Last Monday, Hudson and I attempted to make homemade noodles. Like a lot of things in my life, I had a picture of what the outcome would look like. In my head, it looked almost identical to the perfect noodles pictured in Joanna Gaines’ cookbook. Let’s just say they looked nothing like the picture. While her’s actually looked like noodles you would have bought from the store; mine looked strange and unnameable. I couldn’t even will myself to post a picture of the outcome because they looked so strange. Something clearly went awry. This was not the outcome I was expecting.
All week I have been thinking about this soup. I have been thinking about if my mindset was merely outcome driven, I would have been pretty disappointed. And here’s the thing, I usually am outcome driven. I am all about a clear measurable. My heart rests a bit easier when I can see a spreadsheet of all the things I did accomplish in a day. That is one of the reasons I love training for a marathon. I love the outcome of high mileage. Even if I produce nothing else the rest of the day, it feels good to know that I ran 20 miles. That is an outcome I can be proud of. But here’s the thing, what about the seasons where you are not training for anything? What about the seasons that do not have a clear goal or some outcome that can be measured? What is the indicator of success?
Those noodles the other night were not my definition of success. However, Lance did snap a few quick photos of Hudson and I making those noodles. And when I look at those photos, I see success. I see happy faces and floured noses. I see time well spent in the kitchen.
There are a handful of lessons this season of quarantine is teaching me. One is this: the process is always sweeter than the outcome. In times where we do not have races, or stages, or arenas to display our outcomes, the process becomes essential. We must lean in and embrace the sweet process of things and not be quite as concerned with the outcome.
For me, personally embracing the process looks a bit like this:
- Getting out to run with zero expectations on mileage and pace.
- Making noodles for the sake of spending quality time with my son with zero expectations that it will look like Joanna’s.
- Writing words for the sake of creativity and the fact that I am a better person when I am creating + vulnerable.
- Sending bold emails. There are lots of no’s, but I am embracing this process of putting myself out there.
- Trying new activities with Hudson and being absolutely okay when they do not look like Pinterest.
- Taking photos and capturing moments that are not perfect.
- Journaling. This is one of the best ways I can look back on the process of my life + see the Lord’s kindness.
- Prayer. This outcome-oriented girl needs a lot of help from the Lord to see new vision and embrace the process of things more.
Process over outcome. It is freeing. It allows room for grace. It allows you to sit down at the dinner table still smiling as you eat noodles that look nothing like Joanna’s. It allows you to create, run, write, love, and step out in boldness because it is not about the outcome. It is something more. Something greater. It is about who you are becoming in the process.