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Experience Hope Devotional

Be Present, Not Perfect  

The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him.

─ Nahum 1:7


Ben jumped up from his homework when he saw his mother, Jill, coming in from the garage with both of her arms overloaded with heavy grocery bags. “Mom, why didn’t you text me so I could’ve helped you?” he scolded gently.

Jill looked up. “Just trying to get it all done.” She passed the bags hanging from her left arm to Ben. Together they unloaded them on the kitchen counter and began to put things away.

Jill struggled. Constantly overwhelmed with a need to do everything perfectly, it was difficult for her to live in the present. Even during conversations with her children, she would listen distracted, calculating her to-do list. “Well, grocery shopping is off my list,” she told her son.

She caught a glimpse of sadness in her son’s eyes. She shot him a questioning look. “It’s nothing!” He said.

“Oh, it’s something. Tell me.”

“We’ve had this conversation a hundred times. You try too hard; you do too much. I wish you could just relax and enjoy the moment. You are doing better than you think. It’s time to take your own advice. You always tell me to do my best, and then God will make up the rest.”

“You’re right!” She pushed the thought of the laundry waiting in the washer and dryer aside. “Let’s go out and sit on the front porch and catch up. Tell me about your week so far.”

Finding the right balance requires us to be present, not perfect.


Today’s One Thing

When you’re tempted to push yourself harder than you should for perfection, take a deep breath, relax and intentionally choose to live in the present.