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Whitney Houston sang, “And I’m taking it step by step, bit by bit, stone by stone (Yeah), brick by brick (Oh, yeah) step by step, day by day, mile by mile, go your own way. And that’s the gospel truth. We move forward like contractors building our stories bit by bit. Into every story holds bricks of joy and bricks of grief, bricks of accomplishments, and disappointment. There are bricks anticipating stories to share and bricks waiting to build on the quest of expectations. As Whitney’s “Step By Step” suggests, there’s a road [we] have to follow, a place [we] have to go…” But that’s the joy of it all. Each brick holds a memory. Each memory enfolds an emotion. Each emotion reflects sentiment about our lives, our stories.

I’ve often wondered why certain memories from my childhood hold such vivid memories. Still, the remembrance of other memories only surfaces when someone else summons it from the background into the forefront of my mind. Why would one of my bricks get buried beneath the rubble in my mind or tucked away in the attic of memories? Because of this phenomenon, journaling has rescued many forgotten memories. These overlooked memory-bricks help me reflect on my life. Once rediscovered, each memory-brick gets securely stored in a journal to revisit them in later days.

As I’ve grown older, I’ve embraced even more the power of reflective journaling. I’ve come to respect the brevity of life. “Step By Step” reminds me that this old road [of life] is rough and ruined. [I’ve had] so many dangers along the way and so many burdens might fall upon me…” but I keep taking it “…day by day…” because life is fleeting and unpredictable. Maybe, I think this way because helping others build their last stories keeps me keenly mindful that my story has an expiration date, which I must keep in mind. I am grateful that I have today, right now. Yet, I live with expectant hope that I’ll have opportunities to add yet another memory-bricks to my story. But, I’m also aware that my story’s construction will come to its completion one day, and I will add no more memory-bricks.  

However, it’s most empowering, knowing that our memory-bricks, created life stories for others to celebrate. Think about starting a Brick-By-Brick Reflective Journal to record memory-bricks that have shaped your life and made you who you are today. Add to it as memories come to you or as you’re living out your story. Do what I do: Listen to yourself. Most of us have phrases or sayings that are unique to us. We share wisdom and advice with those who add accents to our stories. Begin writing your advice and insight down as memory-bricks. Before you know it, you will have constructed a rich and fruitful story structure that blesses all those who love you most. Oh, and by the way, let someone know where you store your Brick-By-Brick Reflective Journal. 

Will you say with me that despite “…so many troubles that [we] have to face. Oh, but [we] won’t let [our] spirit fail [us]. Oh, [we] won’t let [our] spirit go until [we] get to [our] destination…”

We’re taking it “step by step, bit by bit, stone by stone (yeah), brick by brick (oh, yeah), step by step, day by day, mile by mile.”

Oh, and remember to keep it all in a Brick-By-Brick Reflective Journal for safekeeping.


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