The In Between


1. Write for 5 minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in {you can grab the button code in my blog footer}.
3. Go leave some comment props for the five minute artist who linked up before you.

It’s a great way to catch your breath at the end of a long week.

OK, are you ready? Let’s see your best five minutes for the prompt:

In between

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The in between is often times the unknown.

Beginnings can be interesting, or exciting, or maybe even down right scary.

Endings can be sad, or frustrating, or maybe a relief.

It is that in between that can be difficult.

And sometimes that journey of the in between is what makes all the rest, worthwhile.

The waiting is between the beginning and the end…

 

 

Friday Harbor

 

 

28 Jun 2013

Five Minute Friday: In Between

Friday, time to crack open the chocolate ice cream and unscripted version of beautiful you!

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Got five minutes? Let’s write. Let’s finger paint with words –>{click to tweet}.

Let’s just write and not worry if it’s just right or not. Here’s how to play along:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word.

2. Link back here and invite others to join in {you can grab the button code in my blog footer}.

3. Go leave some comment props for the five minute artist who linked up before you.

It’s a great way to catch your breath at the end of a long week.

OK, are you ready? Let’s see your best five minutes for the prompt:

In between

– See more at: http://lisajobaker.com/#sthash.bxTJYL49.dpuf

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Seasons That Seem So Long…

The rain splatters against the kitchen window. Rivulets of water course down the pane, like winter tears.

The sky is gray and a sharp wind is blowing. This is a good day to be inside, but I keep getting drawn back to the window, to gaze out at the scene in my own front yard.

Stark, gray trees. No sign of life on them. They bend to the wind that torments their branches. 102_4421

The seasonal lake, across the road, is flat like a mirror, on the brown farm soil.

Most would say that this is a “depressing’ day. Gray, cold, and wet.

And yet, I can’t help but think of how days like this are a lot like life.

Don’t we all have days that make us wonder “the why’s” ? Days that feel cold and barren? Seasons that seem so long…

Times when tears flow like the cold rain on the window…

I continued to stare out the window. Wondering. Thinking. Pondering.

I saw my rosebushes out front. Naked and dead looking, battered by the winter weather.

A reminder, really.

Those rosebushes were beautiful back in the summer. Red, gorgeous red. They made me smile.

And they will be again. Right now they are just waiting. Waiting for the moment to arrive.

To begin again.

To bloom.

We are a lot like those rosebushes. Sometimes the struggle is in the waiting. The sky seems gray and the winds are harsh.

The days of beauty seem so long ago…and the days ahead are unknown.

But, God knows. He already knows my (and your) future.

There is stillness and beauty in the waiting period, even when it seems like it might be better to rush through it.

Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.  Psalm 27:14 NIV

 

Those Who Bring Good News

Man's Feet

Image via Wikipedia

When the waiting becomes almost unbearable…

When I question God’s timing…

When I ask, “Why not me, God? Why not now?”

When time seems long and my patience seems small…

When God says, “not yet”.

Waiting can be difficult, even painful at times.

Waiting is hard work.

In the quiet.

It is during this time that God reveals Himself in a way that I would not have seen otherwise.

He reminds me, “You are not forgotten“.

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”  Isaiah 52:7 NIV

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This day I am thanking God for all things great and small.

*Good news from a dear friend

*answered prayers

*joy in the every day

*all the kids up at a decent time this morning

*working diligently on school work

*good moods

*friendship

*God’s timing

*people to love

*people who love me back

*summer sunshine

*cool breezes

*my sister’s birthday

*being a big sister

*good books

*contentment

*my God reigns

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What are you thankful for?

Whitespace

Cloudy sky

Image via Wikipedia

Today, for the Faith Barista Jam, we are talking about whitespace…. that place where we meet with God.

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This is a subject I’m not sure how to write about…. I seriously considered not writing anything today. I have been very restless lately and I don’t know how to make it any better.

Three separate opportunities. Three separate times God has closed the door on those opportunities.

Now what?

I’ve tried different things, looking for my niche’, and just can’t put my finger on it…..except to say that it just isn’t there.

And I don’t know why.

I am most definitely in a limbo state now. I find myself asking God what His plan is? Surely, there is a plan for me.

I am impatient.

I read about trust and perspective… How God is sovereign and He has everything under control.

I know that. I believe that.

And yet….

My struggle is in the waiting, which brings me back to trust.

Trust. A five letter word. A relatively small word, yet carries such a huge meaning.

And so, during my “whitespace” I draw close to God. Yes, I question. Yes, I get frustrated.

But, He hears me.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13  NIV

So I wait…and trust…and for now that is enough.

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In The Still Of The Evening…

Front porch

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Last night I was sitting on the front porch with my husband. Like many married couples, we were talking about everything and nothing in particular. I for one, was thankful that the sun was getting ready to slip under the horizon, making it much cooler than it had been earlier in the day. It was quiet in our little piece of the world, except for the sound of the birds chirping in the fields and an occasional vehicle driving down our country road.   I pondered the fact that life is much different for me now. I never thought that I’d be sitting on the front porch of a home in the country.

As a high school student, I couldn’t wait to go away to college and “recreate” myself. As a college graduate I couldn’t wait to start my new career and have my own place. As a teacher I couldn’t wait to meet my new students and make a positive difference.  As a new wife I couldn’t wait to spend time with my husband, creating our life together. As a young wife, I couldn’t wait until we bought our own house for our family to make memories in. As a new mom, I couldn’t wait to hold my son, love him, and be thrilled with each new step.

As a new widow, I couldn’t wait for the sadness to end, and life to return to some sort of normal. As a single parent, I couldn’t wait to cheer at soccer games, plan birthday parties and go on vacations out West. As a thirty-something, I couldn’t wait for the opportunity to meet someone who would want to share life with me. As a newly remarried woman, I couldn’t wait to figure out how this blended family would work.

Always waiting….

So much of life is spent waiting, isn’t it? Your waiting might be, and probably is, different than my waiting. Life requires waiting.

Waiting for something new. Something different. Something better. Something comfortable. Something real. Something exciting.

Always waiting….

Waiting can bring new life, if I am patient. It has in the past…and it will again in the future.

This season of life has me both waiting and wondering. What will be next?

It is both scary and beautiful, all at the same time. On days when I am weary from worry, grieving from growing, pondering over patience, and just plain wondering, I remind myself that I am not the one in control. I never have been, and that is okay.

Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.  Isaiah 40:31  NIV

 

 

 

 

 

God, Can I Pencil You In?

Spiral (double helix) stairs of the Vatican Mu...

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Calendars. To do lists. Schedules. Clocks.

I’m the type of personality that likes to keep things in order.

I like surprises…if it’s a party. Not so much, if it’s a life circumstance that I’m not ready for.

And yet…

I serve a God who is not chained to calendars or clocks.

His ways are not my ways. His thoughts are not my thoughts.

He does not consult my Daytimer to see if I can fit His plans into my schedule.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. Isaiah 55:8 NIV

I’ll be honest with you. When Bonnie, at Faith Barista, posed the question, ”  What is something new God is asking you to step out in?”, I wasn’t sure what to write.

The truth is I’ve been through a lot of what most people would call “challenging” circumstances, in my life time. I’ll also be completely forthright with you by saying that there are many times when I say to God, ” You know Lord, I really am worn out….can’t I just ‘coast’ for a little while? You know, nothing too good, nothing too bad…just easy. Puh-leeze?”

I’m glad that God loves me enough to not let me sit around and grow stagnant. Even if that seems okay with me, at the time.

A former pastor of mine said something that has always stuck with me. We are either in the middle of a trial, getting ready to go into a trial, or we just came out of a trial. That is life…..and he is correct.  It is usually when I’m “in the fire” that I learn something new about God…something life changing for me.

I don’t know what new thing God is wanting me to step out into….at least not yet. I believe I’m in a waiting stage right now. Many times it is the waiting that grows me. The uncertainty that draws me to Him. The dependence on God, that through my weaknesses, He will be glorified.

There are a list of things I want to do. New things I’d like to try. Maybe those desires are seeds that God Himself has planted in my heart. It could be He wants to grow me for awhile longer. At times the waiting is difficult. I struggle. I’d like to schedule things into my life. But, God says no, not yet.

But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.  Isaiah 40:31  NIV

And so I wait.

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The Waiting Game

Waiting

Image by urbanlegend via Flickr

My husband and I co-facilitate a Grief Share group at our church. It is a group that helps those who have lost a loved one, to death. Since, we have both been in that situation, we can relate to those who come to the class. This past Wednesday we discussed waiting, and what that means. Many of the things that the counselors discussed can be applied to other life situations, not just death. Anyway, this week’s discussion got me to thinking…

“Instead of focusing on what I’m waiting for, I should be focusing on what I am becoming as I wait

Many times in my life I have found myself waiting. Waiting to grow up. Waiting to drive. Waiting for graduation. Waiting to live on my own. Waiting for a job. Waiting to get married. Waiting to have a child. Waiting to move states.  Those are “big” waitings. Sometimes the waiting is not so big, but significant nonetheless. Waiting in the check-out line at the store. Waiting for a package in the mail. Waiting to hear back from a friend.

I do a lot of waiting in life. Now, that I think about it, I probably “wait” a lot more than I “do”. With that being said, it seems like I should really rethink the statement that the counselor made.

How many times have I been impatient? Wanting to move things along at MY speed? How many times have I asked (told) God to get a move on? Unfortunately, too many. It is easier to hear that God is working on me, than to actually allow it. As, I’ve gotten older, and hopefully wiser, I realize that more times than not, it is the waiting that makes me who I am….who I need to be in Him. Those are the in between periods where God does His work. Sometimes the waiting is painful, because I have a lot of junk in my life that God has to chip away at, clean up, make new. Other times God shows me Himself, in the peace before the storm. The waiting fortifies me for what lies ahead.

I used to think that waiting was useless…let’s get on with it already!  I thought waiting was passive, a thumb twiddling kind of a time. How wrong I was. Waiting is work. Waiting is hard. Waiting is change and growth. Waiting is learning. Waiting is longing. It is in the waiting that endurance is cultivated.

An Olympic runner does not jump out of bed one day and try out to be on the Olympic team. She trains. She pushes. She gets injuries. She gets back up. She runs. Day after day. Weeks, months, years go by…until she is finally ready. When she goes across that finish line, she knows it is only because of the hard work she endured before, that made this moments possible…during the waiting.

The waiting, makes the ending all the more sweet.

So, when you find yourself in a waiting stage of life, remember this: God is in the waiting, and it is exciting to think about what He is going to do WITH you, and FOR you.