A sleep mask is a wonderful thing, pulling mine down over my desperate-for-a nap-eyes, my daughter asked for a Jolly Rancher from my hidden stash.  "Yes, I will get you one as soon as I get up from this nap."  Hearing her rustling with something on the floor beside my bed, she challenged me, "I'm holding you accountable to that Mama Llama."  I assured her that I would generously hand one over as soon as I woke up if only she reminded me.  Her literal personality responded, "Isn't a reminder what accountability is?" 

Drifting off to sleep I pondered her words.  Many people welcome the idea of friends who offer flattery, but few of us seek out relationships with those who hold us accountable to personal growth.  The best version of ourselves remain dormant when we comfortably position ourselves in the middle of mediocrity. 

Deep in our souls I believe most folks see glimpses of the best version of themselves, but surrounding them are people who offer flattery, empty compliments, and agreeable terms of less than our best.  We stop dreaming of possibilities, we give up on leaving our mark in the world, and we start believing that what we do doesn't really make that much of a difference anyway. 

I want to challenge you today and encourage you to start taking notice of those glimpses of the best you.  What stirs your heart to excellence, what puts pep in your step after feeling as if you were just in your sweet spot of life?  Take note of what causes a lump to catch in your throat as you're moved beyond descriptive words.  You feel hope rise inside of you over an impossibility at your fingertips and I want you to think deeply upon what it was that sparked that hope. 


Don't settle for mediocrity from yourself or those in your sphere of influence. You were created to reveal the glory of the Lord, created in his image, you are a holy image bearer.  Surround yourself with people who desire to help you become the best version of you.  It pleases the Lord for you to grow into his perfect design for you.  You are made to be excellent. 

"Excellence requires caring about someone or something enough to invest time effort, and skill into it, with God's glory and our neighbor's good as the goal."  Michael Horton continues his thoughts on what it means to be excellent in his book Ordinary, "Biblically defined, true excellence has others in mind - first God, and then our neighbor." 

Does your sphere of influence have your best God given interest in mind?  What about you?  Are you being excellent in the way you invest and influence others? 

I challenge you today to let this year be a year of personal growth, starting with you taking charge of who speaks into your life.