Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The truth about waiting well

Today is the last day of my 31 days of waiting well. I didn't quite make all 31, but I'll continue to fill in those missing days from time to time.

I had hoped that through the course of these 31 days that my family might shut the door on our time of waiting.

Crazy, I know. But a girl can hope, right?

It’s been a long, hard month. Waiting well has not come easily. Waiting well has been a battle. A spiritual battle is raging and we’re in the midst of it.

So let me set the record straight: waiting well is not easy.

Waiting well is hard to do. This month we lost our car. We broke our coffee pot. My laptop computer died. The heat on our other car went out. We had fights over jobs and money and miscommunication. I cried myself to sleep. I was jealous. I was selfish. I emailed others and asked for prayer. I was hopeful. And then I was disappointed. Waiting well is not for the faint of heart. It takes everything we’ve got…and it requires us to give it all to Jesus. Waiting well means that we look at our waiting through the lens of grace and believe that God is painting a canvas that has yet to be revealed.

Waiting well is a choice. Every day we choose. We choose to control our situation or to let go and trust our Creator to be in control. We choose to release our bitterness and resentment and jealousy because the only person it will hurt is us. We choose to look up instead of around at what others are receiving. We choose to believe that when we wait on God our wait is never, ever, wasted. We choose to believe that God acts on behalf of those who wait for Him. We make intentional, deliberate choices. Sometimes we fail and make fleshly choices. And that's OK. God's mercies are new every day and so we receive each day as an opportunity to choose all over again.

Waiting well cannot be done alone. We need God. We need each other and to choose wisely in who we share our heart with. We need wise words of those who have walked before us. I have been pouring over books and Scriptures and sermons on waiting. I need others to speak truth into my life when I find it hard to remember truth. And I need others to pray when I find it hard to pray. God created us to live in community and that is even more true during our times of waiting. Waiting well calls us to open our hearts to others...and trust He will hold us gently and tenderly as we wait.

Waiting well requires gratitude. Gratitude turns what we have into enough. Giving thanks takes the bitterness and replaces it with peace. Gratitude covers the jealousy. It soothes the pain. It changes every day life into a life filled to overflowing with blessings and gifts and endless opportunities to give thanks. When you see others rejoice in their answered prayers and you are still waiting – give thanks. When resentment looms big – give thanks. When the wait wears heavy – give thanks. Make a gratitude clipboard. Fill a gratitude journal. Make gratitude the prayer you whisper with every breath. In all things give thanks. For He is good and His love endures forever. "Giving thanks to the Lord is what keeps my eyes on the Lord."~Ann Voskamp

Waiting well means that we wait on Him and our hope is in Him. It means that we cling to God's promises to those who wait and trust that our time of waiting is for our good and His glory.

Wait for the Lord friends;

be strong and

take heart

and wait for the Lord.

~Psalm 27:14

Pastor John Fuller says: The way that we wait reveals the extent to which we trust the One we are ultimately waiting for. So wait well my friends, and one day you will be able to say, “Look what God did. Look what God did. Look what God did with my wait.”

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Waiting makes us stronger

"Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint."
~Isaiah 40:30-31 

Before you read the words I’ve written below, please watch a 6-minute message by Louie Giglio.

I've watched it dozens of times and the more I watch it, the more powerful it becomes. It's based on Isaiah 40:30-31 and typically I roll my eyes at this over-used passage (reverent, huh?), but the truth of these words cannot be ignored. This might be the best 6 minutes of your day:

"The cross is proof that God doesn't always change the circumstances. He did not change them for Jesus on that hillside outside Jersusalem. But the cross is also proof that God always has a purpose in the circumstances and that His purpose and His plan will prevail and triumph through any circumstances in this world."

It was worth the 6 minutes, huh?

Isaiah 40:28-29 says: "Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak."

Isn't this a beautiful picture of who God is?

Do you know friends?

Have you heard?

He is the Everlasting God. He is the Creator. And He does not tire and He does not get weary.

But instead -- and here's the promise -- He offers strength to our weary hearts. When we grow tired, we cling to our hope in God and He will lift us up as if on wings of eagles.

We might stumble.

We might fall.

But keep on hoping in the Lord (some translations say wait upon the Lord).

And He promises.

He promises.

He promises that when we have no might He will renew our strength.

And He promises that we will walk…run…soar. We. Will. Soar.

I mentioned the worship song Everlasting God earlier this week. The lyrics, “strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord” are words of truth. Why? Because waiting makes us stronger. Not so that we can be strong in ourselves. Not so we can be strong in our might, our control, our power, our sufficiency.

Waiting on God grants us the strength to press on.

The passage in Isaiah says that even the youth and young men grow weary and fall. Our youth and the young men are known to be the strongest people in our society.

But God says no.

He says those who wait on me are strong. He says I will give them perseverance to run the race so they will not faint.

By my might. In my strength.

Each day that we wait upon the Lord (read: wait well) God renews our strength. He not only gives strength to the weak, He increases the strength.

It is by the grace of God that we are made stronger. Stronger to face our fears. Stronger to bear the burden. Stronger to wrestle with our doubts. Stronger to resist the temptation to run from hard things.
When we wait up on the Lord He grants us the strength to face whatever that day holds. No more. No less. He will not fail us. His grace is sufficient. Every. Single. Day.

And it’s in the midst of our waiting that God promises us 
the strength to mount on wings like eagles.

Put your finger on the text. Place your nose upon the promise. Bind your heart with these words:

But they that wait up on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles.

They shall soar.

"And He will bring us through -- that is the promise of the Everlasting God."

Monday, October 29, 2012

God will answer when God is ready

It seems that many of us have more questions than answers about prayer. How to pray...what to pray...when to pray...why God listening to our prayers?

It's quite possible that I could write 31 days on prayer. I won't do that. However, I do want to share a couple of my own quick thoughts about prayer before I share with you a fantastic message about prayer.

For those of you wanting to know more about how to pray, this is my strongest piece of advice: just start talking to God. You don't need a priest. You don't need to be in church. You don't need to recite particular words or phrases. God tells us to come to Him and tell him what is on our hearts.

Praise God for who He is. Thank Him for what He has done. Ask Him to meet your needs.

God delights in hearing from His children and He longs to hear from you.
It's OK if it feels awkward or uncomfortable at first. Just keep talking.

If you want Scripture to guide your prayers, open the Bible to the book of Psalms - there are so many passages you can pray from the Psalms and they are a beautiful example of praising, lamenting, thanking, confessing, asking for guidance and help in times of need.

I found this very thorough list of prayers. This might be a good place to start as well:

This past weekend I listened to a message on prayer titled Things You Never Hear about Prayer given by Paul Gotthardt.


Seriously. It is fantastic. If you are praying about something and have not received an answer to your prayer, make time to listen to this message based on David's words to God in Psalm 22.

Here are the five things we never hear about prayer (along with some of my notes):

1. Desperation is normal.
At the heart of David's concern is this one issue: the timing of God. We don't like to wait. And the longer the time of waiting is, the more desperate we get and the more discouraged we become. 
Our desperation is there because we're not sure of His timing.

Abraham waited for 25 years for the promise of Isaac to befulfilled. Joseph waited 13 years after he was given a vision until it came to fruition. Hannah waited for Samuel. Simeon waited entire life. The Jewish people waited for the Messiah. And now the church is waiting for Christ to return.

Waiting seems to be a part of what God is always doing.

God will answer when God is ready. And if He has chosen not to answer yet, you can trust there is a reason behind it.

2. Reflection is helpful.
Reflect upon the character of God and the track record of God. His better is always better. His plan is always better. 

3. Humility is essential.

Complaining is often a manifestation of pride. We complain because we value our will more than God's will. We complain because we want us to be the center of God's world as opposed to God being the center of ours.

4. Praise is never contingent. 
David is praising God without seeing an answer to his prayers. I am afraid in our consumer-driven culture that Christians have bought into the lie that "I will praise Him when He answers." But that's wrong. We praise Him for who He is, not for what He has done.

"Could it be that God often delays His answers to prayer so that we will get over all the blessings and just get back to loving Him?"

Could it be that He says: "I know you love the fact that I come through. I know your excited about my power. I know you enjoy my miracles. I know you like my blessings. But when will I be enough? When will you just want to be with me? When will you relish the thought that you're in a relationship with a holy God? I
f it takes me delaying that answer a little bit longer so that you learn to chase me, it's worth it in the end."
Because the greatest need we have is not an immediate answer to prayer, our greatest need is to know God intimately.

And to know Him in such a vibrant way that his life is displayed through us day by day and moment by moment and situation by situation. I wonder if He is just saying, "Until i become your heartbeat again, I'm just going to sit here and hang out and wait. I'ts not that I'm not concerned, it's just that what you're asking for is not your greatest need right now."

5. Truth is overlooked. 

Emotions, problems and perception will blur our view of what is true. We lose sight of what is really true. It feels like He is far away. But God says, "I will never leave you nor forsake you. Cast all your cares on Him for He cares for you." God I know that you have heard my cry. May I live in the truth that I know from your Word.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Praise in the wait

Friday night I had the wonderful privilege of experiencing Christy Nockels in concert (for free!). Her song, Waiting Here For You, from Passion 2010, has been a powerful marker in my journey of waiting the past 2 1/2 years. 

Christy was fabulous in concert. 

Her second song was Everlasting God which marked my first journey of waiting for a baby.

Her third song was Waiting Here For You. I've heard it hundreds of times. I've sung it, worshiped to it, sobbed while listening to it. The lyrics are powerful and beautiful.

But this time there was one phrase that caused me to stop, pause and consider.

Waiting here for you
With our hands lifted high in praise
And it's you we adore
Singing Alleluia

I had my hands held high while singing:

With our hands lifted praise.

Those two simple words change everything.

Lifting my hands in praise tells God that I am here. I am waiting. But I am not waiting without meaning or direction or purpose. 

I am waiting with praise.

Friends, we are not called to praise God once our waiting is over. We are called to praise God now, in the midst of our waiting. We are called to lift our hands high...bow our heads praise.

Praising God is a vital part of our waiting and it's a key component to waiting well. We can--and should--praise God in the midst of heartache and grief and longing and desperation and joy and fear and worry and exhaustion. We must become a people who not only praise God on the highest of mountain tops, but in the lowest of valleys.

Does the world not praise when the sun shines brightly? It's only a true lover of Jesus that can still praise when the hour is dark. God promises to turn our mourning into rejoicing, our wailing into dancing and make beauty from our ashes.

But we must praise Him the mourning, in the wailing, in the ashes...simply because He is able.

                          I will praise you O Lord my God, with all my heart.~Psalm 86

We don't praise God out of obligation or in hopes that our praise leads to answered prayer. We praise God today simply for who He is. Our Redeemer. Our Savior. Our refuge and strength. Our protector. Our comforter. Our Father. 

Tomorrow I will share with you a powerful message about prayer. One of the main points in the message is that our praise must not be contingent. 

The pastor says: "I am afraid in our consumer-driven culture that Christians have bought into the lie that I will praise Him when He answers. But that's wrong. We praise Him for who He is, not for what He has done."

I am inspired today to praise God because He is good. He is sovereign. He is the alpha and omega. He is the mover of mountains and the healer of hearts. He is all-powerful. He is goodness. He is justice. He is the Way, the Truth, the Life. He is holiness. He is hope.

I am waiting here for You Lord. But I wait in praise with my hands lifted high.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Loving God More

"Anyone who has been waking with God for any considerable length of time will know that waiting is a critical and non-negotiable part of the Christian life." 

Words on waiting well from another perspective.....

Waiting on God Well

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Waiting on God by Cherie Hill

Excerpt from Waiting on God by Cherie Hill:

It's in our most desperate, darkest hour that we cry out countless questions to God: 

Why are you allowing this? 

What is the purpose in this? 
Are you there?
Do you care? 

But you see, for all the questions we have for God, He has questions for us too . . . and as our heart pours out tears to heaven, the answer from God sometimes comes in the form of a question . . .

Where is your faith? 
(Luke 8:28)

What we find as we ponder that question, is that our 'faith' has grown weary in the waiting. You pray, but God doesn't seem to be listening. You trust Him, but He appears to be letting you down. You believe His Word, but His promises are coming up seemingly empty in your life. You seek, but do not find . . . you knock, but no one is answering.  If God is doing anything at all in your life . . . you can't see it. The faith intensifies, as it appears that not only is God running late . . . He may not even show up at all. By the looks of things, God's too busy with the rest of the world and He's not paying attention to your life at all. With each passing hour, your Spirit grows weary . . . in the "waiting." 

My eyes are straining to see
Your Promises come true.
When will you comfort me? 

(Psalm 199:82 NLT)

I am exhausted from crying for help;
my throat is parched.
My eyes are swollen with weeping,

waiting for my God to help me.
(Psalm 69:3)

It's been said that the hardest part of faith is the last half hour. Waiting on God tests us like nothing else does. When we're experiencing overwhelming confusion, we can be certain that deliverance is just around the corner. The problem is that we give up just before God shows up.

We tend to yield when relief is almost in sight. In the darkness, we tend to give up just before the Light breaks through. Charles Spurgeon once said, "The wilderness is the way to the Canaan. Defeat prepares us for victory. The darkest hour of the night precedes the dawn." Remember that in your darkest hour . . . one way or another dawn is coming and there will be Light.

What we don't realize in our times of desperation is that if God is guiding our steps, if He's directing our lives, then He has allowed us to be brought into the very valley in which we cry out for mercy. The fact is, God has permitted the circumstances that have brought us to our knees, and He has done so with a plan and a purpose.

God has brought you to a place of helplessness and hopelessness, so that you will find that when you are in need . . . He is ALL you need. In whatever you're waiting for right now, it may appear that God is absent. But you must lay hold of God's Promises that assure you:

No ear heard, no eye seen,
a God like you who works
for those who wait for him.

(Isaiah 64:4 MSG)

God has not forgotten you . . . he has not abandoned you in your time of desperation. He often works best in your brokenness . . . a humble heart is more moldable in His hands. Stop worrying about the details . . . quit trying to figure it all out--God knows what He's doing. He's in control . . . even when life isn't. Trust that when your world seems to be falling apart . . . it's really just falling into place in the hands of your Almighty loving God. Trust. Wait. Rest. God's help is on the way.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

When the waiting hurts

Last week I walked out of work and I yelled at God.

I let Him have it.

Here’s the thing: my words weren't a surprise to God because He knows me intimately. He knows when I sit and when I rise and when I lay down. So He is certainly aware of my emotions.

It was a tough week after the car accident and some communication misunderstandings and I screamed at God, “What am I supposed to write about waiting well? What do you want me to tell these people?!” (By ‘these people’ I mean all of you.)

“Right now the waiting is. so. hard. What do you want me to write? We already know that You love us and that You understand. But it still hurts. It hurts so bad right now. Waiting is incredibly painful.”

And then I knew. That's exactly what I should tell His people:

Waiting hurts.

God desperately loves you and He deeply understands, but that doesn't mean it’s not painful.

It hurts when they make the unexpected announcement you've been longing to make.

It hurts when they get to make a choice you can only dream of making.

It hurts when they get the recognition that you are waiting to receive.

It hurts when they take for granted what you desperately want.

It hurts when it's in His control, and yet He's choosing to say no.

When Ryan and I got engaged it was a joyous time. It had been a long eight-year journey and I was ecstatic to finally be tying the knot. I went dress shopping. I asked my attendants to support me. We picked out a venue for the reception. We chose a photographer. We registered for gifts. We attended bridal showers. I was a glowing bride-to-be.

But in the midst of my joy, my dear friend (and roommate!) was heartbroken. Her engagement had been called off. What should have been a time of shopping together, dreaming together and planning together, was now a time of mixed emotions. On March 9, 2001, she walked down the aisle dressed in navy rather than white. She danced as a bridesmaid rather than a bride. And she endured a painful season as my dreams progressed and she continued to wait on God for her future husband.

Fast forward five and a half years: In due time God brought a wonderful man into her life and they had gotten married 10 months earlier. She discovered she was pregnant and shared her pregnancy news with us. However, her announcement was bittersweet. Just weeks earlier I had lost our baby to miscarriage and I was grieving that loss. It was deeply painful to see her walk through a season that I longed to be in: wearing maternity clothes, registering for baby gifts, preparing a nursery, attending baby showers. Shopping, planning, and dreaming. She was a glowing mama-to-be.

Looking back now I see how God met us in our times of waiting. He dried our tears. He walked alongside us through our pain. He used those seasons to prepare us for what He had in store.

The worlds tells us to take control. God says, "Trust me. I'm in control." 

The world tells us that waiting is wasting time. God says, "Blessed are all those who wait for me."

The kind of waiting that the world laughs and scorns at can be excruciatingly painful.

I've referenced these words by C.S. Lewis before: “We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.”

When the waiting hurts we can cling with desperation to the promise that He makes everything beautiful in its time. That means He is working all things together right now for beauty.

Sometimes waiting for beauty hurts like hell, but it's the only thing worth waiting for.

Monday, October 22, 2012

What God has to say about waiting

Genesis 49:18  I have waited for Your salvation, O Lord. 

Psalm 25:3  Let none that wait on You be ashamed. 

Psalm 25:4-5  Show me Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths.  Lead me in Your truth and 

teach me: for You are the God of my salvation; on You do I wait all day. 

Psalm 25:21  Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait for You. 

Psalm 27:14  Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and He will strengthen your heart.  Wait, I 

say, on the Lord. 

Psalm 31:24  Be of good courage and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who wait for the 


Psalm 33:20, 22  Our soul waits for the Lord: He is our help and our shield.  Let Your mercy, O 

Lord, be upon us, as we wait for You. 

Psalm 37:7, 9  Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him... Those that wait upon the Lord, they 

shall inherit the earth. 

Psalm 37:34  Wait on the Lord and keep His way, and He shall exalt thee to inherit the land. 

Psalm 40:1  I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me and heard my cry. 

Psalm 59:9  I will wait for You, oh You my strength, for God is my defense. 

Psalm 62:1  Truly my soul silently waits for God; from Him comes my salvation. 

Psalm 62:5-6  My soul, wait silently for God alone; my hope is from Him.  He only is my rock and 
my salvation. 

Psalm 106:13  They soon forgot His works; they did not wait for His counsel. 

Psalm 130:5-6  I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word do I hope.  My soul waits for the 
Lord more than they that watch for the morning - yes, more than they that watch for the morning. 

Isaiah 8:17  I will wait upon the Lord, that hides His face from the house of Jacob, and I will look 

for Him. 

Isaiah 25:9  And it shall be said in that day, Look, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He 
will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation. 

Isaiah 26:8-9  Yes, in the way of Your judgments, O Lord, have we waited for You. The desire of 

our soul is for Your name. With my soul I have desired You in the night. Yes, by my spirit within 
me I will seek You early. 

Isaiah 30:18  Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you; blessed are all those 

who wait for Him. 

Isaiah 40:31  They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with 

wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint. 

Isaiah 49:23  You will know that I am the Lord: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for Me.

Isaiah 64:4  For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, 

neither has the eye seen any God besides You, who acts for the one who waits for Him. 

Lamentations 3:25  The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. 

Lamentations 3:26  It is good that one should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the 


Micah 7:7  Therefore I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will 

hear me. 

Hosea 12:6  So you, by the help of your God, return; observe mercy and justice, and wait on your 
God continually. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The beauty of brokenness

Yesterday I broke our coffee pot.

In and of itself, that's not too big of a deal. 

But it was a big deal.

A really big deal. 

I almost cried.

I don't drink coffee so the tears that threatened to come were not due to my sadness about our soon-to-be lack of coffee around the house.

I almost cried because right now it feels as though many, many things in life are broken. 

Well, not only does it feel like it, but many things actually ARE broken.

Last month Ryan broke his foot. He's recovering nicely, but still needs to be careful about how much he's on it. He couldn't walk for a week. He couldn't drive for two weeks. He couldn't go up or down stairs or carry anything for many weeks. I didn't know a broken foot could be so hard...but it was.

Two of my favorite (and very meaningful) necklaces broke within a week of each other. How often does that happen? 

The porch window broke two weeks ago.

Ryan got in a car accident last week and now that car guessed it: broken. Very broken. We are now a one-car family.

And if you recall this post, many items broke during our first year of unemployment. Since then the dishwasher broke and the color printer won't print color.

Right now Ryan's career being broken seems like quite enough without all the other. 

So when I broke the coffee pot, I had enough. 

Enough of brokenness.

Enough Lord. Enough.

But in thinking about all the brokenness around us, I'm realizing that all this outward, external brokenness is just a small reflection of all the internal brokenness inside of me.

It's a lot easier to hide that brokenness. And when it's becoming apparent, I find myself working really hard to cover up the cracks, chips, dents, and broken pieces of my heart and life.

But then a waiting season comes. And w
aiting times often reveal the broken parts of our lives: our impatience, our immaturity, our need for control, our desire to know why, our selfishness, our jealousy, our unbelief.

If I'm going to cry, it certainly shouldn't be about the coffee pot or the appliances or even the car.

The tears should fall because I'm broken through and through and I'm desperately in need of God's grace to heal and restore every broken piece of me. 

And once the tears have fallen, a smile tugs at my heart. Because there's beauty in our brokenness friends. We serve a God who is a binder of broken hearts and He's standing by, ready and waiting to use our brokenness to bring glory to Himself. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

The cost of the journey

Written by a friend of a friend...

"So have you ever had one of those aha moments that really change your way of thinking about a particular subject, but then after thinking about it, you I am so stupid....I should have realized that a LONG time ago....but failed to? I do, all the time, but this one BLEW ME OUT OF THE WATER! I have been looking at the Israelites' journey out of Egypt and I felt sorry for them. What should have been a 40-day journey to the Promised Land ended up being a 40-year journey! That stinks. Really badly. I cannot handle things not going my way....and that would have driven me crazy! I mean seriously, why didn't they stop and give up? I know I know...God was with them and leading them, and sure they complained a lot and God got angry and all, but seriously, 40 years?

Then I got to thinking...GOD WHAT WERE YOU DOING? You could have gotten them out of there SO much faster. And this is what God told me: "Kayla I wasn't just getting them out of Egypt. I had to get the Egypt out of them." WHOA. Amazing. God knew they were not prepared to live properly in the Promised Land. They were going to screw it up....badly. Their experiences and so much more equipped them to live in Egypt. Not in the Promised Land. They had too much of the Egyptian culture in them, and not enough of God. They still looked back on Egypt with fondness and were willing to stay there. (Read the story and you will see all the times they complained to Moses about how great Egypt quickly they forgot the oppression and slavery they were forced to live in). Sure the Promised Land sounded great, but God knew that when it got hard they were going to go straight back to the oppression if the journey only cost them 40 days. They were to eager to return to Egypt. God commanded them to destroy all things Egyptian while out in the desert so that they would have NO reminders of it, and the comfort they felt there.

I don't know about you, but if a 40-day journey takes me 40 years, there is NO WAY I am going back that direction, to where I came from. Once I found the Promised Land, I would be staying FOREVER. It would be too much of a waste of time to go back. But then again I look at my life and realize I am just as stupid as the Israelites. God saved me and called me out of a life of sin and despair and oppression. However, there are days and moments I look back on the times before Christ was in my life and I wish my life were still "that simple". Or I complain that God has me in the place He has me in, this season. Or I find myself committing the same sins over and over and over and get the idea....again. And I realize I am not any better...yet. God has shown me a glimpse of the promises for my own life and I thought for sure I would be there by now, but I am not. But God, in His wisdom and grace has gently reminded me that this is necessary. If the journey was only taking me 40 days, I would too easily go back to the way it was. The journey has to cost me something for it to be of any value. In essence God has to take His time to get the Egypt out of me. I pray that when I look back on this time of tears, wanting, and waiting that it will prove valuable and I will cherish it as my Exodus story. God is not yet done refining me and it is okay. I will see the Promised Land even if it is not on my time frame."

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Blessings in the wait

During times of waiting, it's easy to think that the blessing is wrapped up in whatever it is that we are waiting for. 

We think the blessing will come with a long-awaited relationship. The blessing will come with a good diagnosis or material provision. The blessing will come with a high grade or review or graduation. The blessing will come with a title or paycheck or pregnancy test or acceptance to a school or club or group. The blessing will come with a ring or a restored relationship or a dream coming to fruition. 

But Scripture has something different to say about who is blessed. Even during our waiting, we can (and are!) blessed when we choose to live and walk according to God's Word...

Blessed is the man who trusts in you
Blessed are those who dwell in your house
Blessed are those whose strength is in you
Blessed are all they that put their trust in him
Blessed are they that keep His testimonies and that seek Him with the whole heart
Blessed are they that keep my ways
Blessed are all they that wait for him
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth
Blessed are they which hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me

Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed

Be blessed today friends, be blessed. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Your thoughts on waiting...

We're halfway through our month of 31 days of waiting well. 

What are your thoughts about waiting? What is the hardest part for you? What questions do you have? What have you learned during your waiting seasons?

Please leave a comment or email me at

I'd love to hear from you!

Monday, October 15, 2012

When the wait wears heavy

His inbox tells a story that no one wants to hear.

He sighs deeply.

The dream, the longing, the goal, is once again, out of reach.

The heart saddens. Bleeds. Grasps at the hope deferred.

When the future looks bleak and the wait wears heavy what is one to do?

“Preach the gospel to yourself every day," says Jerry Bridges.

Preaching the gospel to yourself means that you….

  • Dwell upon the promises found in timeless pages of scripture. About who God is. What God has done. Who you are in Christ. And where our hope really lies. 
  • Believe the Lord will fight for you, you need only be still.
  • Saturate yourself in words of truth to combat lies and discouragement. 
  • Cling to the promise that He who began a good work in you will finish it.
  • Stand firm recognizing that the battle has already been won. 
  • Place your confidence in Christ and Christ alone. 
  • Confess that you have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. 
  • Accept the gift of grace offered through the cross. 
  • Trust in Christ for salvation. 
  • Remind yourself that nothing can separate you from the love of God. 
  • Believe, even in the quiet, that He cares for me just as he cares for the sparrow. 
  • Remember that silence does not mean He has forgotten.
  • Set aside your need to understand how or why or when, and instead know that He understands. 
  • Ask yourself if God is for you, who can be against you? 
  • Claim the promise: blessed are those who wait on God. 

Preach the gospel to yourself daily. When needed, preach it hourly or minute by minute. When the temptation to sink is greater than the desire to hope, preach the gospel to yourself. Preach it loud. Preach it softly. Preach it powerfully. Preach it gently. Preach it. Over and over and over again.

When the burden is too much to bear. When the cycle of hope and disappointment runs its course once more. When the tears fall, the heart breaks, and getting on with the next thing, requires too much.

When the wait wears heavy there’s only one thing to do: breathe deeply of the sweet aroma of grace and preach the gospel to yourself.

Here's what Piper has to say about this:

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Hope in the wait

The Lord's people have always been a waiting people

God promised to Abraham that he would be the father of many nations. When Abraham was 100, God have him Isaac. "And so, after he patiently endured, he obtained the promise." Hebrews 6:15  

God told Joseph that he would be a leader of his people. He faced slavery, imprisonment and years of waiting before he led the people of Egypt.

Moses spent 40 years tending to sheep before he answered God's call to deliver his people.

Paul waited through imprisonment and persecution. He pleaded for his thorn to be removed. He said, "What has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel."-Philippians 1:12

There are so many Biblical examples of people waiting on God. For freedom. For an answered prayer. For a dream to be realized. For healing.

We are a waiting people...

"If the Lord Jehovah makes us wait, let us do so with our whole hearts; for blessed are all they that wait for Him.

He is worth waiting for.

The waiting itself is beneficial to us: it tries faith, exercises patience, trains submission, and endears the blessing when it comes.

The Lord's people have always been a waiting people
" ~Charles Spurgeon

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Choose wisely in your wait

An acquaintance reached out to me more than a year ago asking about Ryan's job search. Her husband had been unemployed for a year. We communicated online a little bit and got together in person to chat. From there our friendship has continued to grow and I know she is someone who really 'gets it.' She frequently contacts me to encourage my heart and receive updates on our journey. I am so thankful that God has connected us because of a shared experience. 

While everyone may (or may not?) know that you are in a waiting season, it's wise to choose carefully with whom you share your heart. 

It's one thing for others to know you are waiting, it's another for you to reveal the most tender parts of your heart. 

Some people can handle it...others can't. 

Some will respond with love, compassion and encouragement...others will be uncomfortable and will be prepared to offer you support in your waiting.

Some will listen with an open mind...others will talk to make themselves feel better about your situation. 

In waiting (and really with all things that are tender and vulnerable), ask God to grant you wisdom and discernment with whom you open your heart to. 

God might connect you with people you didn't know had (or currently are) walking the same path as you. He might open up doors for you to enter a new level of intimacy in a friendship.

Or, God might prompt you to not share your heart with someone who isn't able to respond in the way you need them to. 

Our desperation to be heard and understood, can cloud our vision in the choices we make.

While waiting, be careful with your heart, choose wisely and know that God sees and hears and understands

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Words on waiting: Has God forgotten you?

This is a post from my archives - March 2009 to be exact. It is one of my most-read posts. I know many of you have waited far longer than the 24 months I reference in this post, but regardless of the length of your wait, the question "Has God forgotten me?" is one we all ask ourselves during waiting periods of our lives.

Words on waiting: Has God forgotten you?

My husband and I are waiting to hear about some potential changes to his job and future career. There is a lot happening - or that could be happening soon - and it's the 'not knowing' that is the hardest!

Not too long ago a friend e-mailed me and she said that she felt like God had forgotten her. Oh, do I know how she feels! For a long time I felt like God was silent to my pleas and had forgotten about my desires and dreams.

Have you been there? Are you there now? When everyone else gets the blessing you long for...

They get the job while you or your spouse wait for the call.

They get the new home while yours sits on the market waiting for a buyer.

They get a spouse while you journey into a new year of waiting for someone to share your heart, life and dreams with.

They get the baby while you long for a little one to fill your arms and your home.

They get a raise while you work long hours with little recognition.

Where is God?

Has He forgotten?

I love this quote by Chuck Swindoll: “God never forgets anything He promises. That’s right…never. God’s agenda continues to unfold right on schedule, even when there is not a shred of evidence that He remembers. Even when the most extreme events transpire and “life just doesn’t seem fair,” God is there, carrying out His providential plan exactly as He pre-arranged it. He keeps His word.”

Sometimes God's timing seems delayed. Sometimes it seems God has forgotten.

But rest assured dear friends - He has not forgotten. The same God who knit you together, is with you today. Waiting. Watching. Letting His plan unfold one day at a time. While we want to know the entire picture, we want to know the ending, that is not for us to know today.

If we knew the ending of our story, if we knew when our waiting season would conclude, or our suffering would be over, we wouldn't be forced to kneel before the throne and pour out our hearts to God. We wouldn't be forced to desire the Lord above all else.

While my miscarriages were very difficult to endure, it was two years of waiting with no conception that was, by far, the most difficult for me. I begged God. I wept. I claimed His Word and prayed it fervently. And yet, still we waited. I felt no peace about proceeding with adoption or fertility treatment. I only felt that I was being called to wait. For 24 grueling months we waited on the Lord for direction as to what our next steps should be.

Yet it was in those 24 months that I grew more than I ever have before. I was stretched. I was refined. I was challenged in my faith. I saw others around me get the dream that I longed for and it forced me to go to the One who was the giver of dreams.

It would have been so easy to run ahead and pursue an end to my waiting...but then I would have missed out on the most incredible miracle I've ever experienced.

My favorite poem - one that has spoke to my heart in ways no other poem ever has - is called Wait. For years I clung to this poem, the truth it spoke and the hope it brought me. You can read the poem online here. The words strive to demonstrate the depth of God's heart and his longing for us to know him better.

I do believe with all my heart the greatest of gifts is to truly know God. And there is no time better to do that than when we are waiting...

Monday, October 8, 2012

The insanity of waiting

I emailed a friend today and  jokingly told her my next blog post was going to be titled, "The insanity of waiting."

Well, as it turns out, that's exactly what I'm blogging about tonight.

Because friends, I'm not writing about waiting from the perspective of someone who once had a season of waiting. I write as someone who is in a season of waiting...a season that is nearing 30 months.

And today amidst my waiting, all I feel is total and complete insanity.

That doesn't sound very Biblical or spiritual does it? 
That's OK because I'm not about sounding spiritual...I'm about being real. And today my reality feels totally insane.

Ryan has completed four interviews with the same company recently. We were very, very hopeful. The company started with 100 resumes, interviewed 20 people, and Ryan was one of four people left that they were still considering.

We were told he would have a fifth interview tomorrow (Tuesday) with the CEO. However, when a recruiter contacted him today and didn't have any further news about another interview, we took that as a sign that they are probably going with another candidate.

Then Ryan got a call this afternoon that he has an interview with a really great school that he would love to work at. We are both very excited about this possibility.

High. Low. High.

In a matter of about 8 hours.

I mean c'mon. This is crazy people! 

And it happens over and over and over again. 
Last night a friend asked me, "How discouraged are you in this?" 

I responded that I didn't really feel discouraged. 

And I don't. I just feel totally insane! 

While the temptation is certainly there to be discouraged, and I have definitely faced discouragement on this journey, I do not feel discouraged. I actually feel like laughing.

I can't decide if I want to laugh because I feel like we might be on the verge of something really great...or because there are some really great options in front of us and if none of them pan out then I might actually lose it and go insane?

Or maybe, just maybe, it's the knowledge that there is a great big God up there whose got some ridiculously awesome plan in store for us and all I can do is laugh...and hold my head high and face the insanity with a smile on my face.

Because that's how waiting is some times: it's insanely crazy.

I haven't adopted internationally but the waiting that comes with that journey can only be described as insane.

And for those who are waiting for a medical diagnosis or healing...the doctor's appointments and medications and communication that needs to happen: insane.

But here's the thing: God's bigger than my insanity (praise the Lord!). He's got my back. And I think He might even be laughing right along with me.

He's reminding me of the insanity I once experienced when I found out I was pregnant, lost the baby to miscarriage and received the gift of another baby all in 49 days.

Insane? Totally. 

A reason to laugh? Absolutely!

Remember Sarah? God brought her laughter when she was very very old. And for thousands of years we have laughed with her.

So today I'm feeling a bit insane. 

Tomorrow I might cry. Next week I might be discouraged. 

But today I'm believing that one day (hopefully very soon) God might turn our time of insane waiting into a time of laughter, and then I can say to all of you: laugh with me!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Fixing our eyes on Jesus

"We have to pray with our eyes on God,
not on the difficulties."~Oswald Chambers

Written in spring 2008:

"I am learning in my season of waiting. I'm learning about myself. I'm learning about the God I love. I am learning about this journey called life. And each day I learn a little more about how to wait well. I'm learning that waiting takes sacrifice. Waiting well takes humility. Waiting well takes faith in a God I don't understand. But most of all, waiting well means that I take my eyes off my circumstances and fix them clearly on the face of Jesus

Proverbs 4:25 says: "Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you."

Looking straight ahead means that I take my eyes off my circumstances so I won't be tempted to glance toward my friends or neighbors or co-workers. I won't dwell upon doubts, fears or what ifs.


Because I'll be too busy fixing my eyes elsewhere.

Hebrews 12:2 says, "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith."

Psalm 141:8 says, "But my eyes are fixed on you Sovereign Lord."

Proverbs 4:25 says, "Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you."

Psalm 123:1 says, "I lift up my eyes to you, to you who sit enthroned in heaven."

Are my eyes on the past and if onlys? Are my eyes turning to the left or to the right? Are my eyes on the future and focusing on what ifs? 

May I allow the gentle hand of our great God to turn my face so that my eyes are gazing squarely on Him and only Him...for His face is the only one worthy of my eyes."

Worship in the wait

I think worship is a vital part of waiting. Worship takes the focus off of ourselves and our circumstances and what it is that we're waiting for, and places it back on where it should be: the Lord.

If you are in a waiting season, get your behind to a worship service. I don't mean go to church and sing three songs. I mean find a group of people who know how to worship...with their hands, on their knees, with their whole heart...and get your worship on.

Or, invite some friends over (ideally one who can play an instrument) and worship the Lord together in your living room. It doesn't matter where or how, it just matters that you learn to worship in your wait.

There are also times when your worship needs to be between just you and the Lord. Those can be some of the sweetest, most intimate times of praising God amidst your hurt and heartache.

The song Came to My Rescue by Hillsong has become a new favorite...and when I sing the words I can't help but make it a prayer:

In my life be lifted high
In our world be lifted high
In our love be lifted high

and to that I would add...

In our sadness be lifted high
In our hope be lifted high
In our desperation be lifted high
In our confusion be lifted high
In our joy be lifted high
In our waiting be lifted high

Because isn't that the desire of all our hearts? For God to be lifted high in our life and in our world and through our waiting?

Here's a portion of the song if you'd like to worship right now, wherever you're at. Let it become a prayer for your heart to sing all day long...

If I were to create a 'worship while waiting' playlist, it might include some of these songs (some are oldies, and some are new favorites):

Waiting Here For You - Christy Nockels

Carry Me to the Cross - Kutless

Endless Hallelujah - Matt Redman
"No more tears or broken dreams..."

The Stand - Hillsong United

God I Look to You - Bethel Live - Be Lifted High

Faithful God - Laura Story

Hallelujah - Heather Williams

What Joy (Psalm 146)

Everlasting God - Lincoln Brewster

If you say Go - Rachel Milstead

Jesus, Draw Me Ever Nearer

While I'm Waiting - John Waller

The Love of the Lord Endures - Joy Williams

Silence - Joy Williams

Mighty to Save - Hillsong

Come and Listen - David Crowder Band

Friday, October 5, 2012

Maybe God simply wants us to wait

For more than five years I have received the Stepping Stones newsletter. During my years of infertility it was a lifesaver for me. I read it cover to cover looking for words to encourage my heart.

In 2007 I came across an article in Stepping Stones titled, "Waiting on God."

The author Jennifer Keller penned exactly what was on my heart, but didn't have the words to say. We too had unexplained infertility. We too were going to on a trip (to the Dominican Republic) and I had to get shots. We too had clung to the truth of Ecclesiastes 3:11 and had chosen it as our wedding verse.

And then I read this:

"While I am not completely opposed to fertility treatment,
I have been convicted that maybe God simply wants us to wait."

I clung to that statement with all the life and energy I had in me.

Because I knew, without a doubt, that was my conviction as well. 

Waiting is so counter-cultural. It is hard to explain to others. We look at all the options available to us, and yet we don't often see waiting as a viable choice. And yet when the God of the universe tells your heart to wait on Him, you wait.

When I read this article it not only affirmed our decision to wait, but also made us realize that the road of waiting is definitely the road less traveled.

You can read the article here

Thursday, October 4, 2012

God's promises to those who wait

God promises much to those who wait on Him: 

  • Those who wait on God will be strengthened.
  • Blessed are all who wait for Him.
  • The Lord is good to those who wait for Him.
  • God hears us when we wait on Him.
  • We will not be put to shame when we wait on Him.
  • He acts on our behalf when we wait for Him.

Why then, is waiting so hard?One can argue that waiting is so hard because it takes control out of our hands. 

Or because it requires patience and trust. 

Or that waiting is hard because we don't believe God's promises and claim them for our life. 
All of those things may be true.

But I think waiting is hard because it hurts.

Simply stated, waiting can be gut-wrenchingly painful when our hope is deferred. Waiting and hope go hand in hand and when our hope is crushed, our hearts are devastated.

We hope for good news from the doctor or a good review at work. We hope for a text or email from a loved one. We hope for something that will give us more hope.

God's promises are about us waiting on Him and putting our hope in Him.

David writes in the Psalms that his soul waits in silence for God. And friends, when we wait for God and place our hope in God, it makes all the difference in how we will be able to handle our waiting. God is our rock. He is our salvation.

It is because of who He is that we should wait on Him. 

And in return He promises:

Since ancient times no one had heard,
no ear has perceived,
no eye has seen any God besides you,
who acts on behalf of those who wait for him. 

31 days of waiting well

"Be assured of this, if you're not in it right now, God will call all of us to waiting periods in our lives. And the way that we wait reveals the extent to which we trust the One we are ultimately waiting for. How you wait matters. If you wait well, one day you will be able to say: Here's what God did, here's what God did, here's what God did during my wait."John Fuller

God has much to say in His Word about waiting...and I have learned much during my seasons of waiting. Friends I don't know why waiting is part of my story, but I am committed to sharing words on waiting in this small space that God has given me to write. 

So for the 31 days of October I will post words on waiting written from my heart. I'm doing this as part of an annual challenge by The Nester. Currently, there are 1,206 bloggers that have joined the challenge to write on a topic for the 31 days of October. I will be blogger 1,207 (I'm a little late to the game).

31 days of waiting will include excerpts and quotes that have profoundly impacted me during my seasons of waiting. It will include the life-giving words of Scripture that speak of waiting. It will include pictures and music that represent waiting. And it will include lessons I've learned during my days of waiting.

To be transparent, I am nervous about committing to writing every day for 31 days (I am a writer, but that's a lot of writing!). I am nervous about how God might want to use my waiting and my words. I am nervous about how to clearly communicate about a topic that is near and dear to my heart...and I am nervous about the emotions that come with thinking about the hardest days of waiting.

But I know many of you are waiting too. And you inspire me. You are waiting for physical or emotional healing for yourself or a loved one. You are waiting for a relationship to begin or to be restored. You are waiting for a loved one to recognize their need for Jesus. You are waiting for your dreams to come to fruition. You are waiting for the day when there will be more money than bills. You are waiting for Jesus to be BIG and move mountains in your life. You are waiting for your career to start or your schooling to end. You are waiting for the hard to be over. You are waiting.

And so...

I pray these 31 days will encourage your heart if you are waiting. I pray they will challenge you to walk the road of waiting with your head held high and your eyes centered squarely on Jesus. I pray they will prepare you for the waiting that you may one day encounter. And most of all, I pray that by God's grace, we would each learn to wait well.

Day 1:
Still Waiting
Day 3: Dear Samuel (a birthday letter)
Day 4: God's promises to those who
Day 5: Maybe God simply wants us to wait
Day 6: Worship in the wait
Day 7: Fixing our eyes on Jesus
Day 8: The insanity of waiting
Day 9: I would have waited forever
Day 10: Words on waiting: Has God forgotten you?
Day 11: Choose wisely in your wait
Day 12:
Day 13: The Lord's people have always been a waiting people
Day 14: Hope in the wait
Day 15: When the wait wears heavy
Day 16: Your thoughts on waiting
Day 17:
Day 18: Blessings in the wait
Day 19: The cost of the journey
Day 20:
Day 21: The beauty of brokenness
Day 22: What God has to say about waiting
Day 23: When the waiting hurts
Day 24:
Day 25: Waiting on God by Cherie Hill
Day 26:
Day 27: Loving God more
Day 28: Praise in the wait

Day 29: God will answer when God is ready
Day 30: Waiting makes us stronger
Day 31: