Thursday, January 10, 2013


:the size of the steps I am taking of late

I feel like I am finally on my way out of the desert, but instead of striding confidently to an oasis, I am trying to take very small steps, so as to not lose my way.  One small step has been taking time after breakfast with my daughters to have a tiny bite of Jesus Calling sandwiched between silence and candles.  For many (better) parents, this may seem like a very small step indeed.  But my daughters are as different spiritually as they are in every other aspect.  Want-to-get-it-right A likes devotionals that give her the answers to how to live her life the "right" way.  Want-to-never-be-told-what-to-do B hates devotionals that point her in one direction.  Can't-hold-a-train-of-thought-to-save-her-life K just needs something short.  I am most like B in this regard, so I decided that if I've been able to read the adult version of Jesus Calling for over a year and enjoy it, perhaps this would be a book to try.  It's short, meeting K's requirement.  It's direct, meeting A's.  But it's not directional, much to the delight of B and I.  So far, we are all enjoying it.  

There have been tweaks along the way.  I found out the first morning that you can't let your children eat cereal for breakfast and read them a devotional while they eat.  They can't hear you over the crunch.  A's cereal sat there getting soggy because she wanted to do the right thing and didn't tell me to wait until she'd eaten.  So we try to finish breakfast and then each light a candle.  Silence before or after the devotional was another question I had.  Each girl wanted something different, so we do silence on both ends.  (The not eating breakfast during silence helps everyone concentrate and enjoy the silence that much more.)  I'm not changing the world or my life by adding this little segment to our day, but I have desired something like this for years and this it the first small step I've taken that hasn't led me straight off a cliff with children protesting as we slide down the hill.

Small step number two is adding running back into my thrice weekly morning walks.  The stress fracture that wouldn't heal has finally healed.  (I remain certain that stubborn fracture has a great big spiritual lesson wrapped up in it, but I am equally doubtful as to what I was supposed to learn.)  I've been gradually phasing out of wearing my brace and gradually walking more consistently and for longer distances.  So yesterday I threw caution to the wind - along with a quick pray flung up to heaven - and ran for a few minutes.  My ankle didn't give out and seems fine today, but I am loathe to re-injure myself, so I am taking it slow.  Tomorrow's walk may remain a walk, with additional running left until Monday.

Small steps can be frustrating for me.  I can be slow to act, but once I act, I'd like the benefits, thankyouverymuch.  This going slowly, trusting that even one peaceful day of Jesus Calling is worth it, is hard.  My daughters aren't suddenly fighting less.  They aren't quoting scripture.  They are still exactly who they were - and so I am, sadly.  But my hope is that these tiny small steps will eventually lead us all to someplace new and lush - a place where ankles are whole and healed, where God can be felt and heard, where our eyes are open to seeing who we really are.

Maybe taking small steps instead of giant leaps will help me remember my own smallness and be thankful for it, instead of resenting the limitations it brings.  Maybe small steps will keep the fear at bay and allow me to keep moving instead of hiding under a rock (which I sometimes very much want to do).  Maybe sometimes the only step I can take is a small one and that is just OK.

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