What do we do while we’re waiting for Change?

What do we do while we’re waiting for Change?

Waiting sometimes feels like wandering in darkness—seeking the light. We’ve prayed about change we feel it on the horizon and then…and then…nothing. It’s like God put up the preverbal finger and said, “Wait here, I’ll be with you in a moment.” What do we do while we are waiting on change?

 

don't grow weary

Be diligent and faithful in your present situation. Sometimes we become frustrated during those periods of quietness. In our restlessness we complain, withdraw our integrity, become weary and convince ourselves we will do better when something better comes along.

 

Walking in the darkness

We forget that God says”… Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men, (HCSB-Col. 3:23). And that doesn’t just mean working like a boss at that dream job, but it means bringing that same enthusiasm to that ‘dead-end’ job, to that place of work where you feel undervalued, underappreciated; it is bringing it 100 percent to that job that you absolutely detest. When God has us in a holding place it is the perfect place—for now—withdrawing our diligence can delay our progress. When we become unfaithful, it dishonors God and makes waiting difficult, if not impossible.

Remember the last thing God instructed you to do and do it

We are always looking for something new—a fresh idea, a new venture—it gives off the sensation that life is moving, and progressing. But often new is not what we need. We need to pick up where we left off.

Do you remember when you got bored and uncomfortable with the path He’d placed you on and you decided you’d try something else? You were sick of hearing about the success and progress of others—new positions, promotions and acquisitions; there were the constant invites to friends’ and family members’  grand openings, baby showers and weddings and then of course there were the Facebook posts and Instagram pics. You thought I’ve got to be doing something wrong.  I must have missed it.

You walked away from it–quietly step away and into something more intense, interesting, easier, faster, and less humiliating–something that promised quick success only…it didn’t bring much of anything except a different spin on your ongoing frustration.

It is during times like these that God is testing a couple of things:

  • Obedience to Him
  • Trusting Him in what He has assigned you to do

Remember it was about 15 years between the time Samuel anointed young David as king and the time he finally begin to reign over the tribe of Judah. Preparation takes time and if your heart isn’t ready you aren’t ready.

Remember the last thing God told you to do. Are you doing it? Are you doing it with integrity? Well, keep doing it. He knows exactly where you are.

Stop Complaining

Complaining sabotages everything for which we work. Again, we read in the Word, “Do all things without murmuring and disputing.” (KJV 2000 Phil. 2:14) Complaining produces energy that is counterproductive to the results we want. It’s like putting bad gasoline in your car. It’s not going to perform as it should no matter how hard you press on the gas pedal.

Believe it or not complaining gives off negative energy and draws to us the exact opposite of what we want. Contrary to what we have heard expecting the worse in hopes we’ll get the opposite doesn’t work. The Word also tells us whatever we sow we reap. It we are constantly speaking negativity guess what we’ll get in return? Speak what you want and what He has promised you. Fill the atmosphere with positive words. Declare what God’s Word says about what you’re going through—and his Word always affirms His goodness.

Don’t give up. Don’t stop believing. The only one that can keep you from getting to there is you. Pressures may come but God has provided everything you need to make it. Take hold of the tools and resources. Renew your inner man daily. But whatever the cost, don’t give up.

Trust God. We trust that he has heard our prayers and that he cannot and will not forget or forsake us. It is His word. It does not change. When the world around us seems uncertain, His help and His presence are certain. You can count on it.

I will get there: silencing the voices within

I will get there: silencing the voices within

So I’m winding down for the evening preparing myself for bed and I’m reflecting on my day. I’m a task-oriented person. I tally up what I’ve accomplished for the day and decide whether or not the past 24 hours have been successful. I began my morning in prayer asking God to give me strength for this, help me to be better at that. This particular day I asked for control over my mouth. Teach me Oh Lord how to keep the peace and say only what needs to be said. And Lord, give me patience with my children to give them the attention they need.

I remember this prayer as I’m making the kid’s lunches for the following day.

It is well after 10 at night there’s not much else to be done. It is then I remember the argument I had in the car with Wil; the one I was never gonna have again. He’s packed on the pounds since we’ve moved to the south. For lunch that afternoon he pulled into a McDonald’s and ordered the biggest, juiciest burger they sell—and a side of fries. I sat quietly for a moment remembering my humble prayer; right before I go into a rant about how huge he has become and a treadmill wouldn’t exactly hurt him. He blows me off but I won’t stop because I figured at that point I might as well empty myself. I sigh. Well, I can remove that from my list of things accomplished.

And then as I’m placing lunches in the fridge, I remember my prayer for patience with the kids. In my mind I fast forward to just after school. We were riding home and Jillian goes into a long-winded story about some kid that was being nasty to her. Midway through I’m thinking about what to cook for dinner and how long could this story possibly go on? Ugh. Mommy, you aren’t even listening to me, she asked. I tell her I am. But of course I have no solution to her problem because I only heard half of the story. I roll my eyes up to the ceiling. Geez, that was a bust too.

I go on, checking some things off the list as accomplished, but most others were not. Sometimes it feels like my life is more ebb than flow. Thursday night I’m in bible study and instead of getting into praise and worship I am once again analyzing my failures and weaknesses. I hate this. But I hear His voice say, I will get there. It’s then I realize that we are often harder on ourselves than he could ever be on us. We have lists and rules and so many absolutes we can’t even keep up. But His grace is sufficient. Every day I pray for this or that not realizing that every day he gives me grace to accomplish those things. But I’m not suddenly cured from being impatient or short or unkind. There’s no instant relief or quick fix. Grace is connected with action. As we move and strive he gives us grace, or favor and spiritual strength to do what we need to do. We don’t always feel it. It is not through will power or crossing our fingers. His grace is there. We just need to walk in it by faith. Yes, I am moving in an upwardly direction. In time…I will get there.

My daughter walks into the kitchen later that evening after bible study and asks me about the meaning of Easter. It is late. She needs to be in bed. I am tired. I sit her down at the kitchen island and explain it to her…from the beginning. I am getting there.

Push Past Failure: Victory is on the other side

Push Past Failure: Victory is on the other side

I love new things don’t you? What can compare to the feeling of launching a new project? A new job or a fresh start? But new gets old quickly. It is our nature to give up on things quickly, to grow bored and tired of what use to excite us.

God places within us dreams and visions; we are made with purpose and on purpose. He is not a creator of accidental inventions or experimental concoctions. He is the embodiment of intent and destiny. We awaken when we hear that voice urging us to get up and do.And when the vision becomes clear—oh my!In the days and weeks that follow we move and are excited and can barely behave. With the newness of this energy our capacity to create, build and motivate is limitless. We start that business plan, book or play or seek investors for that new business.We cannot fail.Furthermore it seems like the entire world is on our side cheering us on and it’s as if we can do anything but fly. Success belongs to us.

And then inevitably it happens—the pangs of life come into play.The work is hard—sometimes grueling, the folks that said that they would—don’t.The investment of time, work and energy seems daunting and takes its toll.And we think—it shouldn’t be this hard afterall I’m gifted and God said this was mine. We begin to back paddle or worse yet we seek out a new venture (remember I said everybody likes new).

Listen to this—just because it’s God-given doesn’t mean it’s not work.Remember Jesus’ great sacrifice?That was not a pretty sight up there on the cross. He knew we were worth it. Your dedication and work is worth it.You will fall, get tired, grow weary and do a lot of sighing—maybe some crying. But grab hold to his hand and move. Move even when your cheerleaders pack up their pompoms and go home, when folks question whether or not this really was a smart move.Move, push, push. Learn to become your own motivator and listen to that voice. Whatever you do, don’t stop. You will not fail. Success belongs to you.

 

This is Your Year!

This is Your Year!

2638sunrise_geeseThere is so much that can get in the way of writing; children, jobs, husbands, aging parents, small critters and I could go on but I won’t. Now I’m not saying that you should write above all else or that the world must take a back burner to it. You have your own life structure. Good. But if you feel it necessary to tell your story, then do it.

Let’s face it, no one gets anything done simply by thinking about it (believe me I’ve tried). On the other hand, many of us do not have chunks of time to sit in front of our computer and pour out a sweeping novel, with the warmth of the sun on our skin and soft music inspiring us. But there is time. Take it little by little, or in the words of Anne Lamott, bird by bird. Take small chunks, sometimes the writing may be scattered like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle; a description of an event here, a characterization there. Whatever the case, just be consistent. Write whether or not inspiration comes; sometimes it just doesn’t show up. But once you sit in that space, something will come. But your brain must know that this is the hour or half hour you have designated as writing time.

If you are a writer, that gift is as much a part of you as your smile, lips or eyes. (I hate to sound mushy but all of this is true.) It is a calling, unique and significant. Will the sun plummet to earth if you don’t write? Will the birds stop singing? Will the earth refuse to turn on its axis? No of course not. But not doing what God has placed in your heart to do, in some way will diminish you.

Finish that novel or short story. Push past the boredom and the pain. Push in spite of the self-doubt and loneliness. We all go through it.

Don’t worry now about being famous or seeing your name on the NYT list. Don’t think about who on God’s green earth is going to read your stuff. You’re thinking too far ahead. For now, go on…get started, or get finished so He can return his attention to sunrises and mockingbirds.