No more excuses.

No more excuses 1Perseverance: 1.Steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. 2.Persistence. 3.Tenacity. 4.Continuing in a state of grace leading finally to a state of glory.

Finish: 1.To bring a task or activity to an end. 2.To complete something. 3.To conclude, close, terminate or end. 4.To arrive at or attain the end of something, such as finishing a race.

“Let us be full of joy and be happy with the troubles we have. Let us exalt and triumph and rejoice in our sufferings. Let us be glad when we run into problems and trials. Why are we happy with troubles? Because we know that these things make us more patient. They help us learn not to give up and quit. We know that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patience, perseverance and unswerving endurance. Endurance and fortitude develops maturity and integrity and strength of character. And this sort of character produces joy and gives us a confident hope of eternal salvation. When we have learned not to quit, it shows we have stood the test. And proof of this is that we are strong. (Romans 5:3-4)

I’m sure I’m not the only person in the world who has started something and not finished it. I could start a list right now of all the things I’ve started over the years that have been left unfinished. All the projects I’ve thrown myself into, only to give up soon after. The problem is, if I started making a list, I’d probably get half-way through and get distracted and not finish writing it!!!

I absolutely LOVE starting new things. I love to start reading new books. I love to watch the first episode of a new TV series. I love the challenge of new beginnings. I love new jobs. I love new friendships. I love new music. I love getting things started. But I’m so bad at finishing. I’ve got dozens of books that I haven’t finished. I’ve never watched a TV series for longer than a few episodes. I’ve started diets and not finished them (ok, so everyone has done that!). I’ve started craft projects that have taken up space in my house for months that have been left uncompleted. I’ve got friendships that have turned into acquaintances. I’ve even got a half-written novel on my computer somewhere!

I am good at starting things, but I struggle to finish them. I don’t have trouble with getting started. I have trouble persevering. Whether it’s persevering through the rain and choosing to go running. Whether it’s persevering and choosing fruit over chocolate (seriously, do I have to?). Whenever it comes to persevering…well, let’s just say I’m not always good at finishing what I start. I’m not good with sticking with things. And I don’t think I’m alone with these struggles. After all, if I was the only person who had ever started a diet on Monday morning and had broken the same diet by lunchtime on the same Monday, then Michelle Bridges would be out of a job and millions of people wouldn’t tune in to watch The Biggest Loser TV show.

I remember once when the renovating bug hit me and I decided to repaint the walls of our family room. Surprisingly, I actually finished painting the family room but then I decided to paint the kids bathroom with the leftover paint. Unfortunately, I ran out of paint (ok, truthfully I ran out of interest), but rather than go and buy more paint, I just put down my paintbrushes and didn’t finish the job. Not only did I ruin all the paintbrushes, (of course I didn’t bother properly finishing and cleaning the brushes and storing them correctly) the bathroom was left unfinished. For six months. And then I had to pay someone to come and finish it for me.

I am great at starting things, and really bad at persevering and completing things. 

The funny thing is this: if you met me, you would not not describe me as a quitter! I’m often known for my passion and tenacity and persistence but what I’ve realised is that I get started on something and rather than stick with it, I find something that looks newer or more ‘shiny’ and I get distracted and bored so I move onto the next thing – without finishing what I started. And it becomes a vicious cycle. I remember reading (part of) a book by Glynnis Whitwer and she says if I don’t finish what I start, it will result in “circles of unfulfilled commitments, open loops and shallow relationships” and that’s not good for anyone.

One thing has become clear to me during the study of Lysa TerKeurst’s book What happens when women say ‘yes’ to God and that is this: I have to be passionate about what I start doing in order to finish it. Before I say “yes to God” and start something new, I need to ask myself if I’m so passionate about this new thing I’m about to start that I’m willing to pay the cost and do whatever it takes to stick with it, persevere and finish strong. 

Perhaps one of the reasons I don’t stick with things through to the finish is that I don’t have the necessary attitude of excellence that says I will persevere until the end. Instead, I adopt an “it’s good enough” attitude. I tell myself that if I don’t finish what I start “It’s okay. It’s fine. It’s good enough. It. Will. Do.”

But God is not an “it will do” kind of God! He is a God of excellence. He doesn’t want me to settle and live a life of mediocrity and half-finished things. He doesn’t want me to quit. He wants me to finish what I start. He wants me to do whatever it takes to get the job done. He wants me to stick with it. To persevere: To continue in a state of grace that will lead to a state of glory.

So my goal (not just for this study, but for life) is to persevere and finish things well. I want to be like Timothy and get to the end of something I started and say: I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. I’ve run hard right to the finish line. (2 Timothy 4:7).

When I have learned to persevere and not quit, it will show that I have stood the test with unswerving endurance with maturity, integrity and strength of character. And this will bring me joy.

“We pray that you may be invigorated and strengthened with all power according to the might of His glory, to exercise every kind of endurance with perseverance and that you will be patient and not give up when troubles come”. (Colossians 1:10)

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21 thoughts on “No more excuses.

  1. Oh dear Nicki! Your words have resonated in my heart this morning. Getting bored, losing interest, “good enough,” finding something more “shiny” … I too have lists that I haven’t finished writing – maybe just because I thought of another list to start! I too have friendships that have, sadly, become acquaintences because of, well, because of lack of commitment on my part. While I chuckled to myself at our similarities, I suddenly felt sorrow about friendships lost, and the lack of passion in my life, which is certainly not “good enough” for my God who wants me to live a life on fire for Him. Thank you for your openness! Praise be to God for how He has used you to tug at my heart and inspire me today! #StickWithIt

  2. Thanks for sharing Nicki. This post spoke directly into my heart. It gives me motivation and courage to make a list of my unfinished books and knitting projects, and go ahead to work on those. I would surely read your novel, please find it!
    Blessings.

    1. Adri thanks so much for your post and my apologies for not replying until now – I haven’t had a chance to get to my blog all week. I’m so blessed that this post spoke to you and gave you the motivation to keep going and not give up on your unfinished projects.
      As for the novel – I’m not sure I SHOULD find it!! I don’t think it was all that good to begin with! But thanks anyway for the encouragement.
      Blessings to you
      Love
      Nicki

  3. Oh my, your words hit home to me. I too struggle with the same things. I could have written your post word for word. Right now I am struggling with making the fall commitment to sing in the choir once again. I always start out so strong in my commitments and then slowly lose the energy. I find I have a hard time wanting to go out at night for the weekly rehearsals (30 minute drive each way) yet am so lifted by them and singing on Sunday mornings.
    Oh Lord, give me the desire to be obedient in all my decisions.
    Blessings,

    1. Dianne, thanks so much for your post and please accept my apologies for not replying until now – I haven’t had a chance to get to my blog all week. I’m so blessed that this post “hit home”. I encourage you that if God is speaking to you about your choir commitments that you challenge yourself to commit 100% and don’t give up! Keep passionate about your decision and remind yourself each week how much it blesses you to be part of this choir.
      Thanks so much for your encouragement of my writing in this post.
      Blessings to you
      Love
      Nicki

  4. I too am addicted to the new-ness of projects. I love your thought on how we need to be passionate about something before we start it in order to finish. God gives us this passion when it is something he wants us to say Yes to. This is how I hear him sometimes. Thank you for sharing your struggles and for your words of encouragement.

    1. Candace thanks so much for your post and please accept my apologies for not replying any sooner – I haven’t had a chance to get to my blog all week. I’m so blessed to know that other people like you are also addicted to the “new-ness” of projects! Phew. I’m not alone! Lets keep being passionate “yes” girls and start thing with the desire to finish them well.
      Blessings to you
      Love
      Nicki

    1. Dear Tracy, please accept my apologies for not replying until now – I haven’t had a chance to get to my blog all week. I’m so sorry you have a pinched nerve – I have heard that is incredibly painful. Praying for you as you continue to say “yes” to God.
      Blessings to you
      Love
      Nicki

  5. Thanks Nicki! I think one of the things I take away from your post is to start things I’m passionate about, things that I will want to finish. I really enjoyed your blog post. Thank for sticking with it!

    1. Lynette, thank you for your post and my apologies for not replying until now – I haven’t had a chance to get to my blog all week. I’m so blessed that you enjoyed my blog post and glad you were able to take something away in your heart after reading it. That truly blesses me to know that.
      Blessings to you
      Love
      Nicki

  6. Thank you Nicki for your post. I felt like you were holding a mirror up to my life and recording it. This is the first OBS study of many that I have really participated in and have persevered. All to God’s glory! Blessings to you and the many sisters who struggle with finishing well.

    1. Bragaom thank you so much for your post. Please accept my apologies for not replying sooner – I haven’t had a chance to get to my blog all week. I’m so blessed that this post spoke to you and I’m thrilled that this is the first OBS you’re giving 100% to. I urge you not to give up but finish strong and yes, give God the glory!
      Thank you for your encouragement as I too struggle to finish well.
      Blessings to you
      Love
      Nicki

  7. I’m feeling you! I’m a great starter, but not so great finisher. Praying for you as you #stickwithit and Say yes!
    Lauren, P31 OBS Small Group Leader

    1. Dear Lauren, thank you for your comments and please accept my apologies for not replying until now – I haven’t had a chance to get to my blog all week. Thank you for praying for me as I continue to struggle to finish strong and keep saying “yes” to God.
      Blessing to you,
      Love
      Nicki

  8. I am the same way!!! And so is my husband. Can you guess how many unfinished projects are around my house. Yes, every single one we’ve started! The kichen still needs crown molding, the baseboards in the whole house are unpainted, the laundry room is half painted, and on and on through every single room! This Bible study and the blog hop have been such a blessing. I’ve been a “starter” my whole life. I accepted it as who I am so it never occured to me to find scripture and ask God to help me finish things. Thank you for sharing your story. You helped change a life!

    1. Dear Brandy I laughed out loud when I read your post!! Yes, I can imagine a house full of unfinished projects. I’m so sorry I haven’t replied to your comment until now – I haven’t had a chance to get to my blog all week. I’m so blessed that this post spoke to you and gave you the motivation to keep going and not give up on all your (many!) unfinished projects.
      So glad my story has helped you so much. If I truly have helped “change a life” then wow, I’m over the moon and give God the glory!
      Let’s keep saying “yes” to Him!
      Blessings to you
      Love
      Nicki
      PS Stay in touch and let me know how you go with those projects!

  9. This blog hits very close to home! I too have been blessed with the gift of starting well, but in my heart I really want to finish well–in every sense of that phrase.

    Thanks for writing on my blog. It meant a lot.

    1. Dear Bettejean, thank you for your post and I’m sorry I haven’t replied until now – I haven’t had a chance to get to my blog all week. I’m so blessed that this post spoke to you and “hit home” – I’m hoping that was a good thing!! I encourage you to finish well and pray that you will.
      Thank you for your encouragement.
      Blessings to you
      Love
      Nicki

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