On Inches and Miles

One sibling photo a week throughout the year. 19/52

There is a line from a song I’ve been mulling over for some months now. Another Sara Groves tune. Not sorry, because the gal is brilliant, but I do think every song I have referenced on this blog has been one of hers. I am a super-fan, I guess. Anyway, this is the line:

“The places that used to fit me cannot hold the things I’ve learned, Those roads were closed off to me while my back was turned.” ~ from the song Painting Pictures of Egypt on the album Conversations (2001)

She sings about the struggle between moving ahead into something unknown and the tendency to look back at where we have been, wishing we could be back there in the comfort zone with the things we know, even if those things were not all that great.

Have you ever found yourself stuck and unable to move ahead? I have been in the ‘stuck’ spot a lot more times than I have let on. Even though I could share story after story of God’s faithfulness to me, and I could chat for hours about the goodness of my sweet, simple life as a mother, I have been often nagged by inner sadness, anxiety, loneliness and a struggle to live with an open-handed joy, even in what I would describe as the best and most love-filled season of my life thus far.

Life is both very good, and still very challenging. I have struggled with sadness, anxiety, and self-diagnosed depression off and on for several decades now. In some moments, I feel like my wagon wheels have sunk down in a mud bog, and I’ve been sitting in the same sad swamp for years without an inch of progress.

As I journey, I have recognized that even though I sometimes feel absolutely, hopelessly stuck, when I take a peek back at where I’ve come from, I can see that I have moved forward, sometimes by inches, sometimes by miles. I don’t know if we’re always satisfied with our inches forward, but sometimes inches are fought-for with greater perseverance than the miles. As we take the inches, one by one, the heart grows, perspective changes, and every hard-fought battle makes its mark on our lives. We grow to be different, and what was comfortable and familiar in the past no longer fits. It can be a painful, but a beautiful thing. I have learned too much to long for what I miss from my days in Egypt (figuratively), even while I’m in the sand, wandering and waiting for the promised land.

I have learned too much about the kindness of God and the hope that He offers to ever go back to a place where I do not lean on Him for every bit of strength and encouragement I need. I have learned too much about the beauty of simplicity and the love of a child to ever go back to a get-more, do-more, be-more life. I have learned too much about the power of deep and sacrificial friendship to ever go back to just wanting everyone to like me. I have learned too much about the freedom of forgiveness to hold my hurts close when I can open my hands and let them go into God’s care. I have learned that sometimes traveling inches forward through the toughest seasons is every bit as victorious as logging miles behind me in the easy ones.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33


Update on goals for week 19:

1) Run/walk at least 10 miles per week. Week 19 ~ 13 Run/Walk miles traveled, 203mi in 2015
2) Write 10,000 words weekly. Week 19 ~ 3,000 words completed, 64,500 words in 2015


736. little gymnast, 737. successful afternoon of tailoring a few items for myself, 738. lilac blooms, even if the blossoms were falling off, 739. completion of our CBS year, 740. growing relationships in our church family, 741. sweet learning and fellowship with our weekly homeschool cooperative, 742. early walk with an old friend, 743. wedding of another old friend + reconnecting with people i haven’t seen in ages, 744. craft project successes and some new pens, 745. cleaned out van, 746. the moving into new seasons, 747. lovely weather, 748. home safe with one headlight, 749. inches like miles, 750. a cute outfit and the support of friends

Welcome to the Real World
April 2, 2019
The Life of a Gatekeeper
February 9, 2019
A Little Girl’s Dream
July 28, 2013

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