A valley can be a rock-filled chasm, a gloomy canyon, a deep gouge, or a rugged gully. In nicer terms, it might be a grass-swept dell or a lush basin. Ahh! Just the place to lay down and nap.

But what is meant when people indicate they’ve reached a valley?

If it’s a smiling hiker stating they’ve reached a valley, other people surmise they’ve just descended from gorgeous heights, to walk on flat land between mountain slopes. There might even be a cool stream weaving its way through the length of a lush, green basin.

But what if the person is not a smiling hiker or healthy explorer? What if the valley is actually circumstances in their life?

Those types of valleys can be gloomy and long, especially if someone is alone or even feels there is no one who understands. Health issues can create a scary valley, which many must walk through. All they can do is peer upwards—but not climb away from problems. Their eyes observe what looks like strong people standing on top of mountain peaks or hiking toward glorious summits.

The best of circumstances might seem to reflect off other people—giving them a surreal appearance of never-ending health, powerful strength, and awesome abilities … even if it isn’t true.

While hiking the trail of life, we humans often want to turn around. But then, hopefully, we regain courage and push toward the summits. But is that always the way it goes? No.

Many lag behind, struggling to climb out of steep valleys, while using the wrong path. Are their loads too heavy to carry? Are their backs bowed—indicating a weakening of resolve? Will they slip and tumble backwards, while others continue to watch?

A willingness to help, may mean removing loaded backpacks, ignoring pride, and getting down to the other hiker’s level. By reaching, someone might be able to grip their wrist and pull them up. Yes, the rescuer might meet a confused gaze—a look asking why anyone would care? But, then again, lonely people just might recognize God’s love in action.

That’s all that matters. And, of course, the dazed hiker may dust themselves off and just hike away, never acknowledging a helpful gesture. But the lightness in a helper’s heart will tell them … God is grinning.

Yes, that’s what was implied! God might have a grin on his face!

Perhaps, He takes delight in puzzled expressions, when loving people try to help others, and it just doesn’t work out. He knows all about rejection and about the inner sadness it can create. But, God also knows everyone’s heart, and he loves the fact that someone is willing to face rejection. It shows how far someone is going to follow Him. And only He knows who might be pulled out of a valley …  if just one person steps forward.



Copyright (c) Karen Campbell Prough 2017




What is the definition of patience?

Well, patience could be the ability to keep calm, wait, or endure the passing of time. Patience is fortitude, but in most cases, it is more endurable if a person keeps busy doing others things—because perseverance is a part of patience.

Whoa! That takes some thought. Perseverance is connected to patience?

When I think of perseverance, I have this mental image of a tired person trudging through thigh-high snowdrifts, trying to make it to the blurry outline of a log cabin that has a faint lamp shining in a small window. So is that associated with patience?

You could curl up under a tree, out of the blizzard, shut your eyes, and wait out the snowstorm. But the trouble is—you might freeze while you submit to your circumstances. On the other hand, hiking toward the goal keeps your blood pumping, fights back at the conditions you can’t control, keeps your mind active, and gets you closer to the warm, well-lit cabin.

I believe perseverance is an active part of patience when undertaking a specific assignment, project, or mission.

I have to compare this element of patience to writing and becoming a published author. Perseverance has to be part of quiet patience when you keep writing, wait for responses, and long to get your words and stories out to others in the world.

I need to preach to myself about this factor. It’s too easy to throw up my hands and say, “Why am I doing this? I’m being foolish to think I can write a book that others will want to read. I’m tired of waiting for responses to queries. I quit.”

No, I have to persevere. I need to be actively patient. Yep, sounds a little strange to say it that way. But I’m talking to myself today, preaching to myself, and telling myself to ignore the doubts. God gave me the crazy urge—yes, I said crazy—to write, create imaginary people with life-like circumstances, and perhaps, touch someone else’s heart and life.

So, have patience! And to those of you who have the passion to write, I must say, persevere and go forth with pen in hand or fingers tapping out words to be read by others.

How do you plan to reach your goals in life? How do you persevere? Please, scroll down and leave your comments about patience.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.




Represented by Linda S. Glaz at