On The Back Step



This book is a collection of the writings, mostly in free verse, done over the last 40 years. The writings are from those printed in the Lutheran Standard, the American Lutheran Church Women Scope, the Lutheran Ambassador, the Sioux Valley News column Country Style and for various church, family, or community events. Her family encouraged her to compile all her writings into one book. It is divided into six sections: Country Days, Nature Entertains, Family . . . and Other People, Special Days, Unto Thee, O Lord, Do I Lift Up My Voice, Conversations With Eve.   

The pictures at the beginning of each chapter and on the cover are of Doris' grandchildren and great grandchild when they were children.  





Promises for the New Year 

Written in a Rainbow 

Prayer for the New Year 




Squares dancing on the calendar pages,  

rows of unspent days,

Oh, Lord, what will these squares unfold?

You alone the answers hold.

"My child, it is enough to say  

I will be with you twenty-four hours a day." 

What if these unspent days contain

trouble, sorrow, grief and pain?

I am not strong enough to stand.

"My child, I'll hold you by the hand. 

It is enough for you to know 

My grace will be sufficient. 

As you awaken to each dawn 

fresh and new mercies can be withdrawn. 

Anticipate the blessings there, 

for with my great love 

I've packed each square!"  


By Doris Stensland 




The portals of the new year loom ahead

...............a dark unknown.

My heart's aquiver with the fear

that through this gate I may encounter



death or loss.

I cannot see beyond.


But then my eyes of faith

behold a rainbow 'round these months.

'Tis firmly anchored to God's Word,

bright spectrum of His love.


No lean year this! An arch of royal purple

encircles my tomorrows with this truth......

"He destined us in love 

to be His sons through Christ." (Eph. 1:5) 

I'll walk through each new day

aware that I'm a daughter of the King.


Why should I dread, when looking up I see the

rosy glow of Romans 8:28?

"In everything God works for good 

with those who love Him." 

Our Father's guarantee that all will come out best!


I need not falter, though my path be strange

when in neon brilliance these words shine........

"I will instruct thee and teach thee 

In the way that thou shalt go." (Psalm 32:8) 

How can I hesitate if One so great will guide my way?


Then welcome brand new year!

When rainbowed with His faithfulness

you give three hundred sixty-five 

new opportunities 

.....to walk with God! 


- Doris Stensland 





O Lord, my God.....

Were I a lady Solomon

with any wish to choose,

Before the new year just ahead

I'd make this one request,



I stand upon this threshold strange

and feel I'm but a child,

Yet one who leans need not be strong,

Be my support and guide,



Yes, leaning is a simple thing,

Yet my independent self

may lead me from the path

Thy Loving will has planned.

So stay close by

through each succeeding day

And help me, Lord, to daily lean on Thee.




- Doris Stensland 





For more examples from On The Back Step, see Excerpts. To purchase the book, see Buy the Book or you may purchase from amazon.com  

2004 Stensland Books, All Rights Reserved.