Standing on a Stepping Stone

“A stepping stone will do no good if you decide to stand on it.”  —Max Tardie

“A stepping stone will do no good if you decide to stand on it.” —Max Tardie

As many of us do at the end of each year, I have been looking back over the past year to consider where I was a year ago, what has impacted me, and what direction I want to take. Although I may not be exactly where I had hoped to be at this time last year, I am grateful for the things I have accomplished and experienced and have learned along the way.

One of the best quotes on the subject of change I have come across this year is this:

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” —Socrates, a character in Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives by Dan Millman

One of the things I feel really good about accomplishing is something I had wanted to do for years. In May of this year, I started a series on my blog called ‘Wisdom Wednesday’. Not only has it helped me deepen my understanding and added to my collection of wisdom, but it seems to have been a blessing to others as well.

There is one thing I haven’t yet solidified. When we pay attention and look for ways to overcome obstacles in this journey through life, sometimes we’ll come across stepping stones or bridges to help us navigate through rough or uncertain places. Max Tardie said, “A stepping stone will do no good if you decide to stand on it.” In some ways I feel like that’s what I’ve done in one or two areas of my life while trying to decide what to do. I don’t want to go back, but neither do I have any desire to remain standing on a stepping stone in the middle of a bog.

One of the things that made an impression on me this past year is a quote from the movie The Last Samurai.

“They are an intriguing people. From the moment they wake they devote themselves to the perfection of whatever they pursue. I have never seen such discipline. I am surprised to learn that the word Samurai means, ‘to serve’…” —Algren

Being sort of a ‘Jill-of-many-trades-and-master-of-none’, I tried to decide to which of my many interests I could devote myself in order to perfect it. I love photography, and although I have devoted a little more time to learning the craft and have changed direction a bit, I am far from mastering it. I also love typography and have played around with that a bit more as well in conjunction with photography. I have dabbled in making jewelry, learning to knit, I sometimes draw and paint, and, of course, I am a blogger, so I have tried to become a better writer, too. I also love Jesus and I want to be more like Him— loving, serving, winsome, meek, humble, wise, and faithful— so I have devoted time to studying the Bible, reading books, and listening to teachings, not to mention communing with Him as well. I am grateful for my daughter who has more opportunities to read and has recommended a few books, and I am grateful for all the personal and tangible ways in which He has communicated His love for me. I think, though, that striving to be more like Jesus is different than pursuing the perfection of a skill, a talent that He Himself has given, don’t you?

So here I am.

I feel like I’m standing on a stepping stone still trying to decide what to do. Should I continue to pursue photography and typography combining them, along with my pursuit of Jesus, with blogging? Or should I give up one in order to devote more time to another? I think I need to finish reading the book I’m currently reading called Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God’s Will by Kevin DeYoung.

About Rene Yoshi

Just a transplanted Okinawan-French Southern girl with a wee bit o' Irish, sharing photography and what I'm learning about spiritual things, including putting off legalism and religious traditions, and embracing God's matchless love, tender mercy, and amazing grace! View all posts by Rene Yoshi

21 responses to “Standing on a Stepping Stone

  • Tienny

    Rene, that’s what I have been feeling and going through. My areas are photography, animation, illustrating children’s book, graphic design, and comic production. I’m facing this dilemma as well 🙂


  • rnovak918

    I very much enjoyed your post. I feel that I deal with very much the same thing that you and Tienny are dealing with. I love to write, paint, read, graphic design, teach, study God’s word and so many more things. This year I have to decide to take a semester off of college to devote more time to my family, spend more time in God’s word and pray for wisdom and direction. My daughter is 11, about to be 12 next month, and I feel as though I am supposed to be investing in her this year more than school. Anyway, I will be praying for you both. I just wanted to let you know that I enjoyed your post. I loved the part about the Samurai.

    • Rene Yoshi

      Thank you so much for visiting! I know what you mean about devoting time to family. I have an adult daughter with a couple of physical issues, and my second son and wife have two baby girls, and I am blessed to have them so close and able to serve them. I’m glad to hear you’ve been able to go to college, and it warms my heart to hear of your sacrificial heart that is willing to put it aside for a season to devote more time to your daughter. Thank you so much for your prayers. May the Lord bless you and enrich your relationships in the coming year. May He be your Provider and Guide and prosper the work of your hands. 🙂

  • Caddo

    Interesting thoughts, Rene–I’m not sure whether I’m just tired and need to take a break, or if I’m on the verge of pondering “something different”. So I’m gonna lean against the Rock till I get clear direction. God bless you BIG–may you find His Favor in whatever you put your hand to in 2014. love, sis Caddo

  • Heather Mertens @ 40YearWanderer

    Rene, we are sharing that stepping stone I think. I’ve been standing on that sucker most of this year … I know what I need to do. I just need to do it. Let’s step out together in this new year. 🙂
    I just wrote about part of it on my post tonight. Things are going to move this year. And that stepping stone is going to be left behind.

    Happy 2014 my friend.

    • Rene Yoshi

      Yes! Let’s step out together. I like what you said in your post when you said, “…if I had to wait for a calendar date to do something better in my life than I probably was going to fail!” So, let’s step out and be ready to make course adjustments when needed. Thank you, Heather! Happy New Year! 🙂

  • Randell Bell

    I love your post and Max’s proverb.

    I have always looked at my life as a book; ergo I’m a writer, with my many experiences and passions as different chapters. Each one both good and bad not defining me, but refining me into the man I am today. I may not have mastered all of them, but I strived too be the best in that area of my life. I have lived a life full of wonder and adventure and embraced all aspects with passion and wonder. Throughout my life God and His Son have been my foundation and my inspiration. As I start this New Year I look forward to a new chapter in my life and if truth be told everyday is a new chapter to be experienced, savored and a chance for personal growth.

    • Rene Yoshi

      Great analogy! I agree! Your comments also remind me of something my friend, Keith Soules, Jr. once said, “Someone’s past does not define who they are, it’s who they’ve chosen to be today.” Another friend gave me a theme word for the new year— rejuvenate. So here’s to looking forward to a new page, a new chapter to experience, savor and grow! Thank you, Randell! Happy New Year! 🙂

  • Staying In Step

    Love the ending of your post. Can’t wait to see your comments after you finish the book.

    • Rene Yoshi

      Thank you so much! I’m about half way through the book and have found it insightful so far. Having experienced a wide range of worship experiences, I can understand where the author is coming from. At first there was almost a feeling of sadness as I read the first couple of chapters, because he almost seemed to imply having less of an intimate relationship with the Lord, but he seems to be balancing things out as I continue reading. Thanks again, and Happy New Year! 🙂

  • Unshakable Hope

    Great post, Rene!
    I just added “Just Do Something” to my Amazon Wish list.
    You are so right about focusing our limited time and energy on a few things we’re passionate about. That’s my goal for 2014. Whatever you decide to focus on, keep blogging!
    Happy New Year!

    • Rene Yoshi

      Aww, thank you, Bill! I appreciate the encouragement. I’m glad my daughter recommended the book. Even though I haven’t finished reading it yet, she and I have had a couple of discussions about the subject. It’s a small book and could be read quickly, but I have been digesting it slowly. Thank you again! Happy New Year to you and your family! 🙂

  • Ralph

    Happy New Year Rene 😀 Ralph xox 😀

  • Laxman Prajapati

    I like you post and blog… 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: