sweet victory

My friend Laura summited Mount Kilimanjaro yesterday. I got an email from her not long after she got back down the mountain. It was incredible to get to experience the sweet joy of that victory with her, even from an ocean away. In her email, she tried to wrap words around the dichotomy of what she was feeling. She described both the painful difficulty of the final push to the summit and the overwhelming sense of accomplishment that came with it. She was in serious physical agony (and would be for some time still), but she almost didn't even care. The taste of victory was just that sweet. She had pushed herself hard, for a very long time (the rigorous training, the grueling hike, the labored breathing in air so thin...) --- and the few moments she had on the top of that mountain peak made it all worthwhile. She was on top of the world in every sense.

I'm sure Laura is sore today. I bet she aches in places she didn't know could ache. But I also bet that she feels amazing! To have set such a challenging goal and to have accomplished it?! Wow. What a matchless feeling!

I'm feeling challenged to push myself harder in at least one thing today. Time to take stock of my commitment to risk this year and be intentional to actually do it. Even when I don't want to. Especially when I don't want to.

I'm also feeling challenged to celebrate my victories. I can be so hard on myself, so focused on all I'm not doing as well/much/hard as I should, that I don't rejoice over what I've succeeded in. Even the smallest victories are worth celebrating. Like the fact I've blogged 4 times this week. (A "norm" for me just 6 weeks ago, but impossible to do lately...) Or that I'm pushing myself out of my introverted comfort zone at a time when I just want to crawl inside my shell.

I'd love to hear some of your recent successes---big or small. Pause long enough to rejoice over your accomplishments, thank God for the grace to get there, and let others encourage you from the sidelines.

Let's celebrate our victories together!