Wait a minute!

In a coffee shop restroom,  I  waved my hands violently before the electronic dispenser. Nothing happened. I purposely placed my hand directly in front of the little waving hand graphic, but it seemed as though the paper towel was taking days to dispense. As if having a spasm, I waved my hand repeatedly in front, but it made no difference. When I paused and put my hand down by my side the machine went dark so I waved again.  I hoped it would trip the laser red light sensor. Phew!  Out came a paper towel.  (Perhaps I should just wait a minute)

Are you good at waiting? Would you consider yourself a patient person? Is there anything in your current life circumstances which is causing you to have to wait?  Is the waiting producing patience?

IMG_1199I wouldn’t consider myself an impatient person nor would I consider myself incredibly long-suffering. But I noticed my  bent toward impatience one night w
hile making popcorn. We have an air popper. I love it! Popcorn with fresh squeezed  lime and salt…Fabulous!  The popper seemed to take too long to heat up, so I removed the lid, What’s the deal?  That’s the moment the kernels began to shoot out of the machine. (Just wait a minute)

 
At the gas pump. I squeezed the nozzle four or five times rapidly, nothing came out. So I  stopped waited a second then squeezed it again. Finally, gas flowed from the nozzle into my car’s tank. I giggled at my need to be so speedy. I realized I didn’t save any time trying to do it quickly and it probably delayed the process. (Perhaps I should just wait a minute.)

IMG_1130I enjoy a cup of chocolate, caramel brownie, decaf coffee in the morning. I buy it whole bean then grind it coarsely and use in our french press. It’s wonderful. Careful not to grind it too finely, I checked the size of the grounds and I removed the lid to see the beans, but not before the blade had completely stopped spinning. Bits of black coffee beans flew all over the kitchen counter and lightly dusted it. A few more minutes of clean up were required because I was too impatient to wait for the machine to stop spinning before I opened the lid. I am a bit embarrassed to admit that I have done this more than once. (Hmm? Wait a minute.)

I do all sorts of things to combat impatience.  I think these help me slow down:

  • I allow others get in front of me in the grocery line.
  • I let other cars into my lane when merging in a traffic jam.
  • I drive, from time to time, in the right lane in busy traffic to quench that percolating frustration which too easily causes the desire to want to shout,”Get moving people!”
  • I wait for people to spit out their words rather than be the impatient “Sentence Finisher.” or shout, “Spit it out junior!”

Rather than try to rush a solution or be impatient.  I think not being able to rush a current circumstance that I now face has really been the thing that has allowed me to trust in the timing and wonderful orchestration of God. (I’m not saying it’s easy, but God is working on me.)

I know God has promised to work in my life and he always keeps his promises. If he says He’ll do something He will! Numbers 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?

Here are some promises that involve…WAIT:

God is not slow in keeping His promises. Psalm 27:13-14 I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.

Promise: God plans good for you. Isaiah 64:4 Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God beside you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.

I must wait on God in my current situations. (Hmm? I guess I do need to wait a minute)

Are you in a situation that requires waiting on God? Are you being patient? Share or journal your own prayer or resolve to wait.

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“I Wasn’t Expecting That!” Surprise!

“What are you planning to do today, babe?” my husband asked.

I shrugged my shoulders and admitted, “I’m not really sure, who knows?”I kissed Michael goodbye and waved as he straddled his motorcycle and headed off to work.

I guess I’ll start with my walk before it gets too humid. As I dressed, the doorbell rang. Who could that be? “Coming!” I hollered. I completed dressing as I descended the stairs. I opened the door and out on my front step, before me stood this cutie pie just grinning!

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Back in town for a brief visit, she had gone out for a quick run and decided to knock. We walked until our breathing was labored and ran until I called it quits. Wow! We certainly chatted up a storm! I’m so relational and I was grateful for her vulnerability and a window into her precious heart. I’m incredibly thankful for shared lives and for the surprises of God. I want Him to continue to surprise me and I desire to stay amazed at creation and the marvelous all around me.

Human nature has a way of turning the marvelous into ordinary. When was the last time you marveled at God? When is the last time you asked him to surprise you? I’ve been asking him for quite a while, “LORD, would you just surprise me today? Let me
see your goodness and let me be aware of it. If the surprise isn’t what I would naturally consider a “good” surprise, would you surprise me with your presence in it?

Here are just a few surprises of late and my honest reaction to them:

  • A young doe tentatively walked toward my deck while I was seated with a dear friend. BEAUTIFUL!
  • A huge bouquet of fragrant peonies were given to me from a thoughtful friend. TOUCHED!
  • Five turkeys scurried across the sidewalk as I walked in my neighborhood. STARTLED!
  • Two cranes scavenged out in a field as we rode past on the motorcycle. DELIGHTED!
  • A couple of bunnies chased and played tirelessly in my backyard. One jumped at least three feet in the air, flipped like a gymnast, and landed gracefully. IMPRESSED!
  • God changed the weather conditions dramatically, wedding ceremony went off without a hitch with participants and guests protected. THANKFUL!
  • A precious friend got engaged. STUNNED!
  • Invited to travel along with a dear friend on a shopping excursion. GLEEFUL!
  • I received a phone call during an outdoor wedding ceremony.  SLIGHTLY EMBARRASSED!
  • My reaction to an unkind and undeserved response. PAINFUL!
  • I opened my eyes during the waxing of my eyebrows.(This after being told, “Close, please”) My eyelashes stuck to the wax! Crud! I came to have a few eyebrow hairs removed. I SURE didn’t expect to walk away without any eyelashes… she rescued me.  PANICKED! CHASTISED!  MORTIFIED!
  • Sudden news of a close friend’s house sold and immediate move. JOYFUL-TEARFUL! 
  • Timely tender text messages received early in the morning. ENCOURAGED!
  • Phone rang. Trusted friend without normal greeting said, “Oh, honey I’m so sorry!” HEALING BALM!
  • I rolled down the windows in my car to enjoy the warmth of the day, but when I attempted to put them up again, one wouldn’t go to the fully raised position. Next, I heard a disturbing CLUNK!   I rolled the window back down, but it wouldn’t go back up at all! YIKES!
  • Vintage heirloom bracelet from my recently deceased Mother-in-law, broke at the beginning of a wedding ceremony. SURPRISED! SADDENED!
  • Reconnection with the dear cousin. OVERJOYED! CHALLENGED!
  • My husband researched how to fix the car window, took it apart, found the broken part,  ordered the needed part on-line,  fixed the window himself and saved us a bundle of money.  THANKFUL! AMAZED! IN LOVE!  
  • Purchased plants and flowers for my garden. Gentleman gave me one for free. GRATEFUL!
  • Bunny rabbits mated in my backyard. PERPLEXED!
  • Neighbor’s cat in my yard, chased a ground squirrel in a game of “Cat and Mouse,” caught it and had some lunch. AMUSED! GLAD!
  • Someone wanted an item I’ve been trying to donate for years and will even come collect it. RELIEVED!
  • A few pounds accumulated on my body over the winter. SURPRISED! DISGUSTED! BUMMED!
  • Double rainbow near my sister’s farm-house.  IN AWE! AMAZED AT GOD! Double Rainbow - Iowa

Have you marveled at God recently? So when was the last time you asked God to surprise you? Have you ever asked?  You’ll probably be surprised!

Share something you’ve been surprised by lately or something you have marveled at recently. Include your reaction too if you’d like. 

Camera, Coffee and a Crotch Rocket!

(This is a journal entry of mine from years back now a blog post)

Sundays are special to me. I love to worship God with other believers. It is also a highlight because many Sundays I get ready to go to church with my lovely daughter Grace. This morning I hollered up to her, “Hey, Panny Lu (one of her nick-names) come get ready with me in my room!” Putting make up on together and doing our hair, while talking about whatever is on our minds, had been our routine since she was a little girl.

This June morning it seemed even sweeter because summer had begun and I thought about her transferring and going away for college in the fall.  I asked Grace about her day and whether we could ride together or not. She reminded me that she was going to ride her motorcycle because it was a full day. She planned to attend worship with me, grab some lunch, go to two different photo shoots. So, as we smoothed the foundation on our faces and used the blush brushes to lightly brighten our cheeks with color, we chatted about people and life. Time flew by.

Grace, though the youngest, has always been CEO of family logistics. In fact, when she was younger, I would have to curtail her desire to boss even me around. However, I didn’t want to squelch the apparent ability she had to mobilize people, think through details and timelines, so I just coached her through her supervisory role gently. As is her custom, Grace in her typical way said, “Okay, mom we have about 10 more minutes and then I need to go put my camera in my backpack and we will need to head out.

I then had a flashback to when she was just a petite, young, girl, she would say,”Mom, I heard the kitchen timer, I think it was set so that you could write out the check for our piano teacher and remind us to get on our bicycles soon for our lessons.”  I would glance at the clock to check the time, knowing full well that she was right.

This morning , reminded me of one of those days. She let me know that I would need to take a car because she would be taking her backpack loaded with her camera for the photo shoots and hop on her motorcycle. As I listened to her comforting voice she stood before me. Grace Elizabeth you look so beautiful. Her long, wavy, dark brown hair falling loosely on both shoulders. Her new scarf tied perfectly around her neck as she lined her eyes and applied her mascara carefully and deliberately. “Okay, five more minutes mom!” She instructed. So, I grabbed a pen, notebook, Bible, purse and poured an iced coffee into a recycled cup. Okay, I’m set!

I backed out of the driveway but Grace remained in the garage getting set to straddle her motorcycle and back out. I motioned to her gesturing my question, Do you want me to follow or  go ahead of you?  She shook her head, raised both hands shoulder height palms
lifted upward, signifying,  I don’t care you choose.

So, I backed out, waited patiently in the street so I could follow her. She descended the driveway backing out slowly. I watched as she zipped her black, leather jacket, then placed her helmet on her head with her long hair draping down her back, next she tightened each motorcycle glove, and adjusted the straps of her filled backpack. I continued to observe as Grace looked over her right shoulder to do a proper head check down the street before she pulled out into it. I smiled as I watched my daughter make her way up the street. I followed closely behind her. We wound through the residential street, turned out on the highway and finally merged into the oncoming traffic of the interstate.

I grinned as she weaved in and out of the lanes she chose to ride in. I followed directly behind her. Every time she signaled and switched lanes, I did too. I remained directly behind her every move she made. I never lost sight of her or allowed her to get too far ahead. Even though she rides almost daily on her motorcycle by herself to destinations without me accompanying her but today I was her escort.

I delighted in watching her as she rode with ease down the interstate. I enjoyed
watching her bend down low to be more streamlined and faster. I watched as she released her right, followed by her left, ankle from time to time. She seemed to be stretching out any part of her body that may be cramped or fatigued or perhaps warm on this summer day.

I watched as a few people in the cars around gave her a double take. As they acknowledged the fact, that’s a young lady driving that Honda CBR 600 F4i. I giggled as we approached the stop light because even the way she placed her feet on the ground, to steady herself was smooth and confident, ballet- like . And I followed directly behind-with her at every junction. I was reminded of God’s incredible awareness of and delight in me.

These are a few promises that He makes:

Never will I leave you, nor forsake you.

For the Lord your God is with you where ever you go.

I will bless your coming and going both now and forever more.

Yet another promises floods my mind -The Lord watches over your life.
The Lord goes before you and is your rear guard. That one made me chuckle.
For some reason, this morning, I felt as though Grace needed an additional rear guard. So I followed her meticulously every step of the way and did not allow any cars in between us. Whether I  accompany her or not, God is with her at all times. That brings me such comfort.

We turned into the parking lot, I watched as Grace slowed down as she approached each speed bump. Next she selected a lane to find a place to park, but I went down a different one. I found an open parking spot and took it. I entered the building,  headed directly to the nearest bathroom and glanced at my phone with an incoming text from Grace. It read: I’m in the front with Elliot and Grace.My sweet daughter had again handle the logistics, had gone before me, selected the seats and now we could worship the king together.

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I am blessed. It blows me away. The God of the universe, the one in control of all things, has given me the privilege of being Grace’s mom. I loved getting ready in the morning with her but a true highlight for me was to sit in the same pew together and lift our voices in harmony and our hands in praise to King!  We made it on time. I was grateful that earlier Grace had said “Okay, mom in five minutes we’ve got to go!” As I took a sip of my coffee, I thanked God for his traveling mercies I’m grateful that he cares about everything in my life even trafic, cars, cameras, coffee and crotch rockets.