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How Many Steps?

How Many Steps?

Parents, have you ever noticed there is no hurrying kids. No matter how much you try to make their legs move faster, if they don’t feel like being in a rush, they are on cruise control. One day we were trying to get out the door for an appointment at the orthodontist for my older daughter Faith. But Grace, who was five at the time, could not be rushed.

I tried to simplify things and give Grace specific instructions for getting ready. “Listen closely,” I told Grace. “Because I am going to give you instructions with lots of steps.” I proceeded to tell her to go to the potty, brush her teeth, put her pajamas in the dirty clothes basket, and to dress in the clothes I had placed on her bed.

Grace gave me the thumbs up and said, “No problem!” Then she walked out of the door towards the bathroom, only I noticed she was taking one slow step at a time. I watched her a moment before realizing she was counting every step she took. She paused before stepping into the bathroom and looked back at me.

“How many steps is all this going to take me?”

I died laughing. When I told her I was going to give her directions with lots of steps, she thought I meant literal steps.

I gave my little girl specific instructions to make things go smooth for us to get out the door. I knew what had to be done, and I knew the best way to achieve the task. God does the same with us. He tells us, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” (Psalm 32:8 NIV)

But sometimes instead of focusing on what God has asked us to do, we get caught up in counting the steps. How much longer, God, will my child go through this rebellious stage? When, oh when, will I finally be through potty training, Lord? Am I ever going to survive parenting through puberty?

But God just wants us to draw close to Him and follow His lead. Enjoy the ups and the downs of parenting. Count your blessings where you can, and but whatever you do – don’t count the steps!

By: Carol Hatcher is a former elementary teacher turned writer. This sassy southern author and speaker lives with her husband and three children in Georgia. Come visit her at

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