Doing It the Hard Way

by Rhonda Sittig

July 24, 2019


I’ll just say it. I recently turned 67. And there’s something I’ve noticed about this time of life. I like being comfortable—comfortable friends, comfortable shoes, a worthwhile book on my comfortable couch . . .

In June we spent sunny days in Yosemite with dear friends. They said up front that it included bike riding. Yikes! When was the last time I’d ridden a bike?? After a few practice runs, off we went. I crashed hard on a stone bridge. Went down with a crunch on an asphalt meadow path. And hit the ground again on a leafy forest trail! I was bruised, knees and elbows bleeding and my glasses needing repair. Mostly I was embarrassed. 

But when we finally rolled back up to our cabin, I was strangely satisfied. I had tackled something hard. And uncomfortable. Even though it was a big fail, I had given it a try. It made me think how important it is to do the hard things at this stage of life.

A few weeks back I ran into Nancy Jeffrey, a real treasure of our church. She’s my mom’s age and was saying, “You have to keep taking on responsibilities. It keeps your life from getting narrow.” She meets with junior high girls for Bible study, and we talked about recipes for a dinner she’s having with a group of young women in the church. I took note. She’s still taking on hard things. 

Yesterday, I gathered fabric and started a quilt for our coming grand-baby. It was a new design, with no pattern. After a couple hours of trial and lots of error, I thought, “This is too hard!” My brain hurt. I wanted to quit. But since I had promised it to my daughter, I kept at it in spite of all the maddening mistakes. And when I sewed those first few complicated patches together at about 10:00 last night, I was thrilled—and exhausted.

One more. We’re heading to Ukraine this month with a group of bright, talented young people to do a music camp. Now that we’re down to the realities of backpacks and overnight train trips, long days and learning the “camp dance”!—I’m beginning to wonder, “Why, oh why, did I think this was a good idea?” It’s too hard. But it’s good. And God has called Larry and me to do it! 

That’s where our Help comes in. I can’t do ‘hard’ alone.


“Do not fear, for I am with you;

do not be dismayed, for I am your God.

I will strengthen you and help you;

I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

—Isaiah 41:10


He’s with us in the hard things, big and small. So here’s to stepping up, doing things that are hard! Getting off our comfortable couches to tackle something difficult, something new, something that may fail, but in the end will be worthwhile with God’s good help . . . regardless of our age.

Rhonda is fresh off a fun but crazy week of Grammy Camp with seven little grand-kids, and she’s about to trek to the Ukraine with a group of bright, lovable young adults from church to help with a music camp for teenagers. Life is full and good.

Leave a Comment