When Anxiously Waiting

I can be incredibly impatient. Sometimes strangely so. I’d rather do something, even if that something amounts to nothing, than wait. Needless to say, waiting on God? Not my best moments. Maybe that’s why God continually places me in the waiting zone. I imagine you can relate, because no matter how crazy our schedule gets, we’re all inevitably waiting for something. That new job, or a job period. Maybe a commission check, or waiting for that loved one to come to Christ. Sometimes waiting is little more than an inconvenience. Other times, the uncertainty of my wait, or more accurately, the end result, causes my stomach to knot. When that happens, it’s easy to become so obsessed over the what that I begin to push aside the Who. I  think on that thing, whatever it is, fret over it, maybe pray about it, then fret over it some more until my thoughts are dominated by that thing. And not Christ. Ouch. Let me tell you, that does not lead me to peace-filled living! So, what’s the solution? 1. I need to remember and focus on God’s unchanging nature. Psalm 52:8-9 “But I am like an olive tree, thriving in the house of God. I will always trust in God’s unfailing love” (NLT). This verse, when applied, has the power to dissipate the anxiety wrapped up in my waiting, because it reminds me that God is always, always, always loving toward me. He is at this very moment working all things out for my good. And for my family’s good. And if my waiting involves someone else — maybe seeing healing come into their...

The Wait

Wait. It has become something of a curse word for our society. Often times greeted with a huff or a sigh. As a whole, we don’t like waiting. In fact, I would venture that it can often pull out of us a big, strong emotion like hate. We don’t like waiting for anything. Checking out at the grocery store. Oil changes. Meals. Much less something like a job, healing, financial provision, that deal to finalize. Waiting just stinks. It’s countercultural. We live in a “do and make it happen” world. In case we weren’t fully clear on the meaning, Webster’s defines wait this way: :to stay in a place until an expected event happens, until someone arrives, until it is your turn to do something, etc. :to remain in a state in which you expect or hope that something will happen soon :to remain stationary in readiness or expectation Yes, yes and yes … right? Recently our church was challenged with listening to Psalm 23 every night for a period of time. It all started out fun until the words started piercing my heart. “The Lord is my shepherd. I lack nothing.” I lack nothing? “He makes me to lie down in green pastures.” Makes? He doesn’t ask me to lie down? What if I don’t feel like I need to lie down? “He leads beside quite waters, He refreshes my soul.” I like the refreshing part, but quiet waters sounds … well, boring. Let’s dig deeper. “I lack nothing”: Here’s the real issue in my life. I look too far ahead and at times I don’t live out...

Nitpicking

My family just left a season of nitpicking—no, not for flaws or mistakes, but literally picking nits out of each other’s hair! My middle son received lice from a friend, and from there we all fell prey. The only person unaffected was my husband, so I assume lice don’t like gelled, short hair. To say this was one of my worst nightmares is an understatement. Not only do these small parasites freak me out (I won’t even look at their picture on the Internet,) they also cause so much havoc in people’s lives. We had to call family and friends. We had to wash sheets, pillowcases, pillows, blankets, dolls, coats, clothes, etc. I had a pile of laundry halfway up to the ceiling next to the laundry machines! We had to wash each person’s hair and painstakingly sift through every strand with a tiny, metal nitpicking pick. Even though all the lice were killed by the shampoo, we spent hours trying to pick the nits! And if you miss just a few, the entire mess happens again. Three times in a one-month period, we had to battle lice—three sets of phone calls, three stacks of laundry, three times of washing and picking at hair. And all of this occurred at the worst possible time! I was publishing three books, we were leaving on a family vacation and I was in the final stages of preparing for a bodybuilding competition. However, during this month of chaos, I did something different. Instead of complaining to God, I started thanking Him for nits! My kids thought I was crazy, but I knew...

Cry for help

How many times has a cry for help longed to escape our lips? How often do we feel trapped within ourselves, our circumstances, our distress, and desperately desire help? I sat alone, lost. My frustrations had risen to an incredible high. Lacing up my shoes, I set out on a run hoping to clear my head, to find some answers. Regardless of my actions, I felt stuck. Like running on a treadmill, I was exhausted yet not covering any ground. And I could not see was my way out. Running faster, I cried out to God. I cried out for help. My pace quickened, my lungs grasped for air. A flurry of frustration circled me, and I only thought to outrun it. With each step, I poured out what I was feeling. I unleashed what I knew to be true, and how my life did not seem to be reflecting those truths. Sweat and tears mingled together. Bent with exhaustion, I struggled to catch my breath. My muscles throbbed, unaccustomed to the pace I had kept. Doubled over, I knew God heard, I knew he saw, and I knew he would answer. With beads of sweat streaming down my face, I accepted an incoming call. My breath was once again taken away. On the other end of the line was the answer God had been preparing for me. An opportunity: a call that require the use of the gifts and strengths God instilled in me. I cried out for help and God answered me. Forgive me Father for not asking sooner. David knew the power of crying out for...

Let Go to Let God

As a mom of two toddlers – toddlers who love to be in my arms, toddlers who love to be pushed and pulled in strollers and swings, toddlers who want to be held often – I was in desperate need of some “mom time.”I needed this time; time to release the little kinks from my aching back, time to find refreshment and to let go. So when my husband gave me the opportunity to get a massage, I jumped at the idea. I saw it as a time to just “be” – to let go. But, during the massage, I couldn’t let go. I couldn’t relax.  It was almost like I was afraid of someone else having control. Even the masseuse could tell. She looked at me and said, “Kelly, if you want me to really work, then you have got to let go and let me work into the areas that are holding so much tension. You will be better off in the long run if you just let go. Relax. As you let go, I can get into the deep areas of tension and handle the stress.” There is power in the ability to let go. If I can just breathe, exhale and let myself rest as she does her work, the result will be amazing. Isn’t this true with God too?  If we can just let go of our ways, our tension, our plans, won’t He be faithful to work out all the kinks?  Won’t He leave us better off than we ever could have imagined? Won’t He find a way to release our life stresses better than we could – as we trust Him with all things, in all ways?...

The Oasis at Thursday Night Bible Study

 I warmly recall a particular evening when I was facilitating a ladies Thursday night Bible study at church due to the peculiar snack food that was brought and the response the ladies had to this peculiar snack. It taught me a lesson about the sacrifice and dedication women of all ages and walks of life make to attend a women’s Bible study. I learned this lesson from a beef jerky incident.  The lady who had signed up for snacks said she forgot about it being her night and grabbed the only thing she had at her house at the last minute, which was—strawberries, cheese crackers, and beef jerky, of all things! Strawberries and cheese crackers are always good, but beef jerky? She really brought a large bag of sometimes hard to chew beef jerky? I have to admit, I have never seen beef jerky brought for snacks, and I thought to myself, she will be taking that back home. The strawberries and crackers will be eaten, but the beef jerky will be passed by.  But no, these ladies were hungry. The beef jerky completely disappeared. Every single hard to chew bite was consumed. The lady who brought it was very surprised and shared with me that she thought for sure she would be bringing the beef jerky home again, and almost didn’t bring it in the first place since it would be such an odd snack.  It turned out that no one had time for lunch at work that day and didn’t get to go home before Bible study. I listened to ladies describe barely making it to Bible...

Two Trips: Two Attitudes

We moved the day before we took our family to Disneyland. Call us crazy, but we filled our home with boxes and caught a plane the next morning to California. As the movers carried the large furniture pieces into our home the evening before our trip, I thought I would help by scooting one of the dressers out of the way. Little did I know how sore I would be the next day…and the next…and the day after…and the day after that… I had somehow infuriated a nerve that began right under my left ear, ran down my right shoulder and stopped at my fingertips. I had never felt so much continuous pain before. I was in pain on the airplane, at the condo and, sadly, at Disneyland (and a week after we came home!). I couldn’t even turn my head without pivoting my entire body. Something similar to this happened to me when I went skiing in Colorado a few months before. We got to the ski resort, and I had finally made it up on my first mountain on the first day of our ski trip, and WHAM! I got slammed by a snowboarder right on my quadriceps. I skied down the hour-long track in pain, and I had to sit out the rest of the trip. In my mind, my ski trip was ruined. However, the difference between my ski trip and my Disney trip was my attitude. During the ski trip, I was upset and it showed. I was angry that I couldn’t ski, and my attitude teetered to the dark side. When I finally...

The Speed of Life

Pencils, pens, brightly tabbed folders, and sticky-notes galore, erasers, paper, and a hundred glue sticks later, we’re ready for school. This is our reality as of late. And I wonder: will the 3-4 extra memo pads I picked up be enough for the countless lists, reminders, and flying thoughts looming this season? Only time will tell… These thoughts, the ones that stand on the edge of our beds – the ones that speak loudly & wake us at night – thoughts about busy days, activities, the time crunch and agendas. It’s a combustible mix that proves, time and time again, to blow our minds. Yet, for all of us with mental meltdowns, tired of pushing and treading in the days leading to Fall, this is what we take hold of today… As we gather the new pens and freshly sharpened pencils, we remember the story You’re writing, God. It’s a divine one, where Your sovereignty, love, wisdom, and patience are working out the best in us…for YOU. Pray ~ Gracious Father, You cup Your mighty hand over an ever-listening ear. You see us at the end of our rope. You add no pressure to our day. Fury is hard at our heels, and the days are long. Despair stares us in the face, and we call Your name…Jesus. You’ve done it, and will keep doing it; carrying us on Your back, saving us. What You promise in the quiet is greater than the speed of...