One Step

I’ve long loved a hymn titled, “Lead, Kindly Light” for its poetry and imagery as well as its haunting melody and harmony lines. One line in particular has been my companion for the last few days–the line that says simply, “one step enough for me.”

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As I wake in the morning, sometimes the first step of the day appears to be the most daunting task I might face. I choose to leave the comfort of down and cotton and warmth and cuddles and step into cool air…and more decisions follow with breakfast and reading and how to spend the precious moments before my filled home empties as my children embrace their work of the day.

This morning, I took a walk with my dear neighbor. We meandered through streets, on and off sidewalks, around bushes and evergreen trees and shrubs. Each step was a decision, whether conscious or not.

Over the weekend, I had multiple responsibilities–and after a busy Wednesday through Friday, I was craving some down time and some sleep. Still, I would take a step forward–a step to help a friend move (even in inclement weather), a step to help build sets for my son’s upcoming play, a step to take my daughters to be part of an activity to help others, to be uplifted, and to rejoice in womanhood. Each step took strength–but with each step, I gained more confidence that I could continue on through my day.

By Sunday, I tried not to fall asleep during the services…but I rejoiced in the steps I had taken through the weekend to help others and to strengthen myself. I heard that line again play in my mind, “one step enough for me.”

I’m currently taking a leap of faith…a step into the darkness…. As I wait for the next step on my path to become clear, I will continue taking steps–steps to serve, steps to understand, steps to live, steps to learn, steps to love.

Where will your steps lead you today?

Simple Gifts


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I still remember a song I learned when I was…who knows how old I was?  I’ve known it for as long as I can remember.  The song, “Simple Gifts,” is a Shaker song written and composed in 1848 by Elder Joseph Brackett.  Would you like to hear Jewel’s rendition? (It’s the only one I could find on YouTube, so it will have to suffice.)  Here you go:  Simple Gifts

We have each been given gifts…gifts of life, gifts to give and receive love, gifts of faith in God or fellowmen (or both), gifts of writing, gifts of goodness, gifts to share and gifts to develop.  Gifts can be moments of peace and tranquility.  Gifts can also be found in packages of adversity, where we learn more about ourselves and our abilities to carry on and to triumph.  Whatever your gifts are, I hope that you will recognize that you are amazing!

In this post, I invited you to join my family as we have sought to recognize and develop the gifts we have been given.  Did you take me up on that?  We’ve had almost two weeks since that post, and I’m wondering what you have discovered.  I have been working on developing my gifts to cook and bake, to sing, and to continue writing and editing the novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo…and I am working to connect with you through blogging while reading and commenting on your blogs.  I applaud your efforts.  🙂

While searching for our own gifts, let’s also look for the gifts of those within our sphere of influence.  Maybe someone did something kind for you.  (Yesterday, after a lengthy visit (with a somewhat fussy preschooler) at a store, I purchased said fussy preschooler a drink.  As we were shuffling items around a shopping cart, the two of us managed to dump said drink all over the floor.  And the drink was sticky.  And the floor was soaked with a big mess.

A fellow customer went to grab an employee, who quickly flagged the slippery, sticky area and mopped the spill.  I was so grateful for both of those people.  They took initiative and helped a tired mom with a fussy little person.  Sure, someone could argue that the employee was just “doing his job,” but to me his work meant so much more.  He was helping me rectify a mistake I made.  And I was grateful for him.)

Two Mondays ago, on our weekly family evening, we passed around papers where each person in our family wrote one item which we recognized as a gift in another person.  My page looked something like this:

MOM
You are good at playing the piano.  Mom is good at cooking.  Mom is very patient and forgiving of us.  You are so nice and you help me with everything! I wouldn’t have lived without you…literally! 🙂  You are very caring!

Now, while I wouldn’t own all of those kind thoughts from my sweet family (especially the piano one), some of the people who know me best have helped me see some of my gifts.  And, I think that since they were looking for positive attributes in other members of our home, they have each been more positive since the night we did that activity together.

So, in the busyness of this holiday season, I challenge you to take a moment to think of the gifts you possess that you cannot purchase from a store…as those may be the simplest (and most profound) gifts of all!