How to define your own success…
Exciting times…. This is the first blog about our skills development programs. If you see this blog, you have certainly saw our website that explains what we do. In short, ECTA Creative Solutions which is a for-profit company have a CSI program where they provide training material and certification to various non-profits, churches and community programs.
We are now in our 6th year of training skills programs and one of our most successful programs are at The Bay Christian Family Church. https://ectacreativesolutions.com/project/tbcfc/
This year was as you would understand a very difficult time for skills development due to COVID. Although we tried to keep going with our training through the internet and WhatsApp it was not that successful because most of the women where in survival mode and did not even think of buying data or airtime. We did however successfully help our sewing ladies with a “sewing kit” that contained enough fabric, sewing needles, thread, pattern etc so that they could make masks by hand and sell them.
We also manage to give our catering ladies a basic “bread baking” kit which contained all the ingredients so that they can bake a few breads. Then we tried to encourage them through WhatsApp to sell the bread, keep some money aside and bake again. I think this was the biggest problem that the women faced. The selling of their products during lockdown and if we REALLY want to honest – Am I going to sell that bread when my children are hungry? So, yes .. we can see it as some sort of failure of sorts. I however strongly believe that failing forward is as good as taking a step forward!
There is no reason why your past and past failures must define who you are and where you are going. Sometimes I wonder how many times have these women failed and every time they failed it just cemented the whole “I’m a failure” believe that many have and no one have ever told them that it is OK to fail. As long as you get up again and try again. God created us to be a success and if we trust Him on His Word, you will a success.
My question is just this…. Who defines what is personal success? Will it be when you are a CEO of a corporate company or would it be that you have baked and sold enough muffins today to feed your children. I sometimes think you are a bigger success if you stay in a shack but you still have the will power to get up at 4 in the morning to bake your muffins, take the taxi to the train station and stand there to sell your muffins.
Tamra Ryan, CEO of Women’s Beans Project says this in her blog: https://www.womensbeanproject.com/your-past-doesnt-define-you/
Unfortunately, for the women we serve, the history, baggage and knowledge often lead them to be held back by their pasts. By the time they arrive at our doors, they’ve been told they aren’t good enough or smart enough, that they’ve done things that can’t be overlooked or forgiven and that they will always be reminded of their mistakes. They’ve been without anyone to believe in them for so long that they’ve forgotten how to believe in themselves.
One of our key lessons as an organization and one of the first steps each woman must absorb:
Your past does not define you or your future.
Each Piece Creates a Larger Picture
I like to think of every woman we serve as a mosaic, each with beautiful, sharp, and worn-out pieces. Each piece within the mosaic represents a different experience or decision. Yet, individual pieces of the mosaic aren’t very helpful in seeing the beauty of the whole or even understanding the entire picture. By adding to the mosaic with new experiences and decisions, there is opportunity to change the appearance of the entire mosaic.
We must continue to remind the women until they hear us:
- You are worthy
- You are the sum total of the choices you make
- Grace is available to us and therefore we can start again – As Lamentations 3:22-23 says: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. It means that God’s mercies are new, fresh, and abundant each day. He has good things to give you today that weren’t available yesterday. Blessings that are custom tailored to what you will experience and struggle with today.
- You can do it – Not confident in self but because God is with me. Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
When we are back in class… Guess what? We are trying again!!! Win we will win!!
Regards till we chat again.