Please join us today for some encouraging words from our dear sister, Liz.

Keep Shoveling by Liz Wright

He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might He increases strength. – Isaiah 40:29 ESV

It had been three weeks since my husband’s passing.

Our church was having a workday. Keith would have gone. He would have worked with the men, told jokes, and talked about life. Wanting my boys to be in relationship with these same godly men, we packed up the car and headed to church.

We were quiet on the way there, still a bit in shock from the events of the past month.  I was holding it together, but barely.

Then I heard a voice pipe up from the backseat…my two and a half year old, Jackson.

Will some of the men hug me?

My vision blurred.  This is the child who was Daddy’s shadow…and right now he was hurting.

They probably will, buddy.

At church, I explained the situation to one of the sweetest guys I have ever known…our worship leader, TJ. He invited Jackson to help him shovel gravel.

Jackson was so little that he could not really manage the shovel, much less a shovelful.  TJ had to have his hand on each load, carrying much of the weight, guiding it into the correct place.  A job that would have been fairly quick to do on his own, TJ patiently endured. My little boy had male bonding time, and felt the joy of doing man’s work.

Jackson came to me a while later, big smile on his face, telling me, “I helped Mr. TJ, Mom!  He needed me to shovel the rocks!”

Wow.  What a gift!  When I had asked TJ to help, I had not imagined the way he would lavish his love on my son.  My vision had been limited to a simple hug.  TJ took it far beyond that, building a little piece of character into my sweet boy’s soul.

What a metaphor for how God has held me during this entire widow journey!

I am often told what a great job I am doing running our family.  Nothing is farther from the truth! Just like Jackson and the gravel, I am not strong enough to keep track of four growing boys, homeschooling, household tasks, etc., etc. — on my own.  But…I have a Father who keeps His hand on the plans I make, the steps I take…and He is strong enough to handle what I cannot…and takes us far beyond where my limited vision would take us.  Patiently, He guides me into being a better me – not just in spite of my circumstances, but because of them.

Sisters, this journey is hard…very, very hard.  But…God has each of us in the palm of His hand, holding the back of the shovel as we slog through the layers of grief, and the rebuilding of a new life.  Trust Him, Sisters. Take what He has to offer.  And keep shoveling!

Father, thank You for being exceedingly, abundantly more that I can ask or imagine.  Thank You for constantly having Your guiding hand on me.  Thank You for loving me through this time, and helping me to find strength and peace in You.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

To learn more about us please visit us at


4 replies
  1. Karen Perling
    Karen Perling says:

    I Am a 79 year old widow . My husband of 53 years died 10 months ago of heart and kidney failure.
    I was so blessed by this “Mite”. I am an artist and very visual. I now carry a mental picture of God’s Hand on my shovel of emotions, tasks ,and decisions . He is doing the lifting , directing, and depositing. He even brings other shovelers alongside in this journey. I can rest in His strength and wisdom.

  2. Susie Bateman
    Susie Bateman says:

    I can’t tell you how much you have helped me through shoveling. It is a snowy day here in Nashville and I sooo miss him on days like this. We loved snow days together. He was always there to pick me up from school and take me home safely. Thank you so much for supporting me through this journey. I continue to try my best to Choose JOY. Liz, I loved starting my day off reading this. Thank you and God bless your precious family.

  3. Calli
    Calli says:

    I love this Erika. I just responded to a young, single Mom’s post on facebook. . . keep moving forward, it’s one step at a time. I’m 4 years out from suddenly losing my husband, my kids were raised but I have a “tribe” of grandkids, we have all missed Opa terribly. Yesterday I was blessed to have time with my 8 year old grandson, volunteering with a homeschool program. On the way home we passed the cemetery where Kenny is buried. I heard from the back seat a quiet “I miss Opa”. It amazes me in the 4 years that Ty had his Opa such strong heart ropes were formed. All I could do was blink the tears of my own away and then we made a trip down memory lane, always those conversations end with “where is Opa now?” . . . “in heaven”. . . “We’re going to have such a blast when we get there”. Stay encouraged all. I started this journey telling my daughter at the foot of her Dad’s bed. . . “You need to know that I have no desire to live without your Dad (I know, such a terrible thing to say to one had just lost her Pop and had a 2 month old baby in her arms). . . . where God has taken me thru simply “CLINGING” to Him. He’s been my life line and remains so. Blessings to you all as we walk this path out together. We’re going to make it, we are, and we’re going to be stronger than we have ever been!!!

    • Susie Bateman
      Susie Bateman says:

      Thank you. It takes a village and I also feel so blessed to have my family, friends, and 5 wonderful granddaughters who are the JOY of my life.

Comments are closed.