We have been waiting. And so many of you have been waiting right along with us. A year ago we made the decision to go to Haiti. The earth shook violently and so did our very hearts. This was an important catalyst, pressing our family to dig deep and seek His calling on our lives. Six months ago we started raising funds to move to Haiti and began to prepare our home to sell. Today we still wait for an offer on our house. We wait for a door to be flung open to a world we think we might know, but we're sure is different than we ever anticipated. We wait.
What I am learning is what to do in the waiting. I could sit and twiddle my thumbs. (You all know that's not my style.) I could busy myself with meetings, play dates, leadership opportunities, dirty diapers, more projects. But is that what God really wants me to do in the waiting?
Last Fall I tried on the cloaks of the Israelites. I felt the hot desert sand burn between my toes. I offered up my complaints and questions and a bit of whining to heaven. I was sick of the waiting. I turned up my nose at the manna.
Convicted, I knew that was not the kind of waiting God was nudging me toward.
I have learned in this season of waiting that I need to be about two things: listening and thanking.
It's easy to get back on that path of doing. It's tempting to worry instead of worship.
My sweet Meilani lives life as a musical. There's no accident to the recent song she's been singing to her mama: "Strength will rise as you wait upon the Lord, wait upon the Lord. We will wait upon the Lord." I'm learning to dance to her music, to embrace the message and remember the Messenger. How I long for His strength to buoy me up.
My husband made a comment this morning that everything in our yard was looking overgrown. This afternoon I ventured out back with my two daughters. The sun was shining and I knew it was time to do some digging. Time to get out there, put on our gloves, haul out our rakes and shovels, and do some work.
My 4-year-old was delighted at first. She was eager to get her hands in the dirt. She discovered spiders and uncovered worms. She wanted to use the big rake to "get down deep" like Mama.
I went straight for the weeds. I started the hard work of hacking their stems with clippers, digging out their roots. I handed my 2-year-old a shovel and she got in on the action too. I pulled up the baby weed shoots. She turned the soil. (Sometimes she flung it straight up in the air, but you know, that's how it goes with 2-year-olds.) "Dirty hands, Mama," she showed me. I smiled, wiping sweat from my brow.
And somewhere in that digging I found my answer about waiting. While waiting, it's time to get digging. I have to take time to look at what needs to be weeded out of my life, refined in my personality. I need to turn the soil in the places that have grown hard, calloused. I need to find the rich patches and spread the wealth of that soil around. While I wait, I need to take time.
You see, I haven't wanted to work on this garden. I know we're going to Haiti and I would rather just leave it for the next homeowners. The thought of putting in all this hard work and then leaving it just pains my soul. But if I take on that mentality I might miss the blessing of today, this season. I might miss the harvest He has planned for me in this season. I might miss my destiny altogether.
Meanwhile, friends, wait patiently for the Master's Arrival. You see farmers do this all the time, waiting for their valuable crops to mature, patiently letting the rain do its slow but sure work. Be patient like that. Stay steady and strong. The Master could arrive at any time. (James 5:7-8 The Message).
Today I saw that I need to learn from the Master Gardener and cultivate the garden right before me. Maybe God has you in a season of waiting and He wants you to dig into the soil with Him. Join me.
**Faithful readers, I recently learned about a conference called She Speaks happening this July that I would love to attend. Maybe a few of you would like to join me. Ann Voskamp is offering a scholarship opportunity on her Holy Experience blog and you can read about the details here. Maybe there are some of you that need to be nudged to step out of your comfort zones and see how God will use you, your words.