Friday, October 17, 2008

Stepping Stones

For someone who enjoys words and writing (and let's be honest... talking) so much, I am an extremely visual person. If you ask me what 5 + 4 equals my brain is going to visualize two dice, one with five dots and one with four dots, and then I'll be able to tell you the answer is 9. But I never just think nine without the visual.

And that paragraph pretty much sums up why the mere mention of the words "timed test" gives me a panic attack.

I think that's why I like praying the rosary so much. It's easier for me to get into the repetition and flow of the words, and then visualize those I'm praying for and what I am asking. Even if it's just to see them at peace and feeling loved. That is a more sincere and intentional way for me to pray so I'm not distracted by trying to find the right words and getting lost in the "supposed to's" of prayer.

I have the same tendency while writing. Often while typing I have no idea what words are going to come onto the screen until after they are there. I don't think of the words in my head and form the sentences. Instead I am usually thinking of the memory or visualizing my meaning, and from that picture in my head comes the words. Weird, I know... but that's how I work. Oftentimes I sit down to write a post and just ramble on until it's finished, and when I go back to read it and proof it I'm thinking to myself, "Wow. I wonder where that came from."

That happened the other day when I was typing a comment on another blog. There was an ongoing discussion in the comment section and I wrote, "No moment from my God is a rock of burden, it's just a rock waiting to be broken apart into stepping stones."


After I typed it I sat with the idea for awhile and realized that is the exact visual I get when something is weighing on me, but I had just never put it into words before. Whether we are facing a financial burden, a health issue, an employment decision or a personal loss... these are all things that we have to walk through, conquer or accept. They can look like boulders and feel like burdens that weigh so heavy on our shoulders we don't know how we can possibly keep moving or recover.

Now picture that burden, that rock that is so large and heavy, and break it up into pieces. It's not so difficult to carry when you take a piece at a time... what can be done now, what needs to be thought about, and what will come in the future (the unknown of every equation). When that rock is in manageable pieces you are able to stop carrying them and instead lay them out into a path you can travel down.

Are you selling your business? That is a stepping stone to your next job or venture. Are you moving? Maybe this is your opportunity to meet someone significant; maybe it's just a stepping stone to your next opportunity or destination. Did you not get the job you wanted? Maybe God has a plan for a better job a month from now. Are you grieving? Your tears are a step in a process that will take you to a peaceful heart. Those rocks only weigh us down if we are standing still and trying to hold them up on our own.

Set the rock down. Break it apart. Pray for trust and start taking steps on the stones that God lays out before you. The terrain may be rough, but the destination is worth every step of the journey.


  1. You can not possibly know how this spoke to me this evening...I really think this was meant for me.....I will try and visualize that rock broken into are right, trust...things will work out for the best. Have a great weekend.

  2. Very deep - I noticed this very same phrase on a blog about a week ago. It was on a piece of artwork which I snagged and put on my desktop for my wallpaper.
    I guess I should pay that artist!!
    I can definately say - It spoke to me last week and it spoke to me today! Thank you - I needed that.

  3. I love this. I can picture it and I can feel it. Letting go of a burden makes me feel lighter, but seeing the burden at my feet as stepping stones feels a bit joyful.

  4. Yep. I'm diggin' it too Sara. And the timing is impeccable. I think I see a pinprick of light where there was none.

  5. So timely these days when many of us are not just facing challenges in only one area of our lives but in a number of compounding ways. Not just healing words, today, but truly healing tools! I hope the blessings you are bestowing on us are being returned to you a hundred times over!

  6. Sara how do you do it? How do you know what to say that seems to speak directly to me? I have an enourmous boulder to carry, and picturing it breaking apart in pieces makes it seem more manageable. You see, my husband has been out of work since December due to a spinal fusion surgery. He has had no relief, and will have to have another surgery to correct it. Bills have been piling up, we owe our parents thousands of dollars, I was recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and trying to juggle a full time job while keeping things somewhat sane at home is very very difficult. Some days I dont know how much more I can take. You said once before, 'When do I get to have my nervous breakdown?' I keep waiting for that ball to drop and one day I just lose it. But I dont. I keep plugging along, praying, and having faith in God. He will never give you more than you can handle, and by gosh, is he ever testing me. I will come out of this a stronger person, I know it!

  7. Praying for you Marisa...

  8. Sara, thank you!!!

    Excellent. I needed the visual. Great way to think it through.

    Thanks and I love you!

  9. Hey, peeps... glad it made sense to you; it would be so much easier if we could make the problems go away, but I think one step at a time is the next best thing.

    @Theda: no payment necessary :), glad it spoke to you (everyone else: it's at the bottom of my main blog page if you want it).

    @Marissa: I'm so sorry things are so heavy for you right now. Health issues on top of financial ones; I know how each can make the other worse. Know I pray for all of you who come here every night.

  10. Sara, you are such a fabulous writer. Really, this is excellent. I've never in my life thought of struggles in this way, but you are right, that is really helpful.

    And thank you oh so much for your sweet comments about my book. It means so much. Have a beautiful weekend.

  11. I just love how God gets his messages across through every day people. Thank you. What an awesome parable. Blessings to you.

  12. Hey Sara! Thank you so much for your sweet comments, thoughts, and prayers. It has been a really tough week. I am getting things back in order but it is taking a while. I am now back in my apartment and trying to feel comfortable again. I know it will take some time.

    Maxie seems to be back to her old self again! She is running (and jumping) around like normal. Trying to keep her calm and stationary is quite challenging!! I have about given up!

    Thanks again for everything!! Hope you are doing well. I see I have some catching up to do with your blog! Cannot wait!

    Happy Saturday!

  13. Sara, this also provides a wonderful visual to an old business adage. When a project seems overwhelming we always tried to break it down into manageable pieces on a timeline. And there is a great website, that helps overwhelmed homemakers break their housekeeping burdens down into "baby steps."

    "Stepping Stones" is a wonderful way of dealing with heavy burdens. Thank you.


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