Tuesday, November 25, 2014

What Does Your Button Say?

We're all guilty.

Of that quest for perfection, of the nag you feel each time you pass the laundry hamper. That inner chastising (or outer cursing) when dinner burns. Or the red pen that stabs your heart with each mark on the manuscript. (It's a DRAFT, for goodness sake!)

But this week, I was given the benefit of a little perspective when I slugged pre-coffee into my son's school to fulfill yet another (over)commitment. I was making buttons for the upcoming award ceremony. The students had written on, colored, and cut out a paper circle celebrating their accomplishments for the quarter, and I was sticking them in a button machine, turning them into a little award (and cringing each time they didn't come out perfectly straight).

Then I started reading the buttons:

  • "Made the musical!"
  • "Got a B on my math test!!!"
  • "Improved my reading speed!"

What?! No straight As or perfect attendance or error-free manuscripts? 

Nope. These elementary school kids (and this school) get it. They know that progress, true progress, isn't a flawless report card or a perfectly cooked meal. It's improvement over time. It's being your personal best. It's just sliding in the right direction on the spectrum of lifewhatever that may look like for you. 

And we don't celebrate it enough.

Well, that ends here. Right now, I want you to make your button. 


  1. Get out a piece of paper. 
  2. Draw a circle.
  3. Write SOMETHING to celebrate. ("I drew a great circle.")
  4. Color it.
  5. Cut it out. 
  6. Hang it up. Or if you're really brave: pin it on your shirt.
  7. Let people ask about it, and explain. ("I'm awesome" will suffice.)
  8. Do it all again tomorrow.
There's nothing really wrong with striving for perfection. But don't let the quest drown you in guilt. Don't let the setbacks knock you down. Take time to celebrate each step forward. 

And hey, be sure to occasionally pin a button on someone else. Because, really, by the time we've reached perfection, it'll be too late to make our difference here on earth.

So tell me! What does your button say?

1 comment:

Laura L. Smith said...

I want to wear a button that says, "I've been rescued!" or maybe one that says "Jesus loves me!" or "I'm fearfully and wonderfully made!" Honestly, what a great post, what if we wore buttons of truth, of God's amazing love story and rescue plan for all of us, that we are children of the one true God, and none of the rest of it really matters.