Put One Foot In Front Of the Other

  My dad grew up near Miami, Manitoba, at the foot of a huge hill, called Mount Nebo. One day a neighbour commented that he was so tired, he felt like he had just moved Mount Nebo with a wheel barrow. That statement somehow grew into a favorite saying of my mom’s, and one that my husband quotes quite frequently, “You can move a mountain with a wheel barrow, just put one foot in front of the other.” 

You can move a mountain with a wheelbarrow

 Now when Mom said this she meant it literally! Over the years, as she landscaped the yard and tended the garden, she did it without the aid of a tractor or other machinery. Although she probably went through many shovels, rakes and wheel barrows, her simple tools served her well for almost sixty years.

Brian has learned to apply Mom’s expression to any job that requires some effort or tenacity. Our oldest daughter still remembers hearing this advice when she was a child, and we were landscaping our own yard. 
 One day, my brother said to Brian, “You’ve really taken that saying to heart…...when I heard it I figured forget the wheel barrow, rent a backhoe!” 
I suppose there are times when my brother’s solution is the best way to tackle a chore, but for most situations in life, Mom and Brian have found the right approach. There is no short cut, no easy way out, and no magic formula. 

What is required is a commitment to the task at hand; whether it’s gardening, building a house (or a church), raising children, or simply living the Christian life. 

Her reward was sitting on a garden bench at the end of the day

Hard work need not be drudgery; Mom loved working in her yard,
improving the soil and planting. Her
reward was sitting on a garden bench at the end of the day, surrounded by the fruits of her labours. 

Somehow, I don't think she would have gotten as much pleasure from the end result if someone else had done all the work.

So, as I go about my day, I remind myself, “Just put one foot in front of the other,” and as long as I keep my eyes on the Lord, I can trust him to direct each step that I take.

Proverbs 31:31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

Proverbs 13:19a The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul:

This is an excerpt from my book.


  1. This is lovely! I know it is true, too. My grandmother had a strawberry patch that filled her entire backyard. The sidewalk that led to the back alley was the only bare place. I do not know how my grandmother tended such a patch all by herself, but in a way, of course, I do know how she did it. :)
    Thanks for writing this. I will share it! <3 K

  2. Thanks Katharine! My parents had a strawberry farm too...our kids loved going out every summer and working in the fields. Later on in life is when the flower garden really began to grow. For anyone else it would have taken a full time gardener, but they loved it and spent every day out there.