Wednesday, June 23, 2010

How do you measure success?

Angie here:

Success is commonly measured in finances, awards, and status. But a long time ago I decided it was really measured in relationships. None of the others could follow me to heaven, but relationships could cross that mystical barrier between life and death.

Over the weekend I prayed for huge sell-out success at a wonderful event. That didn't happen. I wondered what went so askew with those prayers. I had a "duh" moment. All my life I've always valued relationships above all else. Money can't get the real thing. Stuff can't get the real thing. Status just gets a person a pedestal but no close friends. So why did I think I suddenly needed high sales to prove this one event in my life was a success?

As I talked about how many people I met and the variety in the new friends, I began to realize how unique this entire experience was for me. I watched Tim and Cindy Sproles serve everyone around me. I watched a few big names act very small. I watched what I wanted to be like and what I didn't. I saw how servant hearts enriched the lives of others and how demanding people caused havoc and pain.

Then the lovely people who opened their homes to me shared a taste of their lives. How splendid their families! How gracious their provision for me! I watched the Murray family give me more than I needed and overwhelmed me with comfort. I watched the Welborn family make room and protect me by lending me a GPS and support my unusual hours and postal requirements.

I met new people and began building new friends. I hope to be as good of a friend to all these as the examples the three families mentioned here are to me. I hope that I can be a gracious, giving, supportive person to everyone I meet too. The example they set for me is high, very high. I mean to aspire to the level of hospitality, caring, and genuine love of the Sproles, Murrays, and Welborns. And that's a tall aspiration!

I watched God touch my life with successful relationship building and understood that I had been given an incredibly rich gift of friends and support on this journey.

How do you measure success in the midst of disappointment?

Who around you makes you want to be like them?

Angela Breidenbach


  1. Ang,
    What a great story! It sounds like the weekend was a true success.

    My idea of success is very different from what it used to be. It could be because of my age, or my relationship with God, or some of both. I think as we get older we value different things. Also, following Jesus Christ and walking in His ways puts a totally different spin on what we value and consider successful.
    Like you relationships are very important to me. I don't care for a lot of drama---I don't have enough energy for that. But really genuine people who have a heart to serve--that is the type of person I'd like to be.
    There are times I fail and fall, but, hey---our manuscripts aren't the only things that are a work in progress!
    Thanks for a great post.

  2. You brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for such sweet thoughts. But what came out of Christ...was love. Servanthood. Joy. This we found with you.
    Tim and Cindy Sproles

  3. Tamela Hancock MurrayJune 23, 2010 at 1:25 PM

    We were so happy to have you as our guest. You are such a blessing and a wonderful friend to me! Love, Tamela

  4. Angie, what a great post!

    I, too, think success is measured in love. It's sometimes hard to remember that when we get caught up in making a living and paying bills. It's something I have to remind myself of sometimes when I worry. I'm such a worrier by nature! But I'm doing better, thanks to you ladies here on the blog. (Mindy, especially, always has a word or verse for me when I start spazzing!) :)