Sign up to receive Susan's latest post & your free Benefits for the Home School Parent E-book

Tales of Fantasy, Mystery and Adventure Under the Influence of Christian Homeschooling

S. A. J. Lyttek, a multiple award-winning writer, always loved writing, but didn’t arrive at the profession in the typical manner. After college and graduate school, she plunged into government consulting. In this environment, she discovered a knack for writing tests, interviews and other measurements. That soon became the focus of her career—reigniting her love for the written word. Thus captivated, she spent evenings freelancing “fun” writing including short stories, poems, articles and cards. When her eldest was a toddler, she quit full-time work to stay home and write. Eager to spend more time with her children, homeschooling intrigued her. From preschool through high school, she homeschooled both sons while continuing to freelance. While an integral part of the homeschooling community, she developed and taught writing classes to a generation of homeschoolers. Married to her childhood sweetheart, Gary, Mrs. Lyttek loves to share her commitment to learners of all ages and her fascination with the written word.

Step In

8/17/2022 7:25:00 AM BY Susan Lyttek

First off, a welcome to the new subscribers from the Christmas in July promotion! (Will be including the welcome again next week until all of the new subscribers are entered in.)

This morning, a random memory struck me. It was about ten years ago, the last time I went to the Northwest with my mother. There was a restaurant that she and her sister loved to go to for the clam chowder. That dining establishment on Cannon Beach was popular, not just for its food, but for the views because it sat right on the beach. Both trips that I took to Oregon with my mom, it was a requirement that a drive to that restaurant be a part of itinerary.

The day assigned for our trip was unseasonably cold. We still went. It was so overcast that we couldn’t really see the water, just a beach of grey sand. It was like the clouds had turned the view into black and white.

After we ate, the rain stopped so we went for a short walk on the beach. On our previous visit, we had walked along the shore in the water barefoot. But this time it was probably only 45 or 50 degrees. As it was summer, I hadn’t packed anything remotely suitable for such a temperature and had even bought a sweatshirt in the restaurant’s gift shop to stop shivering.

My mother looked at the Pacific and sighed. “I’m not stepping in that today.”

The temperature of my body agreed with her. But, we were so close. And life was so unpredictable. I took off my shoes and socks before I could think better of it and handed them to her. “I’m at least going to touch the water.”

I ran down to the shore, stepped into the icy water, splashed it around my feet for all of a minute, and then ran back out. I’d probably feel foolish the next time I came out for a visit on a warm and sunny day, but it just seemed wrong to ignore the ocean. I mean it was right there. All I had to do was get a bit uncomfortable, but then step in.

In hindsight, that was the perfect decision. Not only have I not been back since, but both my mother and my aunt have passed away in the intervening years. In order to make that trip the best it could be, I couldn’t simply see the ocean with them. I had to step in.

That memory and summary of it got me thinking. That’s the rule of life, right? Situations put us somewhere with someone and we can choose to be comfortable or we can choose to take a risk and step in. We can brave the cold, a moment of pain, or just the idea of either—the threat of discomfort. We can let worry, fear and less than ideal moments box us in, or we can run forward and step in.

There are so many examples. I’m sure you know the ones that make the box of tried and true, comfortable and familiar tempting for you.

You see someone who needs help that you can provide, but you don’t know them well or at all. You can stay in the box or you can step into their lives with a gentle offer.

You see an opportunity that you’ve dreamed of for years but it’s in another state or you’re not sure you’re capable. You can trust God’s provision and your abilities and step in or you can hide where you’re at, miserable and unfulfilled.

You’ve always wanted to try X. (Think rock climbing, a marathon, or something else that requires both preparation and a degree of bravery.) But you look at yourself as you are now and brand that desire as impossible. Or you can step in and start training to see if you enjoy the reality as much as the dream.

You know you. God knows you, too. He puts desires and dreams in your heart. These dreams may stretch you, they may be uncomfortable for a bit, but they will grow you and make you into a better person for both yourself and those around you.

So, I ask, what is your ocean? And are you going to step in?