Keeping in Step with the Spirit (with kids underfoot)

Ever since we welcomed Samuel Dallas Paul (aka “Sam-pants”) into the family our world has been about adjusting and transitioning to life as a family of 5. In other words, blocking and tackling and keeping rhythms in place with duct tape and glue.

Eventually the baby started sleeping through the night and we were feeling human and functional enough to ask God what He might like us to lean into next. He kept bringing me back to Galatians:


It sounded so straightforward… Keep in step with the Spirit! The train is moving kiddo and I want you on it! Not just in an “over the course of your lifetime” way. In a “right-now-today” way.

He gave me the picture of a three-legged-race — one where I tie my little leg to His big leg, so He can dictate the rhythm and direction (and detours!) of my day.


If I’m honest, most of the time I function like more of a relay-race kind of girl. My tendency is to touch base with God at the beginning of the day, distractedly do my own thing in the middle with good intentions of meeting Him in still, quiet moments as I go. Only that plan falls apart because it’s rarely still and almost never quiet.

The more I reflected on Galatians 5, the more clearly I saw the things I do keep in step with: the need immediately before me, the hottest-burning fire, the next thing on the list, other people’s expectations.

These things form a relentless drumbeat and I breathlessly keep pace.

This spring God has been gently and consistently reminding me that the invitation in Matthew 11:28-30 is to take his yoke and to walk and work in step with the One who knows where we’re going, how to get there. He says that way of doing things is easy and light, allowing us to live in rhythms of grace — rather than the crazy train I so often chain myself to. Together these pictures (the race and the yoke) form an invitation to learnto walk in closer step with the Father — not just day-to-day or season-to-season, but hour-by-hour and minute-by-minute. 

Thank goodness that God doesn’t expect me to have things all figured out. It’s been months of examining what our lives look like and what a faithful response might be. The Greek for discipleis mathetes and it means learner. We can learn to keep in step. We don’t have to start in a place of perfection. In fact, that's why the Gospel continues to be so important each day. It reminds me that I can't start from perfection...but Jesus...