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What are you waiting for?

It seems like waiting for something is a part of life. Waiting for a promotion, waiting for a wayward child, waiting for an answer to prayer. We even have quotes galore to inspire and encourage us as we wait.

  • Good things come to those who wait.
  • You usually have to wait for that which is worth waiting for. (Craig Bruice)
  • Our willingness to wait reveals the value we place on what we’re waiting for. (Charles Stanley)

Recently, Greg and I took a cruise with my brother and his wife, and my Dad. We planned it about 8 months before our sail date. So, we waited and waited and it seemed like we were never going to actually go on the cruise. But finally, on November 27 after months and months of anticipation, we set sail for ten days in the Caribbean. It was a wonderful trip and well-worth the wait.

The wait is over: Christmas is here.

With tomorrow being Christmas, I couldn’t help but think about the waiting so many had to endure for their promised Messiah. Years and years came and went until that one night when hope and promise were ushered in with the birth of Christ. New life in Him would soon become a reality. At last, Messiah had come.

What are you waiting for at this moment? An answer to prayer? Clear direction? A reconnection with a past relationship?

It’s not always easy to simply wait. We like quick answers and fast results. But it’s often in the waiting room where God shows up as our close Companion reminding us that He’s got all things under His control. And our time spent in that room will not be in vain because:

The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. (Lamentations 3:25)

The birth of Jesus was worth waiting for because a once distant God became Immanuel, God with us.

Tomorrow we once again think about the earthly entrance of the Son of God. Mankind waited and was not disappointed.

If you find yourself in a season of waiting, be encouraged. With God, all things are possible, and if waiting is involved…it will be well-worth it.

Merry Christmas

Mimi

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Family Love

Family means everything to me. It really does.

There’s not a gift in the world anyone can give me that compares to time spent with my loved ones.

So, I feel especially blessed that the past few weeks were overflowing with family time: Thanksgiving, the Saturday after for our annual Family Craft Day, and three days later a 10-day cruise with Dad, the hubster, and my brother and his wife.

After all that, I already feel like Christmas has already come and that I’ve been showered with more gifts than I know what to do with.

While my Dad, kids and grands live close enough to see frequently, it’s tough being away from my brother and his family as they live in cold country in New York State. That typically means annual or semi-annual visits. And to me, that’s simply not often enough.

Despite that…

I’m very grateful for each and every one of them.

Desmond Tuto said “You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.”

So, thank you, God. The beautiful gifts you have given me are not found under the tree. Rather, they are flesh and blood. They are the ones who raised me, the ones I grew up with, the one who married in and eventually birthed four more to love, the one I married 44 years ago, the ones I birthed, the ones they married, and the ones born to them. No matter how they arrived, they are my family. My loved ones.

And though I wish I could be with them in person every single day, it’s okay. After all, they really are with me…because I carry them in my heart.

I love you all.

Mimi

Do we truly see the unseen?

Today I’m including a link to another great Joshua Rogers post entitled “What happened when I said thank you to an unpopular cop.’ I hope you’ll take 2-3 minutes to read it.

This post talks about something we all encounter and often overlook: people who are unseen. While Joshua’s story centers on a parking enforcement officer, all our lives are touched every day by those unseen: the Walmart cashier, the trash collector, the neighbor down the street.

Daily, we interact with friendly faces we’re familiar with. But what would happen if we went out of our way to engage with those who are often overlooked? This post not only explores that but encourages us to seek them out and show our appreciation.

But it comes with a warning.

Reading articles like this often prick our consciences to take action!

If you’re ready and have the courage, then READ ON.

Mimi

When Your World is Topsy Turvy

Check out this gator. How do you see it? Did I accidentally place the photo upside down? Or is the stuffed gator on the ceiling? Got you wondering, don’t I? Well…he’s on the ceiling!

Ever feel like your life is upside down or topsy turvy like our gator friend? If you’re not experiencing that way at the moment, I bet you have in the past. And quite possibly you’ll feel that way again at some future point.

We can’t always avoid those moments but we can be better prepared to handle them when they arrive. Here are just a few ideas that may help during those times.

Be Prepared

Let’s look at Noah. Talk about being prepared. Hebrews 11:7 (NLT) tells us “It was by faith that Noah built a large boat to save his family from the flood. He obeyed God, who warned him about things that had never happened before.” Seems like the ultimate in being prepared. God spoke a warning to Noah, Noah responded and obeyed, and he and his family were saved.

Be on Guard

Recognize that there is an enemy who is out to destroy you. At the end of time, he is defeated. In the meantime, however, he is a very strong adversary and is out to cause as much trouble as possible.

But we are told in 1 Peter 5:8 to “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith.”

Take Shelter in God

Remember that God is always working on our behalf. We can rest in God and find peace knowing God is with us. Isaiah 41:10 encourages us. “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

No one wants trouble but none of us can escape it either. Being prepared, being on guard, and sheltering in with God will get us through.

What Bible verses have helped you anchor in during a storm?

Mimi

You are a beautiful creation.

I had to laugh when I read the saying on the picture in today’s post. I thought, that’s the perfect way to turn a negative into a positive. And a great example of thinking outside the box.

Creativity isn’t one of my strong suits.

Thinking outside the box really isn’t one of my strong suits. My organized mind loves pre-planning, thinks in a linear fashion, and serves me well. But I do envy quick-thinking people and those who can come up with alternative methods to accomplish something.

And that makes me so very grateful to have some of those people in my life. In fact, it makes for a great match-up when someone like me can pair with a more creative mind. Much can be accomplished.

Let’s rejoice in our differences.

It’s easy to be envious of others who inherently have an ability you wish you had. But I bet there are plenty of those out there who feel the same way about you. They envy your own talents.

God has created each one of us uniquely and specifically. He has specific calls on our lives and has taken care to equip us through God-given abilities, desires, and experiences to accomplish those tasks.

That should make us appreciate the “who” God created each of us to be. It should also make us appreciate the “who” he made others. And grateful for our differences.

When we come together we are the body of Christ.

Together we become the body of Christ. We function as one. Instead of being envious of others, we are content. We all use our giftings to accomplish God’s will. This both pleases Him and draws us closer to Him and to each other.

He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. (Ephesians 4:16 NLT)

Today, let’s acknowledge that God knew exactly what He was doing when He fashioned us, oh so precisely to accomplish every good work He has set before us. And let’s be grateful for the beautiful body of Christ He has created and that we are a part of it.

Love to all.

Mimi

Praying for each other.

I got to do something this past weekend I haven’t done in a long, long time. I prayed with a stranger.

I was attending a women’s retreat with my friend who was the guest speaker. We knew no one except each other.

The praise and worship were wonderful, reminding me of sweet times I had experienced in the past. It had, in fact, been years since I had had an opportunity to get lost in worship and simply enjoy the presence of the Lord.

Prayer Time

At one session, recognizing there were people in need of prayer, the leader said she wasn’t going to do an altar call. Instead, she was asking those who wanted prayer to raise their hands. The ladies around them were then encouraged to pray for and with them.

I looked around to see if there was a hand raised nearby. Not seeing any, I kept on worshipping the Lord. But for some reason I knew God was asking me to pray for someone in the room, someone I didn’t know.

I looked again and simply chose a lady nearby, walked over, touched her shoulders to let her know I was there, and just started praying for her. Afterwards we shared a hug and I returned to my chair.

It’s so important.

I love moments like these, moments when I hear God speak and respond. Moments spent with my sisters in Christ. Moments spent praying for one another.

Back in the day, this was more the normal scenario. During or after service, we would gather near the front and pray for each other. When someone prays for you, they are actually picking up your heavy load or burden and helping you carry it.

I’m not sure why churches have stopped doing this. Most likely it’s because service times are getting shorter. There’s just not enough time to “tarry around the altar” as we used to.

The illustration says it all.

I don’t even remember where I found this picture, but it sure does show why we pray for each other, doesn’t it? We pray for each other because it’s tough to do life alone. And when we have a burden or problem or situation that weighs us down, that’s when we really need the help of the body of Christ.

We are exhorted to “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2). Today I got to share someone’s burden. I hope she was blessed. But one thing I know for sure: I certainly was.

Be a blessing.

My encouragement today is to look for a need, look for a burden to share. Pray for someone. Hug a friend and allow her to cry on your shoulder. Run an errand for them or provide a meal. All are very tangible ways to help carry their load.

Much love to you.

Mimi

Life is like a camera.

What a great quote on Facebook. I copied the image and found myself looking at it over and over again.

It seemed wise and even sounded easy. Yet the more I thought about the words, I realized what was bothering me. The quote reminds me it’s often easier to come up with memorable little quips about how to do life well than it is to actually live the life you want.

But take heart; there’s hope.

While there is definitely some truth in the statements, the biggest Truth is missing: God. If we merely try to carry out the four directives completely on our own, without God, then we may still end up feeling empty, despite learning to focus on the important things, capturing the good, developing from the negatives, and having a do-over.

Life can be difficult. But God still encourages us to run “…with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)

And yes, we may experience lament and guilt over past mistakes but God reminds us to not let the past hinder that race. “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)

And finally.

When Jesus was speaking to His disciples about the difficulty of a rich man entering God’s kingdom, “The disciples were staggered. ‘Then who has any chance at all?’ Jesus looked hard at them and said, ‘No chance at all if you think you can pull it off yourself. Every chance in the world if you trust God to do it.’” (Matthew 19:25-26 The Message)

So be encouraged. Today’s quote is trendy and indeed contains truth, but the words alone can’t accomplish anything. Yet with God, all things are possible. Second chances and do-overs abound. And remember, with God, we have every chance in the world of finishing our race if we trust God to do it.

Mimi