Three years ago I interviewed author Deanna Nowadnick, about her her book, Fruit of My Spirit, today I am sharing her latest book, Signs in Life. You can the interview I did with her three years ago, HERE.
She is sharing the Prologue from her book with my readers.
One day, Moses was taking care of sheep and goats for
his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian, and Moses
decided to lead them across the desert to Sinai, the holy
mountain. There an angel of the LORD appeared to him
but it was not burning up. “This is strange!” he said to himself.
“I’ll go over and see why the bush isn’t burning up.”
When the LORD saw Moses coming near the bush, he
called him by name, and Moses answered, “Here I am.”
—Exodus 3:1-4 (CEV)
“If you’re going to ticket me, then ticket me!”
I scrambled out of the car, slammed the door, and kicked the
rear tire. Squinting into the harsh glare of a flashlight, my first
words were louder than necessary, “If you’re going to ticket me,
then ticket me! I just want to get home.” Not giving the police officer
a chance to respond, I continued, still annoyed, still defiantly
frustrated, “I’m tired. Really—I just want to get home!”
“And I just need you to slow down, ma’am. I actually stopped
you, because I really just needed you to slow down and stop—at the
sign back there. You’re in a school zone. It’s dark. There’s traffic.”
The officer was right. Traveling home from the gym, I’d failed
to stop at a busy corner. Distracted by a young mother’s ever
present to-do list, I’d rolled through an intersection, the middle
school on my left, a railroad crossing on my right. Fortunately a
man with a badge had cared enough to give me a much deserved
warning and an undeniable lesson: road signs are an important
part of safe travel.
Road signs are everywhere: SPEED LIMIT 25, SCHOOL
ZONE, STOP. Yet even with signs telling us what to do and how
best to do it, we still miss the signs, overlook and ignore them.
But signs in life surround us for a reason and I’ve gotten costly
reminders of their importance. A patrol car’s red and blue flashing
lights have refocused my attention on the speed limit—more than
once. Traffic cameras have reminded me to slow down in a school
zone—twice. And a police officer has re-emphasized the importance
of coming to a complete stop at a busy intersection.
In addition to traffic signs, I have also overlooked and ignored
directional signs. I live in Monroe, Washington, about an hour’s
drive from Seattle. On a trip into the city, I programmed my car’s
navigation system to get me from the freeway to a waterfront restaurant.
After three turns, I decided I knew better than my digital
guide. I didn’t. I made wrong turn after wrong turn and silently
cursed the afternoon’s traffic. The delay cost me time and patience
and taught me a second undeniable lesson: road signs are not just
an important part of safe travel, but there are consequences when
ignored and overlooked.
So why don’t I follow the signs, block after block, turn after
turn? Why don’t I heed the high resolution images on my car’s high
definition screen? The signs were all there: a black and white sign
alerting me to the speed limit, a red sign reminding me to stop, a
yellow sign warning of the school zone. There were signs telling me
of the exit ahead and the turn on my right. Still I ignored some,
skipped others, and overlooked many. Why did I, why do I, ignore
And if I struggle to get around the block, how will I ever survive
the bigger journey? How will I navigate life? Not the quick trip to
the grocery store, but the longer journey through adulthood? Not
only the daily commute, but the more onerous trek through times
of trial? Not just the trip into the city, but the turn into temptation?
What about my travels as a wife and mother, sister and friend?
What about my travels with God?
I really do want to follow God more closely, but I’ve repeatedly
ignored the spiritual guidance that could’ve helped me in my
quest. Too many times I thought I knew more, knew better. At
other times I overlooked God’s directional signs and tuned out the
audible instructions coming from life’s metaphorical console. And
then there were those times I just didn’t pay attention.
I’m not alone. People long ago and people today, we’ve all
sought to follow God more closely. The Bible shares example
after example, stories that also remind us of our propensity to miss
the signs. We question where we’re going. We complain about our
circumstances. In a story that spanned four decades, God led His
chosen people, the Israelites, through the wilderness with a pillar
of smoke by day and a pillar of fire by night, huge THIS WAY
signs. Their leader, Moses, even encountered personal signs when
he saw a burning bush and heard the voice of God. All these signs
were important as God directed and redirected Moses and more
than 600,000 Israelites on a journey that would take them from
Egyptian slavery to the Promised Land.
God’s been active in all our lives, directing and redirecting.
Through Bible stories and our own personal experiences, we see the
signs. Through Bible stories and our own travels through life, we
learn that God doesn’t just issue a citation and move on to the next
offender. He steers us toward Him and His divine purpose, toward
that promised place He has for each one of us. The man with the
badge cared enough to warn me and cite me. God cares enough to
guide me and direct me. And when I mess up? When we mess up?
He forgives and redeems, redirects and refocuses—just as He did
with Moses and the Israelites. And that’s a good thing, because I
don’t know about you, but I need help and guidance. Often.
So here’s what you also need to know. I battle weight issues. My
walk is a nagging reminder of past knee and hip surgeries. I place
way too much importance on mascara and hair gel. My driving
record lists way too many infractions. I get dazed and confused in
places unfamiliar to me, also in places I know well. I can obsess
over the smallest details, especially the insignificant and inconsequential.
I make mistakes. I wander off. I overlook the signs and
miss the turn.
Moses and the Israelites made mistakes, too. On their journey to
the Promised Land, they overlooked signs and missed turns. Their
story is similar to my own in many ways, but strikingly different in
others. I’ve never known the brutality of slavery, never been forced
from my home. I’ve never had to walk through a desert, never been
nomadic. I’ve never been a camper for goodness sakes! Still God’s
traveled with all of us wherever we’ve been and wherever we’ve been
“Our travels with God are part of His story,
His purpose, travels that begin right now.”
Signs in Life tells of my journey and the divine signs I’ve encountered
along the way. In my travels, there have been directional signs,
mileposts, and cautionary signs. There have been exit signs and speed
limit signs. There have been signs that were seen and others that were
heard. All have helped me follow God and find His purpose for my
life. By sharing the signs in my life, I hope you’ll be able to see the
signs in yours. I might be speeding through a stop sign—again!—while
you’re navigating a busy street, but our journeys are very similar. I
think we all want to be part of a greater purpose. We all want help
and guidance in our understanding of God and His plans for us.
And when we miss the signs, real and divine, we want to know that
God will redirect and refocus us, that He will get us back on track. My
pastor, Robin Dugall says, “Life with God is not just about a heavenly
destination. Our travels with God are part of His story, His purpose,
travels that begin right now.”
Whenever we got in the car, I used to tell my boys, “Buckle up.
We’re going for a ride.” In life we’re all going for a ride. Our travels
with God are an adventure in discovery and growth, an opportunity
for each one of us to repeat the words of Moses, “Here I am.”
THIS WAY. This is my story, the signs in my life. So far.
Deanna's Book is available at Amazon.com and B&N.com