I think I just got a signal that I have to work on my approach to people during my book deadlines.
You see, I’m in the middle of a deadline on a co-authored book that I’m writing with Craig Gross, founder of xxxchurch.com, and I’m WAY behind due to successfully having lots of “mom time” and not spending as many hours on “author time” this summer. So now I have to pay the piper. I only have a few precious weeks here to catch back up and meet my book deadline. Jeff has stepped up to handle a bunch of kid stuff for the next few weeks, and I let my staff know that I was going to have to go into “cave mode” to get everything done on time.
What I hadn’t realized was that maaaaybe the impact of trying to race and catch back up tends to, um, cancel out the benefit of all that sweet one-on-one engagement I’ve had with people in the months before.
I’ve always wondered what it must look like to my family when I’m feeling pursued by a rapidly-approaching deadline… and apparently the answer is: about as well as someone being pursued by ravenous lions.
My husband had met a woman in a ministry organization who had ministered to a mutual friend of ours. I’ll call her Staci. Staci wanted to connect with me for some help in an area of her ministry. And she was also going to come by our house to pick up some books as well. Jeff forwarded me an email from her asking ‘is tomorrow okay?’ and I happened to glance down further in the email string. Here’s what I saw:
Jeff: Tomorrow morning is great—after rush hour. Shaunti will be here, and I’d love for you to meet her. She might have a crazed look in her eyes though—I’ve seen it before during book deadlines. So if we could try and schedule a time to connect more fully after Aug. 15, that might be best—especially for getting her undivided attention. I’d love to take a look at your stuff—and Shaunti will too, after her deadline. Anything we can do to help, we will. We both feel a debt to you for caring so well for our friend after she had been so hurt.
Staci: Great! I’ll text before I head that way in the morning. I totally understand crazed looks….had a few myself over the last few months! 🙂 It’ll make me feel right at home!
So… my husband felt a bit “busted” that I had seen his comment… but we know who was really busted in all of this, don’t we? Yes, that would be the big bulls-eye on my forehead!
Would sure appreciate your prayers that I can find a way to respond in grace and with full attention to people… even when I’m on a book deadline!