade of D- on her science exam, which technically was not failing.* 

this is why we don’t send out those normal christmas card letters because info like that NEVER sounds good in the “bragging about our kids” section. that is why we don’t have a “bragging about our kids” section. we dress up like the rock band KISS and wear makeup and all black and we never have to mention exam grades that way. really, some of you might want to use that technique in the future...

i am never all about grades and actually said very excitedly, “that is great news, i love it when you fail!” when she told me about the exam failure. of course she rolled her eyes, and said, “what wonderful lesson do i get to learn this time?” 

she was quite upset and was in that “mopey, i am a failure, woe is me” mood teenage girls (and their middle age moms) like to be in sometimes. she also mentioned that she was WAYYYYYY too smart to be getting the lowest grade on exams and would be embarrassed if her friends found out (a bit of a pride issue going on down in her little sinful heart, again now is an appropriate time to sing “she got it from her mama”). good thing none of her friends read my blog. actually she is going to read this before i publish it and approve of it or it won’t be published (and i will have to come up with some other blog entry for today).

i am sometimes a good mom like that...

anyway, i reminded her that failing a test is different from being a failure and that what you do AFTER you fail the test determines your fate far more than the test failure. she wanted to just ignore the whole thing and leave it behind her but i have encouraged her to use this as a growing experience (because remember that i am a good mommy, sometimes....)

she has emailed the science teacher to meet with her and go over the test to see what went so wrong. both tests were multiple choice (which doesn’t bode well for her SAT skills, but remember i am NOT about those grades, or test scores, beside i have maxx to make the high scores and support me in my old age....)

anyway, on to the real life lesson from this (and the spilled juice portion of the story). so last night i made her go into publix with me to pick up a few items. she didn’t really want to go, just wanted to be in the “mopey, i am a failure, woe is me” mood that we gals like to wallow in sometimes (and why does that rap song “she got it from her mama” go with EVERYTHING that i write).

but i made her go. i am sometimes an anti “mopey wallow woe” mom like that. while we were getting some yummy smoothie juice bottles to go into the last lunch boxes for the year (can i get a HALLELUJAH here sisters!) i went to put one bottle in my cart and it never made the cart, it made the floor. and it broke and thick ooeey gooey smoothie juice was all over my foot and sandal and the floor right in front of the bananas. well, everything in me just wanted to leave the scene of the crime and let someone clean it up and no one know that it was me that spilled the juice. no one but millie had seen me drop that juice and i could have just walked off and for a second or two i considered that because it would have been soooooo easy to do...

but not the right thing to do...

i stayed to warn people not to walk through the juice while millie went and got someone to clean it up. once two young guys arrived, i apologized, asked if i could pay for the spilled juice (they said no) and we moved on.

later i began thinking about the incident. especially since my foot and shoe were SO sticky with juice that every step made me stick to the floor. 

we all have those little failures in our lives, failing a test, failing to reach the cart with the juice bottle. and sometimes we have HUGE failures in our lives. we want to run from those failures and distance ourselves from the mess they make. but the wisest thing we can do sometimes is to stick around, make sure no one slips up in our mess, clean it up (or alert the publix people to clean it up), and learn the lesson and then move on. even if now your sandal and foot are all sticky and make a weird noise as you walk down the aisles and have to physically wrench your foot off of the floor with each step. are those smoothies made with some kind of glue substance?

really, i am a good shopper (my husband would like me to remove the words GOOD and SHOPPER from the same sentence) and millie is a good student. but that totally misses the mark that is of the only importance in this life (because the mark is not shopping skills or test taking skills). we both have way too much pride and think that our smarts are more important than our hearts. we fail at what is essential every time and Jesus covers our failures with His success.

proverbs 16:18 (message)
  First pride, then the crash—the bigger the ego, the harder the fall.

 proverbs 21:4 (message)
Arrogance and pride—distinguishing marks in the wicked— are just plain sin.

proverbs 26:12 (message)
See that man who thinks he's so smart? You can expect far more from a fool than from him. 

isaiah 50: 21 (message)
Doom to you who think you're so smart, who hold such a high opinion of yourselves!

1 corinthians 3:18-19 (message)
Don't fool yourself. Don't think that you can be wise merely by being up-to-date with the times. 
Be God's fool—that's the path to true wisdom. What the world calls smart, God calls stupid.

1 corinthians 13:8 (message)

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, 
they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
and where there is juice... it will be spilled on the floor (get the message)

so fail away, my dear daughter... 

drop all the juice you want in the produce aisle at publix, friends... 

just don’t run away from those failures too quickly. linger there for a moment. realize that only God never fails. He took our many failures and nailed them to the cross. we live with that sticky juice of failure on our feet sometimes for a little while, till we come home and have a shower of mercy and grace (or soap and water literally for me). but we are not failures when we take our failures to His throne and lay them AND our successes at his feet. 

isaiah 53:2 
But the fact is, it was our pains He carried— our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us. We thought he brought it on Himself, that God was punishing Him for His own failures. But it was our sins that did that to Him, that ripped and tore and crushed Him—our sins! He took the punishment, and that made us whole. Through His bruises we get healed. We're all like sheep who've wandered off and gotten lost. We've all done our own thing, gone our own way. And God has piled all our sins, everything we've done wrong, on Him, on Him.

and now for some lovely quotes on success and failure from some sources not quite as perfect as the Bible...

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.”
—Colin Powell (b. 1937), 65th U.S. Secretary of State

“Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.”
—Henry Ford (1863-1953), founder of Ford Motor Company

“If I had permitted my failures, or what seemed to me at the time a lack of success, to discourage me I cannot see any way in which I would ever have made progress.”
—Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933), 30th U.S. President

“Through perseverance many people win success out of what seemed destined to be certain failure.”
—Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881), Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
—Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965), British statesman, prime minister, author, Nobel Prize winner

“Failure after long perseverance is much grander than never to have a striving good enough to be called a failure.”
—George Eliot [Mary Ann Evans] (1819-1880), novelist, editor

“A good education is not so much one which prepares a man to succeed in the world, as one which enables him to sustain a failure.”
—Bernard Iddings Bell