Patience in the Waiting, Week #2

Week 2 on my journey, starting off with a limp. Illness struck several members of my family over the weekend and as they are still recovering into this week, I am battling what most Mom's do--exhaustion on both a physical and emotional level. When someone gets sick, I step up the pace and clean like crazy, pull out my home remedies, make sure everyone is taken care of, and when I feel that somehow my world is at peace--then, I sit down and try to find some rest time for myself. That ended up equating to a 45 minute nap before I jumped back up and was at my nonstop Mom pace once again. My fb post on Monday summed it up well-felt like Monday slapped me in the face. Oy. So here we go with week #2 for Patience in the Waiting.

Psalm 40:1 (NLT) I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,
and He turned to me and He heard my cry.

Read that a few times, speak it out loud, sing it out, and see if it really sinks in to you heart. I must admit I found it hard to sink in. Why? Well, honestly...I may appear to be patient but deep down my humanity and my fiercely organized/OCD nature screams, "Lord, I have some great ideas, and a really good plan here, so could you pick up the pace?! I am ready to move on this sooner rather than later!" For those of you who have known me the majority of my life, you know that I am a generally patient person and manage stress well but truth can only be attributed to the good Lord above and the strength He provides and peace that passes all human understanding! If I relied soully on my human ability, well, we can all imagine how my life would have likely ended up. God is good, and prayer is powerful, and I am so thankful for so many family and friends who stood beside me, encouraged and mentored me all these years and still do, because I could have truly screwed up my life if I hadn't given over to God and said, "I'm Yours! I cannot do this on my own!"

By now, you all know our story. Ryan has fought a battle with unemployment and underemployment for nearly two years, and by the grace of God and a lot of tears, prayers and God's good provision we were given a new and fresh start in August 2012. We can read online, in print, and watch the media's reports of so many lives turned upside down because of the hand they've been dealt by life. Just when you think life is good, things are progressing as you'd hoped, God has placed you somewhere that is ideal. We had this vision of finally settling down for a good long time, our kids growing up in one place, finding and maintaining lifelong friendships, and finding a home to live in and grow old together. We found out we were pregnant with Chloe, started looking for a home to purchase and felt the timing was finally right...and then it all began to change in the blink of an eye. Here we are, Chloe is 2 now and it is hard to believe we are essentially starting over. For whatever reason, God chose to allow us to endure that difficult season in Indiana, and He is still teaching us today. There was a time in my life when I thought what most people thought. Life would be ideal, perfect and as I had dreamed it would be when Ryan was finally in the perfect job, I was home enjoying being a wife and mother, and we would be enjoying amazing ministry and fellowship with our church family. Since our fresh start in August 2012, our arrival in Missouri has been nothing short of hitting the ground running. We are thankful for the jobs God has so graciously provided, and to see our hard work paying off. As God has opened the doors and the details have fallen right into place, we see our efforts coupled with His divine purpose for our lives has become a reality. We have a lot of hard work yet ahead of us in every area of our lives-financially, emotionally, spiritually. Recovery is not easy and is often painful, but it is necessary.

For those of you struggling even today, let me be among the first to tell you not to give up on your dreams! It may not have gone the way you'd expected it to, but your dreams are still within reach and God is not finished with you yet! There is hope and peace in the Father, who will certainly guide you with the decisions you have to make today, for you, for your family, for what lies ahead. Something I have told Ryan over and over in this whole process, which he is probably so tired of hearing by now....

Leave no stone unturned!

God has given you abilities, gifts, skills that can and will be put to use but you have to choose to explore every open door before you. God is not going to control you like some puppet on a stage! You have the free will, the ability to go, seek, explore! We are finding out very quickly that sometimes that means you take a job, start a career that provides the income and benefits you need for life but doesn't necessarily fit with what you'd dreamed of doing with what you are gifted for, passionate about. Sometimes, God gives us a career opportunity which enables us to provide for our needs, and still be able to enjoy what we are passionate about. A great example of this, my brother Mike. He has been a great teacher to me, interesting perspective and wisdom from my little brother! He has been with a company for many years, doing an amazing job and so blessed because of it. If you ask him, "Is this your dream job?" He'll probably say no, he'd rather be on the baseball field in a sports related profession. Either that, or in my opinion following in my Dad's footsteps and going into full time ministry. I appreciated his insight when we had this very conversation not long ago, because it is so true. He can do both. He can have this great professional career and also enjoy doing what he's passionate about. Would he prefer it to be different? Sure! How many of us would much rather get a paycheck doing what we are most passionate about? Yep! Me too! Sometimes, God's plan for our lives, to take care of what He has given us-our families-is to take on something that isn't necessarily what we had in mind. I am proud of my brother for what he has accomplished and finding that balance, making the choices he has professionally which enabled him to provide for his family, have more freedom to enjoy what he is passionate about and also serve in numerous capacities in ministry and missions through his church. The most beautiful part is to hear him say they are truly blessed and it is all thanks to God! So, check your focus, ask God to provide what you are dreaming of but recognize He may throw you a curve ball. What will you choose to do when that curve ball comes at you?

We all have so many choices before us every single day. I am praying for you to consider them all carefully. God has a plan for you, I have no doubt! I am eager to hear your story! I hope you are inspired and encouraged today!
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