Tag Archives: writing

What is waiting?

Wait on the Lord.  Something that appears over, and over, and over in the Bible.  Wait on Him.

Is that the same thing as patience?  I say a little bit yes, but mostly no.  Patience doesn’t mean to wait.  The dictionary definition defines patiences this way: the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.  The Bible defines it this way: endurance, constancy, steadfastness, perseverance…

I can’t tell you how many times in my life I’ve been told not to ever ask God for patience.  “Don’t ask for patience,” they’d say in a joking tone, “because God will give it to you.”

I heard that from the time I was a little girl, and it made me terrified to ask God for things…are my requests double edged?  Is there always something to fear in the gifts God gives us?  Is it because God will make me wait forever to give me the desires of my heart?  I wondered about His character…this loving God who gave His son for me, did He have a dark side?

This past year I’ve finally developed my own understanding of patience.  We took our family to Oregon, only to feel our dreams fall out of the bottom of the boat when Jon’s illness seemingly took control of our lives.  There we were, 1900 miles away from home, at a crisis point.  One of those things in your life you don’t see coming, one of those places that can derail your faith and send you spinning off into a totally unknown place.

I knew in my heart without a doubt that God had taken us to Oregon.  However, I felt the need to almost defend that to my friends and family, and sometimes even to myself.  I had to remind myself of His goodness and the things He had done to get us there.  In my mind it didn’t make sense that we were going home.  It didn’t make sense that God made it clear that there was work to be done in Brookings, Oregon only to take us out of it before much was accomplished.  Still, I trusted Him.  I sought Him in the midst of our hurricane.

What I can see now is that He was also starting a work in our lives, and it was something that could have taken us a lifetime to learn.  Instead, because of the wholehearted leap of faith we took when we let our Jesus carry our weight across deserts and mountains and to the coast and then back again, we gave Him an opportunity to do something mighty in a short amount of time.

At home we rested.  The foundation that had been completed in Oregon was now being built upon.  We were learning what it means to seek out the Kingdom of God, to seek out heaven on earth.  Lessons I’m sure we will continue to learn all of our lives, but they all started connecting and weaving into a beautiful entanglement of God’s plan, of God’s love.  Then came the healing.

Jon’s horrible affliction was gone in a moment.  Scars and wounds supernaturally healed, God the Father taking them and feeling them for me, instantly healing my heart.  Sweetly and intimately showing me who He is and how much He wants more of me.  Why?  Because my deepest and most passionate desire is to know His heart, to know Him more.  To be set ablaze.

This journey has taught me what patience really is.  The Lord calls me to wait on Him, He wants me to wait because I’m antsy and as a human being I’m restless.  My mind continually is thinking of the things I need to do, the kids next meal, the messes that are being made, work and relationships and so much more.  I flit from one thing to another and could easily be described as ADHD but I refuse to wear that label, to own that name, because I know that the Lord is calling me, calling me to wait on Him.  In that waiting place, He speaks.  In that waiting place, He fills.

How can I have a conversation with my very alive and powerful and full of grace God if all I do is talk to Him and then leave His presence to go about my day?  How can I truly live a Spirit-filled life if I only enter His presence to do my morning devotion and then go back to living in the flesh when I’m actually living?  Waiting on the Lord is conversation.  Waiting on Him means I want a relationship, not religion…I’m not going through the motions to avoid feeling guilty.  No.  I am waiting for Him to move and trusting that He will.  He never disapoints.

Patience can happen during the waiting.  You can endure and persevere while waiting.  But you can also endure and persevere while walking.  There are so many crisis points…so many moments we don’t see coming that can throw our spiritual lives into a blender.  Patience happens when you trust the Lord completely, when your faith is strong even when you feel like everything is coming apart.  No matter where He’s taking you, you know you want to be with Him.  Patience is getting through that crisis point and pressing in, letting Him take you deeper when it hurts.  Letting Him in when your instincts tell you to close everything and everyone off and protect yourself at all costs.  Patience is clinging to Him with all you have, your fingers white with the effort of holding on.

Patience is what I learned about when I went to Oregon and back.  Patience is trusting God with your whole heart, soul, mind, and strength and leaping into a different kind of living.  My advice from this journey is this: never, ever be afraid to ask for patience.  Always desire more of Him, more of the fruits of the Spirit, more of God’s presence.  Always ask for more.

patience

 

An Unexpected Spring

Today I woke up early with the first bits of morning light streaming through my windows.  I wasn’t totally awake.  Instead, I was seeing reality, but still in somewhat of a dream state.  My three year old daughter was next to me, curled into a ball with her knees in my back.  I just laid there, soaking in the moment.

And then, something happened.  Something that both filled me with joy and sadness.

I heard birds singing.  One loud cardinal, who must have been perched close to my window.  He sang and sang and called to all of his friends and family.  He was telling the world, better than any weatherman can, that spring is near.  The cold, hard winter is almost over, and spring is on its way.  Happiness!

When I move to Oregon, I won’t have a cold, hard winter.  The climate is much more temperate, the birds don’t leave.  It’s something I have been really looking forward to…I hate winter.  And yet.

Without it, spring isn’t as powerful.

Life has more meaning because of death.  Seeing flowers and trees and animals come to life every spring fills me with some sort of inexplicable feeling.  Something like nostalgia, but better.

My happiness comes with something else.  I am sad.  Moving means no dramatic change of seasons.  Don’t get me wrong, I still hate enduring winter.  But when life comes from death, it speaks to a deep part of humanity.  We are created to see this!  Maybe because I live in Nebraska, where there isn’t anything but a scattering of hills on endless plains, I notice it in the seasons.  When I move to Oregon where there are mountains, forests, and an ocean, my Creator will speak to me in other dramatic ways.  I am sure of that.  I still feel a bit of sadness, realizing that this could be the last time I hear the first call of spring.  Just as I do whenever I drive through the country and see the wide fields and the outstretched sky.  The wild prairie is unique, and I will be leaving it behind.

Somehow, feeling this sadness, acknowledging it…isn’t a bad thing.  I like it.  It’s good.  I’m glad I have the foresight to take in these moments and let finality in them fill me.  This quote pretty much sums up this kind of sadness.

“I love old things.  They make me feel sad.”
“What’s good about sad?”
“Sad is happy for deep people.”
-Sally Sparrow, Series 3, Episode 10 Doctor Who

The Great When.

I’m sitting on the couch.  I’ve become very close friends with it over the past few months.  I feel a little like it is a part of me, and if I don’t sit on it at least once a day, my day isn’t complete.

Because of how things are…just life, ya know?  This room is where we watch Dinosaur Train and play with Little People.  My kids sit on the couch with me, and we huddle under one blanket and watch movies, or build towers and castles.  We make dinosaur villages, and put puzzles together.

Every day after lunch, my son takes a nap.  My daughter and I read, color, play with play-doh, talk about numbers and letters and play the memory game….she learns, and talks and talks.  Sometimes I read for myself as well.  We experiment, we bake paleo cookies and other delicious concoctions.  In the afternoon, while E is still sleeping (and I can’t get any laundry done because it would wake him), we have a more grown-up time.  Then he wakes, and snacks are had.  Supper begins to come together.

Every day is blessed.  Every day is the same.  Sometimes I am sad, sometimes I am full of joy.  It’s a time of waiting, and anticipation.  It’s a time of frustration and attack.  It’s incredible, really, how strange this time is.  I think I will look back on it and think a lot of things, but I’m not sure what.  Will I wonder what I did with myself all day during the long winter without a car or an ability to really go outside most days?  In a house that isn’t mine, in a sliver of space we carved out of something else.  Will I wonder why I didn’t do more?  Will hindsight give me more information…should I be doing something different?

I wonder already….is this enough?  I am scattered, in my mind.  But here, I am a constant.  For this short period of history, I am always here, doing this, every day.  I have the kind of brain that flits.  I want to do this, then that, and some of that.  I do a lot of things, but truly sink myself completely into none of my ventures.  I don’t know what I am afraid of, but I do know I don’t want to leave anything behind.  I am creative, I want to write books and blogs and music.  I want to get paid to take pictures and tell stories through them.  I want people to get something out of what I bleed into the internet.

I want to learn more, oh so much more, and I wonder constantly, what is the next step for me?  When I leave this place behind, what else will get left as well?  Which parts of me will change, and which ventures do I lay quietly in my secret box to be remembered, but not worked on?

How do people know these things?  Is this a curse or a blessing to want to do so much and not know which path to take?  I just don’t know.  Some days it depresses me, or I get so very restless.  But I remind myself of God’s promises, and His faithfulness.  I remind myself to sow, that I have sown, and that a harvest will come.  God has good things for me, a better plan than I could devise myself.  I just want to know when to wait, and when to reach out and take hold.

James 1

James 1:2-8 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds,because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.”

the dragon of yesterday

“Like sunlight burning at midnight, making my life something so beautiful, beautiful.” (Francesca Battistelli)

When I was right in the middle of pensive college years, getting the majority of my creative writing minor classes done, I experienced the greatest loss that to this day almost breaks me, just thinking about it.  And how I felt afterwards.  Because when you lose someone, even though there is joy that they are no longer in pain, bound by a broken body, and in paradise…

…the loss is like a hole.  A deep, jagged hole.  Every year, that hole comes around, like I’m running in circles and have to find my way around it.  While my path changes, the hole is always there, somewhere.  So I’m feeling it, again, and feel that depression of my soul.  When someone not only touches your life in an astounding way, but is a majority of the fabric of your life that was bound together from the moment you were born to the time they left, it’s pretty easy to see the difference in your make-up.  The before and after is stark.

I miss her.

When I was writing so much, I wrote this for her.  Or maybe because of her.  I was haunted by my loss, by what I didn’t realize I was losing, even when she was fading from me.

MEMORY

So rapidly she faded away
Hardly had time to say goodbye
Constant questions pervade my mind
But a reason? I can’t find one
I miss the years when life was fun
These tears I cry, they took so long
And my fear, it finds a stronghold
The winter’s grown so cold

The dragon that breathes the flames
Of yesterday-I thought I’d tamed her
But she just won’t let it go
She just won’t let it go
I’m moving on

That dragon keeps following me
Hauntingly-the fire she breathes
Is slowly, but suredly taking
Ahold of me, until we meet
Regardless, I will feel my way out
Through darkness, avoiding the sounds
That echo all around me.
I’ll make it, I’ll be free

The dragon that breathes the flames
Of yesterday-I thought I’d tamed her
But she just won’t let it go
She just won’t let it go
How suddenly I’m all alone
With just a memory; no one to condone
What I do and what I don’t.
What can stop me: I don’t know,
I’m moving on

Fickle Autumn

The air has grown thin.  The sky is so blue, the sun is shining, but it doesn’t thaw the parts of me that are frozen to the core.  This time of year always makes me pensive.  On warmer days, I could sit in the sun amongst the leaves and let my surroundings soak into my skin for hours.  Days like today, however, freeze me.  Remind me that autumn is just a fleeting idea, a stepping stone to winter’s deadly grasp.  Soon all the leaves will have fallen, the wind will work its way through every layer worn, and the world will turn in to itself and hibernate.  I wish I could sleep through winter.  But it is only October, and the sun is shining and, despite how cold it feels to me today, something much worse is on its way.  The sun is like a lover, she burned too hot, and now she’s turned a cold shoulder and she is leaving.  I can feel it happening, but I am powerless to stop it.  So I will choose to delight in the sun, the fact that I can still bare my skin and feel her warmth, even if it feels farther than it did even a week ago.  She’s still with me, for now, and every moment counts.