Tag Archive for: mistakes


Yesterday, after a busy morning at Schiphol Airport to say farewell to a number of departing missionaries, followed by the arrival of the Kempenaers family to pick up their son Jorne, we decided to take a walk to clear our heads and catch our breath…
Heading towards the Vliet, we found that it was completely frozen over.
Although, there was also a clear indication that a boat or two had snaked through the ice.
It was a delightful, albeit chilly walk into town, to pick up one or two groceries.
It was nice to chat too with Matalyn Weaver, who is staying with us for a couple of days before returning home on Monday.
Eventually, we arrived back home.
And then it happened….!
I reached into my pocket to get the keys for the front door.
Somehow, I’d managed to pick up the wrong keys…
I am not certain how many times over the last 18 months I’ve given missionaries a hard time about forgetting their housekeys.
It is a regular occurrence!
Weekly, if not daily for many!
And now it had happened to me… ☹
Of course, it just had to be the coldest day of winter too.
Well, departures week is always a rollercoaster of emotions for me – for sure. At least that’s my excuse!!
With no spare key, I had to make a rather embarrassing call to the Assistants to come to our rescue.
They smiled and laughed.
In fact – they smiled and laughed – a lot!
To be fair – we laughed too….!
Luckily, they live only 15 minutes away and it wasn’t too long before they arrived and saved us from the chilly winter weather.
And the moral of today’s story – perhaps I should have heeded my own advice, to “slow down!”
Laughter is a great medicine.
When did you last make a silly mistake?

Do you accept mistakes?

𝐃𝐨 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐚𝐜𝐜𝐞𝐩𝐭 𝐦𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐤𝐞𝐬?
We all make mistakes, its part of being human – they are a natural part of life.
There are however a lot of negative connotations around making mistakes, which can lead to each of us avoiding things that may stretch us.
Yet, getting it wrong is often the best way to learn.
Albert Einstein once said, ““Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”
In fact, giving ourselves permission to fail takes courage!
That may even feel scary too, because it may make us a little vulnerable.
Learning from mistakes can be challenging.
Yet, mistakes are actually very valuable, as long as you learn from them, grow from them, and improve yourself.
Indeed, mistakes are an opportunity to do better next time, and we should make the best out of every mistake we make.
Top Tips
– It is important to acknowledge your mistake and own it.
– Take a deep breath, admit the error, and make your apologies.
– Identify where you went wrong.
– Find the lessons so you can improve next time.
– Apply those lessons so you don’t repeat the mistake.
– Consider sharing what you have learned with others
– Get ready for new mistakes!!
In summary – learning from mistakes is about understanding what you did wrong and making sure that you do not do it again.
What did you learn from your last mistake?

What’s in a name?

Missionary coaching interviews – our favourite time as mission leaders!
It has been a busy week, filled with lots of interviews in Rotterdam.
Another missionary coaching interview session was drawing to a close.
After being reassigned from the Missouri Independence Mission, this was the first time the young sister missionary and I had met together.
Like the many other coaching interviews that day, we’d shared lots of insights together, but as usual, time had passed by too quickly for us.
It was time to close out the session, and I thanked the young sister missionary for her hard work, and wished her every success in the weeks ahead, until we met again.
We got down on our knees to close our session in prayer.
I started the prayer, sharing a few thoughts and expressing gratitude to Sister Jorgensen for her efforts in the mission since her arrival here, only a few short weeks ago. I mentioned her name again…
….And then it happened!
“𝑰𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝑺𝒊𝒔𝒕𝒆𝒓 𝑱𝒐𝒓𝒈𝒆𝒏𝒔𝒆𝒏 𝒐𝒓 𝒏𝒐𝒕?” I thought….
In that moment, I couldn’t remember – I certainly wasn’t sure!!!
Thinking further to myself – “I am sure it is…..but what if it isn’t?”
….“Perhaps I should check…?”
I stopped speaking.
I moved around a little, uncomfortable at my realisation, and opened my eyes, to check her nametag.
At that moment, realising that something wasn’t quite right, she too, opened her eyes.
Looking at each other, smiling, it was in fact 𝑺𝒊𝒔𝒕𝒆𝒓 𝑹𝒆𝒚𝒏𝒐𝒍𝒅𝒔!
We laughed.
We laughed again (a little harder).
It was just so funny.
Somehow – we managed to compose ourselves and I finished offering a prayer.
I don’t think either of us will ever forget those memorable seconds in laughter…
It was just so silly and yet so special, I’m sure it’ll connect the two of us together to that moment – forever!
I won’t ever forget Sister Jorgensen (oops) Sister Reynolds name ever again!!!! 😊
Have you ever made a silly mistake?


Now that was a little embarrassing! 😅
Yesterday, Monic and I visited 4 different missionary apartments in Lelystad, Amsterdam (x2) and Haarlem. Over the last few weeks, we have visited nearly all of the apartments in the mission and only have a handful to go. It has given us a really good understanding of the state of repair of each of them, the good, the bad and the downright ugly!
Feeling tired, after a long day, and loaded down as usual, carrying bags of linen, bedding, pillows and our cleaning materials, we took the lift up to the last empty apartment of the day.
With the bunch of keys in hand for that specific apartment, (there were 8 different keys) I tried each of them, one by one. 1st – nope, 2nd – nope, 3rd – nope… You get the idea, until I reached the last one. None of them worked! Grrr….
Start again I thought. 1st – nope, 2nd – nope, 3rd – nope… and then I said to Monic, “do you hear that?”…”There is someone inside!” “Ring the doorbell” she said. We did so and a few moments later, a lovely old couple came to the door. We looked at them quizzically, thinking to ourselves “what are you doing here?”
A quick check of the address and to our embarrassment – we were at the wrong door! Oops! We were supposed to be at apartment 371 and had been trying the keys in door 317!!
Graciously the old couple gave us the directions to 371. We made our apologies, smiled and laughed a little and were then on our way.
With a glint in our eye, we looked at one another, chuckled together and a few minutes later found ourselves at 371!
Have you ever made a silly little mistake when you were tired?


“That’ll be £29.50 please.” “No problem” I replied…. And then it happened!

I checked my jacket pocket for my wallet, then my other pocket, then my trouser pockets. “What a plonker” I thought and confessed to the checkout operator, that I’d forgotten my wallet. She laughed. “Don’t worry about it, it happens all the time!” I laughed too. I realised I’d changed my winter jacket to a summer jacket and simply hadn’t put my wallet in my pocket. The shopping was set aside and I promised I’d be back in 20 minutes.

On arriving home, my wife was working in the garden. She looked at me quizzically and asked “where’s the shopping?” I responded “I forgot my wallet.” She burst out in laughter too!

Back to Tesco. I collected the frozen products, back to the same checkout, paid my £29.50 and we laughed together a little more…

Almost all of us do thoughtless, impulsive silly things, sometimes through a simple oversight. In fact, blunders are not only an acceptable part of life, but they may even be very helpful. Mistakes frequently help us learn and grow. My experience is that past failures may be guideposts to future success!

Thank you Tesco for helping me see the funny side of my little gaffe and for the good laugh too!


It was a painful error. “That one wrong move cost me the game” said my son, as his younger sister wrapped up Settlers of Catan at the weekend.

Catan is a family favourite in our home – and possibly yours too.

For the second week in a row, the youngest member of our family was victorious. It was also much to the chagrin of her older brother! Yet, only a few moments previously the game was in the balance. It was simply because of one move made a little earlier in the game, that the damage was done. Ultimately, a short term advantage led to the defeat. It wasn’t until a few moments after making the move, did he realise his error, which ultimately cost him the game.

The learning occurred for my son when he owned up to making the mistake. Yes, he was irritated a little by his lapse in judgement and I’m sure he’ll learn from the error and think things through more carefully next time.

One wrong move in a game of Catan, isn’t as serious as making a wrong move in life. Yet, in life too, we sometimes make poor choices that can ultimately have life changing consequences.

Mistakes are simply a part of the learning process and are very valuable. Its okay to make them, as long as you learn from them and remember the lesson.  So, lets embrace them and keep moving forward!

What mistakes or wrong moves have you made at home, at work, or even in life and what lessons did you learn?