In the Waiting

It’s a habit of many people to choose a word to define their year.  Sort of a mantra or theme for the year.  I’ve done it in the past and never really stuck to it except for once or twice (like the year I had my gastric bypass surgery my word/theme was “Healthy”) because I usually am distracted by allthethings life throws at me and a theme doesn’t usually emerge until I’m looking backwards at the end of the year.

This past year, I had a few things change in my personal life that came from some hard choices I had to make – choices about continuing to walk down a path I was on or stop, regroup, and find a new path; choices about health (again) and about where to invest my time and energy. Nothing necessarily negative, but things that may seem small at first glance but can shape your future whether you realize it or not.

And in making some of those choices I kept hearing one word in my head – or one theme at least.  And that was this:

WAIT

Now, if you know me at all, you know that I am not generally a “waiting” kind of gal. I am a “get things done,” “take charge,” “make it happen” kind of gal.  I don’t generally sit around waiting for things to happen. I make things happen. Both in my personal and in my professional life.  It is very much tied to my identity – who I believe I am, who others believe me to be. It’s what I’m paid to do as well! I’m good at it. Very good.

And so, this idea of waiting has been a hard one for me.

Very hard.

desertGod has moved some things out of my life that I thought were the things I was supposed to be doing – things I was very passionate about and very invested in. And he has moved other things into my life that have caused me to slow down (full stop, actually) and to say no to a lot of things I would really like to be doing or to say “not right now” to other things I had been doing.

And that’s just not who I am.  I’m the girl you can count on when you need help. I am the one who will help you organize all the things, get the events done — set up, clean up, show up.  That’s me.

So, now what do I do with this waiting?

It’s so foreign to me.

And yet it feels like it is exactly what I am supposed to be doing right now.

I feel like God is moving chess pieces, lining things up, working on my heart and in my life to prepare me for something – what I do not yet know – and my job is to rest in this quiet period and prepare myself for what is to come.

But when you are a do-er and a maker-of-things-happening, waiting, especially when you don’t know what you are waiting for, is very hard.

If I knew, I could be preparing, right? If I knew, I could study, or research, exercise, whatever.  But since I don’t know, I can’t.

And maybe that is part of what I need to learn.

That sometimes (most of the time, if we’re honest) we don’t know what is coming around the bend.  And we are certainly not in charge of our future, however much we want to delude ourselves into thinking that we are.

This year (so far) is an exercise in trust. In faith. In really reaching deep and in saying “Ok, God, I don’t know where this is heading or what it is you want me to do, but I’m going to put one foot in front of the other every day and trust that you will lay the path before me each day.”  And isn’t that really what we are called to do?

Matthew says (in chapter six of his gospel) “So don’t worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

I am really trying to live this out this year – taking one day at a time – one minute at a time – and letting God direct my path.

Some days I am better at this than others, my family can surely attest to that!  Some days I am so frustrated at not knowing what is coming next, where I’m supposed to be and what I’m supposed to be doing.

And when I find myself spiraling into this miasma of trying to fill the void with something, anything I stop and wait.  I stop and pray “Ok, God, I know you have plans for me. I am here for what you set before me. Lead me. I will wait.”

But, I think, in the waiting I am learning. I am growing. I am finding out things about myself that I might not have found otherwise. And I’m trying to learn patience and trust. To let go of my need to control my future and let God handle that.

And isn’t that what faith is about?

I mean, if we really believe God is sovereign, all knowing, omnipresent, and Lord of All, why don’t we let Him rule our lives as He designed us to do anyway?

Is it that we feel as if He might get it wrong? Or put us in a situation we can’t handle or don’t want?

I think, maybe, He does just that.  (and sometimes we do it to ourselves, if we’re honest. We do have free will. We are not slaves to God) But maybe, just maybe, it’s in those times when we are out of our comfort zone, out of our happy place, that God is there beside us ready to carry us through – to show us a part of ourselves we may never have seen otherwise. To lead us to a new plane of reality we’d have never reached if we’d stayed in our comfy place.

I’m still not content here in this period of waiting. I’ll be honest.  I am ready for things to happen and for me to know what is next so I can just go do it.

But I’m also learning to lean in to God. And to slow down and listen to what the Holy Spirit is teaching me in this fallow time.  And hopefully, on the other side of this, I’ll be better prepared for what is to come.  And once the brakes have been taken off, I’m ready to race forward into whatever that is, fully charged and ready to invest all.

 

Today…

I am starting a new Monday tradition.  Mondays will be my Simple Woman’s Daybook post. Simply, but effectively, capturing the moment. I hope you will join me!

Monday, 2 Nov 2009

Outside my window… my yard is covered in a blanket of leaves; the sky is brightening and the neighborhood is waking up.

I am thinking…of all the things there are to do today – and prioritizing them.

I am thankful for…my husband.

From the kitchen…Pork chops for dinner tonight.   BBQ is on my mind, though.

I am wearing…velour warm-up suit, white t-shirt.

I am creating…bulletin boards for the church volunteer hallway.

I am going…to focus on having a good day today.

I am reading…nothing right now. I have started 3 books but none have “grabbed” me yet.

I am hoping…work comes quickly for my husband. Layoffs are no fun.

I am hearing…the washer and dryer running.

Pondering these words… Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Prov. 3:5-6

Around the house…the little messes from a weekend with the family home are rampant. Must get things tidied up today.

One of my favorite things…peace and quiet after everyone goes to work and school.

A few plans for the rest of the week…re-focusing on taking care of myself so I can take better care of others.

Thanks to The Simple Woman’s Daybook for the inspiration.

Scrapbook Layout Inspiration

Happy Tuesday, y’all…

It’s raining here. Nasty, wet and cold.  My youngest is at home with me – she has the sniffles. We are snuggled up in the house and I’m trying really hard to remember that I work full-time and stay focused on work.  What I really want to do is grab a blanket or two, light a fire, make some hot tea, and snuggle by the fire with my little Doodlebug.  Maybe that will come in just a little bit.  Must get a few more things done.

I thought today I would share a layout idea that has inspired me.  I found it over at Ella Publishing Company’s website. They have a neat new eZine that has some pretty awesome ideas in it. I’m finding great inspiration for layouts, color schemes, you name it.  One thing I’ve learned over the  years  is to always be on the lookout for things that catch my eye.  Once I find them, I either take a picture, save it on my PC, or put it in a folder I have of scrapbooking ideas.

Here’s my folder –

IMG_3222

I just rip pages out of magazines and save them here. When I sit down to scrapbook and need a little inspiration or help getting the creative juices flowing, I just rummage around in the pile of ideas. That is usually a good way to get me started.

I used to subscribe to tons of scrapbook magazines.  Now, not so many.  I have found that I can get the same inspiration from looking at blogs and other scrapbook related websites (like Ella’s) to find (free) ideas.  So, I have started an electronic version of my idea “folder” as well.  This is a little simpler – it’s just a PowerPoint file that I copy/paste images into whenever I see an idea that inspires me.

ideafile

Here are some places for you to consider as you search for ideas for yourself:

  • Designer Digitals – they have challenges that are awesome. If you are a digital scrapbooker, the downloads that come with the challenges are pretty awesome, too.  If you are traditional, consider getting the downloads anyway. You can always print them on your own cardstock or re-create the layout, etc. on your own.  The ladies at DD are really talented and I always find a few things I want to try over there.
  • Ali Edwards – always has awesome ideas.  Check her blog out (if you haven’t already) – it is well worth the visit.
  • Cathy Zielske – I love her no-nonsense style of scrapbooking. Clean lines, lots of whitespace and capturing the essence of a story.

Okay, enough rambling…. Here’s the original layout that inspired me:

Here’s my version:

my take

And, here’s a bonus for you – a link to a template you can use in StoryBook Creator + (3.0) if you are using that for your digital scrapbooking. (as soon as I get Photoshop Elements, I’ll include those, too. Not in the budget yet, though)

Send me your pages! I’d love to see what you do with the idea!

Today…

Outside my window… the clouds are trying to overtake the sun and the leaves are changing into a beautiful blanket of color.

I am thinking…of all the things I need to accomplish today – there is not enough time!

I am thankful for…good friends, a loving family, God’s blessings.

From the kitchen…homemade oatmeal craisin cookies; ham for dinner.

I am wearing…comfy clothes; must get “dressed” for the day still.

I am creating…a positive mood and outlook to help me be productive today.

I am going…to love on my kids when they get home this afternoon.

I am reading…You Had Me at Halo (a silly, but entertaining book)

I am hoping…my husband’s job continues to be productive and he is not laid off again.

I am hearing…”I Will Rise” on the radio.

Around the house…my cats are sleeping, the puppy is trashing the yard, and the big dog is napping with one eye out for the pup’s attacks.

One of my favorite things…my hot tea in the mornings… earl grey.

A few plans for the rest of the week…Ballet, Jazz, making dinner for a friend who is recently home from hospital.

Photo inspiration:

I love fall...and mountain streams...

I love fall...and mountain streams...

Thanks to The Simple Woman’s Daybook for the inspiration.