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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Just Do Your Best

Just a quick stop to get some gift ideas – Mother’s Day, AWANA teachers, school teachers. I grabbed a buggy, sanitized the front handle, and plopped my daughter in the seat. Up and down the aisles I scoured looking and thinking. How about this? Would she like that? What is on sale? Halfway through the store, I found it nestled between some nicks for the bathroom and nacks for the living room.

It was a metal sign. Not one meant for anyone on my lengthy gift list. It was meant for me. The colors would match nicely with my décor. The boldness of the words drew me in. But the words themselves are what had me reaching to put it in my buggy.


I immediately thought of my six-year-old son and his challenges with following the rules at school. Just do your best. I could hang it in the hall outside his bedroom. My mommy future-vision imagined him standing at the podium in front of his senior class saying, “My mom hung a sign outside my door that said it all – just do your best.”

Yes, it was perfect. I purchased it quickly and headed home to meet the bus. By the time I got home, I decided that perhaps then den was the perfect spot. Then our guests could enjoy it, as well. I hung it on a chest in the hall temporarily as I launched into the busyness of evening.

By the time I climbed the stairs for bed, the sign was long forgotten. My mind was cluttered with writing deadlines, room-mom responsibilities, must-do laundry, and the still un-bought Mother’s Day gifts. I was remembering a conversation with my mother only days before. One in which I shared with her how much I struggled with trying to be the greatest at everything – the greatest mother, the greatest wife, the greatest cook, the greatest writer, the greatest room-mom, the list goes on.

“Oh, Lord,” I cried out, “You have to help me.” As I lifted my eyes over the top of the stairs, He did – with four simple words and a metal sign. He whispered those four words to my heart.


My imaginary weight lifted, and I took a deep breath. I can do that, I thought. I can do my best. Then I laughed realizing the words I meant to encourage others had encouraged me instead. It’s amazing how God can take the simplest things and use them to illustrate his message to us. God has called me to do more, more for Him. But even still His encouraging words still ring in my heart – Just do your best!

And, oh, yes, tell Archippus, "Do your best in the job you received from the Master. Do your very best." Colossians 4:17 The Message

Are you feeling over-burdened with the load you carry? Do you beat yourself up because you aren't living up to your own expectations? Just do your best!

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Blogger Cheri said...

Four little words that mean so much to this Mom too! Thank you for writing this, as God had whispered those same words to me just yesterday!

May 13, 2008 at 7:16 AM  
Anonymous Kimmi said...

Your words were comforting to me this morning. I am a perfectionist and I struggle the same ways that you do. I really needed to hear those 4 little words today! Thank you for being obedient to the Lord and writing what he would have you say.

May 13, 2008 at 7:36 AM  
Blogger Mocha with Linda said...

A very needed and encouraging message for this day! Thanks.

May 13, 2008 at 7:41 AM  
Blogger lori said...

What a perfect message for me today. The past few weeks have been FULL, parents visiting, communions, Mother's Day and on and on and on.....
I struggle along side you with my own expectations......
Any chance that they have another DO YOUR BEST sign at that store! I have the perfect spot for it...
Thank you for the blessing today!

May 13, 2008 at 8:02 AM  
Blogger kmom3 said...

Thanks so much for sharing this, Carol! It speaks mightily to my heart, too. I am all about trying so hard to be the greatest at everything, too, and end up feeling like such a failure. Just do my best. I don't have to actually BE the best. :)

And I feel Him reminding me that my best may look different on different days. Today Meg is sick and I don't feel so great. So my best today probably won't match up with days where we all feel good. And that is okay!

Thanks, Carol. I feel the pressure lifting. :)

May 13, 2008 at 8:31 AM  
Blogger Amy Wyatt said...

After the day I had yesterday... these words were much needed! You are truly God's instrument of encouragment to others. I'm so blessed to call you friend.

May 13, 2008 at 9:04 AM  
Blogger Denise said...

Very inspiring, thank you.

May 13, 2008 at 11:30 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

I am so glad to know that He has no expectations on me. He just wants me. He will do ALL through me if I will let Him. I am glad to know that He comes to my weaknesses and fills me up with His perfection, therefore I don't need my own....

Now to see myself as He sees me...that is the challenge!

Thanks for sharing,


May 13, 2008 at 12:48 PM  
Blogger Becoming Me said...

This is beautiful Carol. One of my new mottos in the past month has become "Just do your best and God will take care of the rest." May sound cheesy but is so true.

May 13, 2008 at 2:27 PM  
Blogger windycindy said...

Hi, I have told my two sons this since they have been old enough to understand what I was saying! I totally agree.....Cindi

May 13, 2008 at 3:09 PM  
Blogger Mark & Esthermay Bentley-Goossen said...

Am I the only one who looks at the post's picture before I start reading the actual post? You hooked me with this one. (Nice pic.) I've accomplished the "Just Do Your Best" in my own life, I just need tremendous help accepting my DH's and my children's "Best." Thanks for the words of wisdom.

May 13, 2008 at 3:48 PM  
Anonymous Shannon said...

Thank you so much for posting this today, this message really spoke to me. Its amazing the way He reaches us!

May 13, 2008 at 7:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great idea for me. Thanks for the wonderful way that you put it.

May 13, 2008 at 10:06 PM  
Blogger Peggy said...

Thanks Carol...that's aMAZING!
I wasn't sure where to comment but I'll start here!

I tried not to read the other comments as I scurry down from the post to the spot for me to comment (but it really can't be helped)! I guess it was an unanimous decision, we each need to hear those 4 little words: JUST DO YOUR BEST! Looks like many of us struggle with the need
to be reassured we are doing ALL we can-the best we can...from trying to motivate your son(so from the very youngest)
to me(most likely the oldest but not retired).

Not at the moment, but with MY students at YWAM, I wrote you about in Indonesia outreach and Mexico outreach...I really needed
these words...until yesterday I thought that I had failed them in not fully equipping them the BEST I could with language skills before
they set out to do God's work! My second class with them dropped in attendance from 17 to 4. Now that was a real good indicator, I needed to change...and I persevered
doing MY BEST & adjusting right up to my last class: staying flexible.

But I never felt until my letter from the director yesterday that I had met the mark!!!Done my best!
But what God was telling me was "step out in faith" JUST DO IT!

Bless you Carol for posting a message many needed to hear which means you heard God on this one!
And we can pass it along to others!
BLESS the REST!!! Love it...Peggy

May 14, 2008 at 4:12 PM  

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