Signs in Life, Finding Direction in Our Travels with God by Deanna Nowadnick – Review

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SIGNS IN LIFE begins with a late night encounter with law enforcement. In the harsh glare of a flashlight, author DEANNA NOWADNICK learns the consequences of speeding through a stop sign. Other incidents follow. All are linked to the divine signs she’s encountered in that bigger journey through life. Join Deanna as she shares humorous anecdotes and inspirational lessons from her travels with God. See the signs in life. She might be speeding through a stop sign–yet again!–while you’re carefully navigating a busy street, but together we’re all part of a bigger journey, a greater purpose. We’re all part of God’s great story.

Author Deanna Nowadnick is a native of the Pacific Northwest. When not writing, she serves at the Client Service Coordinator for The Planner’s Edge, an investment advisory firm in Washington State.

Deanna is active in her church, playing the violin and editing the newsletter. She loves to knit, adores chocolate, and most important, enjoys a blessed marriage to Kurt. She’s also the proud mother of two adult sons. Her first book, Fruit of My Spirit, began as a short story for Kyle and Kevin about how she met their father. It quickly became a much larger story about God’s love and faithfulness.

Deanna has just finished her second book: Signs in Life: Finding Direction in Our Travels with God.

Excerpt –

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.

My Review –

With humor and wit and knowledge gained from taking wrong turns in her life, in Signs in Life Deanna Nowadnick shows us how to listen to God. Through her stories of mishaps and wrong turns, we are able to learn to sit and be still, and listen for God’s instructions.

…why do I ignore the help? 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 help 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…

Signs in Life is filled with stories from Deanna Nowadnick’s life but could come from any of our lives. How many times do we zoom right through the Stop signs and caution lights of life, making wrong decisions?  Being the passenger in Deanna’s car can teach us to slow down and enjoy the ride of life. There’s no need to rush. We only have a certain amount of time here on earth and flying down the highway of life will not bring the end any sooner. We might as well learn to slow down and enjoy the scenery a bit.

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.”

Years later and all grown up, my foot was still on the gas when I sped down the road from one job to another, this time missing several professional STOP signs. Facing the Red Sea, Moses had stopped and trusted in God for direction. Facing my own Red Sea of career choices, I plunged in.

I really love this next book quote. Does it ever describe me! I plan every second of every day. Nothing is left to chance. But, I don’t always ask God what His plans might be for me.

Too often I’ve treated God like a glorified tour guide. I’ve decided where I’d like to go and then boarded God’s luxury motor coach, expecting a grand adventure with a climate-controlled interior, reclining seat, adjustable foot rest, tinted windows for a picturesque view, and heavy-duty shocks for a smooth ride. I tend to enjoy my time with God as long as He takes me where I want to go, but when He’s taken me places that are a little uncomfortable – a little steep and dusty, spiritually speaking – I’ve developed a short-sighted habit of looking at the narrow road and prayerfully asking  God to get me back to something more comfortable.

Personally I find the idea of letting go and letting God redefine me a little unsettling. If pressed, I’d have to confess that I’d rather be sitting in the front seat of God’s luxury motor coach asking that my will be done, reinforcing who I believe myself to be…”You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep reading the last one.” God reminds us that He is God, that He will lead us, that He will teach us His will and His way…

I think I’m ready to stop reading the last chapter. I’ve found me a nice country road and I am looking forward to the next chapter of my life – with God as my co-pilot.

“Grace,” a designated lane in which God meets us with His mercy and forgiveness…To quote Lamott, “I do not understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are and does not leave us where it found us.”

I am giving Signs in Life five stars. It was a great book and very well written with humor and honesty. I am so very glad I slowed down enough to meander through the pages.

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My organizing tip of the day – I read this phrase one day – “Be the example in your home.” I am a neat person. I am an organized person. I am also a person who thinks – everything should have a place, and everything should be in its place. So, I asked myself – Am I the example in my home? (Sighing) The jury is still out…what about you?