God’s Move

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.– Paul to the Galatians, (Gal. 6:9, NIV)

So, I’m not that great a waiter. No, not the kind that serves hungry people at restaurants, but a wait-er. A person who waits on God to make the next move. You might call it patience. I kinda run short on it. I can be short sighted at times and start to convince myself, that any current situation I might find myself in is taking way to long to do one of two things: change, or resolve.

I might be waiting on finding a full-time job, resolution from a financial issue, or healing for myself, or a loved one. If you’re like me you can probably fill in your own thing you are waiting for; I am waiting on God to __________, in my life. You might keep asking God to either change or resolve your current situation. And you wait. And you do what you can to change your circumstances. But then you wait. And wait some more. After you realize that you have exhausted every chance to change or resolve your issue, you turn to God and wait.

Last week, I learned a valuable lesson on waiting. You see, after awhile of following this pattern : 1)ask, 2)wait,3) try it on my own, 4) resign back to waiting on God’s move, I finally understood, that I really do not understand God’s timing or His ways at all. He might move quickly, or very slowly. It is all up to Him, not me.

So, how did I learn to just wait?I was stuck waiting for a bus at a popular amusement park. (the kind that run between hotels and the park) And I wasn’t alone waiting for this particular bus, but rather accompanied by about fifty other weary park visitors.

When my husband and I walked towards the bus stop, I quickly realized that there must be a problem with the bus. I had been to this particular stop before and knew the route. It should be a quick ten to twenty minute wait with usually a handful of others waiting for the bus. It was a continuous looping route every twenty minutes.

But, with the 50 plus people trying to cram into the stopping area, I knew something was wrong, and we would be waiting for awhile. As we approached the stop and find a place to stand, I noticed a woman on her cell phone. She was calling whoever was in charge of the buses and complaining about the delay. She ended her call and turned to me to let me know that she had requested two buses be sent. I didn’t know her, but she felt the need to confide in me of her actions, so I nodded my head as I listened to her complaints. I realized she wasn’t very happy (although it was supposed to be the happiest place on earth!) with the situation as she kept talking to those around her and voicing her displeasure with the bus company.

I saw a bus finally approach and the crowd began to push together like a swarm of bees around a new hive. My husband and I decided to stay back and wait for the next bus as common sense told us it would be impossible to fit everyone in the small bus. I also noticed the security guard from the amusement park quietly walk in front of the bus and call from his cell phone.

It was quite the scene as the impatient horde of bees tried to push and squeeze their way into the bus. A few had to step off the bus, because there was simply no room at the inn, or the bus, that is.

I watched as the over filled bus pulled out from the space, drove past us and I prepared myself to wait. Though my feet were tired, I looked around and saw others who were tired as well, but they, like us had stayed back, to wait for another bus. And to our surprise, the second bus, pulled right in behind the first. Amazing.

Now there were only about eight of us, for some had given up waiting at the stop, once they saw the bus fill up. None of us could see the second bus approaching, being hidden by the crowd and the first bus. We all gave a cheer and boarded the spacious bus. All eight of us. We made it quickly back to the hotel and pulled in front of the first bus, that was still unloading the swarm of people. We actually went through the entrance of the hotel, before many of those on the first bus.

Amazing. I wouldn’t have thought the second bus would get us to the hotel first. It wasn’t logical. It didn’t make sense. But that’s what God showed me. That sometimes we try to make our circumstances change, like the lady on the phone. It’s true she did call for another bus, but I wonder if it wasn’t really the security gentleman on his phone that moved the bus along. I also believe maybe he was aware of the disgruntled passengers and was there just in case it got out of hand.

The woman with the phone got lost in the crowd, but I think she got on that first crowded bus. She was probably happy with herself for calling in and complaining as she rode the crowded bus to the hotel. But I wondered if she was still on that bus as I walked into the hotel, past the still full bus.

I’ve been like that woman. Trying to fix the wrongs of the world, making things happen on my own, in my own strength, in my own timing, believing that I was getting somewhere, when in reality I was actually slowing my progress.

I have waited patiently before, and given up on waiting, like the people who walked away from the bus stop when they saw the first bus full. It’s not coming, so I’m going somewhere else. Patience is a virtue they say. I say patience is rewarded. God will move.

We can’t see His ways sometimes, as we are too focused on our own solutions to our problems and situations. We grab the first bus, because we don’t believe another one is coming. But, then, there it is, just behind the first. It isn’t always like that to be sure. It might take years, not a few minutes, like in my bus story.

That’s the main point to remember, we can’t see our circumstances as God sees them. Waiting on God’s move is hard. But, when He shows up, it’s amazing. There’s no struggle, no pushing, or shoving, it’s not standing room only, but a seat by a window. – God Bless You, Nancy

Held Back

I walked down the aisle and found my seat. I sat down and stared out the window as the early morning sun streamed across the wing. The glare of the sun was bright, but I watched as the ground crew busied themselves with pre-flight duties. I was ready to get home. This was the second flight of a two flight journey that would bring me home after two weeks overseas. My husband and I had just landed an hour before from a red eye overnight flight and we were both tired.

It was then that the pilot broke the silence and informed us that there was a slight delay due to waiting on bags from connecting flights. I breathed a sigh of relief, as I thought, well, maybe the bags are from our flight. So, I guess I don’t mind the wait.

A few minutes later the captain once again spoke, and yet there would be another delay. This time for aircraft maintenance. A seal needed checking. It is at these times that I am glad to be traveling with my husband, an FAA aviation mechanic. He turned to me and said”It’s probably a door seal” What!? yeah I think that would be important at 30,000 feet. Better check that before we take off. So, I didn’t really mind the delay. I was glad they were holding back the flight. As much as I wanted to get back home and rest from my jet lag, a delay for safety was understandable.

But, I have to admit, I don’t like delays to my plans, otherwise. I like everything to follow my action plan, without delays. My plans, my way, in my time table. Funny thing is, that is not how this world works. I apparently, am not in charge, even though I deceive myself into thinking that way at times.

Have you ever felt like something was just holding back your progress? Whether at work, life status, or spiritually? We want to make our plans and stick with them, but many times we might feel like it is one step forward and two steps backwards. Part of the focus of this blog is to explore growing in faith through the challenges of life. And there will be challenges in this life. We simply cannot escape them. Life is full of change. We grow as babies into children, into preteens, young adults, adults, and finally senior adults. There are many changes and challenges. Likewise, we grow as Christians from baby,into newbies, and then into mature Christians. But this journey takes the rest of our lives. It is not a quick growth track. God uses all of our challenges to mature our faith. He has a plan to help us in our journey. And it is always in His timing.

When I think about timing and the Bible, I think about two stories of two different Bible characters. Character might not be the right term, because these involve real people, not just fiction characters.

The first is from the book of Ester. If you are familiar with this story, then you might recall a well quoted verse from the book. “And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” This is an often repeated verse from Ester’s uncle, Mordecai. Mordecai was attempting to encourage Ester to go forward and meet with her husband, the King, in order to reverse a law that would have wiped out the Jewish people, Ester’s people. Ester, a Jewish young woman had been chosen to be Queen after a long preparation time. It is an interesting account of faith and trust in God’s provision and His timing.

The second I am reminded of is from the Book of Acts and involves the Apostle Paul. Acts 16:7 records this; “When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to.” (NIV) Luke, the author of the book adds; “So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas.” (vs. 8) I’ve always wondered why they were allowed to go to Mysia and just how were they stopped. No clear explanation is given, but later we read that Paul had a vision after this that called him to Macedonia. Still, it is one of those interesting passages to consider.

The first example is clear it was the right time for Ester to speak up and perhaps was the very reason why she was chosen as Queen, instead of other women who were also in the running for the position of Queen. It was the right timing. In the second example of Paul, it clearly wasn’t the right timing or the right place, so they were held back from visiting Mysia ( now Turkey).

We might find ourselves in a situation in which God says you are where you need to be ( the right place, for such a time as this) or even: not now, wait, this isn’t the right time or place (being held back) just like my flight home. What I couldn’t understand, sitting there, waiting to taxi out, the pilot knew, the ground crew knew, and the mechanics knew. I just did not know. I could only speculate. I was just waiting for it to be the right time to move forward.

That is the thing about our faith journey, we do not fully understand why there are delays. But, God knows. Maybe we are not yet ready for the next growth step. Or maybe the others around us are not ready.

If you’ve ever been grounded on board a plane, you probably waited it out, trusting the pilots, crew and ground mechanics. So to speak you placed your complete trust in them. You had to, unless of course you know how to fly the plane yourself, but even then you would need to wait. And by the way, on our flight, there were other pilots and crew onboard, flying as passengers to their next airport assignment. They could have taken over, because they were qualified. (How many times do we think we can take over for God and can manage our own lives?) But, without the mechanical go ahead, and the place in line to take off down the runway, even the other pilots on board had to just sit and wait it out. We were all held back for a few minutes on that flight.

Trusting God should be as easy as trusting pilots and mechanics with getting our flights safely off the ground. The struggle we have, or at least I think I have is letting go of my own control of my life and my time table. I want to go ahead and fly my own plane, so to speak. And most of the time I do not understand the hold backs in my life. I probably won’t fully understand most of them until I can personally ask Jesus why someday. But, by then I probably won’t care. So, if you are like me, then let’s just pray for each other to stop and quiet our busy thoughts that drive us crazy about why life feels like we are being held back. Remember its not our timing, but God’s. We might not fully understand, but we can sit back and trust God. God Bless You – Nancy


And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love- 1Corinthians 13:13

So, in the last few years I have had this aversion to weeds. In my yard, in the flowerbeds, in the cracks in the driveway. But, it wasn’t always this way. When my husband and I moved, we moved into a neighborhood that has this thing against weeds. I am in awe of all the perfectly kept lawns here. Not a weed in sight. Perfect and green. And then, there are the HOA inspectors who ride through the neighborhood on Monday mornings. looking for any code violations. They look for any lawns that need mowing or trash cans left out. If there are, the homeowners will get a letter in the mail with a notice to either comply or pay a fine.

I’m not a fan of paying fines, so I am obsessed with following their rules. And attempting to get this perfect lawn. Well, it hasn’t happened yet, despite our best attempts, so we live with the stray weed or two.

Growing up, I really didn’t mind them. I thought the ones with little flowers were actually kind of pretty. I didn’t think of them as weeds really, just flowers that grew by chance. I saw their beauty instead of their annoyance.

So, this past week as I was taking our elderly dog out for a walk in our back yard, I spotted an annoyance. Except, it really caught my attention in a good way. It was standing out where and when it shouldn’t be standing out. It wasn’t so much as an annoyance as beautiful reminder of hope.

This year has been very trying on me and on my patience. I keep waiting for the right opportunities to come forward- applying for jobs and praying that I will actually get to use what I am called to do. I have also watched as neighbors have died from Covid, leaving behind children and spouses. I have seen relatives grow older and frailer, making me look at the future with a bleaker, pessimistic view. I have felt my patience tested, even with my elderly dog, who is not only blind but I think has a slight case of dementia. Do dogs even get that? She requires multiples trips outside to do her business, one trip after another, sometimes five trips in two hours.

So, on a cold morning this past week, as I grumpily took the dog out, I spotted a very bright and welcomed little flower spouting proudly from the lawn. It shouldn’t be there I mused- not because I did not want it to be there, but, you see we had had a frost a few days before. The lawn had been covered in a beautiful layer of frost. It is supposed to kill all the grass and the fragile plants. But, no, this beautiful dandelion was this bright spot of yellow on the now brown, dead grass.

It hadn’t bloomed with all its buddies in the summer or early spring, but here it was in November, standing up as the singular bright spot of life. It was a reminder to me, that despite the year that has seen both bright and bleak spots, there is still life and hope. It was a reminder to stay faithful, keep hope alive, and there will be a bright spot coming soon. It isn’t in our timing, but in God’s timing.

Sometimes I feel like that little dandelion. Everyone of my friends seemed to bloom earlier, in the summertime and springtime, and here I am in the autumn of life, blooming or hopefully soon to be, with all the hopes and dreams I have had for years. But, maybe that’s okay. Maybe, like that flower, I can be a bright spot in other people’s lives, when they are feeling the bleakness around them.

Most people have read the verse above, and remember it from weddings and the talk of love as the greatest, but I was reminded that in this verse, faith, hope and love are connected. Faith is believing, hope is putting our trust in and love is what God has shown us in sending His son. Never give up on believing, on faith, on hoping. For God never gives up on loving us. -Amen

Pardon Our Dust….Work In Progress

Pardon our dust….work in progress, ……….we’re sorry the site is currently down for maintenance. Uh…… Okaaay? I mean, not really, but what am I going to do? Don’t you hate seeing this when you login to your favorite site online.. or maybe you’ve seen a similar sign on a door, indicating you will have to return later, the place in being remodeled, or something like that. Inconvenient isn’t it?

What about people? Have you ever wished that people would come with warning signs like that? Pardon my dust…..I’m currently working on myself….be patient…..the site is currently down…..so yeah, like…. “Do not be demanding of me…..I am working on it…..trying to remodel my thoughts…. adjusting my attitude…..Be patient….” Or the ever popular phrase…”Be Patient, God isn’t done with me yet….”

I really think I need a sign like that. But, not for others….for myself… See I tend to be the most critical and impatient with myself. Like earlier today…I had woke up, fed the cat, walked our old age dog, poured myself some coffee in my mug, and settled down in my favorite chair to read my Bible. and THEN…. it happened, just as I was reflecting on God’s word….I heard it….the sound of water running….only it wasn’t water….. I looked over to where the sound was coming from…and I saw the source….my old dog. Now when I say old, she is probably 16+ years old, blind, deaf and at times well….she can’t hold it. Neither could I…….my temper that is. My level of frustration with the dog began to boil over from my emotions to my thoughts and came pouring forth from my mouth. I rushed to grab her leash and pulled her outside once again. Angrily, taking out my frustration…. Even the cat picked up on my sour mood and avoided me.

After a bit, I realized I was letting my anger get the best of me…I felt bad… really bad, the poor dog is old, and losing her mind a bit…she cannot see and is diabetic. But she is still one of God’s creations.

I really wanted to have handled it better, and as I thought about it more….actually overthinking it…. I realized I felt worse towards myself…I AM my biggest critic. I do not have much patience with myself…I want to be better than I am. I want to be sanctified already…to get this Christian walk right. To act rightly, to do rightly, to live rightly….But, I am a work. But, no amount of working will change me in an instant. See, it is a process as I cooperate with the Holy Spirit. To renew my mind, to change my thinking…to show myself some grace and mercy. To allow myself to fail sometimes, just not give up. To confess my shortcomings to God and He will forgive me.

Maybe you are like me…impatient with yourself. You want to do better, and to act better, to feel better, but you aren’t allowing yourself a little grace for the process to be completed. Here’s a hint…..neither you or I, or anyone who is a Christian will be perfected, to be fully sanctified, or holy, until Heaven. Until then, God helps us to grow and stretch and move forward towards that day. Be patient. you are a work in progress. God Bless- Nancy

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6 ESV

Role (ing)

I heard her before I saw her in the store. She had a distinct voice, not the usual tone for a woman, much lower and slightly booming. Apparently her child riding in the shopping cart ( a buggy for my southern friends) had done something for which she didn’t approve. Her yelling at her son caused me to look up and see who was making all the noise in the store.  She was  a youngish mom and was obviously not happy with what her son had done, but her yelling only made him continue. She continued to yell and shop, completely ignorant of the other customers around her.

As the mom of three,  I’ve been there done that- except for the yelling part. Believe me, I know how long summer vacation can be with kids, but I’ve got to confess, I actually did like having my kids home from school. I still do.

But….. I am a realist, there will be meltdowns when you have children, especially toddlers and teenagers, and it’s not the kids who are doing the melting down- it’s the parents. I have had my own share of meltdowns as a parent.

Parenting is not for the faint of heart, much like marriage it takes work- a whole lot of work and patience. Kids are not mini adults; they are growing and they will act like kids. Eventually they will be adults and as the Bible says you will reap what you sow  (Galatians 6:7).  Children really do model what they see their parents doing. It’s unavoidable, despite what we try to tell them to do, they learn by what they see us doing, and often mimic us. Oh they will hear some of what we say- the gossip about others- and at the most inappropriate time will repeat what they heard. It can be a real eye opener and embarrassing to us as parents.  However, it is what they watch us doing that stick with them the most.

My husband and I survived the ordeals and meltdowns of early parenthood and we made our share of mistakes in the process. But we have seen how the good habits we demonstrated in front of our kids have stuck with them.  Praying about everything and helping others are two of the good habits I see them doing now as adults.  We are our children’s greatest role model.  As we grow ourselves in our relationship with Christ, let our children see our faith in action. Yelling at children doesn’t bring about much good- it only models how to poorly handle frustration.  How are you role(ing) this summer? If it’s more than you can handle without losing your peace, reach out and ask for some help. Take a break for yourself so you can regroup, or if you can’t then take a deep breath and count to ten before you yell at your kids. Be patient they aren’t adults yet. Happy summer- Nancy


Hold On To Faith

“When everything is gone and all you have left is faith, hold on to faith” I wish I had said this, but no, it is actually is a line from a television series I am currently watching. Let me put it into context for you; one man presumably the son- although it hasn’t been revealed as such yet- is complaining to the older man (his father) that he has lost everything that mattered to him. To which the father replies he too has in the past lost everything that mattered to him, BUT. And this is where the line comes in, he learned that he did still have faith, and that is what sustained him while he was held prisoner for several years. he bent down to his son and encouraged him by telling him to hold on to faith.

So, maybe you think that’s just for cinematic effect, that’s not real life. But, let me assure you it is every bit real life. Recently, I heard about a family who’s son was involved in a car accident. The accident did not take his life, but has left him paralyzed. They are now preparing for his return home, but realizing their home needs quite a bit of modification before he can return such as a wheelchair ramp and the widening of doors. Although this family is no doubt thankful for the sparing of their son’s life, there is still loss and grief they must go through. Loss because their lives will not be as they had thought. They might have to give up on dreams they had for their son, or perhaps their own in order to provide care for him.

There are many kinds of losses in this life and not all involve the death of someone, although that is definitely a more difficult one to process and grieve. But, there are losses when we change jobs, move, watch our kids grow up and leave home. Friends change, relationships end, dreams die. These are all losses and at times they can feel as if we have lost everything.

Have you had losses like this? I would be more surprised if you haven’t. That is what this blog is about for me, changing times in life and how to handle them by living a life of faith. I really wish I could say I have all the answers to how to deal with losses, but I am still in this processing stage myself. That is why lines like the one I shared from the television series can stand out to me and be a helpful reminder to “Hold on to faith”

The Bible as well gives encouragement to our holding on to faith when all else seems to have left. Faith in God sustains us, builds us up, and keeps us going when we just want to give up. Maybe you have heard of this passage from Jeremiah 29:11; “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” Wow, so good, maybe you’ve even memorized this verse, own it on a plaque on your wall, or used for your graduation verse for high school. Well, do you want the good news or the bad news? At least this seems to be what God does with this passage in Jeremiah.

See, before you get too comfortable with this much quoted verse, maybe we should unpack the context of it and take a closer look at it, so we won’t misapply it. Jeremiah was a prophet and it was his job to tell those in charge what God was about to do. So we find this verse is a part of a letter that Jeremiah wrote to the elders and priests who had been captured and taken away to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar. So, you might say of the people he was writing to, they had lost everything. They had been kidnapped and sent to another country. Yeah that’s the bad news, but wait there’s more! In verse 28 God tells them they will be there for 70 years, and THEN when the seventy years it up, He will come get them. So, like I said there’s the good news and the bad news. The bad news; “You’ll be exiled for 70 years, but the good news, it’s all going to work out and I’m going to rescue you because I have a plan” So, while this verse is a good one to memorize, remember it’s original context next time. It was encouragement to sustain the people.  Just think about it, seventy years is a long time. Most of us would rather not have the seventy year wait. I know I wouldn’t. I would prefer only the good news, not the bad. We believe God has a plan, but we don’t anticipate the losses in life, the hardships in life, the waiting in life. So, when we find ourselves in those times, when it feels like we have lost everything, yet, we have faith. Faith sustains us, it is our hope and our anchor. Sometimes it is all we have and we have to cling to it for dear life, like a drowning man clinging to a life preserver thrown out to him. When all you have left is faith, hold on to faith. -God bless– Nancy