I recently returned from leading our first team trip for Saving Moses and it’s been a little tricky getting back in the groove. A few things that I’m presently working through include the regular jet lag sleep challenges, the normal digestion excitement and catching up on missed sleep. Additionally, I’m trying to process some of my experiences and this has proven to be rather difficult.
When I get in these kinds of mindsets, I often get impatient with myself and frustrated that I can’t seem to get back to my regular groove, which only makes things more frustrating & difficult. Thankfully, God had a nice chat with me this morning and reminded me of a few helpful things:
temporary – life can change is big & dramatic ways, but more often, our current situations are temporary & are changing incrementally, even when we don’t know it
be gentle – I can often be harsh & impatient with myself, which often makes things worse; when I’m gentle, gracious and forgiving with myself, I seem to adapt and grow more easily
now – being present today, in Denver, Colorado with my kids, husband & church family is very good
It seems like we all want the “extra” perk – we buy the shampoo that has 25%more for the same price, we look for the value meal, we look for the guy who serves ice cream with a little extra on his scoops, . . . . extra time, more roi, . . . . extra.
Let’s also look at the little ways that we can add some “extra”:
extra patience with the person learning to use the new computer system,
extra grace for the phone agent with the heavy accent,
extra forgiveness for our mate who unknowingly said something hurtful,
extra time on the parking meter for the person who will take our spot,
extra friendly to the cranky check out person at the grocery store
Have you ever felt like you’re in a holding pattern? Sometimes, it seems like God has me in pause mode & I’m continuing to try & faithfully do what’s been given to me, but it’s like I’m on hold. When I’ve been on airplanes that have been in holding patterns it’s usually for a few reasons:
bad weather could make the landing dangerous – preventing danger
our timing for landing was off schedule & we have to wait for our turn – timing alignment
the land crew isn’t quite ready for our arrival – proper preparation to prevent a mishap
If you’re in a holding pattern season, getting impatient usually doesn’t help but using the time to nestle into a deeper walk with God is always a great plan regardless of whatever season in which you find yourself 🙂
I’m currently sitting with my husband & 3 kids at like 9:30pm in the LA airport waiting for our flight to Cambodia. I haven’t travelled a my kids internationally for many years & it’s interesting to watch how they each deal with the diversity of travel in very unique ways. Makes me appreciate how cool God is with us on this journey of life.
I find that God is immensely patient, extravagantly kind, continually generous & infinitely loving. When I watch, listen & wait for God, I find that my life becomes increasingly full of Divine & this is where I find Life 🙂
I’m presently in the middle of another painting project & we’ve just finished the first coat of paint. My kids are helping me with these projects & we are eager to have our painting adventure over. Of course we’re excited to see the outcome & to see if it will look as cool as we hope. But there’s a bit of a hitch on our anticipation. I’ve noticed that because we’d like to be finished with the Summer’s painting adventure, we are kind of rushing our efforts. So far, my take away is that painting & rushing shouldn’t be used in any combination – carpet problems, baseboard problems, angst, relational stress, etc.
As I was carefully trying to edge the ceiling, I felt like God was showing me that often times the best results require patience, being steady & attentive. I want these words, patient, steady & attentive, to be an accurate description of my walk with God. Indeed, those of us who endeavor to follow Jesus must let these words shape our decisions, values & desires in our lives. As Nietzche says, “, . . . a long slow obedience in the same direction.” 🙂
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 🙂