Sometimes a Number is Just a Number - Quality Over Quantity
I love when people pose a question or a thought that just makes me slam on the breaks. Here I am foot firmly on the gas and they toss a ball into the road of my thoughts. Its in those hard asked questions, those thought provoking statements that I dig deep into who and what I believe in. Over and over this week God has been putting these conversations in my path and its really got me thinking about quality over quantity.
We are so guilty as a society of craving quantity over quality. We consume, consume, consume and then want more. We use our bank account to measure the success of our business, we use a number on a scale to measure our physical worth, we use the number of social media friends/followers to measure our like-ability, we use the amount of possessions we own to measure our worth, we use the number of women in our mom tribe to measure our value as a friend. A constant math equation is calculating in our minds to reach the final number we long for, yet we always come up short.
The other day I was reading the words of a writer mentor of mine, Mary Kathryn Tiller, she said, “I’ve tried a few times to write some words to accompany this verse and it’s all just a bunch of babbling. So I’m going to let the word of God stand on its own this morning. It doesn’t need my help, anyway.” As a “novice” writer I am always asking myself, are my words enough, so I add more then go back and add more oh and just for good measure how about a few more. But God’s words are enough, period end of story.
Today yet another blogger was posting about having a mom tribe. For a long time I let that phrase steal away pieces of my joy. The sorority size pictures of women out on the town for a moms night was enough to open my floodgates. Then I thought, surely if Jesus, the King of Kings, thrived with a tribe of 12 disciples, I could flourish with my small, but mighty tribe of a few. My mom friends exemplify quality over quantity everyday as do our get togethers. Scheduling a moms night out feels almost impossible between sick babies, ever-changing schedules, and our endless to-do lists, but what I’ve learned from my small tribe is persistence pays off and its much easier to get 3 friends together than 23!
Then I thought, surely if Jesus, the King of Kings, thrived with a tribe of 12 disciples, I could flourish with my small, but mighty tribe of a few.
My dearest friend Tori Sullivant, who by the grace of God I have been blessed to know, spoke about gratitude in the midst of a rough time. The incredible joy she has learned through devastating situations in her life is nothing short of a miracle, one she’s fought hard for. She will be the first to tell you that it can only come from a heavenly source! She said that when someone approaches her in a conversation filled with complaining she lets them finish, then she asks, “okay, but what is good?” SCREECH. Brakes slammed, big holy pause. For some reason one of the giants I face is being a chronic complainer, so when I have to stop in the middle of a good gripe fest to actually reflect on the good it takes me back to my military school days of completing an about face. Instead of listing the numerous ways things are going wrong, we gain so much more from reflecting on those few precious blessings, even if you can only find two or three.
Through my struggle with the overwhelming desire to “fit in”, I have overcompensated by buying all the clothes. My closet looks like a mix of preppy, hip, sporty, adventurous, and a few random pieces that I told myself with great certainty that I HAD TO HAVE IT. The saying that, “I like my money where I can see it, in my closet,” is a sad truth for me. Its not that I am a fashionista, really I grew up more of a tom-boy. Its that I can’t seem to figure out who I am. Each morning as I pick out an outfit precious minutes float on by, like a dandelion seed in the wind, never to return again. This part my husband hates, the unwanteds get thrown on the floor, piling up like my anxiety about this almost meaningless decision. One of my absolute most favorite humans ever is Samantha Ponder, sideline football reporter turned Sunday NFL Countdown host, incredible wife to quarterback Christian Ponder, mother to three beautiful little ones, and most importantly lover of Jesus. In a recent podcast interview on, That Sounds Fun with Annie F. Downs, she talked about how incredibly powerful it was to simplify her life. She said, “I’m so sick of this generation, specifically of women, being told that having it all is a good thing. No, having it all is freaking exhausting.” Wow, mommas, can we just pause there and yell amen! One of the ways she did this was purging her closet. The thought alone terrifies my needy broken heart, but it inspires me. Maybe choosing quality over quantity is really more about cleaning out my heart. I might actually gain more than I lose, more time in my day and way less stress.
Maybe choosing quality over quantity is really more about cleaning out my heart.
I hope you are still reading, because here is where I need you to listen up! My friend, Krystal Boggs, is an incredible health and fitness coach and her credentials are as long as her desire to help women. She has such a genuine heart for postpartum fitness and mommas. She posted a poll on her Instagram, “Is it right or wrong to have a weight loss goal?” I’m a sucker for those, so I quickly answered. Immediately, I messaged her to defend my answer, because I was afraid she would disagree. You know what it sparked? A digging in my soul for why I believed that and a change in my heart. This health and fitness girl thought she had it all figured out, duh it has to be about weight loss, that’s the best way to measure how we are doing. Then this thought about quality over quantity kept coming back to me. After reflecting on why I believed that here is what I came to.
We use numbers to measure success, and sometimes it’s a necessary evil, but it’s only a snapshot of the whole. We use test scores to keep teachers accountable for their students’ learning, but that doesn’t reflect their growth. My husband and I went to several banks before someone took a chance on us to purchase the golf store we own. They sized us up by our numbers, but that didn’t reflect the innumerable qualities my husband possessed to create a successful business. We use the number of followers to decide how successful our social media influence is, but it doesn’t reflect how much the words we write or things we offer are changing the heart of just one follower. We use the number of things we possess to bring value to who we are, but it doesn’t reflect the value of hearts. We use the number on the scale to tell us how well our health journeys are going, but that doesn’t reflect all the hard work and growth we’ve created. Sometimes a number is just a number. Use it to help you, but don’t let that be the only way you measure success. I will always try to remember that quality is so much more valuable than quantity.