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Parenting Pre-Schoolers

We Weren’t Meant To Do It Alone

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“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.”  James 1:5

“What in the world were you thinking?”

This was a staple of my prayer life when my children were young.  Yes, I questioned God many times.  I feel like He probably got tired of hearing it but I had to be real, right?  I mean, what was He thinking putting me in charge of two live humans?

Scripture tells us that we are all sinners so that includes me, duh, and I know that perfectionism is non-existent on the planet.  I get it.  So when we were given the blessing and responsibility of raising two children, how in the world was I, an imperfect person, expected to “train them in the way they should go” and somehow keep them on the straight path and help them be who God created them to be?

At times the task felt impossible.  At times I thought we would all be on Oprah (I know, I’m dating myself) one day airing our dirty laundry for all the world to see.  I mean, surely I was messing them up somehow.

Ever felt this way?

What I learned over time was that my thinking was prideful.  Pride.  Full.  Full.  Of.  Pride!!

Parenting has a way of humbling us, doesn’t it?

Your infant pees on you during a diaper change.  Your toddler comes to wake you in the night with an upset stomach only to vomit in your hair while they’re beckoning for help.  Your preschooler points to someone in the grocery store and asks you why they look like they do.  You begin to lose your temper with your elementary age child and they begin to tell you about the character trait of self-control that they are learning in school.

These are just a few of the physical challenges that come with being a parent.  Just wait until they become young adults!  The physical challenges diminish greatly but the emotional pull that comes with watching your children launch out can be just as great.

Now that I’m on the other side of having small children, here are a few things I learned:

Mothering preschoolers, at times, was lonely.  I was isolated.  I was schedule driven.  Sometimes, I was limited financially aka broke!

*Find a community.  I found mine through my local church.  I deliberately surrounded myself with women who were in my shoes and with those who had already walked out of them and were on to parenting older children.  Both have value.  I attended some play dates, library readings and gym sessions for moms and toddlers but I found that authentic relationships were built in the security of other christian women.

I felt unequipped.  After reading all the books and those wonderful magazine articles found at the pediatrician’s office, every family is unique in its own way and while I found some good tips through those avenues, there was only one solid source for teaching me how to parent MY children.

*This time in my life is when I got more serious about my faith.  I had to ask myself if I really believed in Christ or was I just riding the coat tails of my upbringing.  I had to choose if I was only going to use Him when I needed answers or was I ALL IN on placing my faith in Him.  He created the institution of family, the first mom and dad, the first set of children…He is the designer of it all and He is the deepest, widest and most rock solid source of how to parent.  He proved this to me over and over as I walked through these years.

I am blessed.  I’m acutely aware that there are some out there who long to be a mom and are just not able to be at this time.  Not all get this privilege to parent and we shouldn’t take it lightly that we were chosen to guide these little human beings for 18+ years.  To be the place where they launch off into adulthood and return to when they need to steady their footing again.

*God chose us to do this task.  Being hand picked by God..now that is a blessing!

God chose you!  Rest in that friend.  You are your child’s parent on purpose.

Do what you can to prepare.  Do what you can to just simply do your best.  But know this, this journey of parenting isn’t just about those babies.  It is about you and your relationship with your Creator too. This is a time to lean into Him, trust what He says about finding community.  Trust what He says when He tells you He will never leave nor foresake you.  Trust His instructions in the Bible about parenting.

We can get so wrapped up in our children.  We’ve all been there or been tempted to do so.  But, everything that we experience in this life is about strengthening our relationship with Christ and inviting others to do the same.  All of it.

So keep your focus on Him.  Keep Him at the center.

We are lonely at times because He longs to spend time with us.

We feel unequipped at times because He longs to equip us.

We are blessed always because He is just waiting to give us whatever we need and it’s all for our good, the good of our children and to bring glory to Him.

So, lean in.  Lean hard.  Beware of the trap of thinking you can do it all on your own.  We are designed to need Him and when we give in to that, well that is where we will find freedom.

Blessings,

Kellie

 

 

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Choosing to Trust the Author of Our Stories in the Midst of Hard Chapters

I recently took a day to put the top down and take some back roads.  I love taking in the sights of small town America and imagining how those towns first came to be.  Who settled there first, and who keeps the livelihood going.  I love old buildings and dirt roads and sunflower fields…all of it.  It fills me up spiritually and I’m able to reflect on those moments and noticings for a while and draw inspiration from those places.

I imagine those first generations that came in and settled had a hard time.  They had to endure financial barriers and sickness, planting and harvesting on new soil and just flat-out fatigue.  I wonder if they were ever tempted to just close the book on their lives and be done.  I wonder what kept them going and inspired them to keep turning the pages and moving on in the stories that they were a part of.

 

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These people were working for something better.  They were building a future for their children and their children’s children.  They were creating changes on their own and having to endure changes that just came with the wind.

Change.

It’s inevitable and it’s annoying and it’s beautiful and inconvenient, it’s stressful and it’s welcoming and it’s unwelcome and it’s scary.

Oftentimes changes will take place in our lives that we have no control over.  The flip side is that there are sometimes changes that need to come into our lives in which we have a choice about.

This is where it can get sticky.

We may not always like the choices that lie before us.  Sometimes we don’t even know what choices we have as we have to close a door behind us before we can turn to look at the other doors before us.  Does that make sense?

I believe oftentimes a choice stands before us, one we may not even see yet, and God is waiting for us to simply wet our fingers, reach out, even if with eyes closed, and turn the page.

In Philippians, Paul tells us this…

 “…By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.”

The Message

No one is an expert, just move onward.  Run…no turning back!

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A sweet friend of mine says frequently “God is writing my story”.

Think of your life as a book.  It’s unique and beautiful on its own.  Like any good story there is joy and sadness.  Suspense and intrigue.  New characters are introduced and old ones leave. There are stories within the story.  Battles fought, some wins, some losses, always a lesson learned.

But the ending.  This is where turning the page will get you.  You have to turn the page to get to the ending.

 The ending is where the good stuff is.  Where the author takes all of the pieces of our story and ties them together for a finish that we could never have imagined.

That doesn’t mean it always appears to be a happy ending in our eyes.  But, it does mean that the Author is pleased with the finished product.  That the masterpiece that He created which is YOU (and me) is complete.

Our lives, our stories, aren’t to be tucked away on a shelf to collect dust and stay hidden from the world.  They’re a testament to the Author.  They are a word of mouth endorsement for others to take interest in and see the work of God and the hope that living a life for Him brings.  Even during the moments of the unknown, suspense and sadness, if it’s too much to read that chapter out loud as it’s being written, share it with others once the page has been turned and you have the gift of hindsight to go along with that part of your story.

God can stun you in hindsight when you discover the careful orchestration of events in your life.”

-Priscilla Shirer

Remember, those hard times are only a part of you, not the whole.  Every story intertwines the good with the bad.  You are no exception.  But you and I get to choose whether we are going to park ourselves on the negative or just glance there and set our gaze on the positive.

I’ve seen what this Author can do with a willing participant.  I’ve read His other works that are scattered throughout history (HIS-story).  I’ve seen friends and family make hard decisions that they NEVER regretted.  But ask them about the choosing, and they’ll tell you that in the flesh, it wasn’t always easy.

Some days I’m still learning to keep moving and trust.  To turn the page even when I’m afraid of what may be on the other side.  If you feel this way, you are not alone.  This has been going on from generation to generation.

I imagine the people who settled on these lands first had to make hard choices and they had to make them quick.  They didn’t always have the luxury to watch a fever for a few days before making the trek to the doctor’s office.  They couldn’t watch their crops be swarmed by locust and spend a few weeks contemplating on whether they should burn or just stand by and wait and see.  They didn’t have choices in their homes on counter tops, flooring and paint colors to peruse from as they built.  They had to move quickly, making split second decisions, not always knowing what the outcome would be for their families as they flipped the pages in their lives.

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Look around at how far these little towns have come.  You’re living in one now.  We have the people who were here first to thank for that.  They kept turning the pages in their lives, moving forward, building something for the rest of us to reflect on and be thankful for and continue building from.

When we are given choices, it’s a gift.

Even though making a choice can be excruciating, if we stand by paralyzed with fear, like any good book, we will grow stiff.  Cold.  Our stories can become uninviting for others who want to be a part of our lives.

Where are you at today?  Is there a choice staring back at you that has to be made and you are crippled with fear?  Your fingers feel stricken with arthritis and you are unable to move towards that top right corner of the page to move it over?

You’ve been given a choice.  Stay on the page you are sitting where dust will collect and the beauty of the words will soon fade, or perhaps reach out with your other hand to do the turning.  Maybe you need a friend to come alongside and help you turn your page.  Perhaps you need to pick up the book, shake it out and attack that page turning like you never have before.

God is writing your story.

It’s not over yet.  The momentum is building and there may be people around you just biting their lip to see what the next chapter of your life holds.  They aren’t fixated on YOU, they’re looking to the author.  They’ve read His stories before and they know that He never disappoints.  Never.

I’m praying for us all to keep moving forward.  To view turning pages as a privilege and highly anticipate what God is going to reveal next.  I would love to pray for you if your next page seems too heavy to lift.  You’re invited to private message me.  It would be a privilege to be that friend that helps pray you through your next hard choice.

Kellie

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Be Easy On Yourself

 

I was recently talking with a friend and she said something that resonated deeply with me.

 

We were talking about goals and dreams and what may be out in front of us that we want to attain.  We were talking about how to get to those places and how sometimes we have to muddle through other things, let other things go, clear a path etc. before we can reach those goals.  It was wonderful conversation soaked with truth.

I thought we were going to keep talking about big, personal goals and encourage each other to keep pursuing them.  I thought we were going to go big picture.  I was wrong.

 

She said something that rang a bell deep in my heart…

“I’m learning to give myself grace in the small, every day things.  To celebrate those accomplishments, even if they’re small”.

 

Isn’t that good??

Don’t we wait until the BIG thing is checked off of our list before we cut ourselves a break and celebrate?  Before we acknowledge that we’ve accomplished anything at all?  Aren’t women known for being their own worst critics?  For being so focused on the big, giant goals that we push aside the small steps that had to be accomplished before reaching that destination?

 

Here’s what I’m learning the older I get and the more that I make relationships with other women a priority…we are too hard on ourselves.  Way too hard.

 

 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

 

If you struggle simply getting out of bed some mornings because of anxiety or depression, and you actually get up…cut yourself a break.  Acknowledge that you just accomplished something.  It doesn’t matter if it is a “hard” thing to anyone else.  If it is “hard” for you, and you pushed through…give yourself some grace.

 

If you are fighting with your spouse 5 or 6 times a day and you have a day where you only fuss 4…don’t linger over the 4, celebrate the absence of the others.  It’s a small thing that can lead to bigger things.

 

Mothers of young children, I hear many of you voice your desire to have your quiet time in the morning and get in your work-out, shower and start breakfast all before that baby wakes up.  Some of you are drowning with guilt because you haven’t had your child’s 30 day pictures taken like everyone else has (bahahaha..ask me how many times I had my children’s pictures taken when they were babies) and now your child will grow up with low self-esteem because you didn’t document every inch that they grew!  Stop!!! There are more of you than you think only getting a shower every other day and barely managing to feed your husband a bowl of cereal after coming in from a long days work.

 

If you’re that mom and you got out of bed and loved on your children today, celebrate that you took care of what was most important.  If at the end of the day only 1 out of 8 things is ticked off of your to-do list, celebrate the 1 thing and start fresh tomorrow.

 

It’s important to set goals.  To reach for the stars and move forward with vision and purpose.  But, while you move forward, give yourselves some grace and acknowledge that even the small accomplishments are still accomplishments.  It takes plowing through the small things before the big things can be attained.

 

God is in the small things and it’s in those achievements that sometimes our intimacy with Him is more tangible than others.  It’s those small tasks that when achieved, draw out a quiet “yesssssss” and will draw our gaze to our Father, who is so pleased and just tickled, when we include Him in those mini celebrations.

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He sees when we struggle to get out of bed but we do it anyway.  He sees when we are unhappy with our jobs but we go and give it our best anyway.  He sees when our anxiety tells us to stay home but we push through and call that friend anyway.  He sees when we push away the cake in an attempt to care for our bodies.  He sees when that baby has kept you up all night and it’s all that you can do the next day to simply brush your teeth.

 

“…my power is made perfect in weakness…”

 

In our weak moments, let’s let Him in and share that.  We have a tendency to beat ourselves up and assume that God is disappointed when we struggle.  That He is somehow never satisfied with our small steps.  Not so.  It is in our weakness that He has room to work.  It is here that He shines through.  It’s this place that we realize our need for His power and comfort and He delivers.

 

Every.  Single.  Time.

 

Let’s lean in.  Be more like my friend and celebrate the small things.  Celebrate with Him.  He’s right there lending His power to help us push through.  Then, let’s throw a little praise party as we accept the grace that He is handing us!

 

Praying that we give ourselves even a portion of the grace that He longs to give us.  I believe we’d be blown away if we realized the grace He’s made available for you and me.  Blown.  Away.

Kellie

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Sometimes Tears Are Necessary

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Years ago, my husband was doing some contracting work on a home and he fell off of the roof landing on his head.  He was working alone (which we had a long talk about later).  After he woke up,  I got a phone call from him telling me that “something has happened” and “I don’t know where I am” and again repeating “I think something has happened”.  Before he spit out his second sentence I already had my shoes on and both my children were being shuffled out the door so that we could get to him quickly.  I feared he would wander off and get lost!  I calmly told him to sit down and stay put so I could call 911.
After that call, I burst into tears for about 30 seconds, took a few breaths, and sucked it back up like a big girl does.
Have you ever had your mind reeling with fresh news but you know that you can’t cry just yet?  Ever gotten a middle of the night call that a loved one is on the way to the hospital but you’ve got to get the details before you can have a mini break down?  Ever taken a call at work which would require you to tie up lose ends before exiting to sit with a loved one?  I got one of those calls lately.
What do we do in those times?  We hold it together until we scoot behind the wheel of our cars, punch in our GPS where we need to go so that we can let it do the work for us, and belt out a good cry!  We may whale and sob and keep our eyes open just enough to see the road for about a minute but then it’s time to take a few breaths and suck it back up.  Am I right?
Those moments where we have to get the stuff done before the cry, do you get a headache holding it in?  Boy I do!!  I can only hold it for so long before I NEED to have a good cry.  And sometimes, a good cry isn’t a long, drawn out thing, sometimes it’s just allowing it to come through for a brief moment to release pressure and then all is good!
Also, do you ever get mad at yourself because a cry just came out of nowhere?  Like you thought you had held it all together just fine until you have to talk to someone about what you’re having for dinner and suddenly you feel it just well up in your throat and burst through your eyes and nose?  Almost like a mini explosion just under the surface of your face has occurred and you have absolutely no control when it comes to holding it back.
UGGHHHHHH!!
The older I get, the more I realize how freeing it can be to just go with it.  To realize that even if I am in a good place mentally and emotionally that sometimes my physical body is still going to react to whatever it is I am going through.
It’s good.
If you are ever looking for at least one thing to be thankful for in this life, be thankful for this…God knit our bodies together so intricately that He put things in place to help us when we need to release.  When we need to de-stress.  When we need to blow.
Tears.
I did a little research on tears.
Studies have been done and tears were tested and compared between those who cried because of emotional stress and those that cried while slicing an onion.  The people who cried over some type of sadness or stress had much higher levels of stress inducing hormones in their tears than those who were with the vegetables.  As our stress increases, certain hormone levels increase and having a cry can be our bodies natural way of disposing of that overload of hormonal yuck.
Also, did you know that tears contain a natural painkiller called leucine enkephalin?  That when this is released, it can actually ease pain and work to improve our moods?  It gives a whole new perspective on why we may feel better after a good cry.
It’s things like this that make me in awe of God all over again.  That He would construct our bodies in such a way as to feel such deep emotion, to have the ability to compartmentalize if necessary, and then to supply our need of having a release from it all.
What about you?
Were you raised to think that it’s not lady-like to cry when you’re upset?  Or when someone has hurt you?  Were you taught that if you cry you are simply weak or that “tough girls don’t cry”?
It’s ok friends.  Male AND female.  Our bodies were designed with a pressure guage and sometimes no matter how hard we try to hold on to that handle and keep in the steam, we need to let it go.  It’s healthy.  It’s a natural healer.  It’s cleansing.
Let’s agree that if we need to take a moment to open the valve and let the stress stream out of us for even a minute or two, we will not apologize.  If we have to do it in the car or in a bathroom stall or even with our head buried in a pillow, it’s ok.  It’s ok!  The key is to listen to our bodies and give in to it.
Tears are a gift.  And sometimes they are necessary to our well-being.  We were built that way…on purpose.

Praying for those who have held it in way too long, it’s time to let it go.

Kellie

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When “Mother’s Day” Is Hard

Sometimes Mother’s Day is tough.

Being a mom isn’t always fun, some days it’s just hard.  Unfortunately, some of those hard days or seasons may fall on or around Mother’s Day.  I know they have for me.

I’ve had a Mother’s Day or two that I faced with dread.  I’ve been in the trenches, battling for the well-being of my children, struggling to hold my ground as the parent when a child was trying to take over and show me who they thought was really the boss.  I’ve had a Mother’s Day or two where I fought with a child over disobedience or disrespect and had to wake up on this special day questioning my parenting skills.   Wondering where I was going wrong.  Playing over and over in my head the strong words that were exchanged a mere 24 hours earlier in my home.

If you look at social media today, you’ll only see the good stuff.  It’s easy to look and compare and envy and wonder why your child would rather be somewhere else.  Why these other families seem to have it all together.   It’s easy to question if you’ve been left out of those parenting classes that your friends on social media obviously attended.

HA!

Moms, don’t fall for it!  Don’t let yourself tumble into the trench and spend your energy questioning what you are doing wrong.  Just don’t.  At least not on Mother’s Day.

Parenting is hard, beautiful, messy and sometimes even a breeze!  It can be rewarding and exhausting all at the same time.  Especially during times of adolescence for your children, or those high school years where they are trying to find their own way, and for those of us who were “gifted” with a strong willed child, well…it can be hard, beautiful messy and a breeze all within 5 minutes of any given day!!

Real talk.

Have you ever wanted to give it up?  To tell that pre-teen to stop threatening to move out and just get on with it?  Does it ever look easier to let that 14 or 15 year old just GO ON and be someone else’s child to raise because you’ve “done all you can” and you’re just over it!

We were there at my house.  I’m telling you, parenting a strong headed child is exhausting and after so many years with everything seeming to be a battle, it would have been much easier on our family to just let the child go!

But…that’s not what a mom is called to do is it?  We’re given this child to raise and unless they walk out on their own, we need to be in the business of hanging on, of persevering, of sticking it out.

“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”

James 1:12

Moms, your worth is not found in how well your child is behaving.

Your value as a mother is not to be judged on the basis of whether your kid likes you on any given day.  Your worth is found in who YOU belong too.  In being a child of God.

Think of it this way…as God’s children…If He looked on us and judged His own worth based on our actions, where would He be?  What kind of self-esteem would He have.  What kind of father do you think He’d think He was?

Do you see what I’m saying?

We are to love our children unconditionally, guide them towards what is right and good and keep on loving them no matter how they respond to our efforts.

Isn’t this what God does with us?

His worth is based on who He is.  Our worth is based on whose we are.  Nothing else.

That is good news!!

Being a mother is a blessing, even when it doesn’t feel like it.

This is where we find our joy on Mother’s Day moms!  In that He hung this title on us, on purpose, for a purpose.

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Yes, if your children are around, celebrate.  Celebrate big!  But don’t let what took place the day before wrap you in a wet blanket.

And if your children are not around, celebrate you!  Do something you enjoy.  Eat the cake.  Drink the coffee.  Take the long walk.  Talk to Jesus about what’s on your heart and soak up the rest that only He can offer.

Our job is a privilege and children are a blessing…even if it some days it doesn’t feel like it.

Enjoy your day moms, it’s all yours!

Praying for those weary moms tonight,

Kellie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I’m Sorry About Your Marriage…

This is hard stuff.

 

It seems that every circle I am in, someone’s marriage is in a slow crumble.  Every.  Circle.

 

Some married for a short time, others for years.  Some without children, others with kids.  Some young, some older.

 

When we are preparing to marry we dream BIG!!

 

Those dreams can begin to play out in our minds like a film.  The engagement period where we are eager to show everyone our shiny ring and the wedding planning begins.  The day comes, vows are exchanged in front of God and witnesses and before you know it, the week is over and it’s back to reality.  Most women I know are planning out the next phase and then the next of life in their little family (because women are planners you know!).

 

The hum drum of life sets in and the daily routine rocks along.

 

This is where the mystery begins.

 

I’ve never been in these shoes, but I know many who have.  Unhappiness, discontent, anxiousness…shock, unbelief, helplessness…panic, fear, worry…anger and hurt…loneliness.

 

The dreams dreamed years before don’t just disappear.  They’re still there.  Only now, they’re not in color, they’re in black and white.  There’s no life left in them when the reality of what is happening sets in.

 

When I hear of another friend whose conversations with their spouse now include the “D” word, my heart sinks.  It’s like when someone dies and there just aren’t words.  Only hugs.

 

Divorce is a death.

 

It’s the passing of a dream, shared goals and the most important relationship in someone’s life.  Feelings of denial, anger, sadness and eventually acceptance pass through.  It demands to be mourned just like any other great loss in our lives.

 

When the marriage ship has crashed into the rocks and is splintering into a million pieces, most don’t want to hear “God has a plan” or “hold tight to Jesus”.

 

2 words.

 

I’m sorry.

 

I’m sorry!

 

It’s not for pity sake.  It’s a genuine expression that I’m sorry your dream has died.  I’m completely, fully sorry.  I can’t even begin to imagine what you’re facing.

 

I would like to share some observations I’ve had the privilege to witness.

 

May I do that?

 

A marriage that is trembling, one that has lost it’s way…I’ve seen one spouse turn to their faith in God and lean in with everything they’ve got.  They lift up their spouse to the Lord thinking that He will change their spouse.  Surprisingly, change usually occurs in the one doing the praying first.  I’ve witnessed patience creep in.  A more positive attitude.  I’ve seen walls of defensiveness slowly be chipped away.

 

A marriage that is over…the women I know who have walked through a marriage and ended on the other side of divorce, I’ve seen them find their strength through the journey.  I know, it’s a horrible way to realize how strong you are…horrible…but it just is.  I’ve witnessed it first hand.

 

 

He can take the things in our life that some meant for our harm, and He can turn them into something wonderful.  Something we could have never predicted.

 

” And we know that God causes everything to work together[m] for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”

Romans 8:28

Can I make an attempt to encourage you here?

Whether your marriage is shaking, whether the gauntlet has already been thrown down, whether the counselors just aren’t working or your spouse refuses to even give them a try…whether your court date is next week or you’ve been on your own for a while now…whether you’re just plain unhappy and you haven’t said the “D” word out loud, but you’re thinking about it…

Romans 8:28 tells us that God will work things out for our good-but only for those who love Him.

Do you love Him?  This may not sound like an “encouraging” question, but it’s key.

Do you love Him?

Get close to the One who knows you and your spouse (or ex-spouse) better than you know yourselves.  Let your closest friend or friends hug you and baby sit for you and go to court with you and pray with you.  Make sure you can trust who you confide in, make sure they are a friend who will talk to God about you, that is the mark of a true friend.

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I’m sorry about your marriage.

But there is hope.  There is always hope for better days ahead for those who love God.

Always.

Praying for those walking this hard road,

Kellie

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Finding Hope In the Hallway

We’ve all stood in the proverbial hallway.  Waiting on doors to open.  Not knowing which door to choose.  Putting our hand on the handle only to find that it’s locked.  Listening to what’s going on behind closed doors, trying to discern if that’s our cue to move on or move in.

Waiting…waiting…waiting…  Crickets.

What do we do while in that hallway?  When we are waiting and wondering and even worrying about which direction to go or if we should pull harder on the handle…how do we wait…and do it well?

 

Hallways can seem dark and narrow.  There aren’t any windows.  They can seem lonely.  Stuffy.  Even dingy.

But, look around you.  In that hallway, that place of holding and waiting and wondering.

Raise up your chin and look around.

I bet there are family photos hanging on those walls, telling story after story of God’s faithfulness.  New babies being born into young excited families.  School pictures depicting proud young children sporting their braces and glasses.  Families of 4 or 6 or 8 or more posing together to capture that time in their lives that they will never get back again.

A few steps away, there’s another framed memory but this one is from a trip taken with a loved one.  Maybe a sunrise or sunset.  Perhaps it’s just two smiling faces exploring new lands, tasting new foods, getting good rest in the midst of recreation.

You spot another picture.  A photo of someone who left a legacy in your family.  One of dedication to God.  A man or woman of great faith who taught their children who taught their children how to pray.

Take another step or two.  A hall table sits with an open Bible and a pair of old reading glasses placed right on top.  Scripture has been underlined in red on pages that are soiled from oily fingers and tear stains.  Perhaps a metal cross hangs above that table.  A reminder of God’s love for us that is so vast we can not even comprehend it all.

**In Acts 1 and 4 Jesus tells his followers to wait on the arrival of the Holy Spirit

**In Psalm 37 and 7 David tells us to be still and wait patiently for the Lord

**In Deuteronomy Moses leads God’s chosen people around the desert for 40 years before their arrival at the Promised Land

**In Genesis Abraham had to wait 25 years before having the child God had promised him

Waiting on the Lord is nothing new.  But, there is purpose in it so embrace it.  Learn from it.  Grow in it.

“I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
    and in his word I put my hope.”

Psalm 130:5

What do you see in your hallway?  Where has God been faithful to you in the past?  What lessons has He taught you?  Whose legacy can you follow while you wait?

When we’re in a holding pattern, let’s look around and take note of the snap shots of God’s faithfulness in our lives.  Every memory, every recollection of God’s hand at work in our past.  Let’s take the time to thank Him.  Praise Him!

hope-in-the-hallway

As you lean against the wall, slide down and take a seat. Grab a journal and a pen and begin writing down those stories.  As you take in the sights, reminiscing on how God has built your faith over the years, tell Him how thankful you are.

When we take our focus off of those closed doors, something happens.  Our eyes shift to the walls which are graced and laced with memories and memorials all pointing us back to God’s faithfulness.

When we meditate on Him and His steadfast love for us in the past, we are reminded that a door will open when He’s ready to reveal what’s behind it.  When we are ready to receive what’s there.

Until then, there’s hope in the hallway.  Let’s get so lost in praising Him for His faithfulness that we have trouble even focusing on closed doors.  I believe sometimes he closes us off so that He can have us all to Himself.  So He can point us to His faithfulness and grace.  So He can have our undivided attention.

Let’s take a few deep breaths.  Raise up our eyes and slowly look around.

Hope resides where you are.  Jesus Christ is our hope and He is there with you.  With me.  In your past, in your present, He’s behind those closed doors and His words are at your fingertips.

Let’s lace our fingers around His.  Turn the pages, read and meditate on Him in the here and now.  Let’s think back on His faithfulness through generations past with laughter and tears and contemplation as we wait.

For the waiting is temporary.  A hallway is merely an avenue which leads us somewhere else.  Somewhere different.

What He intends for us will come to pass in His timing.

And we need to be ok with that.

Let’s be ok with that, shall we?

Reflect & Respond:

**Think to a time that you waited on the Lord to move, and He DID!

**Take time to reminisce on what He taught you in the waiting and thank Him for it.

Praying we all learn to wait well,

Kellie