Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Little Steps

As this year draws to a close, I feel a mix of emotions, don’t you? Gratitude for all the blessings I’ve received. Sadness over the passing of loved ones. Concern over the seemingly unsolvable situations in the world. Regret over things done or left undone. Overwhelm regarding things yet to do.

I can’t do anything about some of those things, but I know from previous experience that if I’ll declutter my personal spaces, I’ll feel much more hopeful and function more efficiently as I do the things I can do. 

However, even improving my workspace seems a daunting task. But the day I vowed to sort and file the accumulated items in my “to be done” stack, I came across a 3x5 card on which I'd scribbled these words several months ago: “find little ways forward.”

As I dealt with the stack, I said to myself, Think about what runners do. When they’re running a marathon (26.2 miles) or a shorter distance, they do it one step at a time. Step by step, from start to finish, they stay on the course marked out for them. They know that each step brings them closer to the finish line. They don’t lollygag around or quit. They don’t look back. They look ahead, eager to reach the finish line. That’s what I’ll do in regard to sorting this stuff and to finishing important projects that I’ve set aside for far too long.

Encouraged by that insight, I’m feeling less overwhelmed and more determined than ever to find little ways forward in the New Year. I hope you are too.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021


Around 6 a.m. I looked out the floor-to-ceiling windows of the condo my husband and I had rented in Gulf Shores, Alabama. I expected to see the sun slowly appear, as it had on previous mornings, looking like a gigantic orange ball emerging from the watery depths of the Gulf of Mexico.  

A "normal" sunrise!
Instead, all I saw was a long, narrow band of orange on the horizon line that separated the water from the overcast sky. I couldn’t see the sun as it rose higher and higher that morning. Neither could I marvel as its light created pastel colors in the sky. Neither did I have to shield my eyes as the sun flooded the room with brilliant light, as I was accustomed to doing. 

Yet, the sun was there, following its God-ordained path, doing exactly what God created it to do, and adhering to the schedule God had set for it.

Likewise, when God sent His Son to earth at the appointed time, Jesus did exactly what the Father sent Him to do, no matter what people of His day assumed He would. With various words and at various times, He expressed this truth to God the Father: “I have come to do Thy will–Thy will, not My will.” (See Hebrews 10:5-10, Luke 22:42, Matthew 6:10, Matthew 26:39-42, etc.)

Oh, dear reader, may you and I faithfully do what God created us to do despite the “daily-ness” of our work, despite the circumstances that reduce our effectiveness, despite the fact that others often fail to see the good work we’re doing, despite their lack of positive response to it, despite….