Footsteps in faith

FOOTSTEPS IN FAITH

You may be wondering at the change in the title of my weekly column from “Footsteps and Fingerprints” to “Footsteps in Faith”.

When I began this column about 10 years ago, I felt I would be writing about my life, and how other people had influenced my life in one way or another. Some walked with me and helped me in my journey. Others influenced me through their writings, their fingerprints so to say. And I totally appreciate those fingerprints and footprints over the years that aided me in gathering my thoughts for this column.

For several months now, well, Lenten Season this year, the Lord has kept urging me through my meditations, my readings, my thoughts, that it is now time for me to step out and write about my faith journey. Not in the “abstract” of around-me-happenings, but more on a personal basis. Thus, the change in title to “Footsteps in Faith”.

I pray that you will continue to enjoy this journey along with me.

My faith began to develop early in life. I grew up on a small dairy farm in the mountains of Vermont, USA. As the eldest child of three, I worked on the farm whenever I had time after school. My Dad taught me the value of hard, honest work, of doing the best one can do, and to seek out creative ways to make one’s best even better. Most of all he taught me to love God in nature.

I can remember seeking out the first flowers of spring for a fresh bouquet after a long, cold winter. Of walking through the nearby woodlands to look for berries, blossoms and blessings. Dad taught me through his example to look for God’s blessings in everything, especially in nature because he believed with all his heart and soul that everything in nature was a gift from God.

Mom instilled in me not only homemaking and familynourishing skills, but also the virtues of thoughtfulness for others, of nourishing a spirit of joyfulness, patience, optimism, caring, trust and respect for one’s spouse. She inculcated in us children to always have faith in God to supply what we needed.

Every Sunday she would ready us for church. After the Sunday service and children’s sermon, we kids would go downstairs for the children’s activities. I can remember having to memorize Bible passages; we could put a star on our chart if we could recite the verses assigned to us.

When I began taking piano lessons, Mom encouraged me to play piano for the children’s praise songs. I was so nervous in the beginning until I realized that nobody minded if I made mistakes; they could not hear the mistakes because they were all singing at the top of their voices!

As children I am sure that all of us were challenged in some way to have faith in God. As parents and grandparents we should also make the effort to be sure our children and their children are nourished in the family’s garden of faith. And don’t forget that we need to journey hand-in-hand with them in their initial footsteps in faith.