The F Word! (FAILURE!)

A couple of weeks ago I had a religious experience at Sephora. (Truth.)

No, I did not see a heavenly angel next to the Smashbox "Full Exposure" mascara, even though I probably should have. (Because DANG, that stuff is awesome!) And no, I did not discover a holy entrance into heaven--a gate, if you will--by the Urban Decay eyeshadows. (Though I swear there has to be one in that section of the store. I will check on my next visit.)

My experience was actually an exchange I had with one of the Sephora employees; a young woman working the register, rocking a matte lip and winged eyeliner. Our conversation went something like this:

"How can I help you?," asked the Sephora employee.

"I just need to return this lipgloss."

"Was there anything wrong with it?," she asked.

"Yes," I replied, "it looked weird on my face. The pigment was all wrong and not what I was expecting.

After asking me a few more questions about what I was looking for, this winged eyeliner woman suggested a different lippie for me to try. I quickly put it on in the store before making yet another lipgloss purchase. I was met with an oddly-chalky, gold hue that looked like I had just made out with a candy easter egg!

The Sephora employee laughed and said, "I'm sorry about that. I tried!"

I jokingly retorted, "Yea, and you failed, sister!"

And that's when it happened: Magic. A Hallelujah choir. A light bulb moment.

In the middle of ringing up my DermaBlend pressed power (because this mama is shiny, y'all), my new Sephora friend looked up at me and said, "Hey, it isn't failure as long as you learn something. And we learned that color wasn't for you!"

It isn't failure as long as you learn something. 

My friends, how often do we feel like failures?! When we are trying so hard and working so much and not seeing the results we expect, do we feel like we're failing? As women (especially), do we find ourselves being hyper critical of ourselves? In all the roles we play and in all the balls we juggle? I know when my children whine about going to church and exclaim that they hate it, I feel like a failure as a mother. When Camren and Lilly fight like cats and dogs and when Bridge yells at me and calls me a boob, I feel like a failure. When I forget a lunch date with a friend or neglect to call my sister-in-law for her birthday, I feel like a failure in those roles, too. There are just so many ways to mess up!
But what if we stopped looking at failure as failing and started looking at failure as growing? How different would we feel about ourselves and the efforts we are making in our lives?

While shopping in Target not too long ago, I happened upon a wooden sign in the Dollar Spot. It read, "Mistakes are proof you are trying." Think about that... Mistakes are proof you are trying. And "trying" counts for something. Trying matters a whole lot! That's the best thing we can do, in our jobs, our homes, our communities, and in our relationships. Try, try, try, and keep trying. It isn't failure as long as we're learning and growing along the way.

Mistakes are a fact of life. They happen. But here's something a man named Lynn Robbins once said, that should bring some peace to our hearts: "The Savior's grace is ever ready and ever present. His grace is a 'divine means of help or enabling power that allows men and women to lay hold on eternal life after they have expended their own best efforts.' His grace and his loving eye are upon us throughout our entire journey as He inspires, lightens burdens, strengthens, delivers, protects, heals and otherwise 'succors his people,' even as they stumble along the path."

We will stumble and we will fall--that's inevitable--but it will be okay. We will keep going. We are not alone. We have divine help. We have each other...

And Sephora.


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