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Sweet Tea & Manna

 A Blog by Kayla Ferris

Chasing Failure

I have decided to chase failure.

That is a big thing for me. I don’t like failure. I graduated college with a 4.0. Don’t be too impressed…it was a speech communication degree. But still…I like to succeed.

My aunt, a university professor, gave me a bit of advice when I first started attending college. She said do NOT graduate with a 4.0. She said potential employers do not like to see that on a resume, because it makes you look too perfect.

I had no idea what that meant.

How can you be too perfect?!

So I studied and crammed and succeeded.

But wouldn’t you know…along came love. Then came marriage. Then came Bria in a baby carriage. Then came another baby carriage. And another. And another.

Obviously I also succeeded at making babies.

Life did what life does. It rolled all over me. I was knee deep in diapers. I was sleep deprived. I was living on coffee and a prayer. Laundry and dishes don’t tell you how awesome you are, either. Ever notice that? Maybe that’s just me. I didn’t feel like a success anymore. And if I didn’t feel like a success, maybe I couldn’t be successful. And if you can’t win…

If you can’t be perfect…

I’ve been meaning to start writing for years. Gabe told me, back when we were dating, that I should write a book someday. I loved the idea. But as the years ticked off, the sunny optimism of the idea got clouded with “What would I write about?” “Who would ever read it? “Who do I think I am to do such a thing?” Goodbye, dream.

Hello reality.

The other day while I was mowing the yard (y’all…mowing is the BEST. Outside in the sunshine, the smell of fresh cut grass, and an hour with no kids. It’s like a productive vacation.), I was listening to the North Point Community Church podcast where they had a guest speaker, Ryan Leak. I’m going to put a link:

because you really should just listen to it yourself. But to give you the Reader’s Digest version: Mr. Leak decided that the fear of failure was crippling us. He made a choice to chase failure instead. So he tried out for the NBA. He sent in a ton of resumes asking for a tryout, got a bunch of “no’s”…but he finally got one yes from the Phoenix Suns. He prepared. He went. Tried out. And he failed.

But he was standing on the practice court, on the Phoenix Suns logo, with the Phoenix Suns team, and realized he had gotten farther chasing failure than he had ever gotten chasing success.

An email came in a few weeks ago. The First Five team from Proverbs 31 ministries was “looking for writers.” They said anyone interested could make a sample write up, send it in to them for review, and you just might become a volunteer writer.

Gabe showed it to me and said, “You want to try out for the NBA?”

So I am writing a sample study over 1 Kings 16.

I am fully aware that failure is probable.

But I figure, maybe I’ll get farther chasing failure than I have gotten chasing success.

Nobody likes too perfect anyway.


Kayla Ferris is a member of the Proverbs 31 First5 writing team, and the author of eight First5 study guides (and counting!) She is a wife to her favorite farmer in the world, Gabe, and the mother of their four daughters. When she isn’t writing, reading, chauffeuring the kids, or watching crops grow, you might find her teaching a drama class at the kids’ school, laughing at funny internet videos, or ordering a Matcha Frappuccino. You can connect with Kayla on Instagram or Facebook, where she loves to share what she has been learning from God’s Word.

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