Two of my least favorite words: “just wait.”
I heard these words from so many people when Jordan and I were engaged and just married. “You just wait until you’ve been married a few years. The new will wear off and you’ll be just like the rest of us’ Or my favorite, ‘You just wait…enjoy the honeymoon stage while it lasts!” I never will forget how discouraging that was to hear. Why must people tear others down? Why can’t you just let people be happy?
And now we are hearing it again, but for a different reason…”You just wait…you’ll find out soon enough!” (Pertaining to ANYTHING child related – behavior, eating habits, how I’ll never sleep again, school activities, tantrums, how our house will never be clean again, how expensive babies can be, and the list goes on and on…). Don’t you think we’ve thought about all of this? My husband and I are 30 years old. And while we don’t have a real clue what we are about to get ourselves into when Grayson arrives, is it really necessary to make us feel defeated as parents before we even get started? I know that I won’t get much sleep the first several years (I’m already getting good at running on 5 or 6 hours or so just due to pregnancy). I know that my child will not be perfect and he will act out in the most inopportune moments, and he’ll probably say things that embarrass us from time to time. I know that boys will be boys, and we will probably have broken windows, messy floors, stinky clothes, and lots of jokes about bodily functions.
But I prayed for that.
I admit – after wanting to be a stay-at-home mom for so many years (that’s all I wanted to do when I was in high school), I totally changed my mind when I graduated college and started working. It took me a long time to get mentally ready – well, as ready as you can be – to start trying to have kids. But once God showed me that the time was right, I prayed for those things. I prayed for the sleepless nights and dirty house. I prayed for the chaotic schedule that we’re sure to have that will completely throw off my beloved, familiar routine. However, I also prayed for the snuggles, and the “I love you Mama,” and getting to see my husband be a dad. So let us enjoy it – even if for a short time. Let’s turn the “just waits” into “Just wait until you lay eyes on your son for the first time’ and ‘Just wait until you get to hear those sweet baby giggles.”
I know life is hard. And I know I don’t know how hard it can be just yet. But life is too short to “just wait” on the bad things and focus on the hard times. So for now, I’ll “just wait” on Baby Grayson to get here and for my life to be changed forever. And I’m completely ok with that.
Yesterday I prayed a prayer that I have been praying for months now. I pray it multiple times a week. It’s on my prayer wall. I have even asked others to pray it with me. But do you know what was different about yesterday’s prayer?
I realized that this entire time I had just been “hoping” it would be answered. I was hopeful that something would happen. Up until yesterday, I don’t think I truly BELIEVED that anything would come of it. As awful as it sounds to say it out loud, I didn’t believe that God was going to answer my prayer.
How guilty are we of doing that, though? How many times do we pray a prayer and “hope” that God will take care of it, but then we never actually give it over completely to Him? Why do we feel that we need to care those burdens around with us when God wants to take them off our shoulders?
Now, God may not answer my prayer in the way that I see, but He WILL answer it. And He will answer it in His timing and in His perfect way. Last week, I attended a leadership conference where I had the privilege to hear Lysa Terkeurst speak. She shared an amazing story about God’s perfect timing, but the one thing that she said that has stuck with me is this: “There’s what I see…and then there’s what God is doing.” We do not get to see the big picture, but God is always in control of it all. We only get a small piece of the puzzle BUT when we trust and BELIEVE that He is going to see it through, God will show up and show out.
So from now on, I am fully believing that God is going to answer my prayer. It may not be today, tomorrow, or next week. It may not happen for another few years. But when it does (and it WILL), I cannot wait to tell you all about it.
Gratitude: the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
I’ve come to realize just how rare this quality is these days.
Just in the past week, I’ve witnesses more selfishness, hatefulness, and ungratefulness than I have seen in a very long time. In our society, it seems that no good deed goes unpunished. People try to take advantage of you. You try and do something nice for others, and all they seem to do is complain about what you DIDN’T do with no “thank you” for what you DID do.
Also, now more than ever, our society lives in an “all about me” mentality. It’s all about “what can you do for me?” or “what can I get out of this?” and “how long can I MOOCH off of this?”
Whatever happened to gratitude? Being thankful for acts of kindness? When did we enter such a selfish mindset? Or maybe it’s actually a lazy mindset where we think the world owes us a favor?
Either way, I still choose gratitude.
I still choose to show appreciation when someone offers me a meal. I still choose to be thankful when someone offers a place to stay. I still choose to show my gratitude by offering help in return for acts of kindness. I still choose to send cards in the mail to offer encouragement to those who are struggling. I still choose to send little gifts to team members to show how much I appreciate their hard work. I still choose to work hard to chase my dreams because I’m grateful for the opportunity to do so, and I know this world doesn’t owe me a dime.
I still choose to be grateful when things don’t go my way because God has a greater plan in mind.
Gratitude is not only a virtue, but a mindset. Choosing to be grateful should not be something our grandparents did – it should be something we choose to do each and every day. We do not deserve any of the blessings we have on this earth. We do not deserve any of the gifts given to us. We do not deserve grace. We do not deserve salvation. But I am so grateful for it.
That’s how we should be in all things. So, so grateful.
Today on my lunch break, I decided to make a quick stop into the local CVS for a few necessities (shaving cream and something to battle these terrible summer allergies!). I usually make at least one stop into the store each week because I get great customer service and the employees are always so friendly.
As I was standing in the checkout line, the man behind the counter begins to tell me how he sees me in the store quite often and asks if I work in the area. I tell him yes and we begin to chat about the city, community, church, local activities, etc. We discovered that we had an “acquaintance” in common, and the man goes on to praise this acquaintance as such a wonderful person that he held in high regard. I stood there shocked and almost speechless because my thoughts about the common acquaintance were…let’s just say, definitely less admirable. So what caused the stark difference in opinion? This man went to church with the common acquaintance, and I knew who the person was out in the world – beyond the church doors. I smiled and nodded, thanked the man for his help, and went on my way.
I left the store with a mix of emotions. How could our opinions be such complete polar opposites? Do people view ME that differently outside of God’s house? Am I truly the same person – with the same integrity, same values, same morals, same smile, same heartfelt concern for others, same positive attitude – that I am on Sunday? Would people who know me outside of God’s house say the same things about me as the ones that see me in church each week? I sure hope so. And if not, today is a great day to get my attitude in check and be intentional in living out the person that I strive to be EACH and EVERY day. I don’t want to be the person that puts on her “church face” on Sunday.
My prayer today is that each of us live out our Christian lives on a day-to-day basis so that others may see Jesus in us and through us. We are to be a witness to everyone – the sinners and the saints. Sometimes we forget that people are watching us. Who are you when no one is looking? I want to live out my days like God would have me to live them – for Him and for His glory. I want my friends to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I know Jesus. I want them to come to me when they need to be lifted up in prayer. I want strangers to know that I am authentically, genuinely concerned for them and their salvation just by my actions. I want my life to be a walking Bible for the world to see. I want to treat people as Jesus would treat them.
So who are you? Are you the person people know on Sunday? Who are you when you think Jesus isn’t looking?