best all-around

So tonight, Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman go for the individual all around medal … and yes, we’ll be watching. Because it’s a big deal to see these amazing teenagers go for gold.

But I have to tell you my favorite Olympic moment for those girls was that candid clip in the middle of the girls going for the team gold. The camera swooped in and caught Aly taking a nervous Gabby by the shoulders, telling her, “You can do this, you can do this … ” Gabby looked intently in Aly’s face and shook her head yes.

Then of course, Gabby did do it. She went out there and did her part to lock it up for team gold. To get that far, at some point, both Gabby and Aly and the people closest to them learned the value of allowing them to do one thing well: Gymnastics.

They developed singular focus, putting all they had into training for that one thing they were meant to do. And now, they’re Olympic champions.

Aren’t you glad they didn’t try to do everything? I mean, how weird would it be to see Gabby heading to the pool to swim the 400-meter freestyle? Or Aly on a horse? Unimaginable. No one expects them to be best all-around everything. 

Kind of obvious.

And yet, how many times do we try to excel at everything? I know I do. I want to be the best wife, mother, writer, blogger, speaker, rider, decorator, photographer, entertainer, etc. etc. etc. The list goes on and on.

I want to be best all-around at everything. And instead, I end up tired and grouchy.

Because it’s stinking stressful. When I work like that, the joy leaks out.  And then all I want to do is take a seat on the bench and sit out the game.

Maybe you’ve felt the same way ~ trying to be best all-around at everything in life.

So … okay, now. I am putting my hands on your shoulders and looking intently into your face. This is our Aly/Gabby moment.

“You can’t do this … you were never meant to do all this.”

You don’t have to be a world class entertainer, knock out a book every year, and complete a half marathon. You don’t have to look like a million bucks when you take your kids to school, teach a weekly bible study and know how to refinish your furniture. If your backyard is languishing and you’re better at buying than making bread … that’s okay. You really weren’t meant to be the best at everything.

Instead, be the best at what God has asked you to do. The plans He purposed just for you.

George MacDonald talked of “desiring only what God’s hands have planned.” I like that. I want that. When God created Aly and Gabby, He crafted them for Olympic sized accomplishments.

He has the same kinds of dreams for your life. With champion-sized goals. (Just probably not at the Olympics … ;)

Today, let’s embrace our jobs, love our God given roles and go at that with wild abandon and sacrifice. Get out there and go for the gold! Because you know what? You can do this …

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*all photos: Jamie Squire/Getty Images