Lean On Me
It's Spring Break! So far we've been on a stay-cation, along with almost everyone we know.

I love being home. And I love, love, love being with my family. But I had to confess to God this morning that I was struggling a little with the timing of our Spring break.

It's because I finally had a big break-through in my writing and got into a new, very prayed-for groove with my chapter descriptions for my book proposal. The words were finally flowing. I was such a happy girl!

And then I had to stop.

It's so hard because I don't know if I can get back into the groove next week. And this is the same place I was in earlier last week, talking to God about the progress I wasn't making on the book I thought He wanted me to write.

I'd been sick the week before. I'd been traveling the weekend before, and I had a sick child who needed my love and attention. I didn't have time to write, but lots of time to think about what I should be writing. That's when all my ideas tangled up into big knot in my brain making me confused and unclear about any of them.

So I told God, "Writing this book is beyond my current life capacity. I'll do this when I'm 50 and my kids are grown, but I can't do this now."

And then I said it again and again. "I can't do this. I can't do this. I can't do this."

Strangely, it felt good. Like God knew I needed to say it over and over. The frustration and overwhelming feelings of not being able to do it started melting away.

I sensed God agreeing with me - I can't do this. Not me, myself and I. This book (and so many other things I do) is way beyond me. I can't do it - but leaning on Christ in me - I can.

I remember God giving me a picture of what completely depending on Him looks like during our ski trip last year.

JJ and Andrew had skied beginner slopes all day while Joshua and I skied the intermediate slopes. That afternoon JJ decided to come ski with us but he didn't realize there wasn't an in-between level from where they had been to where we were. And there was no way off the slope except down!

Andrew kept falling again and again. He was so frustrated and tired. He couldn't! And he wouldn't! So, I decided I would "ski" him down the mountain.

I had Andrew stand in front of me with his skis between mine and wrapped his arms around my elbows. I told him to stay centered and lean on me. All I had to do was hold his weight and steer us down.

It was insane! I had no idea how much his weight and my lack of control would make us go faster down the steepest slope I ever skied! Honestly, we almost died several times. You should've heard me screaming "JESUS help us." And HE did!

When we came to the bottom, I told Andrew how proud I was of him staying focused, centered and trusting me so we could make it down together.

He answered, " Mom, you did all the work. I just had to lean on you."

I couldn't help but see the parallel between Andrew's dependence on me and my dependence on God.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. ” Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

I saw it then and I see it now. God has given me something, actually many things ,I can't do on my own. I have to completely depend on Him and lean on Him. It was true last week and it's true this week. And it will be true next week.

God wants us to depend on Him. He is there to carry us. To lead us. He does the work in our lives when we stay centered in Him, lean on His understanding and let Him carry our weight.

He makes our paths straight as we depend on Him to guide us along the steps and the path He has established for us - the steep, the dangerous, the adventurous, the
beautiful and the impossible.

The steps of a (woman) are established by the LORD, and He delights in (her) way. When (she) falls, (she) will not be hurled headlong, because the LORD is the One who holds (her) hand. Psalm 37:23-24


Anonymous Robin said...

Getting back up again…. That is such a profound statement. My husband were separated when my oldest was 6 months and divorced by the time he was three and in the mean time in between time came the children. Each time we would fall and get back up because we were going to try this thing again. However, it was not until we step back and let God in that we got up and stayed up and this past March 29th we celebrated one year and we did not kill each other (lol). Do not get me wrong there were and are those days when I say this is it this is not what I signed up for, But with God we got up and we are staying up and we will see all that God has in store for us.

Much love & blessings

Blogger Pat said...

Hey!! Don't knock wring your first book at 50! Just don't ask me to rescue anyone on skis!!!
God knows what He is doing doesn't He girl? I can't wait to see how it all comes together!
Love you,
Have FUN!

Blogger Jill said...

Great words Renee!! I feel I needed that reminder today as it seems I'm in the midst of plenty I can't handle! Like they say when we're in over our heads that's when God takes over.

Also loved the following post! We just made resurrection buns this AM for our MOPS group. My kids love that and it's such a great visual.
Blessings and keep leanin',

Blogger Angie said...

"So if I ever tell you I want to quit because something is too hard or it hurts too much, please remind me of the amazing things God has ahead and tell me to get up off my butt and keep going."

Looks like you have already taken you own advise.

Even during the times you are feeling discouraged..you provide such encouragement.

Love in Christ,

Blogger Renee Swope said...


You're so funny. I am glad you reminded me of my own words. Please keep them! And thanks for your encouragement. I knew it wouldn't be long before I'd need to hear "get up again" and get going!

Remind me next week when I start writing again :-).


Blogger Chef Diane said...

Thanks I so needed to hear this today! So encouraging.

Blogger Kortni said...

Thank you for the verses you shared today. What great words to hear today!

The words will come for the book just as they come for all your devotions.


Blogger Amy L Brooke said...

Great image.

I will pray that your words/His words would continue to flow AND that you would enjoy this spring break. When they grow up, those will be gone.

Have a great break.

Blogger Kimberly said...

I love, love, love the wording of the last verse you used. :) Earlier today Lisa McKay (in her session for A Woman Inspired) talked about how God won't pull the rug out from under us when it comes to the calling He has given us.

With what you have said here, with what His Word says, with what she was talking about, I'm thinkin' He's wanting me to remember...He is so worthy to be trusted! He's gonna hold me tight!

Praying you feel Him holding you extra tight, my friend! And I can't wait for the day I am holding a copy of your book in my hand, knowing I am holding a piece of His faithfulness and your willingness to get back up.

Hugs, hugs, hugs,

Blogger RefreshMom said...

I can so relate! When I was writing my first book, the last thing I heard before I drifted off to sleep and my first sleepy thought in the morning was "You can't write a book. You can't write a book." But I kept writing and after I sent off that book, I never heard that voice again.

I so appreciate the timing on this. I've been feeling God's pull to start writing with intent again, but I also feel my life pulling me in a dozen other directions. I just got back from a conference where I got the confirmation that I asked Him for, but it's funny how quickly the uncertainty can set in when we get to the bottom of the mountain.

I may have to type up a "get back up" sign for my desk to remind me to keep going with the 'maybe's' I got and let God take it from there. Thanks for sharing that even those who seem to have all the opportunity and ability struggle with the "I can'ts."

May God give you a double portion of clarity and time next week when you get back to it.


Blogger Joyful said...

Oh Renee, how I am leaning on Him right now. The 'mountain' I'm trying to 'ski down' looms so large and the bottom still isn't in view. Needing Him to carry me.

In His arms,

Blogger lisasmith said...

What a timely reminder. I was also telling God "I can't" last week. He is so awesome to show up and cheer us on!!!

I'm praying your writing groove continues no matter how many minutes you have to write. :)

Blogger JottinMama said...

Thanks for this reminder today, Renee :)

Please know, I'll be praying about your book writing - that you find yourself getting into lots of grooves as soon as you get the chance!

Kate :)

Anonymous Julie Sanders said...

That was encouraging, Renee. I've tabled a few things that I had "excused" myself from, based on "life" getting in the way ... I thought you were going to reinforce the permission, and then you reignited me! :) Hope you're all well now and that you'll enjoy quiet moments of fruitful writing time.

Blogger Amanda said...


I can't even begin to tell you how much you as mom, woman, and Christian really encourage me. Your story about teaching your son to be a can-do kid has been a life change for my son as well as me.

God makes us can-do people! You are a can-do writer!

Blogger Renee Swope said...

Your encouragement and prayers mean so much to me! I am trusting God to pour out His Words when He tells me to start typing again. For now, I am enjoying a few days with my guys.

Julie, I smiled when I read your comment about permission to put some things on hold when life gets in the way. For a few years God did tell me to table my desire/calling to work on a book. But then I felt Him calling me to pick it up again last year and I kept putting it off. Life always gets in the way when it comes to finding time to do something that requires queitness, creativity and uninterrupted focused times.

So, for me it's about being obedient, trusting His timing and enjoying the process while not always feeling up for the challenge.

I know HE is worth it all!

Hope you all have a great rest of the week. We're going to Charleston for day or two but I've got some guest bloggers and give-aways you're really going to enjoy!


Blogger Bonita said...

A good word, Renee! I can so relate to the writing scenario. Last week I was in such a flow and amazingly productive. I assumed I'd pick right back up this week where I left off, but then life happened and not one word has hit paper, much to my dismay and my publisher's as well. This has been a year when God has taught me again and again that I will do things on His time table and not my own. So glad I can depend on Him!

Blogger Oh Dear said...

How cool is that! Looking forward to this book!

Blogger Amy Jo said...

Oh, Renee, I so get the big brain knots! I'm working on a couple of books and keep getting stuck with "the knot." Sigh! Praying sweet blessings over you, your family, your ministry, your adoption and your book! :-) Amy in OR

Blogger Stephanie said...

Thanks for the encouraging words. I've been wondering if I could go back to school with all that's already on my plate. With Him, I can! It's not about how smart "I" am or my abilities, but it's about leaning on Him for guidance and help. Thank you!

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