(photo courtesy of Sarah Warren)


“You can never cross the ocean, unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.”

 – Christopher Columbus

My sweet friend Sarah posted this on Facebook.  She apparently keeps it in a notebook as a source of encouragement.  Sarah is facing an ocean right now – one of text books, exams and adjusting to college life.  Her goal is to become an Equine Therapist and work with children and possibly Veterans, so she will be sailing on this ocean for quite a while.  I know this young woman.  She walks with the One who calms the storm, so there is no doubt in my mind she will succeed.  In fact, she’s the kind that will stand behind Jesus, pointing and laughing at the storm’s attempt to stop her.

Sarah is young enough to be my granddaughter.  In fact, there has been an ongoing ‘joke’ about trying to get her dad to sign adoption papers, so I can call her my very own.  The problem with that, is there are several others in our area that would jump at the chance to sign those papers as well.  Unfortunately, not one of us has convinced her daddy to give her up.

Sarah may be young; yet I find her to be a source of encouragement to me.  In the first place, she is the type of young woman who exudes hope for our future.  She is smart.  She is funny.  She is determined to be successful and isn’t afraid to plow her way through life, hardships and obstacles.  She may be younger than me, but in at least this respect, she is my mentor!

Let’s face it.  Life is tough.  Some days it seems that the hard days outweigh the good ones 5:1.  Some of us slog through these hard times, wondering if they will ever end.  Some give up before they are even half-way done.  To some, that pinpoint of light on the horizon during a storm is just another storm waiting to hit.  To others, it is land, but they are too afraid of the rising waves to sail toward it.  And to others, it is a warm and welcoming lighthouse, and they will do anything they possibly can to reach it.

The Country Boy and I love our farm.  We have big dreams for it.  Some goals we have reached; some we feel we have barely started on, even though we have been at it for years.  The one thing we do understand is that our lighthouse is steadily blinking out its warm welcome, and we keep our eyes on it.  We have sailed on calm waters and been blasted with salty spray.  A few times we have wondered if our boat was finally about to go under, and have breathed a sigh of relief when it pops back out from under the waves.

We also remember that when we do finally reach that lighthouse, it could possibly be just a temporary respite.  We may just have to board another ship that takes us to another destination, then continue to change ships until we reach our final destination.  And we aren’t afraid.

It is the courage to lose sight of the shore that gets us from one challenge to the next.  Sarah may be on the ship named ‘Education’ today, but soon, she will graduate and step aboard another one called ‘Employment’.  One day, she will step foot on the one named ‘Marriage’, and with that one comes several smaller ships named ‘Children’.  And Sarah will board each one with sense of joy and adventure, eager to see the destination where each one takes her, because she knows the Owner of the Fleet Line.

As adults, we can take lessons from Sarah and all the young adults out there like her.  We need to embrace life.  We need to wear our life jackets during the rough seas, and soak up the sun during the calm waters.  And we need to have the courage to board the ship and to lose sight of the shore, all the while keeping in mind that the destination will be more glorious than we can imagine.

Thank you, Sarah, for this reminder and the encouragement.  You are a true inspiration.  Randy and I wish you smooth sailing through life. And we have our pens and the Adoption papers ready, anytime your Daddy is willing.




Julie Murphree is a blogger, newspaper columnist, and speaker on all things ‘Living a Simple Life on the Farm’. She is the author of \\\'The Farm Wife – Living a Simple Life on the Farm. She and her husband have 60 acres in NW Louisiana where they actively work on living as sustainable as possible.


  1. HA!!! I love it, and wish I had thought of it first. Sarah has to be a great young woman to have all of us trying to claim her!

  2. Well now you have to go about it a different way. You see, I adopted David, so that makes Sarah my oldest granddaughter and I’m her Grammy!!!

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