As we come to the conclusion of Winter, it seems like all of my kids “can’t wait for Spring!” I reminded them that once we hit the Spring, they’ll be saying that they can’t wait for Summer and a break from school. It seems like we humans can have some difficulties when it comes to waiting – whether it’s waiting in line at Walmart, waiting for some test results, waiting for a cake to rise or waiting for a bad hair cut to grow out (I never have this problem bc I love my hair cutting guy 🙂
Anyways, here are some good things to consider that are associated with waiting:
- maturation & refining – like a fine wine, time can often help us to be more wise & refined
- greater awareness – often if we will give time a chance to work its magic, we will see things that we would have missed from being impatient
- discipline – being impulsive tends to create half-baked results, but waiting gives us the benefit of growing in our ability for self-control
- space & time to check my heart – it seems like when I’m always in a hurry that checking in with my heart and the Holy Spirit unfortunately tends to take a back seat to activity & speed
I’ve had an interesting few days and it’s been a bit challenging to keep a good attitude while waiting. On Friday I had a few challenges – I was working on a really big project for Saving Moses and came to a place where I had to wait until Mon for the decision of another person. Also on Friday, I was walking home in the snow from dinner at our neighbor’s house, slipped, fell & super messed up my ankle (nothing cool like I was snowboarding in a terrain park & messed up a jump or missed a rail).
So it was an interesting weekend – waiting and hoping for a good answer & an improved ankle and I’m thinking that Mon will be a great turning point for these brief, but important challenges. When Mon rolled around, my ankle wasn’t better so I decided to get it checked out. The Dr said that if it was broken, that I probably wouldn’t be able to go to Cambodia for Saving Moses next month – grrrrrrrr. Nevertheless, the xray results in the afternoon would let us know something more definite, which meant more waiting. By 8pm Mon, I hadn’t heard anything from the Dr nor anything on the Saving Moses project. Still waiting. Grrrrrrr.
Tues morning rolls around & still no answers & now I’m getting jittery. But when I would turn my heart to the Holy Spirit on these 2 topics, I felt peace. Since this story has now been too long, here’s the short conclusion: no broken ankle and the Saving Moses project has an affirmative answer! And in all of this, I felt God tell me that if I will trust Him, He will meet the points of my needs with His provisions. Luke 21:29 – in patience, possess your soul 🙂
I’ve been reading about Joseph in the Bible & this morning I was going through the part where he translates the dreams of the baker & cupbearer. At the end of his dream translation, he asks them to help him to get out of jail since he was wrongly put there. The cupbearer was restored back his royal position & promptly forgot about Joseph. So Joseph got to rot in jail for probably a few more years.
Here’s my point: sometimes when we’re impatient & neglect to wait for God’s timing, sometimes we settle for 2nd best when we should have waited for God’s best. If the cupbearer would have gotten Joseph out of jail, as he had requested, perhaps Joseph wouldn’t have been available to interpret Pharoah’s dreams & ultimately to save the life of his family & the future of the Jewish nation.
Let’s understand that God knows the times, seasons & purposes of our lives better than we do & He is certainly trustworthy with time, since He made it in the first place ,)
Recently, I’ve been somewhat frustrated with one of my friends because they’ve made some very silly decisions that have had some fairly negative consequences. I find myself being impatient with my friend & wanting them to change. I’m trying to watch the words that I say to my friend, so that I don’t hurt their feelings due to my impatience. So far, here’s my impatience insights:
- if impatience is left unchecked, it can be very destructive
- impatience isn’t only related to our words, but it also can affect our attitudes & actions, so that even if we don’t say anything, we must still remain vigilant against even its subtle expression
- sometimes it helps to talk about how we feel, but its important to be responsible for our own feelings & not give someone else control of how we may feel or act
- sometimes the best antidote to impatience is a slow, intentional & methodical application of patience
- James 1:4 – let patience have her perfect work so that you may be mature & complete. Give patience permission to work in your life 🙂
Charades is a fun game to act out lots of different things. If you’ve played this game in a group, you know that you’re supposed to act something out & help your team guess your word(s) based on your acting. This game can be lots of fun, but unfortunately, I think we play this game in our life, from time to time. Here are a few examples:
- Sometimes I think we pretend to be humble, when the reality is that we’re merely insecure.
- Sometimes I think we pretend to be confident when the reality is that we’re arrogant
- Sometimes I think we pretend to be peaceful when the reality is that we’re apathetic
- Sometimes I think we pretend to be strong when the reality is that we’re scared
There are lots of other ways we live the charade game & ultimately, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to be humble, confident, peaceful, strong, etc. But my sense is that we can’t really have these things well integrated into our lives as a normal reality without God’s help. Just some food for thought 🙂
I’ve been thinking about this year & the various achievements & shortcomings for Saving Moses – reflections. There have been some really cool developments – we made some great initial contacts for nightcare in Asia, we got a SUPER deal on some baby formula in Angola (over 40 metric tons for free if we would pay $5k for the transportation, an obvious no-brainer), some amazing progress with our media abilities, we’ve made some great potential relationships for the future, along with many other things. On the flip side, there have also been some disappointments – our India trip was frustrating & I found that one of the malnutrition clinics that we recently visited in Angola didn’t have any milk, due to some poor communication.
Truthfully, I always want everything with Saving Moses to be 100% positive, but my experiences this year are teaching me that this isn’t always going to be realistic. Furthermore, I’m finding that even though I want Saving Moses to be MASSIVELY effective, I need to be patient as we grow & continue to keep taking steps along the journey that will continue to help us be increasingly effective.
Something that you could do to help us grow is to be a fan on our facebook page 🙂
I’ve been thinking a lot, lately about wisdom. In fact, I’ve been trying out that “Read a Proverb a Day” plan (since there are 31 chapters in Proverbs, it makes it easy) & I’m really liking it! I’m getting ready to start my 3rd time around & its been really helpful. Here are a few quickie take-aways that seem to be sticking to my ribs of late:
- timing reveals a lot about a person’s level of wisdom or foolishness
- doing the “right thing”, while not easy, is wise
- anger can sabotage wisdom
- wise friends can also be scratchy but can also make us more sharp
- wisdom listens more than it talks
- wisdom is priceless
If you’re like me, you probably like people to varying degrees based on what’s happening in your life. But here are some reasons why I love people. I love people because:
- I see God’s creative genius that is never-ending. People are a great reflection of God’s vivid imagination 🙂
- I sense joys & pains in them that far exceed my own experiences
- I feel God’s love through people, at various times, that is nothing short of breathtaking
- I sense God loving people through me & this experience cuts me to the core – so humbling
- I see strength, courage, valor & sacrifice – such grace & nobility
- I see the same struggle in others that I experience with choices between shortcuts & long-term investments
- Many times God works on me, using people, to grow patience, grace, humor, discipline, gentleness and other things
- I’m continually amazed at people’s patience & grace toward me as I strive to grow & mature
We are all clay in God’s hand, for His sculpting & purposes, so let’s celebrate God’s touch of love in our lives individually & collectively 🙂
My dad always has this saying, “Sarah, don’t ask a question that you don’t really want to know the answer.” When I was younger & he would tell me this, I was always perplexed by why he would occasionally discourage me from asking questions – then I got some answers to various questions that were just TMI (too much info)!!!
Sometimes, I think this is also true with the idea of patience. When I was younger, I used to ask God to help me to be more patient. Then when He started to help me with the patience thing, I didn’t necessarily liked how He was helping me, so I stopped asking for His help with patience 🙂
I think I’m kind of starting to come full circle. I can’t say that I’m just chasing God down on the patience topic, but I am most certainly appreciating the importance of developing patience. Here are some things that I’m finding helpful for me with the development of patience (although I’m not even close to arriving at being patient):
- remove the microwave mentality: I’ve noticed that when I marinate meat for a long time (even a few days in the refrigerator), it just gets continually better the longer I marinate the meat. In contrast, if I throw some ground beef in the microwave & nuke it for 2min, the flavor is lame at best (nothing compared to the marinated meat). Immediate and microwave results aren’t always better than cultivated & marinated efforts
- perhaps my kids are impatient with getting an answer from me because I’ve modeled impatience to them when I want them to clean their rooms, brush their teeth, empty the dishwasher, sweep the floor, etc in less than 4min. I often hear the Holy Spirit whispering to me as it relates to my kids, “Slow down”
- the journey versus destination perspective: maybe I’m impatient because I don’t feel like “I’ve arrived” rather than considering that each day is an adventure to explore God’s love to me & through me
- running late makes me impatient & I frequently run late – perhaps I should stop scheduling things to be so close together & give more “breathing” space between appointments rather than seeing that space as wasted time
- something that really helps me is when I consider that God is in charge of my life – I’ve surrendered my life to God & because of this, He directs my steps, organizes my time & the demands on me. I always find it to be so interesting that when I find myself backed against the wall with a deadline & worried that I won’t make it, He almost always comes up with some creative solution, either through eliminating a task / expectation or through making my efforts supernaturally efficient.
Being patient grows over time ,)
Here’s a quickie thought about our relationships – be gentle. I’m reminded to be gentle on many occasions – most frequently when someone says something to me that is sharp or insensitive. When this happens, I find that it’s most helpful to give others the benefit of the doubt & not automatically assume that they’re trying to hurt me or have malicious intents. I honestly think that if others understood some of our sensitivities, they probably wouldn’t say some of the things that we find to be hurtful. So with this in mind, I want to be a gentle person & tread lightly. I figure that if I’ll be gentle, others won’t find the need to forgive me as frequently and perhaps this is a practical way to express Jesus’ love.
I’m also reminded that Jesus wants me to be gentle with myself – to intentionally lose the lists of failures, shame & shortcomings, since these items have already received His forgiveness. I can also be gentle with myself by being less impatient with my maturation.
Gentle words, gentle actions, gentle thoughts, . . . . . be gentle 🙂