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Updated: Aug 17, 2022

Do you have any guesses as to the meaning of those three letters? If you attended a Catholic school in the early 1960's, you might have a clue. One of the lessons we learned in first grade was that we were always expected to do our very best work. To drive that point home, Sr. Mary Raymond had us write JMJ at the top of our schoolwork. It did not matter if we were working on lessons in arithmetic, spelling, phonics, or handwriting, we diligently wrote JMJ at the top of every page.

What is the significance of JMJ? Sr. Mary Raymond told us that we were to offer up our schoolwork to Jesus, Mary and Joseph. How could you offer anything but your best efforts to the Holy Family? As a six-year-old, I took her words to heart. Somehow, doing my best, meant something to this world and apparently, even to the world beyond.

I guess that is why when I see someone do a half-hearted job or put the very least effort they could into a task, it just drives me up the wall. Even if you can't do something, at least give it your best effort! There is no shame in trying your best and falling short. I know what I am talking about as I struggle mightily with anything computer or digitally related.

The event that brought this particular memory to mind was that last week my publisher sent my book to the printer. It is done. No more chances for revisions. Over the past year, my book has been written, re-written, edited, revised, re-edited, corrected, typeset, and proofed many times. I have been blessed to work with a very patient team of editors, proofers, and project managers. Whatever the reviewers or readers may say, I did my best work. No regrets. As another wise teacher once said, "Do your best and to the Lord leave the rest."


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