Wednesday, January 25, 2017

For All Who Stumble Along


I seem to have a history of stumbling around. 

This somehow happens to me frequently and it's always cringe-worthy. I can say with complete certainty that I will never trip the light fantastic.

This scenario played out again this week as I was running late to meet my handyman after work. He was waiting for me to tell him how far I wanted my new chandelier to hang from the ceiling. 

Scurrying up the stairs in the parking garage of my office complex, my high heel caught in the leg of my floppy pants and I found myself laid out on the cement floor.

My iPhone took the brunt of the impact as my hand hit the pavement, cracking the screen.

Maybe it’s the shoes. Maybe it’s the wardrobe. Maybe I’m just clumsy and I really did need those ballet lessons I begged for when I was eight. 

{So surely this is all my mother's fault, right?}



I seem to be prone to tripping, stumbling and falling.

Like when I fell down the stairs at work {different location, same result} tripping over my heels and bumping down each step, the contents of my purse spilled out around me. 

That episode took effusive insisting that I didn't need to file an incident report to our vice president who came rushing to the bottom of the stairs when she heard the commotion. 

And to take stumbling to an international level, I twisted my ankle on cobblestone steps at a restaurant in Italy, falling on top of my camera and ending up with a gash in my knee and a ruined skirt.  

But my shoes weren't to blame then since I was wearing flats, but I told myself that my feet were so used to high heels they didn’t know how to walk without them. 

{This makes perfect sense, doesn't it?}



But I so often feel as if I'm stumbling along toward God, too. 

I'm walking just fine, moving forward, until I lose my footing. 

Then I'm startled by words I didn't expect to hear, taken aback by an unfamiliar situation, or dazed with uncertainty that paralyzes my decision-making ability.

And I wonder what made me so sure this was the way to go, and what I should do now? 

I'm shaken up a little and trip over my own two feet, lose my balance and find myself flat on the ground.


But for all of us who feel as if we stumble along, there's hope.

I've taken the liberty to change the pronoun from he to she in the verses below. I love to think of them this way and maybe you will too:


The Lord makes firm the steps
    of the one who delights in him;
though she may stumble, she will not fall,
    for the Lord upholds her with his hand. - Ps. 37:23-24


So I take heart knowing that while one of my hands is busy picking up the pieces scattered in my tumble, my other hand is held, tucked in his. 




But occasionally I stumble upon something that's surprisingly delightful

I wrote about one of those times over at Culture with Travel when I happened upon an honest-to-goodness diner in Paris serving American breakfasts, just a few blocks from my hotel. 

After reading the menu posted on the sidewalk, I couldn't wait for breakfast so I could enjoy what I was missing the most about home. 

{Hint: If you follow me on Twitter, you'll know it's my favorite topic to tweet about!}

Then last year I discovered a book was written about that very restaurant I'd eaten in. So if you'd like to read about my American breakfast in Paris and see photos of the diner, click here.







I've come to realize that my stumbling doesn’t always result in insult and injury, although it's sometimes rather expensive as the bill for my new iPhone screen will attest.

I guess I should just add that expense to the bill for my handyman to hang my new chandelier. If you read last week's post, you may remember he said it would be a complex job with insulation falling from the ceiling while he was precariously positioned on an extra tall ladder. 

Well, it ended up not being as messy as he thought and the ladder made it in and out of my house without breaking anything on the way. {And my handyman made it through okay, too.}

It wasn't cheap but I sure do love the chandelier.

Now when I climb the stairs in my house, I’ll have a lovely, graceful light to guide me. 

And hopefully keep me on my feet.





I'm having coffee with my friends at Holley Gerth's place at Coffee for your Heart. That's where my blogging friends and I hang out every week. Join us there!


35 comments:

  1. I can relate to this in the physical and spiritual ways. It reminds me of an old song by DC Talk called What If I Stumble? Sorry about your iPhone but the chandelier is lovely. Love your photos too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I do remember that song, Debby! Thanks for your sympathies on my phone and I'm so grateful you stop by here every week, reading and offering encouraging words! xo

      Delete
  2. Love everything in this post - the photos are extraordinary and now I have to go over and see what all the twitter is about!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan,
      It's all about the coffee! :) Thanks for dropping by and reading -- always great to see you here!

      Delete
  3. I cringed when I read you fell, Valerie. Then let out a sigh of relief that the phone was hurt more than you. Sorry for the phone though. The chandelier looks lovely. Hopefully it will guide your feet up your stairway. But I'd take those high heels off first... :) I can't wear high heels. My ankles give out too easily.

    I feel like I'm spiritually stumbling, too, many times. I love that verse, and this is so comforting - "So I take heart knowing that while one of my hands is busy picking up the pieces scattered in my tumble, my other hand is held, tucked in his." May He be our Chandelier to guide our steps! Love and hugs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess I should have been thankful it was just my phone, right Trudy? :) I hadn't looked at it that way! I have wobbly ankles too, but I love the heels anyway!

      I wonder sometimes if I make things too difficult as I overthink things instead of just following the light ahead of me? Always loving your words of encouragement and sisterhood here! xoxo

      Delete
    2. I always love your encouragement and sisterhood as well, Valerie. ❤️ I think I overthink things, too, instead of just following the light ahead of me. We'll have to keep reminding each other to focus on the Light. :)

      Delete
  4. I am loving that chandelier!! It's so you! And I'm so sorry you fell! Grace on my feet is not something I was blessed with loads of either so I totally relate to your tumbles! But what a beautiful verse... it reminds me of a line from an old Alison Krauss song that we used to sing- "I know who holds tomorrow and I know who holds my hand..." God is so good like that.♥ And I enjoyed your American breakfast in Paris post too-- cute contemplative picture of you as well! I'm a big fan of breakfast too... and it made me hungry... scrambled eggs and bacon for dinner perhaps?? xxoo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heather,
      So glad to know another sister who is challenged in the grace-ful department!

      That song is perfect -- I remember it! Thanks so much for reading my Paris post over on the travel site -- breakfast does indeed captivate me so I'm sure I'm thinking about how much I love coffee! :) And yes, breakfast for dinner is always in style, as far as I'm concerned! xoxo

      Delete
  5. Love that image of our hand safely tucked in His. It's beautiful the way He continually holds it out to us, even when we think we have everything balanced all on our own. I'm so glad that you are okay after your most recent tumble. And the chandelier - classic Valerie gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Tiffany,
      Balancing on our own -- yes, that's what we try to do, don't we? And that's when I realize how much I need him to guide me! xo

      Delete
  6. I love how you put this, Valerie: "while one of my hands is busy picking up the pieces scattered in my tumble, my other hand is held, tucked in his." It's so reassuring to remember that God is always there to help us get back on our feet.
    I love your chandelier- I'm glad you managed to get it sorted.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lesley,
      Thanks so much -- it was a relief to get it settled! And when we get back on our feet again, we're looking to God for guidance and I'm so glad he's there! xo

      Delete
  7. Oh, how pretty!! I am SO sorry about your falls....bless your heart! So thankful you are okay, and thank you for this encouragement today. I needed it. P.S. I am SO sorry it is taking so long for your prize to arrive...I just checked it again, and it is saying "out for delivery" from your local P.O. so I am hoping you might get it tomorrow? We mailed it the 18th. Have a great night, sweet friend. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheryl,
      Thanks for being here and lending your encouraging words! I did get the book and I'm so excited to read! I'll be sending an email to you! xo

      Delete
  8. Oh Valerie- I just love this ! I am a stumbler too!! Gosh I am glad you understand- I am a serious trip and fall on my face, run into walls , step on my dress all the way down this aisle at the wedding kind of girl! I don’t even wear heels because of it-I am so sorry you had one of those days like that! I feel your pain! ugh! i am grateful for what the Lord showed you and that you shared it though! This has just put words on how I have been feeling lately. Like I am stumbling along and never quite getting it right. It seems like the minute I get going something takes my feet out from under me- That verse is one of my very favorite- I got the cutest bracelet made with it on it too. (sad it broke but it was the cutest) anyway so good to remember good things come for the stumbling-(lie this amazing post!) I love this "So I take heart knowing that while one of my hands is busy picking up the pieces scattered in my tumble, my other hand is held, tucked in his.
    “ what a great picture (makes me think of the picture on trudy’s post with the hands too)- thank you! sending much log tonight! xoxoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Susie -- I'm so glad you can relate! (Just another point in common to prove we are kindreds!) And did you really step on your dress down the aisle? :) I'm laughing at the thought!

      That's me lately too, that I think I'm sailing along until before I know it, I'm off-course and wondering what to do again. Your words here are so encouraging to me since I really didn't think this was worth sharing, but then my Paris post went live on the travel site and I thought I'd combine it with my tumble. So glad if it encouraged you! xoxox

      Delete
    2. Yes I did mutiple times! It was embarrassing - glad I didn't rip it! Hahahah oh well :) So glad you posted! And I love the chandelier! Looks great! Xo

      Delete
  9. Dear Valerie,
    I'm sorry about the tumble! My "graceful movements" come in the way of dropping too many cups and dishes! :-) But I love this thought so much: "So I take heart knowing that while one of my hands is busy picking up the pieces scattered in my tumble, my other hand is held, tucked in his." (I see in the other comments that this seems to resonate with a lot of us!) I loved your post over at the "Culture with Travel" site also. It's so great to see your beautiful photos and stories being shared for others to see & read also! You are a true encourager, my friend! xoxo
    P.S. I was hoping you would share pics of your new chandelier mounted in its new home! It's beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Bettie,
      Thanks for visiting the travel site -- I so appreciate it! I'm also a drop-er too! I really think it has something to do with coordination and apparently I missed a nice helping of it somewhere along the line! :)

      Delete
  10. I admire that you do wear high-heeled shoes! I love them, yet our sidewalks and roads can be just so full of rocks and grit, and I'm usually almost late for everything that I'm generally walking fast, I know I'll be tripping all the time! The chandelier is absolutely gorgeous! So happy you posted picture of it hanging. And what a beautiful reminder for you, of God's guiding light!

    Loved your article! Thank you for sharing it. I also stumbled upon visit.org on the webstie and shared with my traveler daughter as I know she'd be very interested in that type of adventure! Stumbles can lead us to some quite good places too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lynn,
      I'm laughing that you're late for everything so it makes you walk fast! :) I probably should abandon the high heels when I travel but I feel lost without them! Thanks so much for hopping over to the travel site and reading along! And oh -- I'm hoping you have the most fabulous time in Hawaii -- can't wait to hear about your adventure! xoxo

      Delete
  11. So relate to this. Beautiful stories of our fallen nature and a God who picks us up! Amen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jenn!
      Always LOVE to see you here -- and I miss your words on your blog -- but I can imagine those two boys keep you hopping! :) xo

      Delete
  12. See, I fall all the time. In flip flops! There are so many stories of me tripping and everyone staring. It seems my pride is the most injured every time.
    Anyways, I love the chandelier! What a beautiful piece. Definitely worth a tumble or two...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sarah,
      Oh I'm glad to hear it happens in flip flops too! And yes, my pride is the most injured -- I look around hoping no one noticed! :) xo

      Delete
  13. Oh, Valerie, bless your heart. Taking those tumbles is humbling, isn't it? Last season at my son's football game, the play ran into the sidelines (too fast to react) and the Ref ran into me and knocked me flat down on my behind! So embarrassing. :) Lovely post, Valerie. Sounds like you handled your tumbles with grace. :) (Btw, I always love all the pretty photos you put on your posts. :) ) ((hug))

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Brenda,
      Oh my goodness -- the ref running into you at a football game sounds terrifying! But it would make a funny story?! Thanks so much for your sweet words about the photos! xo

      Delete
  14. I bless the day I stumbled into you somewhere online, my friend. And I find you to be so graceful in your writing and relating that I'm sure it's just the choice of footwear that sends you flying ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Linda,
      I love it -- blame it on the shoes, not the wear-er! :) I knew your counseling skills were amazing! :) xo

      Delete
  15. Valerie,
    One of my epic stumbles was when I went to the midnight sale before Christmas downtown after work. Still in my heels and carrying several shopping bags, my heel caught in the escalator and I face planted into the floor at the top with bags splayed everywhere. I love the imagery that God holds onto us with the righteous right hand of His. As long as we're clinging to Him, we may stumble, but we'll never fall. Love your new look here...
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bev,
      Your holiday shopping experience in the escalator sounds so injurious! {Was that in Pittsburgh, I wonder?} And it's so good to see you back here and thanks so much for your kind words on my new little blog header! :) xoxo

      Delete
  16. I'm glad the chandelier install went well, Valerie ... it looks beautiful! I can so relate to what you're saying about stumbling--I didn't receive the nickname "Princess Clumsy" for nothing, after all! :-) Seriously, what you said about losing your footing in life also happens to me ... I'm so grateful that God is ever present to "make firm" our steps when we delight in Him. Love your words, as always!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lois,
      Princess Clumsy?! I kinda love it! Thanks so much for being such an encourager here! xo

      Delete
  17. I'm feeling a bit concerned because I stumbled upon this post at Holley Gerth's link up and see that this isn't the only one I've missed from you. I don't think I'm getting your emails any longer! I think I will have to resubscribe. Anyway, I love this blog post as I am a stumbler too. I've been thinking about what to wear for an upcoming event and I know that heels look best with a dress but I'm almost afraid of what that would set me up for!
    You are delightful as usual in your writing. Blessings, Patti

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for reading -- I love to hear your comments! To leave a comment, you can choose an ID in the "comment as" box or just choose anonymous. Choose your ID first, write your comment in the box and hit publish. Your comment will be visible just as soon as I can post it!