Cultivate as you Wait

I was getting impatient.

Sitting in the hard, uncomfortable chairs, my son and I were hoping his name would be called next.  Even with an appointment, we waited two hours at the DMV for his driving test this week.  The good news is he passed, but the bad news is that I kept complaining while we were waiting.    

Waiting is hard. 

In our fast-paced world where we can get information at the touch a button or a package delivered the next day, it is no wonder that we struggle with waiting. 

What if we looked at waiting with a different perspective? 

I just finished reading a book called Cultivate by Lara Casey.  She looks at life through the lens of gardening, and I loved what she shared about waiting.  Listen to this quote, “In the wait we are refined. Changed. Readied for whatever He has ahead for us.  Times of waiting are times of ripening.”

Have you ever taken a bite out of a piece of fruit that has not completely ripened?  I tried eating a peach that I thought was ripe; however, it was hard, juiceless, and tasted so bad that I had to spit it out.  It needed more time to ripen.

Just like fruit needs time to ripen, we need time to grow into the person God created us to be.

Growing involves waiting. Waiting for God to prepare us, teach us, and ready us for all He has planned. Instead of complaining about the wait, what if we saw the wait as a gift.  I love what Lara says in her book, “In the wait, cultivate.”

What do you need to cultivate as you wait? 

Lara gives us lots of action words for cultivate: “serve, nurture, nourish, prepare, encourage, improve, refine, pay attention, foster growth, loosen and break up hard ground, and care for what you’ve been given.”

Maybe you need to nourish your soul by reading God’s word regularly or perhaps you need to break up hard ground and identify a trigger that keeps you stuck.  Using the cultivate list above, I recommend picking an action word that you want to work on during your wait.

Friends, I know that waiting can be hard.  I am in a season of waiting on God’s timing for my book and there are times that I want to rush the process. 

But just like we cannot rush fruit to ripen, we cannot rush God’s timing in our life either.

When you begin to doubt His perfect timing, I want you to go to the store and buy your favorite fruit.  As you bite into it and taste all its goodness from waiting to be fully ripened, I want you to remember that God is doing the same for you as you wait to fully ripen!

Love, Jodi

Faith Friends

I wish she was here to celebrate.

I would call and sing to her on the phone.  We would meet for lunch, and I would treat because today is a special day.  It is my dear friend, Jeannie’s birthday.   

However, I am not able to do these things.  Sadly, Jeannie passed away three years ago after fighting hard against pancreatic cancer.

It was heartbreaking to lose her so young and so quickly.  Maybe you have recently lost someone in your life.  I know firsthand how hard the special days are especially the first year and even the next years to follow. 

Give yourself lots of grace on those special dates: birthdays, anniversaries, and Holidays. 

Remember grieving looks differently for everyone.  Some people like to be alone and process through writing or journaling.  Others want to talk with someone like a trusted friend or counselor.  Even others will do something in honor or remembrance of their loved one.

So today, even though I cannot celebrate with Jeannie, I want to celebrate and honor Jeannie!

I love this picture of us the night our youngest boys were baptized back in March 2016.

Jeannie was an amazing mom, wife and friend.  She deeply loved Jesus as well as her family; her faith shined brightly in her life. I had the privilege to meet her when our older kids were two years old at MOPS at church.  (Note: now they are 16 years old).  We immediately connected and became faith friends.

A Faith Friend is someone who continues to point you back to your faith in hard times and in good times. 

Jeannie and I were faith friends!   Sadly, we both walked through a heartbreaking miscarriage in between our oldest and youngest. I remember telling her how thankful I was that God had brought her into my life.   She was always an encouragement and support to me especially during the greatest heartbreaks of my life: losing Baby Grace and walking through my divorce.  Little did I know that losing her would be my next greatest heartbreak.

Friends, losing a loved one is so hard.  If you are grieving the loss of a mother, father, friend, child, baby, I want to say, I am so sorry.  I wish I could give you a big hug and remind you that you are not alone in your grief. 

Like a faith friend, let me share with you a bible verse that helped me during my grief.  Psalms 34:18, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.” Remember He is close and wants to walk through this with you.   Let me end with this prayer for you.

God, I pray for all the hurting hearts who are grieving the loss of a loved one.  I pray we will feel Your closeness, Your love, and Your comfort particularly on these special days when we are missing our loved ones more than ever. Surround us with faith friends who will encourage us to run to You in our pain and will listen with empathy and love.  God, we don’t always understand why but I pray we will trust You with all of our hearts in the middle of the heartbreak.  In Jesus name, AMEN