Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Do The Next Thing

A poem quoted by Elisabeth Elliot

Do The Next Thing

"At an old English parsonage down by the sea,
there came in the twilight a message to me.
Its quaint Saxon legend deeply engraven
that, as it seems to me, teaching from heaven.
And all through the hours the quiet words ring,
like a low inspiration, 'Do the next thing.'

Many a questioning, many a fear,
many a doubt hath its quieting here.
Moment by moment, let down from heaven,
time, opportunity, guidance are given.
Fear not tomorrow, child of the King,
trust that with Jesus, do the next thing.

Do it immediately, do it with prayer,
do it reliantly, casting all care.
Do it with reverence, tracing His hand,
who placed it before thee with earnest command.
Stayed on omnipotence, safe 'neath His wing,
leave all resultings, do the next thing.

Looking to Jesus, ever serener,
working or suffering be thy demeanor,
in His dear presence, the rest of His calm,
the light of His countenance, be thy psalm.
Do the next thing."

I love this poem and often quote the refrain "Do The Next Thing," but now, more than ever, I really need those words to have meaning.

My mother passed away on July 22, 2011, and I can't seem to "Do The Next Thing." The grief I feel is buried so far down inside of me, that I am paralyzed at the moment. I don't cook, I don't clean, I don't exercise, and most importantly, I can't cry.

Our relationship in my adult years was often tumultuous. But I did love and most importantly accept her for who she was...my mom. I tried to honor her as the Bible teaches. Her last week on earth was spent in the hospital, in a coma. During that time, I hugged, kissed, and talked to her in a way that she would never have allowed during her life. Never a demonstrative woman, I was free to express my love to her.

Locked up inside of me is a well of grief.

Dear Lord, please help me to "Do The Next Thing" while You shower Your love and mercy on me. Comfort my hurting heart, and help me to carry on and serve You.

I love you Mom, and miss you more than I ever thought possible.

Janice Lee Bulmer
July 23, 1938 - July 22, 2011


  1. I was looking through some archives on your blog and saw this again. What a raw, touching post Mom. It's hard to believe it's been almost a year since she passed.

  2. Thank you Susan. What a difficult time that was! Time does help to heal your heart from the loss. God is the great Comforter for the broken hearted!