Friday, August 06, 2010

The Bishop

Mia learned a powerful lesson yesterday. She's been taking swimming lessons for the last three weeks, and I had signed her up for the third level class. She passed second level last year, but there is a huge leap between the two levels. She started the class with a terrible fear of deep water, but by the end of the first class, she had acquired confidence and was ready to learn the breaststroke, crawl, and how to float. Over the course of the class, I saw her learning the skills, but when I watched her with the rest of the class, I noticed that she was usually several feet behind them. She was the only seven-year-old in the class, I think the next youngest was nine. The kids in second grade with her were in the second level.

I was so proud of her each day, watching as she fought to keep up with the rest of the class. She never gave up and finished each class with a huge smile on her face. But yesterday, when the graduation certificates were passed out, Mia's said "Retake third level." I spoke to the instructor and she explained that Mia was struggling in a few areas, and next year she would start in level three and probably be bumped up to level four halfway through. It was a devastating blow to my little girl. She did her absolute best, and it wasn't good enough. I explained to her about she'll be with kids her own age next year and that she should be proud of the effort she gave because it was her best. But it's hard to feel proud of your best when it isn't good enough.

We've all been encouraging of her and let her know that we are proud of her no matter what. We've all been there, felt this way. It's important to remember, like I told Mia, that when the world tells us we're not good enough, God is always there to tell us we don't have to be "good enough" to belong to Him. He wants us just as we are and He'll make us perfect.

The Bishop by Steven James is the fourth book in the Patrick Bowers series. FBI agent and geospatial specialist Patrick Bowers returns with stepdaughter Tessa to track down a new killer who is framing innocent people for his crimes. Tessa's biological father makes a play for custody and Patrick finds that working with former girlfriend Lien-hua makes this case even more fraught with danger. James is an incredibly intelligent author who creates terrifyingly demented antagonists who Patrick has to stay one step ahead of in order to keep those he loves safe. Some old characters pop up, stretching Patrick to his limits. James also makes insightful commentary on contemporary issues through his characters. In another author's hands, these could weigh the book down or slow the action, but James keeps the action thrilling and the story moving. There's something for every fan of police procedurals: inter-agency conflict, terrifying villains, complex crimes, a romantic triangle, and family drama. I don't think 500 pages have ever flown by so quickly.

Thank you to Revell Books for providing a copy of this book for review.