I waited for the thunderstorm to roll in this evening… I’m still waiting. I love the way the sky changes color as a storm rolls in. I love the lightning flashing, the thunder rolling (I much prefer gradual thunder rolls, to startling thunder cracks). I love listening to the rush of rain from the safety of my front window. But I’m not sure the forecast was correct tonight. Some days we are waiting for the storm to roll in… and some days we are waiting for the storm to pass.
I’m not always good at waiting. I try to distract myself. I like to plan and prepare, and know what the next step is and when it should be taken. I don’t like last minute, surprises make me nervous. I like to keep moving forward. I want to make progress. Waiting gives opportunity to rest, which I’m not great at. Waiting reminds me I’m not in control.
We aren’t talking about thunderstorms anymore.
Sometimes in the waiting we get distracted, we get discouraged, we try to convince ourselves that we aren’t waiting. We rush ahead when we should wait. Maybe you’re waiting for marriage, a baby, healing in relationship, a health diagnosis. You might be waiting to finish that degree, or get a new job, buy a house. We wait for answers. We wait for deliveries, the brownies to finish baking, the light to turn green. Or perhaps it’s the wayward child we want to come home, the uncertainty of a housing situation, the reunion of friends and family (on earth or in heaven).
Does anyone ever say that waiting is fun? But it’s in the waiting that our faith is strengthened, our hope is renewed, our love is deepened. So I look out my front door view, I remember that God is in control. I search the Scriptures to remind myself that there is hope in the waiting, strength in in the waiting, salvation in the waiting.
“but they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31
“I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, And in his word do I hope.”
“I waited patiently for the LORD; And he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.”
“The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, To the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly Wait for the salvation of the LORD.” Lamentations 3:25-26
We all have a voice. We’ve been given a circle of influence, our family, our community, our social media following, our church or neighborhood. How are we using our voice in that circle of influence? Are we speaking life into those with whom we come in contact? Are we using our voice for good or for evil? To build up or tear down? To encourage or cause harm?
I don’t think many would say they are intentional in being harsh and critical, in causing heaviness or anxiety to those around them, but out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. What do your words, your actions, your social media posts promote?
Sometimes I go silent on my blog and social media because I don’t know what to say, I’m too busy to sort out thoughts, or I just need a break. But sometimes, it gets quiet because I’ve been taught—“if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” Often it’s my heart that needs a readjustment, some hope, the truth of God’s Word, a good dose of Jesus.
“Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.” Proverbs 12:25 ESV
The grass grows where it’s watered, the plants that are fed are the ones that prosper, and the thoughts you rehearse in your head are the ones that take root and grow and repeat. So when I feel the negativity taking over, when I find myself easily irritated by the little things, when I can’t seem to find the beauty in my everyday, I go back to the Psalms, I go back to the words of Jesus, I write the words of encouragement that I need to hear and I share it with others in hopes that I’m not the only one.
I plant my feet in the grass. I look at God’s creation. I beg Him to show me His daily presence. I give thanks for the wildflowers, I find beauty in the sunrises and sunsets, I marvel at the cardinals and bluebirds in my yard. I immerse myself in the Psalms and Proverbs, processing my emotions like David and seeking wisdom like Solomon. And then I use my voice to praise my Creator. I give thanks for the way He carries me. I believe and shout like Peter… “where else would I go? You, Jesus, have the words of Life.”
Speak truth, speak life, speak hope, speak Jesus.
How does being grounded in truth help you find your voice?
“Wisdom has built her house; she has carved out her seven pillars.”
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
Proverbs is full of wisdom and it is always referred to as “she.” She calls out to those walking by, she builds her home, she gives long life, she will protect from you from the foolish woman, she is more precious than rubies. She is a tree of life.
She seems like a mystery, but is fully available to any and all who seek for her, who ask God for her. And in the area of parenting and motherhood, she sometimes seems illusive. But God gives wisdom generously, if only we would ask.
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men liberally.” “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” James 1:5, 3:17
I read that verse and am reminded that this is what my parenting to be —pure, gentle, full of mercy. Daily decisions, the guidance I need to give them when they are little, and the wisdom to know when and how to let go as they grow up and become adults, completely responsible for the choices they make.
And I go to God and ask Him to give me the wisdom that I need to parent well, to love well, to live all of life to the fullest.
Join other Five Minute Friday writers as they share on the writing prompt, SHE
Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed by Thy Name Thy Kingdom come Thy Will be done on earth, as it is in heaven Give us this day our daily bread And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever, AMEN.
What does the Kingdom of God resemble? What would it look like for His Kingdom to come, His will be done here on earth? Are you praying for this?
I am beginning to see that my idea of God’s kingdom was narrow. It was easy for me to live in my little bubble, my tiny world, and my way of worship. But lately, I have begun to see the beauty of the whole kingdom of God, the variety of the body of Christ, full of different cultures and nationalities, worship styles and music, voices carrying a wealth of experiences.
The kingdom of God resembles a mustard seed, the tiniest of seeds which grows into a great tree. The kingdom of God resembles leaven, it only takes a tiny amount and some time to do the work and the bread grows. (Luke 13) The kingdom of God grows through the fervent prayer of the righteous. The kingdom of God grows through the willing participation of His people. The kingdom of God grows through the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of those who trust in the completed work of Jesus Christ.
When you are a parent of four teenagers, the days of living peaceably can be few and far between. When you have actually co-workers that you have to interact with, it can be hard to be peaceable. Discussions on church, bible, government, politics, community, sports, money, etc. can make it near impossible to respond peaceably. Friends, acquaintances, extended family, church members are all human just like you—prone to opinion and sin, prone to conflict. Because we live daily with other people, living in peace takes intention. But God’s Word instructs us to be peaceable.
“If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” Romans 12:18
Are you a peacekeeper or a peacemaker? Does your presence in a room, at an event, during a crisis bring peace or chaos? Are you doing all you can to be living peaceably with those around you? Are you at peace in your own heart? Where does one find the ability to live peaceably? Is it even possible to live peaceably with some people?
“But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
James gives us direction in God’s Word. The wisdom from above is what allows us to live peaceably with all. I know that when I am short with those around me, when I react instead of respond, when I’m feeling anxious, it is usually a sign that I have not been “observant” of the commandments of God’s Word. That I have been focused on worldly wisdom instead of the wisdom of God’s Word. I’m thankful for warning signs and for the accessibility we have to wisdom from above… if any one lacks wisdom, let him ask God who gives to all men, liberally.
Perhaps the wisdom in the book of James is a good place to start. Obviously, we know the book of Proverbs is filled with wisdom from above. Paul gives much wisdom and instruction in his letters to the churches he visited. Even Romans 12, which tells us to live peaceably gives us many practical ways to live this out.
Your spiritual gifts are for the benefit of the body of Christ—Use them accordingly Love sincerely Abhor evil Cling to what is good Be kind and caring Put others first Don’t be lazy Serve the Lord Be patient in trials Pray always Meet the needs of others Be a blessing, be hospitable Celebrate …and mourn with others Work toward the same goal—God’s glory Be humble Be honest Overcome evil with good
Where do you go when you are seeking wisdom? In what relationship or situation do you need wisdom? How has God’s Word given you wisdom in the past? How can you encourage others with wisdom from above?
Habits, good and bad, we’ve all got them. A repeated behavior that is often subconscious. We don’t even realize we’re doing it. We get settled in our ways, stuck in a rut and don’t even realize it. It’s the subconsciousness of a habit that gets to me. Why is it so much easier to settle into a bad habit over a good, helpful habit?
Reminding yourself of the truth of God’s Word is always a good habit. #write28days #spiritualdisciplines #habit #HopeWriterLife
Here are a few of my habits… drinking coffee every morning. Scrolling twitter and instagram way too much. Laundry on Saturdays, Pizza on Sundays (when the oven isn’t broken). Taking the same route to work every single day (weather permitting). Worrying too much, snapping at the teenagers over bedtime. Kissing my husband when I leave the house. Taking notes during church. Starting bible reading plans (and starting again). And recently, I made a habit of writing days on Saturday.
What are your habits? For better or worse?
Habits come and go, and change with seasons. When I wasn’t working every day, my bible reading, my healthy eating, my exercise routines were all in a much better pattern. When my kids were younger I had habits of bedtime routines. My writing habit has ebbed and flowed. What are some habits you used to have?
Spiritual disciplines are the best habits. I’ve been reminded lately of the importance of silence and solitude, which takes real intentionality when you live in a house of teenagers. I’m reminded of the importance of meditation on God’s Word. Some days are better than others, and some days my meditation comes in the simple act processing of my thoughts and meditating on the truth of God’s Word. That He is faithful, even when I am not. That I can live holy, because He is Holy. That meditating on God’s Word will result in success (God’s definition of success). That He uses all things for my good and His glory. That I can come boldly before the throne of God, and He hears my cries. That my salvation is a gift of grace and I can do nothing to earn it. Christ lives in me. Reminding yourself of the truth of God’s Word is always a good habit.
What Scripture are you meditating on this week? This month? This year?