Expecting Again!

pregnancyTake a breath!!  I’M NOT PREGNANT. 🙂 There IS expectation for a new birth about to take place, however, as I’m coming out of a year+ transitional period of waiting on God to reveal what this next season of life will bring.  One of the beautiful aspects of growing older is the increasing ability to look back and celebrate the many little beginnings and endings we experience throughout our lifetime.  While losses are extremely painful at the time, they actually produce a fertile soil for a healthier new life to emerge. 

I’m grateful that this particular transition, while lengthy, didn’t take me into the desert place in my thinking.  Never did I feel alone, dry, or barren (purposeless).  I just knew I was waiting.  On the other hand, if we continue the pregnancy analogy, I also didn’t go through the early stages–neither the negative morning sickness, nor the joys of experiencing the internal “butterflies” of baby’s first movements.  Instead, I woke up today realizing I’ve  jumped right to the end– into the last trimester and FULL of hope!  To add to the anticipation, I can also see that there was nothing accidental about the timing.  Both of my sons were born in August; especially this year as each one reaches a significant milestone, all of the special memories of their births have come flooding back.  Doesn’t our Father think of everything? 🙂

Though two decades have passed since my sons were born, with fine detail I could describe the physical changes my body went through in the weeks before, and the emotional growth my husband and I both experienced with the expanded capacity to love these babies with an intensity we had never imagined.

Now as my ministry prepares once more to give birth to You Go Girl! Special Events for A Night of Hope-collageWomen, we find ourselves in labor pains of another sort as we eagerly look forward to the arrival.  Through the years God has patiently seen us through recovery and insecurities, set-backs and victories as He has S-T-R-E-T-C-H-E-D us beyond our comfort zones.  Now with a wonderful new Board of Directors, we are actively pursuing our calling through an exciting but challenging intellectual labor.  Let’s be real: it would be a very rare performer who also has gifts in writing, teaching, event planning, marketing, and fundraising!

Then there’s the spiritual warfare… When our mission is all about helping women connect with others in their own community, offering real hope and encouragement to get “unstuck” and to go boldly forward, is it any wonder the enemy would want us to fail?  Yes, the physical ailments, financial concerns, relational difficulties, and psychological stress coming against our team are further confirmation we are on the right track.  But make no mistake, we’re trusting in our Heavenly Father, and we will keep “pushing through the pain”.

No longer simply waiting for a sign but now expecting a new beginning, I’m really excited about the coming season… even if it means sleepless nights and possible mood swings :-).

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What if Saving the Good China Leads to Just Getting By?

china cabinetI’m from one of the last generations in which we were taught by our mothers to save the good china for special occasions, and the guest towels for company.  In the meantime, we lived with the mismatched dishes and the natty towels we took with us when we first moved out of our parents’ home– replacing them only as absolutely necessary with equally inexpensive “every day” stuff.  The theory behind it goes like this: Things used regularly will eventually break, chip, rip, and fade. However, by preserving those special items we acquired as wedding gifts, there will always be something pretty to look at, and to help make guests feel special. Sound familiar?

If you can’t relate to that one, perhaps this will resonate– See, this is the same kind of thinking that leads to “waiting for the right time” to have kids, planning to travel “someday”, or even, “when I’ve achieved my career goals, THEN I’ll give to charity…buy a home…do what I’ve always wanted to do”.  Do you see the problem?  If we follow this train of thought, it doesn’t take long before we begin to believe that life is about “getting by”, waiting for the next special occasion, or, from the earlier example, that maybe we  don’t deserve good things.  Having an ABUNDANT life becomes once again, just a nice idea.   Could we ourselves be the ones who make us feel as though we’re operating out of LACK, because we’ve deemed so many things “off-limits” until Later?

I think sometimes we get lulled along into complacency and we forget– there are no guarantees that we’ll have a Later.  This moment, this day, THIS is the life we’ve been given. What are we waiting for?  And significantly, what if the world is waiting on us to do what we were meant to do?

Now, please don’t misunderstand. I am not advocating a willy-nilly disregard for others; I am not suggesting anyone run headfirst into debt, start a family without a plan, or impulsively quit a job to travel the world.  But maybe it is time to start using the good china and recognizing your blessings. 🙂  Maybe it’s time to wrap yourself in a fluffy towel after your shower instead of that old threadbare thing, and even enjoy your favorite beverage in one of those crystal glasses that’s been waiting, behind glass.  Maybe to begin entering fully into the life God promises, your participation is needed!  Let’s choose not to bring the spirit of Lack upon ourselves– just getting by with the hope of Someday or Later  Instead, let’s encourage one another to take reasonable action steps towards living in the Here and Now!!