Growth Steps: one at a time

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

Sometimes growth steps are just putting one foot in front of the other, even when you cannot clearly see the way to go. It is stepping forward toward a faithful God daily. Not because you can see the path, but because you are following a faithful God who has led you in the past. Sometimes the steps we are taking are painful, but they are growing us into the person that God intends for us to be. Sometimes those steps feel like we’ve walked this way before, stepping into the unknown, knowing God is leading us there, but not knowing where we are going. Those are the hardest growth steps to take! We have prayed, we have read God’s word, we have fasted, and now we must simply continue to walk daily, one step at a time, in complete trust and obedience.

These are the hardest Growth Steps to take. They call for blind trust and obedience in the same direction. Our human nature wants a map! We want to have the path drawn out for us, calculated ahead of time. We want to know what to expect around the next bend. But these are not patterned steps. These are steps of blind obedience and faith! They are steps through darkness, when we cannot see anything ahead of us. They are steps through the fog where the mist hangs so dense that we know something is there, but we do not know what it is. Other times, we have taken steps upon the sand, but if we turn and look back, they have been washed away. Yet we are called to faithfully step one step at a time toward Him. The steps are heavy as we put one foot in front of the other. They can at times produce great fear, fear that paralyzes us and stops us in our tracks! But the steps are necessary and they are taking us to the place that God is calling us to. Our faith in God has to be greater than our fear of stepping forward. So we must continue to call out to Him, to cry out to Him with our whole heart. We must pick up our foot and put it in front of the other, to know that if He is calling us to take the steps, then they are moving us in the right direction!


Our challenge is to pick our feet up every day when they feel as heavy as bricks, our strength and courage must come from Him!

“Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus (or to step confidently in His direction), but to trust and obey.”

Praying, and trusting and obeying.

Reading God’s word daily must be our constant companion! Crying out to Him continuously in prayer must be the first whisper our voice makes in the morning, and the last plea our weary heart makes before we lay our head down at night. God and God alone must be our constant companion, for only He can direct these growth steps!

You may be going through them yourself, and you can’t make sense of the path God is taking you down. You may have a loved one you are watching go through these growth steps: a beloved nephew, a precious niece, a son or a daughter… They have given their whole heart to someone else just to see it crushed, and yet they must continue to put one foot in front of the other and keep walking down God’s path to grow! Maybe it is a sister who is letting go of yet another child who will leave her home, and is taking the steps toward maturity and growth on their own. Meanwhile, a sister is learning to grow in her own way as the number of children in her home diminishes, and her growth steps take a different direction? Or perhaps, it is watching a sister take growth steps toward God meeting the needs of her heart as a friend betrays her? Or praying for another dear sister as she waits and trusts in God’s clear direction for her and her husband.  Maybe it is watching a parent as they navigate the golden years of growing older: more aches and pains, and the mind isn’t as sharp and clear as it once was. Their growth steps occur as they slow down, and each step becomes shorter and more regulated.

Many times in my life’s journey, I’ve been through this process. I’ve always given praise and honor to the Lord my God, because in hindsight, I’ve seen where He was leading me and why I needed to go through that particular journey. He was always with me; He is always faithful!  And by faith I’m convinced that He will indeed direct my path once more, and lead me to another place where I can serve Him and help build His Kingdom. My life’s Bible verse becomes my sure anchor that holds me close to my God:

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  Philippians 4:13

The tiny growth steps I took as a child while my grandma was holding my hand come to my mind quicker than any other memory, and help steady me through this course. The songs she sang to me about her faith and trust in Jesus, while I knew her path had never been an easy one, ring in my ears and in my heart, and steady me. “Trust and Obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.”

Truth Bomb


When we can’t see the step ahead of us, growth steps occur as we trust and obey in Jesus.

Growth steps can be those we lead others by, or growth steps can be those we are led by. Ultimately, all growth steps lead us in the direction of Jesus. Whatever growth steps God is calling you to take, or whatever difficult growth steps you’re going through, I pray that you’ll have the confidence in knowing that by trusting and obeying our powerful, BIG God, He will direct your path!

Speak Truth Love

Growth Steps

The Big Hike

“This is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and gave His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” –1 John 4:10

God loves big! He does not love when we deserve it; He loves all the time! He does not love with just words, but He loves with everything He has! He gave His son, His one and only Son, so that we could have a relationship with Him!

Now that’s a big love!

“Big” is a great word to describe my 4th of July experience. The fireworks were BIG, the mountain was BIG, The climb was Big, the view was Big, and the love we shared as a family was BIG!


We were in Tahoe Donner on the North shore of Lake Tahoe. There was a fireworks show down at Donner Lake, and we had been told the view was spectacular from the side of the mountain. We had been told where to go to find the trail, and where to park…but we had NOT been told how far the hike would be! After a delicious BBQ dinner, we loaded up the car with all of us, and headed out. There were 10 of us total, two young children, two elderly adults, and six adults in between. We got to the foot of the mountain where the trail head was, and we saw many other families, with the same, wonderful idea.  We excitedly exited the cars, grabbed two blankets, and followed the line up the trail head. The first few hundred steps only revealed a few more hundred steps. Then we looked up, and in front of us we saw nothing but a long trail! We walked on, still in great anticipation of the spectacular show that we would view. We walked on, and we walked on, and on and on and on! We walked on for a good 30 minutes, only to see that the trail was veering left and we were now going to hike up to the mountain side. We had come this far, so we were not going to turn back now! This was going to be a big adventure! After all, Papa is 83 and he was hiking it, and Grammie is 75 and she was hiking it too! The example of their big adventurous spirit was an encouragement to all of us! After a good 15 minutes more of hiking, we reached the mountain side where you could no longer take the trail. We walked over bushes, plants, rocks, and fallen tree logs. We decided it was best to allow Papa and Grammie to sit on one of the closest logs we found. My mom zipped up her puffy coat clear to her chin. While I had laughed at her earlier for bringing a puffy coat in July, I was now envious of her. They cuddled together as the wind picked up on the mountain side, and the sun began to go down. The rest of us went forward a bit more and found another log. We lifted the children over the top of it and sat down in anticipation of the fireworks show. And what a show it was!  I have watched many fireworks shows in my life, but I have never been on top of the fireworks themselves, looking down on them!

The walk was big, the mountain was big, the fireworks were big, and the love that we felt for each other was biggest of all!

I believe that God calls us to love big, no matter what circumstance we find ourselves in.  There are times in life–like on the 4th of July for me–that are easy.  Surrounded by my family, God’s beauty and splendor, and the flashing lights of the fireworks, I had big love for all of it.  I easily expressed to my family how much I loved them and how much I loved doing this activity with them. But as the mountain itself exhibited to me, I could walk up it and be on a literal high, and love big; and within the next hour, I had come down from the mountain, and could have easily felt the low, making it harder to love big.  God is so amazing, because He always loves big!  And He gives me the strength and encouragement I need to love others big-when they are deserving of it, and when they are not. When you love big, you pour your whole heart into another person, and you give all of yourself for their well-being.  And when you do, that big love is not always reciprocated.  And when that happens, your first response is to draw back that big love.  But God calls us to continue to love others big, just as He continues to love us BIG.

I have recently experienced hurt and disappointment from those I have loved big and trusted. Let’s be honest: more than likely, each and every one of you could say the same thing.  When we love big, we make ourselves vulnerable to those we give ourselves to.  When that love and support is needed, and yet not given, it makes us want to recoil, to draw back, and to not give out that love, so that in the future we won’t be hurt again. But that is the opposite of what God desires for us. Instead, I must seek to follow His example. I have to receive His big love, and then love others big in the same way He loves me.  Only through His strength can I love BIG like He does.  Once again, this practice draws me to my favorite Bible verse:

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

Truth Bomb

When you love BIG, you hurt BIG. .Love BIG anyway…Jesus does!

The truth is, God loves me big all the time, even when others don’t.  My desire is to love others big, just as God loves me, whether it is deserved or not. Then and only then am I truly showing the love of God in my life. 
Speak Truth Love

The Truth about Tahoe

Greetings this Truth Bomb Tuesday from my favorite place in the world: Lake Tahoe!

I feel that I can confidently call Lake Tahoe my favorite place for two main reasons.

  1. I have been blessed to travel on mission trips since I was in my 20’s, and I’ve visited almost every continent with many beautiful spots along the way. This includes skiing and teaching my children to ski in the Andes mountains of Chile, while we lived there as missionaries. While I have seen much of God’s beauty in His creation in all these places, Tahoe has been and remains my favorite spot for its breathtaking beauty.

2. While many beautiful spots on this earth hold unique beauty in one season or another, Lake Tahoe holds equal beauty, winter, spring, summer or fall!


From the time I was a young girl in 4th grade, and was riding a bus up the mountain at 6:00 am on Saturdays to hit the ski slopes, I have felt God’s presence in that setting in a unique and real way. It begins with my eyes as they view the same mountains covered from top to bottom in evergreen trees, and capped at their peaks with a blanket of snow. My ears hear the breeze rustling through the trees as if to speak God’s still small voice to me in a whisper, that He is near. My nose takes in the fresh scent of pine and clean alpine air. My taste buds tingle as they are refreshed by the cold, clean pure mountain water. No bottled or filtered water needed here. I feel the touch of the cold air on my face, and it makes me feel alive.

Look at what the Hebrew psalmist wrote:

“Praise the Lord from the earth,
you creatures of the ocean depths,
fire and hail, snow and clouds,
wind and weather that obey him,
mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars,
wild animals and all livestock,
small scurrying animals and birds,
kings of the earth and all people,
rulers and judges of the earth,
young men and young women,
old men and children.”  
Psalm 148:7-12

The connection between God’s created being—me—and God’s creation occurs when I interact with it. In the winter, for me it is skiing. What is it for you? Do you walk through a snow-covered meadow? Do you walk on a windy beach, wrapped in a warm blanket? When we come up in the Spring, it’s still Tahoe, so I can ski some more. Do you like to drive through the flower fields? In the fall, I love to travel up to Apple Hill, where there are hundreds of acres filled with apple and pear trees. I can stop in at any of a dozen bakeries, and enjoy the delectable treat of an apple donut, caramel apples, warm apple pie, and of course, just the crisp fresh taste of a variety of apples.

And now, it is summer, the season we find ourselves in. Summer offers a myriad of opportunities to enjoy His creation in various ways, and of course, VACATION! While some of you may lead strenuous lives and find no time for vacation, God desires and dictates that we all take a time of rest from our work. And I believe that we rest best when we are in His creation, one of His best gifts to us, and with our loved ones, His greatest gifts to us. So today, I find myself extremely blessed: in my favorite place, and with my favorite people, enjoying God’s creation together.


After one of our family favorite healthy breakfasts—whole grain toast topped with a fried egg, sliced tomatoes and avocados—we headed out for the Truckee River Trail. Arriving in Tahoe City, we secured six bicycles, and one trailer to tow my two precious grand babies. We started at the Truckee Dam, where Lake Tahoe spills into the Truckee River. It is a popular spot to river raft, bike and hike. We biked while paralleling the Truckee River, no more than 20 feet away, mild and slow moving in spots, mimicking a lazy summer day, and full of occasional rapids, creating excitement for those rafting down it. The trees provided a natural canopy that shaded us the majority of the way. And the river produced a cool breeze on our trek. Our destination was my favorite spot in Lake Tahoe: Squaw Valley, USA. We paused only for a water break, a Luna Bar, and a family photo. In a few minutes we were back on the trail, passing again the beautiful Evergreens and Aspens, the ducks and geese sitting on logs in the water, and butterflies that floated across the air in front of us. In total, our ride was 10 miles!


“Praise him, sun and moon!
Praise him, all you twinkling stars!
Praise him, skies above!
Praise him, vapors high above the clouds!
Let every created thing give praise to the Lord,
for he issued his command, and they came into being.”
     Psalm 148:3-5

Truth Bomb


God’s creation connects the created to the Creator.

Where do you connect best with God? Maybe you enjoy trips to the park. Maybe you enjoy playing croquet or corn hole in your back yard. Maybe you enjoy riding the waves or splashing in the ocean at the beach. Maybe you enjoy walking in your neighborhood. Whatever you enjoy doing, God has made His creation for you—His created one—to enjoy!   I realize that many of you enjoy reading good books, or listening to quality music, or watching entertaining TV programs or movies. Although those things can be enjoyable, God desires that we get outside regularly and actively engage Him in His creation. We were made to enjoy it, to experience it, to be a part of it. God didn’t create His world and nature for Himself: He created this world so that we—created in His image—could enjoy it! There is no greater way for us to feel His presence or understand what we were created for.

Enjoying His creation, and praying you are too!

Speak Truth Love