One Sweet, Challenging Step at a Time


Today, my sister answered the phone in a way that she never has before. No hello. No “what’s up?” Instead, she said, “Thank goodness you called me before I took out the trash!”

Excuse me? Am I giving you a good excuse to put it off a few more minutes?

She told me she had been looking for her phone all morning. She had been rushing to get out of the house earlier this morning to take the kids to library story time (which reminds me of an old post). Apparently, between trying to clean up and get the 3 year old and the 4 month old in the car, something in her brain told her hand to put her phone in the trash.

I love it. Mommy brain produces the greatest stories. Especially if they are close calls instead of expensive mistakes.

I talked to a lady yesterday who has four girls. She went from one to three kids when her twins were born, and she says she remembers celebrating just getting through breakfast each morning. Oh, I can so relate to that. Mealtime is an event—an exhausting “thank you Jesus for getting us through that” event—every time.

One. Step. At. A. Time.

Isn’t that how we get through anything that is challenging, when there’s no way to speed up the process and get through it sooner? Not that we want to wave a wand and turn our children into grownups who can wipe themselves and make their own money and figure out for themselves how quickly it disappears.

Kidding. Of course we don’t want to miss out on their precious childhoods. But a lot of the moments that come with the precious firsts and sweet kisses are messy and downright frustrating. So how do we survive them? Getting overwhelmed in each challenge and dreaming of a day to come will only contribute to the feeling that we are drowning.

It’s one step at a time.
But Kristin, each step is so hard!

An old hymn comes to mind. “Oh I need thee, oh I need thee. Every hour I need thee…”
These words can be applied in every circumstance, parent or not. We can’t live fully without the source of strength, love, and peace. My mind wants so badly to pour love into my kids but my flesh is weak and so easily gives in to impatience, frustration and fatigue.

How quickly our tank runs dry. How quickly we forget that He will give generously to all who ask. We shouldn’t feel unworthy to ask for His help; He already knows we need help and He WANTS us to realize that! And it’s an hourly, sometimes minute-by-minute thing.

Draw strength from Him. How can we expect to get it if we don’t ask?

I also think about the Lord’s prayer. “Give us this day our daily bread.” We probably won’t wake up today with a supply of energy and strength that could last all week. After a full day of exerting ourselves physically and mentally, we will need rest tonight. He will give us what we need for today. Ask and trust.

One day at a time.

One moment at a time.

When we are filled with the sacrificial love of Jesus, how much more can we give away our love and time and energy for the sake of these sweet children. When we give of ourselves, it is then that we are filled with blessings. Then we can see the time spent wiping noses and breaking up fights through a different lens. It won’t all be pleasant, of course, but we will be more likely to see the tough times as part of the precious times.

One step at a time.

Continue Reading