Tag Archives: encourage

Doing The Impossible

“Come on up. You can do it.’

My brother looked down at me from high up in the tree.

I swallowed a lump in my throat.

Sure, I wanted like anything to climb that tree

so that I could look down at everything from on high


my fears were great and doubts loomed.

Like what if I fell.

My eyes followed the thick trunk up to where it branched.

Could I possibly pull myself up to there?

And then how would I ever know where to put my foot next?

No, tree climbing was not my thing

I, at six was much more comfortable staying on the ground playing with my dollies.


I looked up high again.

Way high and I saw my eight year old brother grinning down at me.

“Come on, silly. I’ll help you.”

Relief washed over me at those words.

If my brother helped me I had nothing to fear.

He’d been climbing that tree like a cat for weeks

and knew exactly what branch could hold his weight

and where to climb to go even higher.

Suddenly I heard the sound of scrambling

and watched as he lowered himself to just a little above me.

“Now ya just put your foot up here,” he pointed.

My fears were great

but my trust in my brother to help me was even greater.

So I stepped closer to the tree and began to climb it.


one step at a time courage

refusing, absolutely refusing,  to look down

following the voice of my brother –coach.

Until  I reached the branch where he told me to sit

and I lowered my young body to a sitting position

and looked all around

and down.

“Wow” was all I could say. I couldn’t believe it.

It was beautiful up there so high in the sky.

That was the beginning for me of many climbs up that tree.

A coach takes you from where you are

to where you say you’d like to be.

A coach not only encourages but also gives you skills and tips on how to do it.

A coach sticks close by your side

cheering you on as you make progress.

Of course, the Master Coach is Jesus

Always by our side

Always directing our steps

And He has marvelously gifted a few people

to coach others

in moving forward in life.

Life is about moving forward.

So what tree have you been wanting to climb?





tree 44

Dare To Believe That You Can

He was young as I remember it.

Only twelve or thirteen but with serious eyes that made him look at least five times his age.

We’d had only a brief encounter but that short conversation haunted me for days.

“I’m just afraid about everything.”

How was if possible that a young boy on the verge of manhood should be so hopelessly tangled up with thick ropes of fear?

Why this was the time in his life

to step out and try new things

to experience adventures

to grow in his understanding of himself and others.

But unfortunately instead of opportunities and adventures

he saw danger and devastation.

Instead of growth he saw risk

and so lived a narrow life

not willing to see what possibilities were right within his reach.

Young as he was this boy had already experienced deep loss and sadness.

So as he saw life

the best thing to do was to try to prevent anything bad ever happening to him.

In life terrible things can happen. Sadly true.

I squeezed his hand in encouragement and acknowledged his feelings of fear.

“Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.”
― Frederick BuechnerBeyond Words: Daily Readings in the ABC’s of Faith

A part truth.

But there is more.

More to life that I longed to have him see for himself.

There is beauty and goodness,

joy and adventure

faith and courage and walking on water moments.

There is hope when it appears to be no hope.

There is life that springs up from ashes.

Yes, so much more.

I prayed as I shared groping for the very words.

Trapped in fear

is not truly living.

To break free from fear opens up an amazing adventure.

“He who has overcome his fears will truly be free.”
― Aristotle

Do you find yourself tempted to choose the safe way

instead of that other path?

Do you sometimes long to take that next step but then shrink back

unwilling to try?

But you can change.

Yes, a fearful, shrinking, ‘shaking as a leaf about everything’ person

can change

into a courageous, faith filled moving forward with passion individual.

Voices might tell you no

but I’ve no only seen it

I’ve experienced it.

“Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.”
― Francis ChanCrazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God

What’s holding you back?


 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10












sunrise feb 20

Can One Possibly Grow Young?

Stay young?  Ridiculous.

How about grow young?  You can you know. Crazy as it might seem.

Many  children taught me how over my years of teaching.

You see, it is all too common when you give a test

for each wrong answer to be circled

often in glaring red

and the number  of wrong answers placed on top of the paper.

At least this was how it was done years ago. Maybe things have changed.

As I’d walk around the room passing back the tests

I saw how my students would hang their heads and slink down in their seats.

Embarrassment written all over their bodies.

Students trying to peak at each others sheet to see if possibly they had done better.

Nothing conducive to education.

Nothing that inspired a student to achieve and master a skill.

Shame. Pain. Guilt.

Crumbled papers. Tear filled eyes.

I ached at what I witnessed again and again. Precious young  children.

So I began a new practice. I put away the red pencil

and chose hot pink, lemon yellow, sky blue and lime green.

Bright. Happy colors.

Circled the answers that were correct and placed that number

in big bold color for them to see.

Eyes danced. Smiles replaced fear. Strength.  Hope. Young.

I spoke about the process of learning and the importance of

paying attention to what they got right.

We went over the skills again and again but with a growth emphasis.

Truth. Wisdom.

I saw the difference in how quickly my students began to learn

and  how eager they were  to master a skill.

Weakness  overcome by strength.


Grow young with me today and receive His grace for every mistake and every wrong turn.

Glimpse the wonder of Him covering you with bright, glorious colors reminding you of

the times you followed Him and obeyed His Voice.

Open  your heart to His understanding and patience.

Covering you with His amazing love.

Grow young with me today, my friends.

Dance with the freedom of living in His grace.

Wonder. Awe.

His Way is not ours.

He rights every wrong and gives new beginnings whenever we turn to Him.

The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
    they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; Psalm 92:12april 2015-2