Success happens one step at a time.

31 Lessons from an Epic Beginner // 28: Success happens one step at a time.

Day 28 of 31 Lessons from an Epic Beginner

Success evolves. We see these little milestones come up and we look forward to them as if that will be the moment life will be so good and can't get any better. Fortunately that's not how it works. I mean, who wants life to have topped out at one moment in the past?

Instead, it just keeps getting better and better. And sometimes worse in between, but always better. Eventually. Because Heaven is perfect, and living God's Kingdom on earth means experiencing more and more Heaven until we're there with Jesus. (Disclaimer: I think we also don't fully understand what "better" means, which is why we complain about things that might be part of the success.)

The same goes for the success of our efforts. We don't land on perfect all at once. It's a slow, sometimes drawn-out lifelong process that's not complete until Heaven. A process with lots of special little milestones along the way--some we may not even notice if we don't specifically take the time to do so.


I must've been no more than six the first time I remember hints of my green self trying to escape. My parents had replaced the retro roll-up shades in our home with blinds. Those crumpled shades seemed such a waste sitting in top of our trash, so I retrieved one thinking hard about how I could salvage it and bring it back to life.

What resulted was my 8x10 kindergarten portrait framed in trash and gifted to Mom. The sides of the frame were excess from the blinds secured to the shade-backing and decorated with stickers--likely of the Lisa Frank variety. I can't say I was completely proud of the result, but certainly satisfied to have salvaged and re-purposed a couple small pieces from the trash.

Later, recycling bins in movies or TV shows intrigued me as a kid, until Daniel and I started our own recycling system as newlyweds. But living green was much bigger to me than recycling. Pregnant with my first baby, I had dreams of staying home and making things like clothes or baby food or maybe just a good meal. I longed to simplify our belongings and our consumption. Because it was good for the earth and because it was good for us.

This desire has always been there--ever since I was a six-year-old salvaging busted shades from the garbage. It shows up when I'm excited to turn a no-car season into an epic green adventure. It shows up when I start freecycling our belongings to help us fit better in the space we have. It shows itself when I experiment with new recipes or try no 'poo or cloth diapering.


I can't say I'm necessarily where I dream of being, living simply with purpose where I am all to God's glory. But seeing where I've been, there have been a lot of little successes along the way. Years ago, I was interested in many of the things I do now, but felt overwhelmed. Where do I start? How do I fit it in? Is it really possible to change everything all at once?

The answer to the last question is no. It's not really possible to change everything all at once. But start in the right direction, and one little success after another, you just might find yourself ever so slowly becoming the people-loving, plant-growing, deodorant-making, smoothie-drinking quasi-hippie you always knew was in there.

Or, you know, whatever your "thing" may be. ;)


Share a few words that describes the life you imagine for yourself. You know, the one where you're not quite "there" yet, but you're baby steps on your way.

Day 28 of 31 Lessons from an Epic Beginner