Stepping Stones

Stepping Stones

From the Authors Inspiration

Many, Lord my God,
    are the wonders you have done,
    the things you planned for us.
None can compare with you;
    were I to speak and tell of your deeds,
    they would be too many to declare.
Psalm 40:5 (NIV)

I started writing this blog, thinking, “I have no idea what I am doing.” But every week for the last three or more years, I’ve been writing a ‘weekly update,’ an email to all our extended family. Each week, I put together a little blurb about our life and send it out (with very cute pictures). Just a way to let my grandma (and whoever else might be interested) know what the kids are doing.

Then my uncle told me to start working on a blog for Porkie and Pete, so we have a way to communicate with anyone interested in the books, tell people who we are, yada yada (as we say in our family).

After I started writing the blog posts, my uncle (who is a football coach, but to me seems more like a cheerleader) offered wonderful words of encouragement, telling me how these blogs are really nice. That I have a ‘style’ of writing. And I smile all warm inside (I like my words of affirmation).

Then Mom says, “Isn’t it great you’ve had all that practice writing those family updates. It was the perfect preparation for writing a weekly blog.”

And I looked at her with my trademark-slack-jawed face (which my family calls ‘the codfish’). Because it dawned on me: God wastes nothing! I hadn’t developed a ‘writing style.’ There was no thought on my part about how I should write, I just wrote the way I’d been writing for three years. And I was in awe of what God had done in my life. He’d prepared me. As my mom spoke, I honestly had a picture in my head of God placing tiny stepping stones before my feet, and they stretched on for miles…

While we are plugging along, doing life, He is looking at everything and pulling it all together in ways that we cannot imagine, and often cannot even see until we are at the finish.

Here I am writing weekly updates for three years, and He was up there thinking, “Oh, yep. That will be great! I can use that.” And smiling at me and patting my head, because I had no clue it was preparation for anything!

I wonder what else He is preparing me for? And I am so thankful, because we have a God who does not throw us into the deep end of the pool. He prepares you. Preparation might not always be delightful, or even tolerable. It might be mundane, repetitive, or difficult. It might even seem like something that is not at all useful, but God is a lot smarter than we are. And he is piecing together all these little parts of your life, and making something beautiful. He sees where you’ve been, and knows where you are going. And if you are willing, He will grab hold of you and bring you through to do amazing things.

I am not saying that my small, little, simple example is what others might call ‘profound.’ But I believe we need to trust God with the small things, before we can successfully move on to the bigger things. And what is profound is believing that God is so in love with you, so excited about who you are, that He is willing to work in and through every part of your life. You are His creation. Planned and prepared for a reason. You have a job to do, He made you for a purpose. He is not up in heaven crossing His fingers and hoping you will figure it out on your own. He is as close to you as you will let Him be. And He is faithful. So faithful.

July 22 057
My mother and daughter on the shore.

So I pray that God will open your eyes to what He is working in your life. And I pray that you will be able to grab hold of the things He has planned for you. So that you can be who He created you to be. Amen!


Legacy: Part 3

Legacy: Part 3

Inspiration Our Story

They ought always to pray and not lose heart. Luke 18:1

Grandma and her cousins with their dolls. Grandma is the tallest.
Grandma and her cousins with their dolls. Grandma is the tallest.

The ‘Legacy’ series I am writing about refers to the legacy my grandmother left me. She passed away when I was eleven years old, but made a lasting and meaningful impact on my life.

Today, I want to talk about my friends (who, trust me, have something to do with my grandma). All of my life, in every season, I have always had at least one stalwart friend. I don’t know that I ever had a plethora of close friends, but there was always that ‘one friend’ who would get me through any situation I faced. Like a bulwark surrounding my life, this ‘one friend’ would protect me against anything and everything from loneliness, to peer pressure, to getting run over by a car*. I don’t mean I’ve had just one friend my entire life (I’m not that much of a hermit!). But that as one friend would flow out of my life (moving away, or going to a new school, or as I grew up and left home), a new friend would come swimming into the arena of my life and take up residence as ‘the one I could lean on.’ Of course, as a child I never noticed this. And as an adult, I tended to take it for granted. It was more recently that a friend of mine pointed out to me the lack of that one ‘bosom buddy’ (Anne of Green Gables fans unite!) in her own life, which highlighted to me the blessing of friends in my life.

I am not someone who meets people easily, has social graces, stays-in-touch, or puts forth much effort in communicating. So having these friends… well it’s a miracle, really. So I asked God, how in the world was it possible that I (of all people!) could have been so blessed with friendships. And almost immediately I was convinced it was a prayer my grandmother had said for me. I may be fanciful from time to time, but I am just so certain of this one thing. And what an amazing prayer! It afforded me protection, joy, and the ability to be who I am because there was always one person to stand with me. I never had to face the hard things alone. What a gift!

And so I want to encourage you- pray! Pray without ceasing, pray with all your strength, and with all your heart! Pray for your children, your marriages, your friends, your family. Pray for your country, your pastors, and your leaders. And pray that your children will have friends! That God will bring people into their lives that know Him, and love Him. That your child will not have to stand alone, or pretend to be someone they are not. Your prayers are powerful, and they accomplish more than you know.

Grandma showing us how the overall fashion trend started!
Grandma showing us how the overall fashion trend started!

My grandmother never got to see the fruit of her prayers for her grandchildren. But this is a lesson I can take from her and pass on to the next generation. I can pray for them, teach them to pray, and pray that they will love prayer.

Prayer is powerful! (My mother always says that ‘when you pray you’d better put on a helmet, because you never know what is going to happen!’) But I can tell you this, something will happen! Not always in your time-frame, not always quite what you had in mind, but God hears our prayers, and He is faithful to answer!

So a quick review of one afternoon’s worth of reflection: my grandmother left a great legacy for me. She had faith in God, she loved whenever she could, and she prayed for us.

God bless you to be filled with faith, strong in prayer, and mighty in love! Amen


*Yes, even getting run over by a car! I was in middle school, and so concerned about what I was saying, that I stepped off the curb and straight into traffic! My good friend, grabbed the neck of my shirt and pulled me right back again. Then after the car had passed, she gave me a gentle shove, and we crossed the street. All the while, I kept right on talking. It wasn’t until we were a few blocks away, and I’d finished my story that I realized what had happened! Startled, I asked, “Uhm… did you just save my life back there?” And she just smiled her sweet smile at me, but said nothing.