By Hannah Kessler, Partnership Coordinator

I’ve had the pleasure over the past month to learn more about the state of West Virginia than I ever have before. I’m working with the West Virginia State Community Advancement and Development office, and through this new role I have the opportunity to learn so much. I’m not taking it for granted. From my first day, I have seen this as a chance to advocate for my friends in Rosedale and in Clendenin, and show my colleagues at the state level what life is like for people living normally in their state. While my day to day has changed from paint covered shirts, to high heels and blazers, I am happy to be in this season, for just that: a season. While I love the summer work of building, I can also see so much meaning in working to see this become a more sustainable and resilient state for the future.


While I was excited to learn so much and advocate for “the little guy” I didn’t realize how much this experience would impact the people I now get to work alongside of.This week in a meeting my new supervisor introduced me and said “She is in awe of all of the small things. When we go somewhere new she comments on the architecture and still takes pictures of the hills. She loves this state and everything about it. She reminds me of why I got into this job years ago, because we love this beautiful state and it’s beautiful people.”


And it’s true. I’m still in awe. But that’s easy for me. I’m young, I’m new, and I wasn’t raised here. It is still all an adventure.

But it’s more than an adventure.


“But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you; or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of The Lord has done this? In His hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.” Job 12:7-10


“For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” Colossians 16-17


“When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” Psalm 8:3-4


I get to be in awe, because I can see The Creator in the created.


When I see a river flowing past my building, I see it’s beauty, and see the beauty of God who created and formed it. When the weather is perfect on my walk to my car after a long day of work, I can have a change of attitude, and thank Him for a calm and beautiful 30 seconds.


But what I didn’t know was that people would notice these little things. When the rest of the world has been bogged down with a heavy workload, mental, physical and emotional stress, or just fogginess to what’s in front of them, you can remind them of the beauty.

This week are we focusing on the bigger picture? The big and small reminders of God’s goodness to his children?


Because God shares this with us, we get to share it with others.


Next Step Ministries