Moving Forward

After an entire week of stomach bug, my son is finally acting more himself. Even still, he whines for sleep more than usual, and has been particularly grumpy and strong-willed toward literally everything I try to do throughout the day.

I keep declaring, “come on son, it’s time to move forward from this.” Because I know that once he moves, gets some fresh air, tries that first bite of food, gets a bath…that he will ultimately feel better for it.

Granted. It’s not easy to take those steps sometimes. Especially when we feel sick or worn down, or have gotten into a habit of dependency and a schedule of sleeping the day away,

Of course now, I’m speaking of us. My son is not the exception. He is human and therefore reflects our humanity.

We’ve all gotten into a rut before. Or have fallen into a pit and need to gather up the courage and motivation to claw our way out of it, knowing that God is beside us every step of the way.

Perhaps your rut is addiction, idleness, depression, or fear?

The world has been spinning at an alarming rate. Full of drama, exposed sins, historical moments that have a rippling effect on our lives and our futures that are, unknown, to some capacity. We watch the news thinking, “what’s next? Where do we go from here?”

Fear has frozen us. Depression has crippled our capacity to influence this reality, addictions have replaced God in our lives, sapping away the little time we have, idleness or laziness has set in and was even once praised during the pandemic. “Stay home, relax—you’re a hero for this!” The world smiled and saluted us. They promoted laziness and blind submissions which carry on to the present.

Well you know what? That was two years ago! The world is turning again, people are working, masks are off. Life must go on.

It’s time to move forward.

Remember the call God put on your life? Yeah, it’s still there. God didn’t take a vacation or break. He didn’t social distance Himself from you even as we pulled from Him.

If Covid taught us anything—it’s that we should take NOTHING for granted. Our loved ones and the time we share with them, our freedom of choice (which is crumbling in America), our privilege to protect those freedoms, our privilege to work and create with our hands, our gathering together, our voice, our skills and talents, our time, the privilege of helping others, of giving….

The list goes on….

God is doing a new thing, a shaking in the world to prune away the dead branches and rotten fruit. A revival is stirring and awakening the sleeper out of its tomb.

Only those who press in will get to see, taste, and hear what the Holy Spirit is doing in the unseen reality.

If you don’t want to miss this….move forward.

What does that look like?

For me, it looked like not missing church, or missing the meaning of church. We are all in this together as a family. I placed myself on an island in my depression and discovered that I never had to do that to myself. My church family was waiting to rush in and help. I had merely drew back the bridge.

It looks like opening your Bible again, blowing off the dust and just reading and then reflecting on what you read.

It looks like being still. Knowing that God is God and He is speaking. In the quiet moments looking up and saying, “your servant is listening.”

It looks like getting your butt out of bed and going outside. Making plans, working in the garden, painting or crafting, going for a drive….

It looks like inviting someone over.

It looks like journaling, blogging, and worshipping—giving praise amidst the storms and on the other side of them.

It looks like laughter and exercise, eating healthier, playing with your children. Turning off the TV or placing your cell phone on the table and not rushing to it every time it rings.

It’s taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly. Enjoying the sweetness of life and the ones we get to share it with. Making memories, going and supporting local businesses and shaking hands with those you meet.

Hugging, kissing, loving, being….

That is what moving forward looks like. And I promise you that if you will take these small steps (whatever they look like), you too will find freedom and, well, feel better!

I smile as my son laughs, the warm sun awakening the sleeper within him, as he plays and learns. The lesson: life doesn’t find us—we must embrace it ourselves.

One step at a time. God has hidden things for us to find in the “moving forward.”

Will you seek it out? Will you take that first step? Will you live, truly live?


12 thoughts on “Moving Forward

  1. Reblogged this on Zero Lift-Off and commented:
    Hello to Hope and her lovely family! God bless the baby boy he is so adorable, and I’m sure a champion like his mother and father are! Remember when how when as children wanting to learn how to ride a bicycle seemed scary, but, we really wanted to learn how to do it so we could be like the bigger kids and have some fun like that; but we needed training wheels didn’t we! None are so adept and born with a bicycle strapped to us that we can use like our arms and legs, and even those took some getting used to when taking those first little baby steps with mom and dad holding our tiny hands and comforting us to go on; and try now!

    Yup we sure had to take some risk eventually in order to get to the point where it was no more training wheels and we could yell out so proudly, “look mom no hands,” I can do it! Confidence in one’s self is such a beautiful thing, especially for little children; but they always need to be under the watchful guiding eyes and hands of their parents, as they learn to take on more personal responsibility, very much something we never stop doing! Even as adults if we are growing in our faith to Trust in the Lord who gave us all of this opportunity, but, it comes with a caveat that we must try to do our best and be always willing to learn from our heavenly Father, each and every day what more we can do to Improve our doing what He our Maker put us on this earth for in the first place! We have a mission to first “Trust in Him Alone” and then to “grow in our love and appreciation of Him,” so then we are better able to “Serve His will.”

    Your baby boy does trust you both as his parents and loves you more than anything now, and the more you reach out to him with so much tender loving care the stronger that loves grows as the bonds between you all, get stronger and stronger, until eventually the little boy will be a fine capable independent man who can reciprocate the tender loving care back at times to his wonderful parents; because the bond of Trust and Love will be unbreakable and unbeatable; as this is all connected by the heart.

    My father would say something to me as a young boy when I would complain about my tummy aching after all the proper steps were taken to provide care to me as the child and make sure that I wasn’t in need of something more than the typical remedy; and just allowing nature to take its course so my body could deal with the stomach flu or the upset I at times caused in it by eating too much of one thing or another that didn’t agree with me. Once all the bases where covered my father would say, “you’re going to be fine, so stop letting this get you down so much and think positive about how you can lick it, and get back to doing all the good things you have to do; its just “mind over matter” now son! “Mind over matter” and my father saying that truly meant what it sounds like; but more! Sure determination and spunk was something he had instilled in me at an early age just like he had learned, to “be brave and not let every little ache or pain throw me into a tizzy teaching me that these things come and go!” But my father meant much more than that, and I learned in time that he was saying; “it’s time to Trust in the Lord,” because that’s who really is in charge, and so mind over matter meant “it’s time to build and work your faith,” because that is the best medicine and cure; for all the trials and tribulations we face in life!

    That we need to learn as we grow up to make it a habit to turn to God in the name of Jesus for everything that concerns us; very much so when we are ill or injured! Over the years I did learn that my father was so right and that most of the things that ail us will pass, and we need to be putting a “positive thought process to work immediately” to not let the illness overwhelm “our own inner power and capability” that God put there for just these occasions. That with some prayer and the healthy living tips from mom and dad, this will have us on the road to recovery and riding that bicycle again in no time; through these difficulties faith grows and confidence does with it! Your precious little baby boy is growing in all the best ways, and I’m sure of that because God first of all is keeping His eyes on him; but the parents in this case are ever so watchful with their eyes and guided hearts, which are so empowered by their solid faith in Christ Jesus! Amen.
    God bless.

    Brother in Christ Jesus,
    Lawrence Morra III

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for sharing! Beautiful testimony of what true paternal love looks like. We want our kids to be independent and strong—if we could take away the pain of this world we would, but because we can’t, they must know how to face it and persevere. And thank you for the kind words about our son 😊 he turns 2 at the end of May. So excited to celebrate him and praise God. God bless you also!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Hope and her dear family! On my God he is turning two! I forgot and he looked so more than that in the photo like he must be shooting up to be a big guy like daddy as soon as possible! That’s all great anyway!

        And you said that perfectly what parenthood is and should be, especially in these, what I think much more difficult times than when I grew up! It seems to get that way each decade that things get harder to face and to feel any great confidence about what lies ahead! But, like you said they “must learn how to face it and persevere,” and that way they can do like we try now, just do God’s will; to make it through as I say, this gauntlet of life’s trials and tribulations! Amen.

        God bless all of you and have a beautiful weekend!
        Thank you for this!
        My best,

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh by the way I not long ago started calling you Hope rather than Riley because you and your blog made me think Hope and it fits you to a “T” so maybe a nick name or handle right! But I like both as they are you; “Riley is so full of Hope!”

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thank you Lawrence! Yeah not going to lie, the name “Hope” is kinda growing on me lol especially since our church is called Hope Family and God’s vision for our town is to break the strongholds of hopelessness there. My blog name kind of stemmed from that dream which really is a universal one. We ALL need the Hope of Christ.

        God bless, and I pray you have a blessed Easter as we remember that great Hope.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Hey wow Hope I think that is a God Send or in the least a blessed nickname which I’m positive Jesus loves for you!!! 😁 🙏💗 😇

        What a great dream and inspiration you have and produce doing as you do; it sure works Riley I mean Hope!!!
        Actually both of these names are great and I think using them interchangeably has its advantages especially for inspiration!
        You said it perfectly here how we all need the Hope of Christ!!! 🙏🕊✝️🕊🙏

        Thank you and I will make it a beautiful blessed Easter and more so now that you send more Hope this way! I Hope all the same for you and your lovely family and for these things I do pray! Amen.
        God bless! 🙏

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post, Riley. I haven’t heard the pandemic compared to the stomach flu, but there are a lot of similarities, aren’t there? It’s interesting that when the churches started meeting again, some people ran back with renewed commitment and determined never to take the gatherings for granted again, while others kind of “oh-welled” themselves into apathetic oblivion. Christians in “closed countries” would be astonished at how many free American believers decide to “skip it” on Sunday morning.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the comment! And very true. This virus worked like a pruning hook, ripping away anyone who had weak faith. Many will repent and return, others will find justification for their decisions. It really is a matter of Faith over Fear. Which will we serve? Who will we bow to? The world needs us more than ever—and it is my prayer that this time, we won’t hide under the covers but face our fears and fulfill God’s call on our lives.

      God bless you!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Funny you should say “faith over fear.” I have a mask with those words on it that I carry in my purse for those times when someone is still insisting it’s necessary. I try to be respectful, but when “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind,” I wonder how many perfectly healthy Christians are acting fearful, weak, hostile, and crazy. I love your analogy of a pruning hook. I have long seen persecution that way. Persecuted Christians may be a small minority in some countries, but I am in awe of how faithful and strong they are.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amen! Sorry for the late reply. And that’s I love that idea for a mask! We should continue being bold and standing firm in truth even when the world labels us for it. At the end of the day, Jesus is all we have and He’s more than enough. Just as He has been throughout the ages and their own unique trials. He is the constant Hope that never changes.

      God bless you! And Happy Easter

      Liked by 1 person

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