Can't be perfect every day

Rewind the clock three years. On a Monday, myt daughter, Jenny, broke the middle school’s 25-year-old long jump record with a leap of 15 feet—3 ½ inches.

On Wednesday, she couldn’t clear 14 feet.

I could see her face from the bleachers when they announced her third-place finish. It wasn’t a look of anger or disappointment; it was pure embarrassment.

“How could I jump so well Monday and so bad Wednesday?” she questioned.

Well, sweetheart, not every day is going to be a record-breaking day. Much of life feels like a Wednesday.

Many days we try hard, put in lots of effort, and give it our best just to come in third.

Third is a hard pill to swallow for any of us. We want to be first. We want our name in the record books. We want to be known for something.

But life is not a smooth road. It is full of bends and twists and hills and valleys. As Gerarda Simmons likes to remind me, sometimes we’re the windshield; sometimes we’re the bug!

There’s nothing like that feeling on those days when it all comes together. Those record-setting days stand out in our memory forever. It’s where we go when we need inspiration, when we need reassurance that we’re okay, when we need comfort for our trouble hearts.

That Friday, Jenny broke the school’s high jump record with a jump of 4 feet—10 inches.

On Saturday, I woke her up gently,
“Good morning track queen . . .
it’s time to do laundry.”
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—Arthur Gordon in
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Judy Mae Bingman
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