Common Threads

I’m sure everyone has had this happen at some point.


You’re reading a book and like something it says.  As you are reading another book, a similar line comes up.  A person may mention the same thing.

Sometimes I wonder about these things.  About these common threads.


I know that we are more apt to recognize things that we have shown interest in.  If I go to the car dealership looking at a certain car, I will leave said dealership and notice more of those cars on the road than I had previously – not because there was a sudden influx of them, but because I have been made aware of it.


So I have to wonder this: When we see these common threads in life – in our interactions with people, the books we read, the shows we watch, whatever – are they merely a product of our minds making the connection that has always been there?

Or… are they a clear sign of there being something bigger and greater that is weaving those common threads together?


When I was in Thailand, a person in the group talked about the next step.  And you know, at the time it was a small thing, said in passing, but those words impacted me greatly – because I know that I, along with so many other people, get lost in the big things.  The big goals and the big picture and the long range ideas.  We sometimes lose sight of just taking that very next step.

So at the time, I resolved to take the next steps, and I did.

But then, as time went on, guess what?  I started to forget.  I was looking again at the big picture and going this doesn’t look promising.  I was looking at things and trying to create a whole batch of cookies when I hadn’t taken the step of buying any of the ingredients yet.

Yeah, I don’t know.  A baking metaphor is so not my style.  But it works.  So we’ll just go with it.  😉

So then as I was watching a speaker last weekend I was reminded again about just taking the next steps.  And I had probably heard people say that multiple times in the last year or two.  It wasn’t a new concept.

But something in the way she said it.  Something in those words, in the phrasing, in the context, in the tone… something brought me back to remembering the epiphany of it from the other time.  Something reminded me that I had lost sight of just taking the next steps because I was too busy trying to find big steps and forgetting to just look for the small ones.

You’ve heard that before, too, right?  That it’s not our place to see the whole future.  We won’t see the end result of the steps we take because hopefully we will never stop taking the next step.  We should never feel like we have ‘arrived’ at the place where there is nothing left for us to do.

If we do ever think that, we are wrong.


So that’s one thing that I’ve been seeing woven through many things I’ve seen lately – just take the next step.


The other thing I keep seeing is from our Christian brothers and sisters in other parts of the world – first in Brother Yun’s book and again recently in another book I was reading, just as an aside from someone in another part of the world.

To not pray/ask for our problems to cease, but for strength to deal with them.

How often do we pray just for the strength?  And really mean it?

This isn’t something that I have ever really put much thought into.  I don’t think that, in general, I pray just for all my problems to disappear because I’ve been fortunate enough to have never been taught the idea that Christians should have it easy.

And I’ll interject here and say that if you are being taught that, it is incorrect.  Choosing a life of faith in Christ doesn’t make our lives on earth easier – not by a long shot.  The difference it makes is in what we do with our circumstances on earth, and of course, in our eternity.

But I digress.

Sometimes, you know, you see things and you’re like… ehhhh… I don’t reeeally think I want to hear that right now – it could be too uncomfortable.  So I’ll just gloss over it and assume it’s for someone else to take to heart, mmmkay?  No?  No one else does that?

Ha.  Lies.  🙂  😀

Because honestly, who, living in America, can say that we really want to ask for strength to endure?  Unless we have really become one with the idea already?

In general, I think that most Christians don’t look at their peaceful lives and ask for God to give them strength to endure hardship.  Because they don’t want to ‘speak that sort of thing into existence’.  Or if they do say it, they certainly don’t actually mean that they’re looking for difficulties!

Goodness me!  We can’t possibly pray for strength to endure – what if God takes us up on it and makes things more difficult?

Usually, I think that the average American Christian’s prayer for strength comes when there is already hardship.  There is already sickness.  There is already brokenness (which there always is, anyway, somewhere).  There is already strife.

But to ask for strength for hardships we don’t have?  Preposterous.


So here I am, coming across this statement not just once, but twice, and recognizing it as a fault that we have in our comfortable American Christian faith.

I don’t know what that means.

But there it is.


So when you begin finding these things – these common threads that are woven throughout your life in one way or another at a certain time – what do you choose to do with them?

Do you dismiss them as coincidence?

Do you assume it is your brain playing the game of noticing the familiar?

Or… do you think that maybe – just maybe – it’s something bigger?  Whether you believe that particular something = a higher power, God, or even your own subconscious noticing things that you need to work on right now, I encourage you to not ignore it.

Sometimes we notice things right when we need to.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. mywholebrokensoul
    Feb 15, 2016 @ 03:33:34

    This is so thought provoking! Often times I ask myself the same questions about whether I really want to find the strength to endure hardship and brokenness, or if it’s just something we learn to say because it “sounds right” and we eventually just do it out of habit. Hm.


  2. nannykramer
    Feb 15, 2016 @ 19:10:11

    I have been enjoying your posts and getting to know you better through them. Thank you for taking the time to blog your thoughts. What prompted you to begin—or have you been doing this for years and I just recently noticed?


    On Sunday, February 14, 2016, togethersolitude wrote:

    > togethersolitude posted: “I’m sure everyone has had this happen at some > point. You’re reading a book and like something it says. As you are > reading another book, a similar line comes up. A person may mention the > same thing. Sometimes I wonder about these things. About” >


    • togethersolitude
      Feb 15, 2016 @ 19:15:43

      Well, I’ve been blogging for awhile but it’s been more recently that I have been doing more than just homeschool updates. 🙂 I still intend to do those – I did originally create this as a homeschool blog – but it has sort of morphed more into a life blog, with homeschooling being a piece of a larger puzzle. I think I really started doing more of this type of post after my trip to Thailand.
      I’m glad you’re enjoying it! Thanks for reading! 🙂


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~ a pleasant harbor from the storms of life ~

My Thailand

A cultural travel guide to the Kingdom of Thailand

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Photography by Gina Lambert

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