Connor and Me


I was walking along my usual route, earplugs in, listening to my exercise mix. As I cruised down the sidewalk, I saw a group of maybe five children, all on bicycles. They were all riding in the driveway, a bit wobbly, but having a great time.

Just as I passed the group, I heard an older man’s voice call out, “Connor! You can do anything you want to do. Are you looking at me? You just can’t give up!”

I smiled to myself. It sounded like a grandfather, encouraging his grandchild to keep working on mastering that bike.

It’s not easy to learn the balancing act of bike riding. You have to be the right age and have the muscle coordination. Some can do it before they hit preschool. Others have to wait until their bodies catch up to their desire to ride. But either way, it takes practice, practice, practice.

What if this child didn’t have his grandfather to encourage him? Maybe he would have given up. Maybe it would have taken a long time for him to try again. But I guess I don’t have to wonder about that. God made sure Grandpa was there.

I have been very fortunate in my life, just like Connor. When I’ve truly needed support, I got it. Someone was there for me in times of fear and frustration.

My parents were there when I learned to crawl, and clapped for me when I stood to walk. A swimming teacher was there to catch me when I jumped off the side of the pool into her arms. And there was the drivers ed teacher with his foot hovering over the auxiliary brake. All this support was given by my Holy Father so I could do something new.

And he is still doing it. God knows I need the support of his grace, and the help of his people to do the new things he calls me to do. He wants me to jump off the edge of my comfort zone and help spread his love and service to others.

Has God ever asked you to do something that was a real challenge? Nursing school was really hard for me. So much memorization. So many bones and muscles! Not to mention Chemistry and Microbiology classes.

But my Father never let me go it alone. He was always calling to me, like Connor’s grandfather. He held me up through his gifts of grace and the helping hands my study partners. I never have to wonder what would happen if God wasn’t there.

Because he always is.

So whatever you’re being asked to do today, don’t worry if it looks too hard. Don’t lose heart. Our Father will send the help you need to lift and encourage you.

And when in prayer, let’s take some time to listen too. Only then will we hear that still, small voice say:

“You can do anything I call you to do. Are you looking at me? You just can’t give up!”



Surrounded by the Spirit on Facebook

Linking today with: The Friday Five


I mentioned a few weeks ago that I would love it if everyone who visited this blog could get together with me and go out for dinner. That would be so much fun, wouldn’t it?

Well, I got to do the next best thing. I reached out to Beth, who writes at Simply Beth, andΒ we arranged to meet last Saturday. Falling into a booth at Panera, we had a wonderful three hour lunch, just getting to know each other. It was a wonderful experience. And she brought me a gift too!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI told her I would put it up where I write, because I often ‘wish’ I could figure out what to write about. She was so warm and shared her blogging wisdom with me, which was so kind. You can check out her blog by using the link on her blog name.

Thank you Beth, for being the first fellow blogger that I met ‘face to face’!



62 thoughts on “Connor and Me

    • Hi Denise! You hit on the two things I hoped you would. That you would be encouraged, and that you’d share in my joy meeting a blogger. Thank you!

      Have a blessed day πŸ™‚

    • Hi Margie! You were up late! I hope you had a good rest.

      I am so happy that you were encouraged, and that you shared the joy of meeting a blogger. That’s exactly what I hoped you would experience. The walk gave me an unexpected insight into the protection of Our Father. The lunch was an unexpected insight into the generosity of our God. What gifts!

      Blessings to you Margie πŸ™‚

    • Hi Lauren! It really was so thoughtful. And I wish we could all meet too! I think the talking and sharing would never end.

      Thank you for your visit today!

  1. Ceil, I enjoyed reading here today. I sometimes forget that He is right there with me to make life easier. It happened just yesterday. I worried and “stewed” about an event that was to take place yesterday…and yet, when it came to pass it was one of the most rewarding times I’ve had in a while! And it was because He was right there with me. Thanks so much for sharing here today.

    And I enjoyed hearing about the first time you were met with a Blogging friend! Sounds like a wonderful time.

    • Hi Dianna! I am so glad it all worked out for you yesterday. I think I can make anything seem worse than it’s meant to be.

      I was pretty nervous to meet Beth. I wondered if I’d made a mistake really. It’s one thing to ‘know’ someone on-line, but in person? Yikes. But just like your experience, it worked out great. God was definitely with us.

      Thank you again for your instructions on the butterflies. You are so inventive!

  2. I’m so glad for the encouragement God sends in so many ways, including things like this post!
    I’m happy you were able to meet Beth. I’ve met several blog friends and have enjoyed each one.

    • Hi Mari! (My husband can’t wait to make your recipe!)

      You have met bloggers before? That’s so great. I bet you did have a wonderful time. Isn’t it amazing how you can meet people you would have never met EVER outside of blogging? It really is a great place to be πŸ™‚

      Thank you for your encouraging comment, I really appreciate it!

    • Hi Linda! Thanks! I’m so glad you liked the blogpost today. It was a fun experience to hear that voice calling out to Connor. What an encourager he was.

      So happy it made you smile too πŸ™‚

  3. Thank you, my friend, for this encouraging heart-felt post. Your words have enriched my morning.

    What a sweet blessing to have dinner with a friend and blogger – oh how fun that would be!

    Hugs to you and have a wonderful day!

    • Hi Stephanie! Well, maybe someday we’ll be able to have that dinner. Wouldn’t that be crazy? I’d love that πŸ™‚

      I’m glad you liked the post today, and what a kind comment too. Thank you for your constant encouragement my friend.
      Blessings to you today!

    • My Dear Linda, you are about to hear an echo in here:

      “Oh my. You encourager, you…”

      Your phone call really lit my fire for encouragement. I really appreciated your comments and thoughts about the blog. I got your attachment and offer of further counseling, thank you!

      I REALLY found our talk to be beneficial. Enjoy your chat with Beth on Saturday!

  4. Too often we heed that little voice in our head telling us, “You can’t do it. Just give up.” That voice is simply not the voice of our Father, who tells us we can do ALL things with His strength. Great post, Ceil!
    And how awesome to meet up with a fellow blogger. I hope to do that someday.

    • Hi Pam! It was great to meet with Beth. I’d recommend meeting fellow bloggers anytime. You automatically have so much in common, especially faith!

      Good for you to know that voice of ‘can’t do’ isn’t God at all. Just look at his face…it says it all. Encouragement after encouragement. Just like your blog name!

      Have a good evening πŸ™‚

  5. I like this very much. “β€œYou can do anything I call you to do. Are you looking at me? You just can’t give up!” Especially the part, “Are you looking at me?” If we have our eyes on Him, distractions can’t keep us from accomplishing His goal for us.

    • Hi Jerralea! Thank you for your kind comment, and I’m so glad you picked up on the ‘are you looking at me’ part. It’s so true isn’t it? If we look at him, we won’t get confused by any other voices.

      He wants us to thrive!

    • Hi Monica! I’m so glad that you are going to meet with Beth! She is guest blogging today, so you’ll have to click on another link. But she’s worth it.

      I’m so glad that you were encouraged here today. Thank you for lifting me up by your comment πŸ™‚

      Have a peaceful evening!

  6. This is a great illustration that God is always with us, even when we don’t realise it. looking back at my life, I am now certain that whenever I was in great difficulties, often, He was always with me.

    Thanx Ceil.

    Talking of bicycles; here’s what happened to me when I tried riding a bike:

    Talking of meeting for dinner. I’d love to. Pity you live so far away. In fact I’ve noticed everywhere is so far away from me.

    God bless you and your family.

    • Hi Victor! Oh my gosh, wouldn’t that be the best?? I have been to England, but only to London. If I ever get there again, you know I’m going to tell you.

      How beautiful to be at the point in your life when you can see how God has worked in your life. I think at the time, we are trying our best to get through. Only later do we really understand how we were held and loved.

      God bless you and yours too my friend,

  7. That is exactly what God has done during the time apart from my husband. I’ve been blown away by the people He has sent my way to help and encourage me. I hope and pray He uses me to do the same for others. Thank you for sharing of our time together. It truly was a blessing. I could have gone on for hours. πŸ™‚ I’m looking forward to the next time. Much love.

    • Hi Beth! It is such a blessing to be able to see the work of God isn’t it? Sometimes it takes me a long time to be able to look back and realize I was held the whole time.

      It was a great time. Thank you for being so generous! We will definitely do it again πŸ™‚

  8. SO here is an invitation to the South next winter when you are freezing–sick & tired of snow–needing a break—come on down—will take you to lunch and cook your dinner as we talk it ALL over!

    • Hi Lulu! (Comment master!)

      You have a deal my dear. If I head south, I’ll let you know. Wouldn’t we have the best time?? You know we will πŸ™‚

      Blessings to you!

  9. Dear Ceil
    Oh, this is so precious. I can just see God in my mind’s eye encouraging us to walk this walk of faith with Him as our strength!
    Blessings XX

    • Hi Mia! Thank you for your kind comment about the post. I think Our Father is so much more encouraging and tender than we could ever imagine. That is the strength he wants to pass on to us.

      And that’s what you do on your blog, and through sharing your struggles. Thank you!

      Have a peaceful evening,

  10. Okay, I am a little bit jealous that you got to sit with Beth over lunch and share your hearts. She is on my top 5 list of bloggers I most want to meet one day. Thank you for stopping by my blog today. I will be praying for you, as I understand your situation all too well!

    • Hi Barbie! Wow, you make me really understand how blessed I was to be able to meet her. She feels the same way about you! She suggested that I read you, I’m glad I did.

      Thank you for the prayers. I really need them, that is so kind of you.
      I look forward to getting to know you better!

  11. My family did not know how to encourage or support me as a child but God sent me the most wonderful friends that far exceeded what I needed. I think it is wonderful you got to meet a blogger friend….β™₯

    • Hi Dee! I am so sorry that your family just didn’t have the tools to support or encourage you. That is so tragic! But I’m so happy that you can witness to the love God has for you in giving you such wonderful friends. Amen!

      It was wonderful to meet Beth. Thank you!
      Have a peaceful night,

  12. Ceil, what a lovely, encouraging post to read at the end of my very busy day. Right from the heart.
    It is always a pleasure visiting you, as well as see your smiling face at my place.
    How wonderful for you to meet with a blogging friend. πŸ™‚
    Have a beautiful rest of the week.
    Joy! Debbie

    • Hi Debbie! I’m so happy to hear that this encouraged you! Thank you for telling me, I really appreciate that.

      It’s so great that we are connected through our blogs. I know that we lift each other up and encourage too. What a blessing! I’m so glad you decided to start your own blog home.

      Have a peaceful night,

  13. It is SO nice to have an encourager when we need it. I need encouragers right now and thankfully I have some. Then too I have God to pray to and help me. We are so blessed.

    It’s also lovely to meet blogger friends. I haven’t met a new one for quite some time but I’m sure glad you did! I’m also glad that you had a lovely time.

    • Hi Joyful! I am so glad that The Lord has sent you exactly what you need in friends and family that can encourage you. You are so right. We are blessed!

      You’ve met other bloggers? I bet you really enjoyed that. I know I did. I hope I can meet more someday too πŸ™‚

      Have a blessed day!

  14. Ceil, reading your post reminded me of the scripture in Psalms 46 which states “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble”. As you stated, He is always there and ensures others are there to help us along in life.

    I love reading your posts because you place me right at the scene. I could see Grandpa encouraging Connor. I felt the encouragement. You are a beautiful writer and I thank you for your encouraging posts. πŸ™‚

    • Hi Marilyn! Thank you so much for your comment today. I have been thinking lately about my writing style, and if I should change it, or try a different perspective. It’s nice to hear that what I’m doing right now hits home.

      Yes, God is with us, ‘a very present help’. And I have to thank him for that. Alone I can do nothing. With him, anything he asks!
      I so enjoy your posts too my friend. What a blessing that we can encourage each other πŸ™‚


  15. Ceil,
    What an encouraging reminder…Thank you…I’ve been praying for your husband’s job search as you mentioned it a while ago…and what a lovely lunch for you and Beth…what a blessing πŸ™‚

    • Hi Dolly! It was a blessing to meet with Beth. We really enjoyed getting to know each other better.

      Thank you for your kind comment about the post. And I do treasure your prayers.

      Have a peaceful evening!

  16. Loved this post, Ceil. After you checked out my blog the other day, I had to stop by yours. Like you, It’s seeing God in the ordinary interactions that speaks to me most clearly, like with this dad and Connor. What a wonderful lesson/reminder: that we are always supported by Him. I’ve been blessed with so many kinds of support…some of it in the most difficult moments, when He had to be my very backbone. Friends, family, and even necessary solitude when that was what was needed so He could get in, hold me up. “His grace is sufficient.”

    • Hi Carolyn! Good point about solitude being supportive too. I have a little card on my bookshelf that says: “Silence is essential for thought.” I do find that to be true.

      Thank you for your lovely comment about the post. You and I have something in common then…finding God in the everyday. It’s a wonderful source of prayer and praise.

      Thank you for visiting today πŸ™‚

  17. What an encouraging reminder. I love the word picture you created with its lasting message. And now I am jealous two of you got together. I would love to meet in person someday. Aren’t you in Michigan? I am in Ohio.

    • Hi Jean! Actually, I live in Illinois. My daughter went to the Univ. of Dayton, so I’ve traveled to your state quite a bit in her college years! She is married now with two children, so that was a while ago.
      If you ever travel this way, let me know πŸ™‚ (I’ll do the same.)

      I would love to sit down and have a long chat over a meal. That would be so fun!

      I’m so glad you liked the post too.
      Have a wonderful weekend,

  18. So beautifully put, Ceil. It applies to so many things in my life right now. Thank you for sharing these encouraging words! I truly feel now for the first time in YEARS that I am finally doing what I am meant to be doing with my life!

    • Hi Marcia! You are in such a wonderful place in your life now! How exciting to see πŸ™‚

      I will get over to hear your podcast, I haven’t forgotten. You have such a talent for making people smile. I’m so glad to see that it’s you time to shine!

      Thank you for visiting tonight!

  19. Yes, yes, yes! πŸ™‚ God is definitely asking me to do things that are a real change right now and He is providing me with all the support and encouragement I need. His faithfulness never ceases to amaze me. I’ve got mentors, new friends, and an entire community walking with me through this time of transition. It might be scary sometimes, but I am not alone and I AM supported! πŸ˜€

    • Hi Anne! I am so glad that your change has created such opportunity for you. It’s so exciting! You were in the desert for so long…no more!

      I’m so happy that God has sent you the support you need to get back on track with your gifts. It is scary! But in a wonderful way. I know you’ll be great at however you serve your new community.


  20. How wonderful to have met Beth! It is a blessing to meet face to face with someone you have established an online relationship. While I have not “met” any blogging friends yet, I have met two I met through doing an online Beth Moore Study years ago. We have remained friends for more than 10 years now & it has been such a blessing to my life. So glad you shared about this experience! May we do the same for others!

    • Hi Joanne! You’ve stayed in touch for ten years? That’s amazing. I think the friends we make in Christ are the friends that really do touch our hearts. I’m sure you share a lot with your Beth Moore friends, because you feel so safe with them. You are blessed!

      Thank you for stopping by today, it’s so nice to see you here.
      Have a wonderful weekend πŸ™‚

  21. Another great analogy, Ceil. You have a way with bringing the lessons through stories that speak to my heart like I’m the little one being lifted up… I think that’s how our Father designed it. We need to be lifted and to lift up others, it’s our calling. Thanks for the gentle reminder.

    And what a cool gift! Glad you got to hook up with a blogging sister. What a blessing!

    • Hi Floyd! I agree that we should be here to lift each other up, using whatever gifts we have been given. We are on the same wavelength for sure πŸ™‚

      It really was fun to meet with Beth. I hope it won’t be the last time I meet a fellow blogger.

      Have a great weekend!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *