Waiting time is never wasted

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

"Beloved, our great and pressing need today is to give ourselves to waiting upon God, because waiting time is never wasted time."  - Ian Hamilton

I came across this quote in the new Bible study I started through Shereadstruth.com (check it out, pretty cool daily bible study). The current study is on Nehemiah; specifically in regards to this quote, Nehemiah 1:11-2:8.  In this part of the book, Nehemiah has just discovered that his hometown Jerusalem has been destroyed- the wall has been broken down and the city gates have been burned by fire.  He is very far away from home which makes it difficult to do anything and yet he feels it so heavy on his heart that it brings him to tears and to his knees.  The reason that this quote is brought into the study is because Nehemiah prayed, waiting on the Lord for the right opportunity to ask the king, whom he worked for as cupbearer for the opportunity to go and rebuild the wall in Jerusalem.

When I think about waiting, I think that's pretty much how I view it- as wasted time I could've spent doing something else.  I mean really, seeing the act of waiting as a positive and even important time is so far from our culture's understanding of that term, is it not?  Sitting in the waiting room at the doctor's office, and just waaaiiting to be called in?  Ick- no thanks (that could partly be my bent against going to the doctor, but still).  Waiting to hear back about an interview.  Waiting for a page to load on the computer.  Waiting for results after a big test.  Waiting to be served at a restaurant, or for a table to open up.  Waiting for a friend who is running late.  Most often, waiting is the pits!  So it has a pretty negative connotation, don't you think?

Being in this place as a housewife, I feel like waiting is kind of the story of my life.  If you ask me why I haven't pursued employment or taken a step towards figuring out what's next, its because I honestly feel like I am waiting on the Lord to lead me to what's next.  And who knows, maybe being housewife right now is exactly what the Lord wants me to wait for- I don't know.  But reading the quote, "waiting time is never wasted time" got my brain thinking- why is it that waiting is always viewed negatively, and why is it that whenever you have to wait, so often it really does feel like wasted time?  It's like we are so focused on getting to the next thing, the next point on our agenda, the next goal, that we completely miss the waiting time in between that is most likely just as beautiful if not more than the next step in front of us.

It's such a twisted view from what I think God intends it to be, and one that I'd really like to work on in my own life.  I don't to view any of my time as wasted!  I don't want to look back on this period of time in my life and say, geez Mindy, if only you appreciated the waiting time for the blessing and growing time that it was, instead of being so concerned about what's happening next.

I would like to be intentional about changing my attitude about waiting.  I'm going to try to be less concerned about the time spent waiting, or getting to the next thing on my agenda, and try to find the beauty in each moment (even in the doctor's office waiting room- ick).  To view waiting time as a blessing, as a brief break from the craziness that is so often our lives.  To really seek God and praise Him for this time in my life.  And to allow Him to lead me in HIS timing not mine because I know that He is worth waiting upon.

Thinking about this topic, a Bethany Dillon song came to my mind- in fact it's called To Those Who Wait and the chorus says, "Lord, today You know what I need to do.  But You can do more in my waiting than in my doing I could do.  So I won't run anymore, I'm waiting on you."

I love this encouragement.  He really can do way more in my waiting than I could do in my doing.  I don't ever want to get one step ahead of the Lord and what He has planned for me, I want to make sure He is right beside me leading me in the way I should go... and sometimes, most times, that requires waiting.  Waiting time is never wasted IF we use it as an opportunity to trust the Lord to lead us in His perfect timing.

Instead of being negative, let's go soak up times of waiting!  Let's pause, pray, view them as a blessing, and enjoy each moment for what it's worth.

Friendships in your 20's

Friday, May 16, 2014

Growing up, I’ve realized that friendships in your 20’s are hard. Everything seems to change in your relationships because people are moving across the country, getting married, figuring out who they are and who they want to be, having babies, getting established in a career, and all the other joys of getting older. All of these things are great, don’t get me wrong, but all of this contributes to a new place in life where friendships seem to be a lot more difficult to maintain.

I miss the easiness of friendship in college and high school, when it was all about fun and games, when you saw each other every day, and building friendships and spending time together was really a huge focus in our lives. I understand that things change, and that friendships won’t always look the same, but I have to be honest- this has been a really, really difficult realization for me to grasp lately.

I highly value my relationships and have always been a huge fan of having heart to hearts, intentional hang time, being vulnerable, and really just living life with one another through the nitty gritty as well as the fun. Not having as much of this in my life lately, I’m really craving depth and intentionality in my relationships, and missing the times that it came so naturally.

God created us to live in community, to need each other, to support each other, to encourage one another and build each other up. I’m so thankful for that reminder because it encourages me that my desires for deep friendships are not me being crazy or selfish or something, it’s just how God created me to be.

Struggling with this void, I’ve learned that you can’t force things, and you can’t make relationships fill a hole that the other person might not even know is there. I’ve shed a few tears here and there, but I don’t want to wallow in this sadness. I want to try to adjust and figure out what the Lord might be teaching me in this time. I’ve been blessed with some amazing friendships, I am so thankful! I just now need to focus less on what is missing and more on making the most of every relationship I have in front of me.

Romans 14:19 has been an encouragement to me in this time as it says, “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and mutual edification.” This section of Romans talks about how we are to treat our brothers and sisters in Christ, how we are to accept one another, just as Christ accepts us.  I know it might sound slightly unrelated, but it has really helped me change my focus.  Instead of trying to fix what's missing or force my relationships to be what I need all the time, I'm trying to make every effort to bring peace into them.  The way I see it is, I have two choices-  to be frustrated and sad, or make every effort to make the most of them. That’s what I’d like to be my goal as I navigate this new territory, to seek the Lord and make every effort to do what leads to peace and mutual edification in my relationships.

Praying that you, too, might be encouraged with any struggle you're dealing with.  You are not alone.  Sending love your way!  xoxo

28 and counting...

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

27 was quite the year...

These are just a few of the memorable moments that took place during my 27th year.  Learning how to navigate a season of grief, adjusting to a new home and a role as housewife, fun times with friends, lots of laughter with family, feeling content mixed with desires to know more, to be more, and holding dear to the loved ones the Lord has blessed me with, are just a few of the other highs and lows that make this year it's own.  

I have SO much to be thankful for.  God is sooo good, and I am incredibly blessed by the way that He continually extends me grace and loves me even when I don't deserve it.  As I think about turning 28, and preparing for another year in my life, Proverbs 16:9 comes to mind.  It says, "In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps."  My prayer is that this verse would be echoed in the way that I navigate my life this next year- that He would lead me in the way I should go, and that each step would glorify Him.  

Cheers to 28!  Can't wait to see what this next year holds. 

hello May

Monday, May 5, 2014

Why hello, May!  I'm excited for this month.  May is one of my favorite months, maybe partly because it is my birthday month, but also it just seems like a month of new beginnings.  May is when school finishes up for the summer, when the weather finally starts to make a change in WI, when the sun is shining more, when the trees bud, when the first trip up north takes place.  It's just a good month.  So I'm happy to share the goals/to-dos I have come up with for the month.

But first, a quick re-cap on how I did on my April goals:

             fight off feelings of insecurity & take advantage of a freer schedule - I worked really hard on this one and definitely felt the benefits of embracing my housewife status and making good use of my time.  This shall stay on my to do list until the next chapter of my life.  
             be content with the weather................. - Having a new fireplace this spring has made the cooler nights more enjoyable.  I'm still very ready for warmer weather though....
             write two letters of appreciation - I loved doing this.  I sent one to my friend Tara and to my lovely parents.  Thank you notes are so underrated.  Check out the cute thank you notes I sent!  I love these cards by Eva Marie Typography  Her designs are great.

             pray over anxious feelings as soon as they pop into my head - I need to keep working on this one.  I did a better job than previous months, but I need to get into a better habit of lifting everything up in prayer.

Remember how I had find an area rug on my to do list forever?!? Well I finally found one!!!! It's from West Elm and I LOVE it.  I can't wait to share more photos of our house as it's starting to feel more and more put together.  Here's a sneak peek of the new beauty.

Overall, I really enjoyed my to do list this month because I wanted it to induce an attitude adjustment, and I think it did!  It takes intentionality to be positive- just need to work on continuing that.

Here's what's on the docket for May:

             celebrate my birthday!! Watch out 28, I'm coming for ya!
             host a lovely Mother's Day brunch at our house (in-laws and all)
             put my DSLR to good use more often - maybe plan a fun lil shoot? 
             start a new personal Bible study ***  
             finish the last book of the Divergent series

That's what I've got going so far!  Can't wait to see what May has for me.  Have some goals/to dos you'd like to share?  Join me as I link up with Hayley over at The Tiny Twig.

The Tiny Twig
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