You know how they built altars in the Old Testament to commemorate and remember significant moments in the stories of their lives? 
I kind of feel like my eldest daughter and I have one now, and I’m ridiculously grateful.

As long as Moses held up his hands, Israel prevailed;

but when he lowered them, Amalek prevailed.

When Moses’ hands grew heavy, they took a stone and

put it under him, and he sat on it. Then Aaron and Hur

held his hands up, one on each side, so that his hands

remained steady until the sun went down. …

And Moses built an altar and named it

The LORD Is My Banner.


Exodus 17:11-12, 15


My sweet Arabella started violin a couple of years ago. I didn’t have a great track record of being a consistent parent when it came to helping my kids learn musical instruments. 
As it turns out, violin is apparently one of those instruments where the basic requirement is: 

Show up. 

Show up today. 

Show up tomorrow. 

Just keep showing up.

At first, because we didn’t keep showing up, things were rocky. We’d gain momentum, and then lose it. She’d get close to gaining a skill, but then kind of falter.
All that rockiness led to days where she wanted to quit. And I wanted to quit. And it felt like probably the world would be a better place if we did quit.
But something deep in my soul was saying “Not yet. Just keep showing up.”
Would you believe that once we started consistently showing up, everything changed?
It wasn’t overnight – but day by day, line by line, you might even say note by note, she began to gain skills and proficiency, and her improvement has made her teacher (and her family) very proud.
Reflecting on this, I see myself, and the desire in me to avoid the doing of the things, when the things which must be done are hard things.
When things are hard, I get overwhelmed, and I want to quit.
Maybe you can relate, dear one?
But our decision to press in and overcome the hardship of learning the violin has given us a thing I never expected: a stack of memorial stones, that have become a beautiful altar.
(And I kid you not, just as I read the words I just typed, the thought has just now dawned on me that part of the beauty of all this is the meaning of Arabella’s name: beautiful altar.)
When Arabella struggles with a hard Math worksheet, I can encourage her. “It’s just like the violin, you play the song one note at a time. You do this work one problem at a time. You can do really hard things! Just keep showing up!”
And when I struggle because the work I feel called to seems hard to me, I can remind myself: “You aren’t supposed to have it all perfect right here, right now. There is powerful in faithfulness. Just keep showing up.”
So I’d love to ask you – is there something you need to be encouraged to keep showing up for in your life right now? Do you need to keep showing up by opening the Word in the morning? By continuing to grow or heal a difficult relationship one conversation at a time?
It may not all look perfect overnight. Sometimes the answer to our prayers is God giving us the strength to keep putting one foot in front of the other – to keep showing up.

P.S. Could you use some weekly encouragement to help you walk in a deeper relationship with Jesus?
‘d love to invite you to sign up for my weekly email (at the link below).


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