Celebrating the Small Steps

It’s a process. It a journey where you take two steps forward and one step back. You have good days and bad days. And this goes on for WEEKS if not months. No immediate results here. Much the same is our spiritual journey. When we set out upon a time of healing or growth such as Lent, we have great expectations for ourselves. We want to get from our place of perceived lack to the place we think we should be and we want to get there FAST. Without any delays or missteps, please. But of course that is not going to happen. Like any recovery or growth, it will be slow and sometimes painful. We will have good days and bad days. There will be two steps forward and one step back. We may get discouraged or begin to beat up on ourselves. But there is another way. I had a chance to meet the beloved, brilliant Phyllis Tickle a few years ago at a conference. As she signed my copy of her prayer book for summertime, I was telling her how we used her daily prayer books at breakfast with our kids. A proud mother herself, Phyllis was intrigued. “Do the books work well with the children?” She asked. I got kind of sheepish and admitted that we didn’t say ALL the prayers or read ALL the scriptures for each day since the children’s attention spans didn’t allow for it. She said something in response I’ll never forget:

It is not the prayers you don’t say that are important. It is the prayers that you do say that matter. 
Oh, Phyllis. Thank you. Thank you for knowing how I beat myself up for all I don’t do and fail to celebrate what good there is in my life. As you journey through Lent, I pray that you know this in your bones. It is not the things you neglect to do or mess up on that really matter. It is the small steps you are taking each day to grow into whom God made you to be. And please know that God is not sitting around checking a watch wondering when you will get it together already. On the contrary, God is cheering and clapping like crazy for every little new step you take like a proud, giddy parent.  So during this season of self-examination, let’s all be a little easier on ourselves, why don’t we? None of us is perfect, but we are all doing good work. Even when we can’t see it. But God can see it. And loves us relentlessly no matter what we do or don’t do. And at the end of the day, that is what matters.  ]]>

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3 thoughts on “Celebrating the Small Steps”

  1. I fell and broke my tailbone a month ago. Healing is so slow. Too slow for me. I understand all too well the waiting and wanting of recovery. I love the connection you made to our spiritual journey. It’s a slow process. And we won’t make it without some low days, but God is in those times as well. He is ever-present. I am still learning to be present for Him.

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