Small Steps

I decided to call this gemlog Small Steps because life can feel overwhelming sometimes. My tendency is to shut down or give up when things feel like too much. These days that could be because there are 900 toys on the floor, the laundry is overflowing, the 2 preschoolers are bickering, the baby is crying and the sink is piled with dirty dishes. Back in college maybe it was because I had too many difficult assignments to complete in between going to class, studying for tests and working part time. I look at everything around me and think "This is impossible. I can never get this done." Then I just sit, paralyzed with discouragement.

There was a short little Patch the Pirate song we used to listen to:

When mountains tower rugged and high

Rise to the challenge, look to the sky

Trust in the Lord and start out to climb

Reach for the goal one step at a time.

Little by little, inch by inch

By the yard it's hard,

by the inch, what a cinch.

Never stare up the stairs,

just step up the steps.

Little by little, inch by inch.

This became my theme song in college. If you look at the entire class syllabus you can get pretty scared at the enormous amount of work to do. But if you just take it in small steps one day at a time eventually you can look back and see that you've somehow come all the way through.

I borrowed the title from a book by Louis Sachar. It was about a teenage boy trying to put his life back together after being released from juvenile detention. His counselor tells him his life will be like walking upstream. If he tries to take big steps he will get knocked over and carried downstream. So he has to take small steps in order to move forward.

God often describes himself as a shepherd and he leads us gently with small steps. When I get discouraged it's helpful to think about taking small steps. Maybe I feel like I can't do all the laundry but I can start with one load. Maybe I feel like I can never be a great Christian but I can start with picking up my Bible and just reading one chapter. One thing I hope to do here is encourage myself and you that small steps add up to great distances.

Finally, we currently have 3 little people in our house and so we have a lot of small steps all around.

Please forgive any typos, I was writing this while getting a dental exam from a 2 year old. I was a little worried when he got out the toy hammer. I'm not sure he's been to dental school.

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