Step Hop, Step Hop

I learned how to skip in preschool.

This may seem to be an obvious fact; except that what I mean is that I learned how to skip as an adult, while working with small children.

This is my sixth year to work in an urban elementary school.  Skipping is one of the tasks that we must observe our little four and five year olds either attempting or accomplishing.  I dread the moment each year when the lead teacher nods my way and directs me to take a child by the hand and teach them how to skip.  The first year or two I tried my best to mimic the teacher but it looked more like I was tripping over something on the floor.  The kids’ faces showed a mix of alarm and concern as I would sigh and try again.

Sorry, children, you had better just go follow the teacher.  I will watch from a safe distance.

By years three and four the teacher had figured out that I was tripping instead of skipping, and didn’t bother embarrassing me.  Instead she would call out, “Follow along, Mrs. Cleveland!”  At a safe distance, of course.

In case you and I don’t know each other too well, I personally have always been a tomboy and am much better at slugging a softball than doing something graceful or coordinated.

Alas, intramural sports are not offered in the preschool curriculum, and I must teach something that I myself never learned to appreciate or master.  For some children, it comes naturally.  All we need to do is say the word, and they are off, like those babies you see on TV documentaries who can swim before they walk.  I watch them enviously, effortlessly knowing how to do something that for me requires utter concentration.

So when I get the nod to start skipping around the room as if I’ve done this since my own early days, I get really nervous.  Maybe they taught my class how to skip while I was in the hospital having my tonsils out, I don’t know; but this skill was not in my repertoire when I graduated from grade school.

But I persisted, even though not wholeheartedly.  Year five, I tried again, and did it!  It must have been an accident because the next day the magic was gone and I was back to stumbling around.

But this year, year six, I nailed it!  The teacher smiled back at me as I joined the group of skippers this time instead of just watching.

This may seem like a silly topic for my blog, which usually is a bit more serious.

I am challenged to take a look at things that I have wanted to learn but was afraid to pursue, or assumed I could not learn.   I write this to encourage you, that the Lord has great things in store for His children. We have much to learn, much to look forward to.

The good news is that in the kingdom of God we have a lot more in common with preschoolers than we do with college professors.

Nothing against professors; I am just saying that in the kingdom of God the learning curve is a lot more personal.  It is the simple, uncomplicated lesson that can change our lives.  For me, learning how to skip is a big deal because I know that represented in that freedom of movement is a work of healing that the Lord is doing on the inside.  He is unlocking places that I am destined to go but for whatever reason I have held back.

So as we switch to a new calendar or agenda or planner in a couple of weeks, I will pray that you would pursue that desire that the Lord has placed in your heart.   Maybe you have disqualified yourself or talked yourself out of it until now.  It is not too late.

Go after the Lord, even if you have to skip.

You never know, it might be as simple as step-hop, step-hop.



  1. Good encouragement and challenge, Jen. Sometimes what we think is obvious is not, and vice versa. Thank you so much. Georgia

  2. Jen, this is a beautiful, profound picture and lesson AND such an encouragement and challenge to me. These were just the words I was thinking when I realized that Georgia who commented right before me said so as well. Amen and amen to what you have said here, just what our dear heavenly Father has called His precious daughters to. Another way to say it – Go for it! Don’t hold back . . . but agree with who God has made us to be, how He wants to express Himself through us. Thank God He helps us:) I need to post your writing on my wall to remind me! Thank you, dear Jen.

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