Capture“For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.”

Proverbs 2:6

Reactions were immediate. Even before they’d gotten to the final chapter, readers were in touch. In my second book, Signs in Life, each chapter opens with a driving vignette, antics that seemed to resonate.

  • “Yes, yes, I’ve had my share of speeding tickets. Did I tell you about the time my kids were in the car?”
  • “Construction zones are everywhere! How can we NOT miss an orange barrel—or two—or three!”

For some of us, self-driving cars can’t get here soon enough. I’m sure some have even asked God to make them a priority on His divine to-do list. But seriously, after sharing a giggle from behind the wheel, I nod in understanding at the number of us who have found ourselves hurrying through life’s orange barrels and cones. Too many times we’ve gone too fast. Too many times we’ve focused on all the wrong things while navigating lives under construction.

I work with a financial advisor. I used to pride myself on the number of things I could do at one time: answer the phone, take notes, check account balances, the list goes on. And then I’d hear myself saying, “I’m sorry. What did you say?” Too busy taking notes, letting my mind speed through a list of tasks on my desk, I focused on everything but the client on the other end of the line, and in doing so, I missed a comment, a request, the very reason for the call.

One reader recounted getting ready for a large family gathering, having more than one Pinterest-moment, making sure everything was perfect for the festivities. The day was beautiful, but looking back, she added, “Honestly, I was so focused on table decorations, the BBQ sauce, seating arrangements, weather conditions (which I couldn’t control!), games for the kids, bickering cousins, and pants that didn’t fit that I really missed more that I care to admit…”

We’re moms and often we really just want everything to be perfect, knowing in the heart of our hearts, life’s not perfect. A part of me fears that settling for imperfection will lead to the unacceptable, some sub-standard level of performance that will highlight character flaws and a disconnection from all things motherly. It won’t.

I’ve always made sure my sons knew that being their best wasn’t having to be the best. My boys were gainfully employed with their own medical, dental and 401(k) before I understood that the same applied to their mother.

Here begins another school year. I pray that we all might find delightful ways to be our best without the pressure of having to be the best, that we might find a way to slow while weaving through life’s construction zones, that we might delight in what is, not what has to be, should be, or could be.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Proverbs 3:5-6