Helping Kids Climb

         “I cannot believe you actually climbed this mountain!” I exclaimed to my son under the shadow of the Grand Teton near Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

          It was huge. And majestic.

          And I remembered receiving a photo from him fifteen years prior – literally hanging off that mountain. Back then, photos were not texted “in real time” so even though I was horrified, I could at least breathe easy, knowing he had survived to mail it to me.

          Truth be told, I’m glad my son has the courage to climb mountains. And he has certainly been doing it his whole life, one way or another. While he was always blessed with good health and a love of the great outdoors, there were crucial challenges that forced him to make the wiser, harder choices. The steep upward climb of obedience and discipline. Such things strain every muscle and demand full attention.

“The Sovereign Lord is my strength. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.” Habakkuk 3.19 

          How do we pass along courage and perseverance to our children? By reminding them daily that “the Sovereign Lord is my strength.” Only He can provide the kind of spiritual, moral and yes physical strength needed for the mountains of life. But also by preparing them that yes, life is quite often an uphill climb which requires great endurance – “ a long obedience in the same direction.”

As the 19th century poet Christina Rossetti said:

  • Does the road wind up-hill all the way? 
  • Yes, to the very end. 
  • Will the day’s journey take the whole long day? 
  • From morn to night, my friend. 

          Life is indeed a climb, but one day, we all shall stand on the heights. With God.

under the mercy, Lucinda

“Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity and Strength”

©2018 Lucinda Secrest McDowell 

Today’s blog is adapted from one of my devotionals in the new book “Let the Earth Rejoice” – 365 daily devotions celebrating God’s Creation!  ORDER your own hardcover copy here ($10.99)


  1. maggierowe on April 25, 2018 at 9:32 am

    I was not familiar with these words from Rossetti – thank you Cindy. I have cried more in the past 16 months than ever in my life, and perhaps I would not have done so if I had remembered that the road will always be uphill, not straight and level as I persist in expecting.

    • lucindamcdowell on April 25, 2018 at 9:43 am

      Oh Maggie, I totally understand. Actually I was introduced to Christina Rosetti’s poetry back in seminary days. I owe you a long note. I’m down at our former “escape” place on the shore right now but will catch up later tonight. Keep Climbing! (remember, that was the name of Gail MacDonald’s book she wrote in mid-life?) Also, have a Grand Dedication this weekend!

    • lucindamcdowell on April 25, 2018 at 9:48 am

      And the last verse of this poem is:
      Shall I find comfort, travel-sore and weak?
      Of labour you shall find the sum.
      Will there be beds for me and all who seek?
      Yea, beds for all who come.

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