Wednesday, May 20, 2009

HDG: Watch Where You Step

hump day


You know, I was never really big on journaling. I always wanted to be. I always had the urge to write. When I was little I would write poems and stories, and leave notes for my parents on their pillows. While my sisters were laying out in the sun, smeared in baby oil getting a tan, I would lay out in the yard with my toy typewriter working on my “novel.” [I never had the patience or discipline to lay out in the hot sun.]

I never had the patience or discipline to write my thoughts down on paper everyday, either. I was sure I was going to become committed to journaling when I played Anne in The Diary of Anne Frank my junior year in high school. I went and bought a little journal that I used onstage for the play’s sequences that required me to read Anne Frank’s thoughts aloud. I was going to write about my life just like she did.

But by the third day of rushing to school and every single after school activity they offered [I was a joiner], journaling got tossed by the wayside. Besides, it felt like I was taking out time to write to myself, and my self already knew what was going on.

But, oh… the wonderful world of blogging. Writing for other people. Suddenly discipline took on a whole new meaning for me. I didn’t have the discipline to do a journal for myself… but the idea of letting other people down who were counting on me having something to say every day… that was the motivation I needed to create discipline. I don’t like to make other people unhappy.

Funny thing happened on the way to making you all happy, though. I’ve learned so much more about myself, because needing something to blog about has made me pay attention. And not just to the big things in life, but the little, miniscule, everyday occurrences that can so easily pass us by without a second glance. God knows there was enough drama in high school to keep a soap opera writer busy for a year, but none of it seemed worth journaling about to me. I was so busy that I wasn’t paying attention to all the things I took for granted.

Now, I never physically leave the space within these four walls – a space where very little actually occurs day to day – and yet God is showing me beautiful things all the time. All I have to do is open my eyes and show up with my heart. It’s when I’m paying attention that quotes like this one come into my mind: “No moment from my God is a rock of burden. It’s just a rock, waiting to be broken apart into stepping stones.”

But it’s when I share the thought with all of you that new things come into my life. Like when my sister sent me this quote in response: “A stepping stone can be a stumbling block if we can’t see it until after we’ve stepped over it.”    ~Cullen Hightower

It’s all about paying attention.

Don’t you love it when life brings you full circle? I have so much less going on in my life, which means I should have so much less to write about now. But because I’m moving at a slower pace, because I have the luxury of paying attention to the little moments, I can see the stepping stones laid out in front of me… stones that would have been stumbling blocks to be stepped over or rushed around on my way to my next big thing.

I so often wonder about all the things I’m missing out there … out in the world beyond my windows. But I also wonder how much I would be missing if I wasn’t forced to be still and pay attention. I wonder if I’m meant to be inside so I’m paying attention to what He wants instead of what I’m looking for.

I want to step on the stones, not stumble past them.


How about you?

To win today’s canvas, leave a comment before midnight CST. [One comment per person, please.] I’ll announce the winner tomorrow…


  1. So true Sara! Your blog helps me to pause and pay attention. I'm not happy you stay in your (quite charming) four walls but the messages you're putting out here are just invaluable. Thank you~Keep blog-journaling :*

    Recent blog post: Aging Gracefully…I don’t want to get older AND meaner!

  2. By giving us this gift of seeing your world, you enlarge ours--you raise us up. From an outsider privileged to peek inside your heart and home, I can tell you--your life shines. You've discovered the secret of contentment. It's contagious, knows no boundaries, and sets people free. Thank you.

  3. Hi, what a profound and moving post... I would love to be a person that steps on stepping stones before I stumble across them, but often I stumble first, back up and then having learned just an extra bit about my faultiness, take one step and then another, hoping I will do better the next time. It is a journey, walking across stepping stones. Not always an easy one, but so worth the challenge to the growing. Thank you for the chance to win!!! Blessings to you...


    Recent blog post: May 13, 2009 My Son's 5th Birthday Card...

  4. I am one who seriously has difficulty sticking with a journal. Yet, I'm enjoying blogging much more....maybe because I get feedback from my yammering. Blogging is definitely introducing me to some wonderful people (like you!) and teaching me wonderful lessons (like this one). Blessings, SusanD

    Recent blog post: Winnings and Awards

  5. I kept a diary as a child and over the years have journaled a bit now and then. My mother and her sister journaled for years and it is joyful and sometimes really funny to read their journals. Also humbling, as many of the entries are things they've done for us. Even though you can't go outside, your life seems so full and rich! I'm so glad I've had the opportunity to get to know you through your blog!

    Recent blog post: So, so behind!

  6. Yesterday I had "one of those days" where things went wrong from the time I woke up, until the time I went to bed. After returning home from dinner out with my 3 little ones, I realized we were locked out of the house. But do you know what? I think it was really God's way of ending my day on the RIGHT note. I spent two hours outside playing with my kids, drawing with chalk, riding the swings, playing in the sand, blowing bubbles, and laying in the grass on our backs looking up at the sky. Yep, God's plan for me yesterday was to throw all kinds of stumbling blocks in my way until I finally took a minute to stop and NOTICE what was going on around me : )

  7. Good quote and great post, as usual! I think that this blog is a form of journaling. It's just not a private journal. We all get to share in your experiences and what God is teaching you and saying to you. I journal. I started a couple years ago in the midst of one of the worst trials in my life. I couldn't remember things and I couldn't remember what God was saying in my grief. So, I wrote it all out. I am so thankful that I started it. It is amazing to go back and read about His faithfulness. God is good, all the time! And, hey, what happened to that novel? I bet you would write an awesome one now!

    Recent blog post: Catching Up!

  8. Often - I feel like you've said it all...and add more. Please continue to shed your beauty on us...okay?

    Recent blog post:

  9. I always tried (and failed) to keep journals. I have a few weak attempts from my school aged years. Blogging is nice though. I know I enjoy reading your thoughts every morning.

    Recent blog post: Alarm

  10. This one was good, and boy is it true. Loved the quote, but then again, you always have just the right one to share.

    Recent blog post: Nothing Like Home Grown Goodness

  11. I can always tell you put a lot of thought into each of your blog posts. This one is no different.

    God tells us to "Be still and know that He is God", but I know in our busy, rushed days its hard to do. I personally would like to take today as an opportunity to be still and see what God has in store for me.

    Thanks for this post!

    P.S. Great canvas too!

  12. Another great post! :)

  13. I am 7 weeks tomorrow!!! I am so excited!!! I sat looking at your canvas last night and knew that my rock of burden has been broken into the stepping stones that will bring us this precious little peanut. :) :) :)

    Love from WI,

    Recent blog post: Spring is definitely here!

  14. I couldn't agree more! When things "happen" that seem so awful and inconvenient, they often end up being a blessing in disguise!

  15. Wow, what a great post! It speaks right to the heart of something I've been really working on - being still and paying attention, not taking anything for granted. I appreciate your thoughtful posts and look forward to them every morning :)

  16. Gorgeous post. Your attitude makes me smile every day. :)

    Recent blog post: Encouragement

  17. Thanks once again for your words of wisdom!! I too have always tried, unsuccessfully, to journal.. And now I blog instead ;) Thanks for brightening my day!!

  18. Girl, did you crawl inside my head today, again? Exactly what I was thinking on my way home today. The whole "paying attention," which I seem to do more and more as I go about my days. And as I do, my abundance grows, and my gratitude for my abundance!

    (I used to sit and copy the words out of Winnie the Pooh in an attempt to write early on)

    I'd be so honored to win today! I'd think of you every time I read those words. Sweetie, your world may be small, but you are not small in your world!!

    Love to you! 8-)

    Recent blog post: Running.

  19. I just want to thank you for your blog. It has been such an inspiration to me. There are times when I feel as though I am constantly tripping because I'm not using the stepping stones and for this reason the ground constantly feels shaky. My 14 month old, Liam, has a chronic illness and is unable to eat any foods. He has a g-tube and is on a special elemental formula. We spent most of the month of March in the local children's hospital. We were told yesterday he may have to go back. This week is National Eosinophil Awareness week. There is no cure for him, yet. I am hopeful...trying to see the stepping stones. Again, thank you for writing.

  20. That's what I love about blogging too!! It just never works out when you try to keep a journal, does it?

  21. I've journaled and stopped and started and stopped and started and stopped, and I've repeated that pattern too frequently to even begin to count. It's always with fervor and conviction that I begin, but all too soon things start interfering like the need for additional sleep (my attempts at early morning journaling) or other activities (who can miss even one episode of American Idol, for example?!?!) Arrrrrggggghhhhhhh!!!

    Someday, after I've left this planet and my family finds themselves sifting through my personal effects, they will find these journals with entries written at varying times and intervals throughout my life, and will say, "Well, you can say one thing for her.....she kept trying, anyway." A part of me hopes that's worth at least a little something.

    Discipline......what's that?! :-[

    You are an inspiration, Sara, and I'm so grateful to be able to share even just a little part of this life's journey with you! Blessings & hugs! :*

  22. "Funny thing happened on the way to making you all happy, though."
    You're funny!

    :) When I started blogging, I also noticed the little things... Now that I'm twittering, I think in small spurts. That can't be good.

    Recent blog post: Write Anyway Day: Trail

  23. Considering the title of this post and the cute, furry mug at the top of this page, I thought for sure this was going to be about something Riley did!

    I've always had the urge to write also. I've found it easier as I've gotten older because I've had more life experiences and therefore, have more to say!

    Recent blog post: School's Out for Summer!!

  24. My Dad likes to say, "God is waiting for you...All you have to do is show up."

    I enjoyed reading about you writing when you were little. My daughter is a poet. I have just helped her set up a blog.

    Recent blog post: always with me

  25. Wow! I absolutely loved this!! Thank you so much for giving me something to think a little bit more carefully and prayerfully about. Very Inspiring~
    Love, Ani (Dirty Knees)

    Recent blog post: How/Why We're Able to Give You Good Reports!

  26. Robynn's RavingsMay 20, 2009 at 4:36 PM

    You are so right, Gitz. Now that we blog we have to open our eyes to see all and try not to miss things. It tightens us up and helps us not to pass up blessings and to (sometimes...) look at even the difficult things in a meaningful or even humorous light. I haven't been laughing this week and felt pretty rough but I just jumped in and started writing this morning and God has returned my joy. I KNOW I'm right where I should be. Blessings my friend. You find EVERYthing to be thankful for. :)

    Recent blog post: O Great Medicine Woman!

  27. In Rhode Island we have the Plymouth Rock. The symbolic rock upon which our Pilgrim ancestors first step onto what would become America.

    From Matthew 16:18 we read that Jesus said to Simon Peter, "That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

    Then of course we have all the rocks people say are rattling around in what passes for my brain.

    It is in our minds where we either build a wall to close off life, or a foundation to support our faith. The physical location of our bodies is often a product of circumstance, not design.

    Whether we live in a mountain top, a shore front mansion, or a one room cabin, we see the world through our hearts, not our eyes.

    Recent blog post: Who is that face on your driver’s license?

  28. Love this post. Mmmmm....
    I'm a journaler through and through Writing invigorates me. I can't not do it. All. The. Time.

    Recent blog post: a give-away and plane tickets

  29. Transparent MamaMay 20, 2009 at 7:04 PM

    I feel the same way about blogging. It makes me pay attention. When something crazy happens that would normally stress me out, I think, "Well, this will be fun to write about."

    Recent blog post: Destructo Dog and The Mail Carrier

  30. This is a beautiful post, and I can't say enough about how true it is! I LOVE the message here, and the canvas is GREAT as always. 8-)

    Recent blog post: April 11th

  31. Your post was wonderful... sometimes we forget to watch each step we take and we stumble along with out really looking where we are going or where we have been... I am going to start being more aware of where I step and make it the right stepping stone leading me down the right path... We will all get where we are going one little step at a time... thanks for making me "think" about my life... the last few weeks I have been overwhelmed by Life and am unable to blog (journal); but, if I stop worrying about everything I will find my way back ... thanks for making me realize that I am not taking the right path in my life...

    Recent blog post: Mothers...

  32. I agree with you. There is something about blogging that becomes addictive to those of us journaling wannabes. And it IS all about the listening. :)

    Love your blog.

  33. When I was in second grade, I was sure I was writing the next Great American Novel... turns out, it bored me enough that I never actually finished it. I do love the connection of blogging, though it's not exactly a career path for me... thanks for sharing!

    Recent blog post: Swirly Whirly

  34. i've never been a consistent journaler. even now, i much prefer to type than write. but dang those writeable moleskines. i've been handwriting more than ever.

    i'm still sending you one. i'm waiting for you to send me your addy and which one you want!