Steppingstone Journey

Thursday, December 31, 2020

All Trails

Pile of rocks


~Good bye, 2020!  You have left us with no option but to show you the door and bid you adieu, adios, so long, bon voyage, and sayonara! 

Never to meet again, and don't come back!  

We are joining the world to welcome in 2021, and we are all praying (even if you don't have a prayer history) that 2021 will show us favor.  If you are a Believer, let's pray that God will show 2021 favor;  thereby, bestowing blessings upon all the world.  

You understand that to which we are referring: that beastly COVID-19.  We are showing you the door!  Beat it, scram, don't look back!  

~We are looking forward!  Forward to 2021 with all its new possibilities.

Perhaps we need something like an All Trails app to help us navigate through 2021.  We use this app for the trails we hike in Arizona.  It's amazing! When we select a trailhead, the app immediately coughs up directions, elevation gain, route type, hike classification, reviews, weather for the day, and more!  Wow! 

Follow the path to your destination
~Imagine for a moment what this could mean if we could download an app for 2021 that could "help us know the details before we go," or "keep us from ever getting lost," or "keep a list of the places that inspired us as well as a list of places to NEVER go again," or "take us on new adventures - to places we would otherwise never go."  We could name it the "Life in the Hand" app. Without a doubt, that would be the most popular app in all of technology history.  It would be the coolest app, the trending one, and a big market for global users, who, by the way, downloaded 204 billion apps in 2019 alone, a statistic which has increased by at least 6% in 2020.  With this type of insight, "Life in the Hand" app would not be free;  people would pay!  We know the reason for this popularity, right? People want to know before they go. 

~It would become our "Oh, the Places You'll Go! guide.  

(Dr. Seuss)  We would not have to second guess suggestions from friends, neighbors, co-workers, doctors, pastors, or counselors.  That app would be our "walk by sight, not by faith" guide.  We would rarely make a mistake so rarely learn anything.  We would rarely use intuition so critical thinking becomes obsolete.  We would never take risks so courage dies.  

~As long as we could pull up that app; you know, access "Life in the Hand," life would be copacetic.

Unfortunately, a problem with our All Trails app occurs when we reach areas where there is no internet.  Stop right there.  If we walk by sight, we might select a deviating path - one that takes away from the right way, away from our intended goal. That's when we need intuition and nature's sun!  We have done this before. We have had to turn around and retrace our route.  We have lost time.  It is then that we spot something that we had overlooked: the white arrow or the pile of rocks. We learned from our mistake.  It's easy to get lost and can be a costly mistake for some.  

~April Fools in 2020!  There is no "Life in the Hand" app.  Too many times to count, we must "walk by faith, not by sight" because we can't always trust sight.  There are times when things are not as they seem. There are diverting paths that seem to be right.

~Personally, we are walking more by faith in 2021 than by sight. It will be by faith that we seek the Way and by faith that we will see God's guiding hand, His white arrows and His pile of rocks.  "...choose you this day (this 2021) whom you will serve; ...but as for me and my house (us), we will serve the Lord."

And, we all will have good stories to share on our FB app.

God Bless 2021!

Thank you for reading our blog!

Keep Looking Up!

J:m and L:nda




Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Hold On

Stay the course...
Stay the course

Stay the course...what has kept us on course since March 2020?  Perhaps it was family, friends, neighbors or careers?  None of us could have imagined that a virus that travels through the air searching for the next nasal passage or eye socket would still be on its reconnaissance assignment combing and poking around freelance restaurants, churches, schools, gyms, waterparks, and hospitals like a conquistador looking for its next target.  Nor did any of us ever think we would be absent from life's milestones, i.e., welcoming newborn babies into families, celebrating weddings and anniversaries, eulogizing final farewells to loved ones, expressing Godspeed to those who relocated, commending high school and college graduates, and surrendering calculated and budgeted vacations. None of us...ever thought.  

Consequently, here we linger six months later (including March) reading a blog entitled " Hold On" as if to imply that we have seized a steel cable and we are holding on until we can let go.  Then what?  We have the hope of experiencing things as they used to be. Of course, like you, we have found ample time to pray for that.    

However, consider this:  how has six months of evading a contagious virus changed you?  For us, at first during mid-March, extended Spring Break, suspended work weeks, stay-at-home persuasions did not seem so bad.  We found ourselves appreciating a reason to sleep in, to stock up, and to aimlessly read during the cooler, wet days of March.  But somehow April, May, June, July and August attached themselves to March.  We got caught in the middle of all of this:  we sold our house mid-March before we knew, really knew.   By  June, we had resettled in Arizona and, for us, an "On Hold" was contained inside the "Hold On."   Driver's licenses, car plates, banking, medical record transfers, certification transfers all began with On-Hold phone calls in hour-long queues.  Hiring a contractor? Transferring utilities?  Shopping for Internet providers?  Carve out time because these require telecommunication!  On the upside, updating an address, registering to vote, and comparing insurance quotes can be done online.   Oh, and the supply chain infringed on just about everything we wanted to purchase - backorders, rain checks, and shipping dates were impacted.  Comedy abounds when you move during a pandemic.

How have we changed since March? We have learned to behave better in a queue.  We breathe and are thankful we can.  We embrace FB notes and phone calls like never before. We appreciate time, books, each other, family, and a little bit of media.   

Like the sailboat in the photo above on Lake Zurich, we have to stay the course in order to land safely on the other side.  We'll get there..."Hold On" together.