When Class Gets Cancelled + Success vs Achievement

Posted: October 20, 2011 at 9:03 am

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a new workout top and capris from 4all by jofit! Ends tonight!

Normally on Wednesday nights we have our small group at church. Well, last night we ended up having to cancel because very few of us could make it. It felt like back in college when I would get the announcement that class had been cancelled. Suddenly, a whole slew of options to have some fun and relaxation came pouring in. Although I chose to spend my time a little differently than I did those days. No getting started on the pre-party earlier here.

Old school flashback…

Eeeep! I don’t even know that girl anymore. (I’m on the far right…)

I feel much better with how my sudden downtime went last night. Winking smile

First up, I filled my time with even more play with the kids. After already feeling so much less pressure on myself and having the time to do what matters most, I couldn’t wait to soak up even more of that feeling.

We played Makenzie’s very first board game…


…then hit up the library for some new books.


I love this child’s love of books! I think that is why Belle is her favorite princess.

Of course that meant I had to read a bajillion books when we got home from the library. Although reading about surfing pigs or moons falling from the sky didn’t keep me from reading my own book.


I cracked open Heaven Is For Real (part of the gift exchange from Chelsey) for the last 30 minutes of the kids’ naps earlier in the afternoon. It had me hooked so after the kids went to bed, I immediately grabbed the book to read more.

I even welcomed the fact we had to scrounge up dinner in a fend-for-yourself fashion. I poured a bowl of leftover tortellini soup and read my book cozily over the spicy soup.


Yep. It was that good that even dinner took second place. And I finished it over the next 2 hours. Wow. What a good story. It made me sit in amazement. I wish I could talk to the kid!

As wonderful as it felt to have some extra down time when I needed it most, I still missed getting the chance to meet up with friends for support and discussion. Especially since we have had so many great topics come our way recently. Like this one that I simply must share:

Success vs Achievement

One of the biggest things that struck me in the group study we have been sharing recently is the need to not only use our gifts, but to use them wisely. It can be really easy for things like pride or a desire for recognition to get in the way. I know I can relate!

I know the passions I have and the feedback I receive affirm many of what I believe as my strengths. Even take blogging for an example. It can reflect some of my strengths in  connecting with and encouraging others, but, as I recently shared, I can easily let it overtake my happiness and other important parts of life if I’m not aware.

I loved this simple definition I found in one of my devotionals:

quote a

I think that about sums it up perfectly. I want to become the best version of my ENTIRE self. I don’t want to work on being “successful”. I want to work on being the best me I can be. And trust that will be more than enough. Smile

  • What is the last thing that sucked you in and you couldn't step away?
  • How would you differentiate success or achievement?

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38 Comments to “When Class Gets Cancelled + Success vs Achievement”
  1. I read Heaven is for Real, too! Such a neat story!

  2. You know, I still get excited when class is canceled– and I’M the one doing the canceling, haha!! I guess that feeling just never goes away 😉 Glad you had a fun night!

  3. Jess says:

    Wow. I never thought about that nuance before between success and achievement. But it is SO spot-on and exactly how I try to focus on things, goal-wise. I love to set goals to challenge myself, not to “show off” or be told how “successful” I am. I do it for me, for the achievement of setting and meeting a goal. And not a goal that involves numbers or anything truly quantifiable per se, but a goal that leaves me feeling good inside, deep down. That’s achievement in my book.

  4. jobo says:

    WOW. SO true re: success vs. achievement. I think that is part of my problem…I focus more on SUCCESS, when that isn’t my goal at all, and it makes me always feel like a failure instead of feeling like whatever I have accomplished IS an achievement. THANK you yet again Tina!

  5. Katie @ Raisins&Apples says:

    I got sucked into Acts 10 for 4 hours yesterday. Each time I read it, something new stuck out! It made planning for the lesson a lot longer, but so good!

  6. […] finally felt like I’ve ACHIEVED something in a workout plan (achievement vs. success – Tina once again says it exactly right in her post today, give it a read). But the trade-off seems to be […]

  7. KATHY says:


  8. Heaven is for Real is a great book!

  9. That book has been on my list for ages! It’s on my Kindle queue – please let me know how it is. I might start it too. My aunt just finished it and loved it. I’m actually reading (well, listening) to Joel Osteen’s Everyday’s a Friday right now – I love his books, too.

  10. Tina says:

    I want to read that book! My cousin read it and loved it but I haven’t gotten around to borrowing it yet.

    That soup looks delish : )

    The last think that sucked me in was battlefield of the mind by Joyce Meyer…great book.

  11. Kelly says:

    I saw that kid on the Today show when it first came out. I will admit that after seeing the kid’s interview my first impression was that I didn’t believe him at all. I have heard very mixed reviews on the book. People either love it or think it is a gimmick. I haven’t read it so I refuse to pass judgement. I honestly doubt I will read it but I will never say never. Regardless though I am glad you liked it. 🙂

  12. Sara says:

    Thanks for the reminder, Tina. I’ve been wanting to read that book. And we LOVE your tortellini soup 🙂 I made it once already this season.

  13. I often need reminded about what ‘success’ actually means. My thoughts always automatically go to wealth and having a lot of material things, however, I need to remember to step back and think about what it means to be ‘successful’ in my own life and being the best me with that I have to offer!

  14. Brittany says:

    I read Heaven is for Real within a couple hours too. I could not put it down. Such a great book! I completely agree with the achievement. Many people think success is having a lot of money, having a top job, or something along those lines. If you achieve your goal, that is successful.

  15. Great message! I think that everyone has their own definition of success, but it can be downright disappointing if you don’t meat (seriously just typed that.. leaving it) others’ expectations. I think focusing on the best YOU is awesome.

    I am sucked into my current book. It’s the last one Jenna said to read by Diane Chamberlain. It is SO SO good.

  16. Aww I’m glad you got to spend more time with your children, my mum always says that those moments were some of the most precious in her life 🙂
    And I love that Makenzie loves books so much and that you take her to the library, my first trips to the library and my first books are full of lovely memories. Plus it means she’s clearly smart!
    I also really like that quote you found, I might save that on my desktop to remind me why I’m here and why I’m carrying on! Thank you 🙂

  17. lindsaynd says:

    OH gosh, now i want to read that book! GOnna hit the library soon.
    I remember taking the “spiritual gifts” tests and thinking that I can to SUCCEED at what my gift was. But honestly, it was draining and unfulfilling. Now i pray and let GOD use my circumstances to ACHIEVE his purpose, his will. Well said Tina.

  18. I like that success vs achievement quote. It’s such a good one and is so true.

    Thanks for the college flashback pic! Loved it! I still am “that girl” I guess, but I’m not in college anymore. Yipes! haha Gotta have fun while you can 🙂

    • Tina says:

      I’m more not “that girl” in the sense of how messed up I was. Having fun and going out with friends ain’t a bad thing by any means! 😉

  19. Ally says:

    I love the book “Heaven is for Real”!!

  20. it’s so hard to focus on success vs achievement, and i think it’s also kinda the difference between striving for excellence vs perfection. i think success is hugely defined eternally, whereas achievement is an outward thing. this idea also reminds me of the tower of babel story (maybe cuz i was just studying for a theology test on that!), and how the people wanted to make something- have an ACHIEVEMENT- so that they’d be famous and immortal in a way. God discourages this kind of behavior- obviously punishing the people greatly for this! success is, to me, giving something everything you’ve got and being happy with it in the end. it could mean doing something well, or it could mean doing something and enjoying it, no matter what. achievements are things to write down and boast about- success is what you feel true joy over (at least to me!). i find it also nearly impossible to not get sucked into books once i get past the first chapter (if i can’t get through that, the book gets discarded, and i’m off in pursuit of the next great literary escape!)

  21. Carissa says:

    What an awesome quote! I “stole” it to use on my blog on the future and I will give full credit back to you!

    I was a huge reader as a kid and I too loved Belle for that fact. Then I moved to Orlando, worked at Disney…and I got to be “real close with belle”…yellow dress and all if you know what I mean! It was a dream come true!

  22. Cassie says:

    After reading your post this morning, I saw this quote while in a meeting. I thought I would share.

    “Some people dream of worthy accomplishments while others stay awake and do them.”

    Hope everyone is enjoying their day!

  23. You’ll love Heaven is For Real…I even had my hubs read it after me (and he is NOT a reader) and he loved it.

  24. WOW, I love that quote about the difference between success and achievement – it comes at such an important time for me, so thank you – very timely and relevant! I love the definition that you have put forward too <3 xyx

  25. My friend let me borrow Heaven is For Real and I can’t wait to borrow it! It was precious to hear my eleven year old sister talk about an interview she saw on tv with the little boy. “How can people not believe?” my sister asks. Love!

    Also, that soup is going on my list of Foodie Finds this week. That looks perfect for this chili weather! Seriously…32 degrees when I left the house this am!

  26. Julie says:

    After quite a bit of time of not being the least interested in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, I finally picked it up at the library and I’m TOTALLY engrossed.

    Hm….I guess in my mind the “success” that I want is not money or status or even acknowledgement, but knowing that I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing for God. I shake with awe just thinking of how awesome that TRUE success would feel like…what it must be like when you find that you are doing exactly what is honoring Him in the way he made us to be.

  27. Denise says:

    You have got to get Candy Land to play with your daughter.

  28. Hilary says:

    Love that definition of success/achievement, and would agree with it, also adding that the world places too great an emphasis on success! The Help on audiobook really sucked me in…and blogs (like yours) do too (but in a good way :P).

  29. So Makenzie is my favorite! We are so alike. Belle was also my favorite princess, I was/am OBSESSED with reading and books, AND I used to dress up like a ballerina/princess too. OK maybe sometimes I still do… She is just to precious.

  30. The last thing that sucked me in and I could not break away from was Felicity the TV show on Netflix… ob.sessed!!

    And to me success is something the world sees on the outside of you. Like your diploma on the wall of a fancy car. Achievement is what you have on the inside. When you achieve your live goals, etc!

    And I think I will need to check those books out from the library. I’ve been wanting something new to dig into 😀

    • Tina says:

      I love your definitions! And I would so get sucked into any old school show whether it be Felicity, Dawson’s Creek…or even Boy Meets World or Full House. Haha!

  31. Someone gave me that book after my Dad died. It was a really good read.
    I know what you mean when you say you don’t even know that girl anymore. I was looking through pictures of high school and college last night…scary how much that girl no longer exists. I can’t believe some of the things I did, but glad I survived!

  32. I have never read Heaven is For Real, but I have seen The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake-heard it was a great one!

    Great post, Tina! I do feel as though achievement is an individual success. Achievements turn into successes, which in turn everyone cane see.

    • Tina says:

      I finished the lemon cake one first. It was really captivating…but turned VERY odd towards the end. Still not sure if I loved it, but it was a good enough read. I love having time to read again!!! 🙂

  33. […] today, I am feeling a huge sense of accomplishment (not success…accomplishment!). I am feeling free. I am feeling supremely happy, content and grounded, right where I’m […]

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