find joy in the waiting

Life is hard, y’all. Some days I have no desire to do anything productive because it feels like I’m always striving. Always trying and searching for more. When is it ever enough? When is my ship gonna come in?

It can feel like you are being overlooked, forgotten, when things aren’t happening as quickly as you want them to be. How do you get past this feeling? You take control of what you can and trust God to handle the rest. Find joy in the present. Don’t wait to live your life…

  1. Do some good – volunteer for a soup kitchen, coach Girls on the Run in your area, help the elderly with their daily tasks, do something nice for a friend or family member, etc. Find something that you enjoy and help others with that gift you have.
  2. Praise and worship – instead of constantly praying for what you want, try spending some time in gratitude for what you do have.
  3. Read a book – I know. What could reading a book do?? Well, it could distract you OR if you read a personal development book, or memoir, it could give you hope and action steps that you can take to get the results that you want. Have you had your heart broken? Read “Rising Strong” by Brené Brown. It helped me get over mine, as well as seeing a well-timed Instagram post by Christine Caine quoting Psalm 34:18 –

    The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

  4. Get a hobby – What is something you like to do? Take photos? Get yourself a good camera and go exploring. Do you like crafting? Check out Pinterest for some inspo and head to Hobby Lobby or Michael’s for supplies and you’re set for the duration of that project.
  5. TRAVEL – Get out of town. See some new sights. Take in a new city or a new landscape or both! There is nothing like experiencing a new culture, even if it’s just an hour away. Take a trip. Do something by yourself.

Most of all, I want you to know that you’re not alone. There are others out there going through exactly the same thing as you. And, God has not forgotten you. His timing is perfect.

What helps you get through the waiting?

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identity

Yesterday, I came to the conclusion that I have always had something to find my identity in, but I think that is true of most people.

When I was a young girl in school, I was smart.

When I got into high school and college I was a cheerleader. I told everyone that.

My last semester in college I started dating this guy so I was his girlfriend for 4 1/2 years.

After we broke up, I started running. Then, I was a runner. I found myself telling people so and it was a fact most people knew about me for my adult life.

Then, the unexpected happened. I was injured training for a marathon and never really healed. I didn’t know who I was. I couldn’t hang out with those friends anymore because they were doing something that I could no longer do -> run.

I struggled in trying to find my place in this world. I suddenly didn’t know where I belonged anymore.

I had been back in church for a year or two at this point so I was slowly but surely starting to recognize the gospel. So in the past 2-3 years I have found my true identity.

And, that brings me to yesterday I was sitting in church listening to the message when I had to write my ideas down.

I don’t ever have to wonder who I am or where I belong anymore, because I know that I am His and He is mine.

identity

That is where my identity lies from now till forever, in the love of Christ. I don’t ever have to wander this world alone again. I am saved by grace through faith.

For by grace you have been saved through faith.  And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.  {Ephesians 2:8}

What about you?  Where do you find your identity?

unanswered prayers

unanswered prayers

I thank God every day that my ex-boyfriend and I never got married.  That was 5 years ago and I can’t imagine where I’d be if we did.  I can only think lonely, depressed, and unhealthy.

So, sometimes He says, in His infinite wisdom, “No.”  We may be hurt and cry and pout but, in the end, we thank Him, because like an earthly father he is acting in our best interest, even when we think He’s being unfair.

I’m sure you’ve seen or heard the saying – God has 3 answers for our prayers: Yes, Not Yet, or I have something better for you.  It’s so true, right?

I love this illustration of how we want to hold on to something so badly we don’t see what He has for us is so. much. better.

Just-trust-Me

We only need to trust.  Are you trusting today?  What is God asking you to let go of?

what’s on the horizon

Do you enjoy every sunrise and sunset as I do?  Do you look at it and know the beauty of our Creator?  Most days it brings tears to my eyes to see the horizon, to know that His mercies are new every day.  Not some days when He feels like it.  Not only on weekends.  Not only when I am doing my best to be His child here on Earth. Every. Single. Day.

That brings me to this.  I have felt a nudging in my heart.  That nudging has brought me to the conclusion that this is something God keeps putting in front of me for a reason.  He is in this, as He is in all things.  I try to not make huge life decisions without Him.  I say “try” because sometimes I fail and my selfishness takes over.

holy yoga

So, this thing that I’m going to do, or think I’m going to do, is Holy Yoga.  I am going to be an instructor.  It is my passion to lead other women in loving themselves and their bodies exactly where they are in a Spirit-filled atmosphere.

I have no formal yoga training.  I only practice at home. I am humble in all aspects of yoga (and ministering – this is scary to me).  But, I am willing to trust and I am willing to learn.  If there is one thing I can say positive about myself it’s that I am coach-able.

Therefore, I am taking up this journey.  I am going where the Spirit leads me, even if it is into deep, unknown waters.  I am trusting.  I am trusting in His timing.  I am trusting in His provision.  I am trusting in His sovereignty.

Have you ever practiced Holy Yoga? Where do you feel the Spirit leading you this year?  What are your new scary endeavors?

and if not…

Perhaps that is why, in His bewildering mercy, God sometimes shatters our fondest dreams, or at least allows them to be shattered.  (Whether He is the cause or merely allows it to happen, the result is the same.  And in the midst of the pain, the distinction doesn’t always seem important)

In His sovereignly run universe, the unthinkable sometimes happens–the nightmare we thought we’d never have to face.  And no relief comes, sometimes not for years.  More frequently than untested Christians expect, God removes the one source of joy and meaning that we were counting on to make our lives worth living, and replaces it with nothing.

These are the words from Larry Crabb’s “Creating a True Spiritual Community” that I was reading as my phone rang a few weeks ago.  I received news that my grandmother was being taken to the hospital in an ambulance.  No one could tell me what had happened or what they were doing.

I’m a thinker and sometimes I think that I think too much.  What’s going to happen?  What am I going to do?  What can I do?  But the truth is – God has already thought it through.  He already knows where it’s leading and where it came from.  He knows.  We always hope that the outcome will be good, that we will like His plan, but that’s not always the case.  We have to remember those wise words of Ann Voskamp:

And if not, He is still good.

released

Guess what?!  I’ve been cleared to run 1 mile!!! I am ecstatic but something inside me is saying, “Don’t get too excited yet…you have tried this before.”  And I have, but it didn’t last.  I thought I was ready but I wasn’t…at least, I wasn’t ready to run 5 miles, like the overzealous idiot I was.  Soooo, I’m running 1.  That’s what my physical therapist told me to do and that’s what I’ll do.  I’m following the rules.  Trusting the process.  I want to get better.

stronger

I know I have gone on and on about this whole process, and trust me, I’m as ready as you are for it to be over.  I just want to run.  Yes, I love my new workouts, and I will never again have running as my only activity.  I firmly believe that strength training, as well as yoga and Pilates, all have a place in my workout regimen, however, I want to run.

There’s just something about being outside under the big blue sky that gives me such a relief.  Ah!  Putting one foot in front of the other.  Seeing how far my legs will dare to take me.  Pushing it just one more minute, one more mile.  Not wanting, but at the same time, desperately wanting, for it to be over.

Running doesn’t feel good when you’re doing it.  Any of y’all who think it’s supposed to feel good, I’m sorry, you’ve been mislead.  Your legs and lungs ache, begging you to stop…but you don’t.  That‘s what feels so good.  The accomplishment when it is over.  The view from the top of the hill.  The complete exhaustion.  The cool breeze on your sweaty skin.  The view of the sunset.  The reflection.  Oh, yes, the reflection.  Reflecting on what you just did.  And, it’s not always a proud reflection.  I have no romanticisms about that.  I remember the bad runs just as well as the good ones.  Yet, still, you remember and you press on.

What is your favorite part of running?

How do you stay strong when you have to take a break?

 

what am i running from?

If you grew up in church, or even just in the South, you know the story of Jonah and the big fish.  All I remember is Jonah being swallowed but by a giant fish and living in his belly for a while before getting out.  Until recently, I had thought he fell off the ship.  I guess they soften things for kids, because he was actually thrown off…because he asked to be.  Yep, cast overboard of his own decision.

Doesn't this look sweet?
Doesn’t this look sweet?

Why?  Let’s go back to the beginning.  Jonah was commanded by God to go to Nineveh and preach, but guess what?  Jonah didn’t want to do that.  Nope.  He ran away from God!  What was he thinking?  Can you actually do that?  Instead of going to Nineveh(Middle East), he jumped on a ship heading the opposite direction to Tarshish(present day Spain).

jonah_map
click for source

Then, a giant storm came and Jonah asked to be “cast off” because he knew that this raging storm had come.  The rest is history, he was swallowed by a fish and then later spat out after promising he would make good on what was asked of him.

So this got me thinking.  God is not just going to let me just run away.  No.  He is going to pursue me with his relentless, passionate, absolutely overwhelming love.  (Who doesn’t want to be pursued??)

I self-sabotage.  I think I know what is the right thing for me.  I try to control my life.  What a crazy thought.  What have I been running from?  Where have I been afraid to go that I was being called?

There are things I have put off and put off.  I have, in my humanness, avoided what I knew I should or should not be doing.  Honestly, I just didn’t trust that I was capable of what he was asking of me.  So, maybe all that struggle, all that heartache, all the trying to control was me in the belly of the fish.  God was waiting for me to surface, waiting for me to let go,  waiting for me to give in and do what he has put me here to do.

What have you run from?

How did God bring you back to where he wants you?

running from