Wednesday, March 4, 2009

HDG: Stepping Stones

hump day

I hadn’t yet made a canvas about the Stepping Stones quote I really like, so for today’s Hump Day Giveaway I made a canvas and am including the original post that explains what it means to me…

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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. For me, it’s a more sincere and intentional way 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.


To win today’s canvas: Leave a comment before midnight CST telling me a worry you’d like to set down and break into stepping stones. You never know, setting it down long enough to type it out may be just the thing you needed to do today…


  1. I love your blog and come here often for a relief from my problems. I lost my husband New Year's Eve to cancer and have been strugling with all the burden of the Ins. Social Security, Income Taxes, Will Probate,and all the daily and weekly things like oil changes and vehicle reg. and inspection,trips to the store and Doctor's visits and being overwhelmed at having to do it all alone. Tonight I discovered a leak under the kitchen cabinet! What to do ?? I love the idea of breaking it all into small stones and then addressing it one at a time.I do not have a blog ,but read many to fill my lonely nights with just me and my dog. He is a godsend to me to keep me from being alone . I am not well, but not disabled as you are. I can still get around and function to a certain degree. It is just hard when you have constant pain. I admire you to no end . I have never teried to post a message here before, so I hope you get this. Love....Doris

  2. Wow. You have done it again. Let's not get too deep into the fact that the canvas is brown and has a fantastic yellow Charlie Brown stripe on it--you already know how I feel about Charlie Brown.

    I am glad you posted this, because I need a hot bath, a cold glass of water, a pen, and a clipboard to even begin to answer this question. Physical fights with fibromyalgia--13 years later I STILL hate admitting I struggle with it, emotional battles with grief, spiritual struggles with believing God for something I am called to...

    Whew. This post is no joke, Gitz. It is hard to leave this comment, and if you hadn't earned my honesty with your brilliant fileting of my psyche, I wouldn't do it. I almost hope I don't win so my heart isn't thrown out there like a fish flopping on the shore! Wait. If it has been fileted, it would be flopping in the pan, wouldn't it?

    Anyway, amazing, amazing post. I'm going to get that clipboard now. No kidding.

    Recent blog post: Wordless Whimsical Wednesday

  3. I've been reading your blog for a while... i found you through Angie @ Bring the Rain. I just love how fitting your blog posts seem to be with my life. And I just love how brave and honest you are. Truly amazing.

    I'm going list three worries... because I am a perpetual worrier and I worry ALL the time about everything. I just have such a hard, hard time giving it all to God. That's something I'm constantly working on.

    1. I am incredily worried about a custody case going on in my family right now. My precious, adorable, just down right awesome 9 month old baby "sister"(complicated doesn't even begin to describe this situation)... her birth mom... who has quite a few issues... and originally gave up custody to the birth father... is fighting for full custody. I can't even begin to describe how worried I am. And I just wonder what happens when two different parties pray about the same situation but want different results. I know that God knows what's best... but the Judge that is preciding over the case has free will. And I'm just utterly terrified about my family and what will happen if we lose her.

    2. I have been having a really hard time breathing and have been short of breath for a really long time... it's been getting a lot worse, especially at night (hence why it's 4:30 and I'm not asleep.) I've been sleeping sitting up. So, anywho I'm going to the doctor on Friday and I'm really worried it's something serious. I know that no matter what, everything will eventually be okay... but I still worry.

    3. This crippling depression I've been dealing with for the past 6 years. I'm just so terrified it will always be here... you know, haunting me. And I just don't know how to live the life I want and need to live with this depression.

    Okay. That was a really long comment. Especially since it's my first comment... but I just had to get that all out. Okay, I going to pray now for trust. Thanks!

  4. Wow...I'm kinda frozen here, as in can't move, I first want to say to Doris, Anita and Amanda that I'm praying for them.
    And for my burden...I'd love to put down my fear of failure and the burden of Mike's job, which so weighs him down...
    I needed this pause Sara, I needed to stop the forward frantic motion (at 5:45am!) and talk to The Father about letting go of these heavy you

    Recent blog post: My Love affair with Plates!

  5. Hey! I am new to reading your blog and have come to enjoy it.

    What am I laying continue need to be in control. This past year has been one of my toughest personally...and has left me spinning. I am finally coming out of this time and I look forward to what is in front of me.... a new job, a planned move, and all the uncertainty that comes with both of them. I have allowed fear to creep into my life...and I am ready to lay that down as well.

    Thanks so much for your words and your blog.

    Recent blog post: The "W" word.....

  6. Sara, glad I have allowed time each day to read your blog again. You make some great points today and I love the quote. I have many rocks in my life and my own personality and anxiety rarely let me break them down, usually I just attempt to carry them and figure they will eventually break down on their own. Many times they don't. During Lent, I am trying to let the big things like the economy and selling our house not burden me, so I guess these would be the ones I am attempting to break into stepping stones. So far, it has worked. I have a feeling that I will find daily inspiration from this blog and others that will help me stay focused on making these stepping stones. Have a great day!

  7. This is one of my favorite blogs!!! You have touched so many people with this specific one. I am so glad you have given all of us a very concrete way to break up our worries. Just sharing our worries with a friend breaks them up into more manageable pebbles. We all just need a good pair of shoes to walk thru the path of pebbles!!(See, I tell Bill this all the time when I buy a new pair of shoes.....IT'S ALL ABOUT THE SHOES!!)
    Love YA:)

  8. I have a personal friend from my small town who has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer that spread to his liver. He was recently given the news that he has about six months to live. He has two beautiful daughters, three young grandchildren and a wonderful, supportive wife.

    His posts on Caring Bridge are so God honoring that it brings tears to my eyes. When he's not up to posting, his wife will do it for him. I like to leave a comment and give him encouragement.

    Just last week as I prepared to post a comment on his site, I remembered you had a beautiful quote at the bottom of your blog. I came here, read it, and quoted it to him in his comments.

    If I win this canvas, I will give it to my friend as a reminder in the moments he has left that these trials are all just stepping stones to eternity with His Lord and Savior.

  9. I came here for a "Lucky Pity Party" and that was the worry I intended to leave (thank you for your sweet comment). Now instead, I'm praying for those who have commented before me, because that's what I feel called to do. Galations 6:2 for me today :)

    Recent blog post: Wondering When

  10. My husband, our sole bread winner, is having difficulties at work. There are questions as to whether the place will stay open, no extra money to save (with a cut in pay), with children to support and an economy that makes finding new work difficult, it's a tough place to be, but we know God has always provided for us before.

    Recent blog post: Busy Bee

  11. WOW! I love words too and never plan out my posts ahead of time, they just come out. Now I wish I had your talent for paiting!

    My "burden" right now is my pending divorce. I know God is in control but life feels out of control right now. What a great way to view it though as stepping stones. Thank you! You are always such an encourager.

    Recent blog post: Never Would Have Thought

  12. Oh Sara, what a humbling experience to read though all the comments this morning! My persistent concern about where we will live once Mike finally gets promoted is so pale in comparison to all the other comments left here. This was a good reality check for me to see that I need to be more thankful for how blessed we really are and enjoy living in the moment rather than focusing so much on an unknown future.

  13. My current worry, or burden, right at this moment is my Dad. He is having major surgery in the morning to have a cancerous tumor removed from his leg. The reason its major is because its wrapped around his femoral artery. I know God is in control and He'll take care of my Daddy, but its only human nature to worry.
    Thanks for this post this morning...I really needed to read it before the surgery in the morning.

  14. Wow.... What a great thought for today (and everyday)... And the visual is even better... My "burden" is the unknown of my husband's job in this economy.... We just keep praying that God will give us the strength to trust Him no matter the outcome of the situation... Breaking this rock apart into stepping stones definitely makes it less overwhelming and easier to handle.. Thank you for sharing with us today... What a blessing...

  15. I worry everyday about my husband's business. Though, it isn't our sole income, we have put every dime we have into it to try to make it successful. Now with today's ecomomy we are in danger of losing it all. We are fighting, but I fear my husband will lose the will. Thanks for the chance to lay it all out on the line.

  16. I want to break apart a couple of worries.
    1-Our finances. 2- My chronic headache and my husband's health.

    When I found your blog a few months ago-I added one of your buttons to our blog. I chose it because it really spoke to me. It just so happens that it is the same saying as the canvas.
    Thank you.

  17. I was just talking with my husband over my current worry. Its been all but erased after reading everyone's comments. The "pebble" that is my worry just broke into a piece of sand. Today I will pray instead for those burdened by grief, depression, loss, illness, loneliness, cancer, divorce, financial burdens, or whatever their need may be. Blessings to everyone! Love ya girl!

    Recent blog post: Secrets of a Diary from 1977.

  18. I just found your blog.. and let me say, you are such an inspiration!

    I always worry about the future.. about things I have no control over. And I know that God will take care of everything, and tells us not to worry about tomorrow, but it's hard to do. I worry about things that haven't even happened.. which is rediculous, because 9 times out of 10, the things I worry about dont even happen! Through all this, God is strengthening my faith in Him!

    Have a great day!

  19. Our finances. I see them as a huge boulder, but you're so right. God can (and does!) break them down.

    Thank you so much for your prayers and encouragement the past week, Sara. I think I love you. :) I am feeling soooooooooooo much better today. I even skipped my morning meds. I wish so desperately that YOU could know this kind of relief from pain. I prayed for you today.

    And I LOVED hearing how you process words and pictures and writing. Fascinating. Love it.

    Last thing--do you sell your work or just give it away? Because I don't know how long I can go without having one. :)

    Recent blog post: i just don’t have it in me

  20. Oh, Sara! Once've done a fabulous job with your words (and your canvas, if I may so add)! :)

    Right now, one worry that I want to break into stepping stones is...waiting for Mr. Right ~ a Godly man ~ to come along. I pray that that will happen, but need to keep reminding myself that it's ALL in God's time. :) Now, I have many other worries, but right now, that's pretty close to the top!

    Have a wonderful day!

    Jess :)

    Recent blog post: "After the Final Rose" and Look Who's Growing...

  21. I really enjoy reading your blog and have a personal connection to your dx as it runs very prevalantly in my family. I e-mailed you last week and can't wait to hear back.

    As for my worry, my husband and I have been married for 7 years and for the last year and a half have tried to concieve our first child. Back in January we finally acheived that exciting result of pregnant, only to lose our little peanut 8 weeks later. I worry that the AS that runs is my family is affecting me and I will not be able to carry a baby to term and therefor never hold that blessed chiled in my arms. Though I am glad my little peanut is safe in heavan with Jesus, and my father who died 3 years ago, much too young, I miss her greatly.

    I would be extremely honored to have my worry put to canvas and broken into stepping stones. I am attempting to learn a deeper trust in God through your blog and thank you for your help.

    Glad to have found you :)

    Love from WI,
    Kate Stormes

    Recent blog post: A night out...It's about time

  22. My husband and I have been talking lately about our 'burdens' and trying to focus on the positive things in life. They are so abundant for us! Reading the comments above stirred my heart. I'm so glad blogs were invented...they really offer up another support avenue. And so, for the above people, I'm going to share a verse posted above my computer at work. "The fear of the Lord leads to life, Then one rests content, untouched by trouble." Proverbs 19:23. When our complete and total focus is on God, that peace that passes understanding will come into our lives. I'll pray for your peace.

    The burden that I'm laying down is fear. I was approached this winter about taking over as children's ministry director for my church, a Seaocoast campus. I'm utterly terrified that noone will volunteer, that I won't remember to encourage others frequently, and that fights will be started about the way I do things, etc. But God called me to do it, so, I'm laying it down.

    Thanks for the reminder and the encouragement. I love this blog!

    Recent blog post: Surrender... the sequel

  23. Friend, I read this at a few minutes after midnight b/c I know that if I am up at that time, you have a new post up. And I love that!!! I decided to stew on this before commenting though. ;-)

    What do I need to lay down before God? What DON'T I need to lay down??? My guilt as a mom, my anxiety, my struggles in my marriage... those things plague me daily. I tend to look at a "problem" as something that needs to be fixed all at once, not in little pieces at a time. Breaking it apart into manageable pieces is something I need practice at. A little bit at a time. Baby steps. ;)

    Love you girl! :*

    Recent blog post: Please Explain!

  24. Well my stepping stone sounds pretty lame to most, but I would like to break apart the stepping stone of organization. It's a HUGE rock in my world. I need help with it. I have no vision, no path, and now plan to hire someone.
    At least I am taking action, but boy oh boy is this a struggle I have had my whole life....

    Recent blog post: Five months old!

  25. I love your blog and I want to lay my burdens before God and have him take over...Guide me to where I need to be however it is still a struggle for me to do so...Giving control away isn't easy but I am trying...My biggest burden would be myself...The worry I feel, the guilt I lay upon myself, the bi-polar I struggle with on a day to day basis...I desperately just want to feel normal...I don't want to wear anymore masks.

    Recent blog post: Continued

  26. A big worry of mine is my husband's job. He was notified last month that he will be laid off at the end of June because they are moving their opperations to Texas.
    We are praying that God will open a new door for him to walk thru. The unknown is so scary! I am blessed with the knowledge that God will not give us more than we can handle!

    Bless you sweet Lady! I love your post! Pet your fur baby for me!

    Recent blog post: Love on Wednesday - March 4, 2009

  27. I've been reading your blog for several months... not from the beginning, but almost. I enjoy the way you think and your ability to write it so we all "get it". My husband had to take early retirement from his company last month. We never realized mid 50's was such a vulnerable age. His retirement package is a relatively good one, but he is not ready to quit working. Having to put together a resume (got his job right out of college and never worked anywhere else) and begin looking for another job is a huge burden. I like the idea/visual of breaking the huge rock/burden into stepping stones. Thank you.

  28. Not getting caught up in all the turmoil that is going on around us and to remember that God is in control. He is where my trust should be.

  29. my tiny tot is on her 3rd round of antibiotics for the SAME ear infection. It is her 4th infection in her short 15 months of life. We are heading towards tubes and I couldnt be more terrified. Please Lord, heal my baby!

    Recent blog post: Is this bragging? Or excitement?

  30. I have really been struggling with finances in the last couple years, and as my bills get higher the burden gets heavier. I have been praying, trying my best to be faithful, and often it feels as though i just can't hear what he has to say. I know he has a plan for my life, but i just can't seem to figure out what it is!

    Recent blog post: I want to go to the circus…

  31. I am concerned for Kaleena today. Her burdens seem so heavy and huge with her little ones so sick and in the hospital. I would pray that ALL these boulders be broken into gravel.

    Recent blog post: Welcome to the Pity Party - Bring Hats

  32. I am going to try to let go of situations involving our family leaving a church family to start our own church in our town. Things have been rough for the past 4 months. Got to let things go and trust the only one we can trust. GOD!!!

  33. I need to let go of the worry I have for my kids...they are God's. He has given them to my husband and I to do our best to raise, but they are His and He is in control.

  34. That is a beautiful thought, and very true. Some problems do seem insurmountable, until you break it down into small steps and just take them one at a time.

    You blog is filled with great insight, inspiration and more than a few laughs. Reading it is one of the highlights of my day.

    Have you thought about a career with Hallmark? :)

    For myself I am lucky enough to say I am both healthy and happy. The only thing I am worried about is will Spring ever get here. :)

    Recent blog post: Best & Worst - By The Numbers

  35. One thing? Wow. I think you've inspired a post on my own blog...
    But one thing- The money thing.
    I have no idea what it is like to live with any sort of savings. No idea how calm life might be to have that 'cushion', to have a safety net just in case life falls apart.
    My life has been, since college the first time, an ongoing, paycheck-to-paycheck, chaotic struggle. I realized it the other day.. And while much of the chaos in life has little or nothing to do with money, the lack of finances has created deep, penetrating, wake-me-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night, frightening concern. Particularly over what I cannot do because of lack of funds. Kids I cannot help, family I cannot see, friends I have never visited, causes I cannot support... Because funding it is impossible.
    And I hate that money does this. But as it has never been super important to me other than that I need it for bills, I have worked minimum wage jobs, or taken less than I deserved for working in full time ministry at a church that made me HATE church and WORKING in ministry. And being in school for the last few years to go into PT has not helped. Struggle is constant I know, but treading water in a storm is not smart.
    So I'd like to break apart that worry. That thing that controls me every day. That thing that has made me NOT visit people I now miss because I didn't have the money to go. Or couldn't afford to take time off. I would LOVE to smash it into bits and create, from those stepping stones or fragments, a mosaic...
    I'd like to make something beautiful from the deepest fear in my life. No more painful, frightening, looming mess.
    A beautiful mess instead.

  36. Like many before me thinking of my problems, after reading most of the comments before, make mine seem so small. I do struggle daily with the fact that I am not home with my kids--it's where my heart wants to be. Juggling the outside world is making my inside world suffer in more ways than one. Thankfully I know that God is big enough to tackle ALL things. Praise God.

    Recent blog post: It Was As Easy As That

  37. Thank you for your inspiring words.

    I didn't get past the first few comments, but I almost feel silly mentioning my struggle because it's nothing compared to some of the others...anyway...I am still recovering from the emotional effects of divorce and the fear that I won't be able to ever put 100% of myself into another relationship. I desperately want to show my daughter how to have a healthy marriage by example.

    Recent blog post: Do You Twitter?

  38. Wow, the canvas says it all... some of my worries are so small compared to others. Like so many, I too am worried about the economy, my living beyond my means and paying the piper in the future, my husband being self-employed and not working a full 40 hours a week... the list goes on and on; but, I am thankful to have my health, my family, my job, my home and so much more than others. I have been trying to change my life/attitude and be more positive, so, I am just thankful that I have what I have and will be thankful for what comes in the future. Thanks. Love your blog and canvases.

  39. God's timing never ceases to amaze me. Tomorrow marks two weeks since my grandfather died unexpectedly. I'm still trying to figure out how to go about my "normal" life. I know that God will bring me through this, but to be honest, some days I am just overwhelmed. I'm not saying all of this to try to get anyone's pity or anything like that. I'm just being honest. Reading this blog entry meant a lot to me and actually was a visual way of God telling me, "I've got everything under control. It will all work out."

    Recent blog post: I’ll miss you, Pop-Pop

  40. Hi Sara, I'm not sure you remember me, but I surely remember listening to your lovely voice several years ago when I attended St. Stephen's. I came upon your blog a few days ago, and I love reading it. Your strength is an inspiration.

    My burden...Well, there are so many! And they all seem so huge. I have the hurdle of trying to finish school while planning a wedding and battling depression. The weight of everything that has to get done (especially in the next two months) is crushing. Hopefully breaking it up will help!

  41. Great post once again!
    I am laying down my fears of my health and an upcoming MRI.

    Recent blog post: I'm gonna miss this...

  42. Your canvases are beautiful! I'd like to set down the worry of how I am going to make it through the next few days. Too much to do, not enough sleep, not enough help. I'm praying that I make it to Sunday!

    Recent blog post: Probably not the kind of referral she wanted

  43. Right now, mine would have to be finances. My husband takes care of them but I know that we are so far behind on so many bills and he doesn't want full disclosure because he doesn't want me to worry - but I am, just a little!!!
    We have two teens, the oldest a sr. in high school and I hurt to tell them that I can't make a decision to buy a yearbook or pay for a choir all needs to go through Dad who is so stressed that no one wants to talk with him.
    The calls for work are beginning to come in so I am laying down this burden once more and thanking our precious Lord for provision!!!
    Thank you, Gitz!

    Recent blog post: Please continue to pray for Sean

  44. I don't want to miss a chance to win on "Hump Day", but I had a hard time with this one. In the "grand scheme of things", my "burdens" are very small. In fact, I have would hesitate to use the word "burden" to describe any of my "issues" (I wrote a post in the fall that pretty much sums that up.) Of course, I wonder if I am doing what God has called me to do, or if I am ignoring a path that would take me somewhere even better that I can't even imagine. I wonder if I have walls up where they should not be, or if they are exactly where they are supposed to be... Well, maybe I do have some "burdens of the heart" once I actually took the time to think about it! Thanks! :o)

  45. I love your canvases. They are really beautiful.

  46. OOps I had the wrong info. That last comment was me.


    Recent blog post: What Defines You?

  47. First of all, we're math soulmates ... that's exactly how I add in my head, and you're only the second person I've ever heard explain it that way (the first being a 2nd grader I taught!)
    My rock of burden right now is financial. And I hate it. I hate to worry about money. I hate to feel so materialistic when other people in this world are suffering such greater setbacks in their lives. I hate it that it consumes my thoughts, prayers and attention when we're really not as bad off as so many people in America today. But it's my worry, and I'm breaking that rock every day, and breaking the tiny pieces as they fall.