Sunday, September 25, 2011


Know those people in life who everything seems to happen for them as they wish in perfect timing?  Me too.  I'm not one of those people.  It is somewhat of a joke amongst my friends that everything in life  for me includes a "wait".  I don't mean wait in theory, I mean a literal response that includes the word "wait" either spoken or written.

In 2009 while unemployed, I can't count the number of times I heard "wait".  Not only related to a job, but to seemingly every circumstance in my life there is a wait.  So, what is it about waiting that can make me crazy, unsettled, question, lose confidence and believe something will never work out in my favor?

I've recently been reminded about waiting as I have sat hours alongside family in the hospital watching Brian as he laid in critical condition, came out of unconsciousness and began to heal.  Brian is the little brother of my growing up best friend Wendy.   Brian's not so little anymore as he's now 30 and stands over 6' tall.  He was just 15 when Wendy was killed in a car accident and their family is 2nd family to me, still 15 years later.  When I got the call while away on a Birthday-Weekend-Get-Away with my besties, I didn't know what circumstance would await upon my arrival at the hospital.

It seemed every day we were told to wait ... wait for a test, wait for a Dr, wait for a x-ray, wait for results, wait for body to heal ... all while sitting in the waiting room.  Oxymoron!?  When visiting a patient in ICU the visitor has to "scrub in" each visit, washing hands, donning a gown and gloves and "scrub out" upon exit, only to repeat anytime you entered the area.  We sought answers from Doctors and prayed and waited.  Brian was miraculously spared severe injury, despite multiple broken bones, major surgery and unknown recovery time.  While we waited, I prayed that God would heal him, that his spirits would be lifted and that he would know purpose for his life.  I am still praying those things, 6 weeks later tonight that I prayed on that first night.  He still has a long wait to recovery.

One thing we started while in the hospital was to journal the day, what we had been told by Drs, what tests were going on, what questions we had and ultimately finishing each day with "Good News".  It is amazing to take time in the uncertainty to recall the blessings.  Some days the good news was "no fever today"; other days it was "no change today"; for sometimes no progress is progress in itself.  Until you take time to reflect, you might miss status-quo as being good news.

What I have learned and am learning to this day as I am still sitting in the waiting room of a few areas of my life is that it matters most what you do with the right now.  Even while I'm waiting, I have a purpose, I have things to get done and I have more things than I can count to be thankful for.   In effect, I have to get up, scrub in and scrub out each day.  I don't always know how it's going to work out.  Sometimes it will work out better than I could have imagined - it did recently for me.  Sometimes it seems there is no possible way for it to work out, like all the cards are against you - but it still does work out.  Sometimes it doesn't work out and there is lesson to be learned.  Despite the wait, I can't let doubt steal my joy.  When I begin to doubt or lose my confidence to mere circumstance, mostly out of my control I remember:  "The one true God gives me strength; He removes the obstacles in my way." (Psalm 18:32 NET)  Thankfully, I am not in control and the more I submit to ultimate authority of Jesus, the less I worry in the wait.  The obstacles may or may not be removed, and maybe they were there for a purpose, perhaps to redirect or to stall.

I do know that despite the wait, I always have much to be thankful for.  As I sit here tonight, I am thankful in this day alone ...
  • for a healthy body that I pushed on a morning jog
  • for a church that taught a word that I will soak on this week, and weeks to come
  • for Sunday lunch with my besties
  • for a Sunday nap
  • for a good book to discuss while walking with one of my besties
  • for my family and a lengthy phone visit with my Mom
  • for a home that I enjoy and kitchen to make supper
  • for a job that I don't dread going to in the morning
  • for plans this week that I am looking forward to
and the list could go on ...

So, even when it seems nothing is working out, and the wait is eternal, scrub in and focus on the day ahead, close out the day with recognizing the good news, rest and be ready to scrub in again for the next day.  For one day the wait will be over.  Most likely though, there will be something else to wait on, so remember to use time wisely and seek out purpose in the wait.

{originally posted 2011on The Black and White Truth}


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Letting Go

Letting Go

Tonight's to-do list: 
Trash Out
Cook supper
Mail stack
Balance checkbook
- Blog

I often have topics that I want to capture to remember or share on my blog and without putting it on my to-do list, it seems that weeks get away before I'm writing again!

I taught in my Bible study class a couple of weeks ago from Jeremiah 2 - 6 which at first reading seemed to be a lecture similar to something you might have heard as a teenager reiterating the same things over and over again.  Why won't you change, give up what goes against what I have taught and promised you?  However, there is a pattern in Scripture where before there is a "lecture" there is always a request - "return to me" or "come to me".  No matter what we have done/are currently engaged in we are never too far away from God for him to not request and desire for us to return to him. 

In the particular verses I was teaching the Northern and Southern Kingdoms were engaged in idolatry and not willing to give up their idols, even though they had been consistently promised a better life if they were obedient.  Something I would liken to holding on to what you know, strictly based on fear of the unknown, no matter what the consequence might be in the interim.  Sometimes it might be fear of the past or believing by holding on to whatever it is now will change the outcome. 

I have always had an appreciation for children and the lessons in faith  that come from them.  Recently I was at my parents with my nephew who was not quite four.  He had been out to ride horses with Papa and was riding one of the oldest horses in the barn, Paint.  He got to the top of the pond and Paint stumbled and caught him off guard, and he slid off the side.  He wasn't hurt, more stunned and understandably fearful to get back on.  When he got back to the front of the pasture, I got him from my Dad and he was recounting the story to me.  I told him about when I was thrown from a horse, that his Daddy had been thrown from a horse, that Papa had been thrown - heck, even his Great Grandma had been thrown, though he never knew her.  I told him about always having to pay attention to the horse when you're riding, even when Papa is leading you, you have to be paying attention and holding on.  All that happened that day was a simple stumble, which caught him off guard.  He is really into Rodeo and Cowboys right now, so quickly could relate his story and told it with great zeal a little later.  Ultimately we asked him to get back on Paint and ride him into the barn, I would walk beside him and he would get off when we got to the barn.  He was hesitant at first, but knowing the lesson that if you fall off, you have to get back on and ride, we knew it was important for him to ride again immediately.  He agreed and rode into the barn just like a Cowboy. 

As I was recounting the story of when I got thrown to him it all came back to me just like it was a few minutes before he fell off.  I was riding my horse Pal, we were at the Ranch where our horses were boarded and my whole family was out for a ride a decent distance from the barn.  Pal never liked water and would frequently "hop" over water when he saw it.  This instance he didn't see green/marshy water that looked like grass, and I was relaxed enjoying our Saturday ride.  Pal jumped as soon as his foot hit that water and I went right off the side of him landing hard on the ground.  I was certain I had broken my arm and was unable to ride back.  I didn't.  And, after much convincing and the patience of my Dad, I got back on and rode back to the barn. 

A couple of weeks later we were back at my parents and my nephew was out to ride again, this time on Sugar.  All of the dogs were trailing us, or really my Dad because they are his shadow, and Sugar became annoyed with them.  Just like we talked about my nephew was holding on and paying attention, but I was at his side, should he need me.  Sugar had enough of the dogs and began to turn in circles and I immediately reached for my nephew to get him off.  He was holding on so tight that even with my arms around him and telling him to "let go" he wasn't letting go.  He IS a cowboy.  He did finally let go and I held him for a few minutes while Papa worked Sugar in the round pen to iron out her crankiness. 

I began to think about how often in life we hold onto circumstance, things or people out of fear and the unknown.  When really, God has given us the direction needed to overcome anything in His ultimate love no matter what happens in the temporal of this world.  He just asks that we surrender into his arms, and believe without a doubt that He will catch us.  Though how we will be caught isn't always known, the promise of His love is never going to fail.  Sometimes choices and circumstance have consequence, but that doesn't mean we can't get back up and ride. 

A couple of my favorite verses so perfectly display this love ... "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is esay, and my burden light."  Matthew 11:28-30

Isn't that usually where we are, so exhausted by our own intiatives and wills, that we just want to surrender, but are afraid to give in which might seem like giving up.  It is my prayer that when I am asked to let go  or disciplined by my Heavenly Father I would be confident in his love for me that I would let go and trust that he will catch me, even in times that it seems I am doing everything right and shouldn't have to let go.  My hope for you is that you will fall confidently into the loving embrace of a Father who treasures you and knows the absolute best for you even when you can't fathom how He could catch you or change what you're holding onto.  I know I will always be able to get up and get back on and ride because of forgiveness, grace and ultimate unfailing love.


Originally posted: