Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sometimes by Step

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I had planned on writing this post MUCH earlier in the day, most especially when it was so fresh on my heart.  However, I took a little detour with an emotional breakdown this morning and it has taken me a few hours to get my heart back on track enough to write what God had put on my heart earlier.  The breakdown came from a clash with reality.  Though I have a large stash of greeting cards, both handmade and store bought, built up, I needed to add a few special ones for Kevin.  This morning I thought I'd spend part of my Parent's Morning Out time by stopping at Hallmark and restocking.  I usually go to Hobby Lobby, but I remembered I had an $8 perks coupon.  So off I went.  I was excited because it thrilled me to be able to read as many cards as I wanted without having the kids pulling me in every direction.  Card shopping with the kids is just usually a disaster waiting to happen.  While I was there, I mentally ran through all of the current and upcoming holidays and occasions.  I wanted to get as many taken care of as I could.  I found myself stopping in the male birthday section.  With Kev's birthday coming up soon, I thought I'd go ahead and look.  However, the "dad" section caught my attention.  Oh yes, I needed Dad a card.  His birthday is tomorrow and if I'd hurry I could get it sent out in today's early mail.  No problem.  I started to grab a couple of cards and immediately (IMMEDIATELY) found one that I loved.  Then it hit me.  What in the world was I doing?  It was like a sudden clash with reality.  Dad isn't here.  There isn't a physical address or physical body to send the card to.  I know that.  I've thought of it often over the last several days.  It just happened to be one of those "caught up" in the moment kind of things.  At that moment, I thought I might have a complete break down in the middle of Dena's.  Instead, I calmly put the card in the stack of the other dozen I had.  There was just something about it.  I couldn't put it back down.  THAT would have been too hard.  That would have been crushing.  That would have been admitting reality.  Oh I get is just sometimes too hard to "stick" to!!! (Now don't go thinking I'm insane.  I'm really not!!!).  I made it to the check-out, was friendly and talkative with the sales lady, and made it almost to the van before the sobbing hit.  The rest of the day has been okay, but I'll admit that tears are easily falling at the slightest urging and staying focused on other tasks has been incredibly difficult. what today's post was intended.  I had the post all planned in my head earlier, but only remember about half of what it was.  So this will just have to do.....

This morning I took off for my walk and since I didn't have to leave until 8:45, I spent a little extra time.  I knocked off 4 miles today.  Wahoo!  My body may need it, but WAY more importantly my heart and soul needed it.  God found me again.  He found me  by sticking words to a song in my head----again!  Noticing a pattern?

This time it was "Sometimes by Step".  It's another one of those that we may have sang at church recently, but I don't think so.  I play it on the piano, but it has been a REALLY (REALLY x 10) long time since I've sat down to play.  I don't think I've heard it on the radio recently.  It just happened to pop in my head while I was praying, walking, and thinking. 

Though I love the part that says, "Oh God, you are my God, and I will ever praise you." It's the other words that keep running through my head.  "Step by Step you'll lead me and I will follow you all of my days."  Step by step.  Those are the three words that kept running all over me.

I thought about how in learning and in teaching the only way you can do it is step by step.  Our kids don't learn to walk before they can sit on their own.  I didn't teach Adriana how to operate the sewing machine without first sitting down to show her the steps of threading the machine, working the pedal, etc.. I don't teach chemistry without going back to the beginning and teaching atoms and molecules.  I can't teach Peyton multiplication without him first having a solid foundation in addition.  I can't teach Bradlee to read without teaching him the building blocks of phonics.  You don't learn to cook by looking at the end of the recipe first.  You have to start with step one. 

I felt like that was what God was trying to tell me.  So much lately I've been caught up with the end result.  I want this or need this.  I want to build the bridge between who God wants me to be and who I am.  I get so caught up in my failures and sinfulness.  I fail to see myself as God sees me. 

Step by step.  Take it one step at a time.  Keep my eye on the prize?  Yes.  Look back at where I've been? Yes---but only to learn from mistakes, not to beat myself up over and over.  It's VERY easy for me to get caught up in the "I should know better than that" or "by now I shouldn't be doing that" or even "by now I should be __(here)___, but I'm still only __(here)___". 

I don't expect my kids to know how to do something the first time I present information.  I really don't expect them to learn more complex lessons without first learning the foundations.  Why on earth do I expect it from myself?  Obviously I don't want them to be lazy or use excuses of something being too hard and I don't want that to be part of me either.  Yet, I fail to give myself the same grace.

I absolutely want to move forward with God.  He is DEFINITELY laying some big plans on my heart and with Kevin and I both.  We (or maybe that's me more often than him...he's more patient) often are getting impatient with waiting for that plan to be revealed.  I want to rush ahead and get going.  Yet, God plainly told me today that I'm only going to get their step by step.  I can't skip from step 2 to step 7 or from step 3 to step 20.  I have to move along the steps in order, spending as much time on each one as HE SAYS!  My kids get impatient and want to skip ahead to the next step.  Sometimes that is WELL before they are ready.  Sure, I can let them go ahead.  Yet, I know what happens when I do.  Fail.  Lack of understanding.  Confusion.  Why should I be any different?  God is just needing me to stay right here on step XYZ until HE SAYS I'm ready for the next one.  I might want to argue and say I've learned enough or I understand enough.  Maybe I think I'm ready.  He knows better.  He always does!

On a side note, later this afternoon I pulled up some videos of that particular song and let it play through a couple of times.  Though these aren't the words that went through my head this morning, they still touched me when I listened to the song in it's entirety. 

"I will seek you in the morning and I will learn to walk in your ways".  That is a nugget of truth!  It's not coincidence that the more days I get up and spent that time with Him, the stronger my faith becomes and the greater my understanding of my purpose and my direction will be.

Then this one specifically gripped my heart.  Especially after such an emotional day that I didn't expect.  "Sometimes the climb can be so steep, I may falter in my steps.  BUT NEVER BEYOND YOUR REACH!"  Thank heavens!  No matter how far I fall or how hard it is to get up, I am NEVER beyond the reach of Christ's hand to pick me back up!  Neither are you!

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