Advent Waiting

Have you ever noticed how much of life is about waiting? We wait in the drive thru line at the fast food store. We wait in the waiting room at the doctor and/or dentist’s office.We wait for those we love. We wait for packages and fun snail mail to arrive in the mail. We wait at the airport. The truth is that we actually wait a lot in our lives. Yet, I don’t know about you, but for me, I have a hard time waiting. I can get pretty impatient.

And when it comes to God answering my prayers and/or the desires of my heart, it seems like my patience meter runs even shorter. I want it to be answered right now! Yet God doesn’t answer our prayers or the desires of our heart like that, does God? God has a plan in store for each and every one of us. I am reminded of a Tweet from my blog friend Kaitlyn “God has a very, very good plan. We may not understand it, but that doesn’t make it any less good.” Oh how I need to cling to those words in the waiting!

Sometimes it seems like those plans are coming into place for every one but me. Just a few weeks ago, a camp friend got engaged. I am so excited for her. Her fiance is a single dad so she gains an instant family. Then on Thanksgiving, a good friend was proposed too. My heart and head have a hard time holding my emotions during these joyous occasions because part of me is so excited for them while another part of me feels deflated.

Yet Advent is all about waiting, isn’t it? My friend Susan gifted me an early release copy of Mandy Hale’s book “A Beautiful Uncertainty.” She knew her words were exactly what my soul needed. My favorite chapter is a chapter titled “Advent, Single, and Waiting” Funny thing is that I read that chapter just as Advent was nearing. Because Advent is indeed all about waiting.

As the weeks lead up to Christmas and Jesus’ birth, we find ourselves dwelling in the Word and the peace and holiness of this season. In John chapter one, we read “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it.”–John 1:1-5

We wait for this Word, born of flesh, Emmanuel! Like Mary, we ponder and treasure all these things in our hearts. Like the shepherds, we wait and find the baby Jesus lying in the manger. Like the wise men, we wait and bring the Messiah gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. We wait for this one who is sent into the world to bring hope and peace and joy and will later die on a cross for our sins. We wait because we trust in a God who fulfills God’s promises!

Yes, a God who fulfills God’s promises. Those are important words for us all to cling to and remember especially during this Advent season. Much like we await the birth of Jesus, I find myself waiting and clinging to God’s promises to me. I may not know the day nor the hour but God has a plan for me and each and every one of us. In fact, it may not be the plan I have pictured for myself but it is the plan God has designed specifically for me. And that plan is oh so good!

May we all wait and hold onto the hope of our faithful God who is always ever faithful especially as we wait and watch for this precious baby boy born in a stable in Bethlehem oh so many years ago..this holy child who comes to remind us of God’s love and faithfulness for all God’s people.

I am linking up with these beautiful faith-filled women: Holly at Testimony Tuesday, Kelly and the RaRa Linkup, Jennifer and Tell His Story, and Holley and Coffee for your Heart.


Waiting in Faith

Do you ever have one of those times when a sermon you’ve heard just keeps replaying in your brain? Last week’s sermon was one of those for me! It has a deep grip on my head and my heart. Last weekend my colleague PB was the preaching Pastor for the weekend but unfortunately was not feeling well, so my other colleague PK had to preach. PK’s words and sermon have been replaying in my head ever since last Sunday.

The whole theme of PK’s sermon was about “waiting upon the Lord.” One of the questions that he asked especially has been replaying in my heart and head this week. The question he asked was this, “How many “untils”? Can you wait for them in faith?”

How many “untils?” “Can you wait for them in faith?” Anyone who knows me or has read this here blog knows how my heart yearns so deeply to be a wife and a momma. I have often said….I cannot wait until I find my Mr. Right. I cannot wait until I have my first child. I cannot wait until….(fill in the blanks). And as I heard those questions, I found myself caught by them…..caught so much that my head shook along in agreement and a lump caught up in my throat. I’ll be honest I haven’t been very good at waiting in faith for my prayers to come true.  There have been more days than not when I wonder if God has heard my prayers at all. But the truth is I need to trust more fully. I need to wait more patiently. I need to especially wait for them in faith.

“Faith is the assurance of things hoped for the assurance of things not yet seen”

 “Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return!” As I heard those words last night and the cross marked on my forehead, I found myself saying, “Tara, you need to wait in faith…wait in faith for your “untils” to come true. It also reminded me that in my own humanity and even mortality, I am a human; called, claimed, and loved by God. And God is continually making me new! God is continually making YOU new too friends! I know that isn’t easy for us to hear but God has this incredible way of taking dust and making it into beautiful things. And so as I wait in faith, I trust God to make my “untils” come true and for God to make me new!

Hope Worth Waiting For

We wait all the time, don’t we? We go to the post office to mail a package and we wait. We go to the grocery store to buy groceries and we end up waiting at the check out counter. We wait for the anticipation of the next big day or the next big event. But what I have come to realize is that we are not very good at waiting AT ALL. And I am just as guilty as the next person. On my way to workout and I get stopped because a train needs to cross the tracks. I find myself tapping my fingers on my wheel because this is holding me up and I need to get to my destination NOW! It seems that in this high tech world, we have so much accessible to us that we have forgotten how to be patient.

Advent is the perfect time to truly wait and be patient. Now I realize in a house full of kiddos, that can be extremely difficult but I think it also is important for us to remind children the true reason for the season and the importance of being patient. This season is all about the waiting and the preparing and the arrival of this precious holy child; the one who brings light in the midst of the darkness, hope in the midst of despair, and joy in the midst of sorrow. This holy child is the one who can bring about peace, justice, and mercy.

As you prepare your hearts, minds, and homes this Advent season, may you take the time to be patient, to wait for this precious child born in the unlikeliest of places. This precious child who is the Prince of Peace, who is Emmanuel, who is the Savior of the world, who is Messiah. This holy infant born in a manger in Bethlehem is the embodiment of hope in the world.

” ‘Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’ Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God, and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.’ “–Luke 2: 11-14

Jesus was sent into the world by God to remind us that there is always hope especially when we trust in this holy child. This holy child who later sits with tax collectors and sinners. This holy child who will be crucified for our sins and then will be raised from the dead. Jesus is the hope that we all must cling to; a hope that only God can give, a hope that is born that holy night in a manger in Bethlehem; A hope in an injust world that will bring about justice; A hope in a broken world, that will bring about healing and wholeness; A hope in a violent world that brings about healing, reconcilation and peace.

Hope is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not yet seen.”

And this, my friends, is a hope worth waiting for!

Love is Complicated!

I joined an (In) Courage group during their last session; thanks to my friend STM! I have loved being a part of this group. Something so holy about finding people that are like me and understand my hopes and dreams and simply get me!

I am thankful for this group but it is still hard in the midst of life to find those who can say “me too!” I have been blessed by some amazing friends yet almost all of them are married and/or have kiddos! I love them and their kids so much but I still wonder when it will happen for me!

There are days I’m so frustrated that this prayer hasn’t been answered for me yet! I want to ask God when, where etc it will happen! But then I realize that that would ruin the fun; the fun of the chase!

Recently I have gone to a few events with guy friends. I’ve enjoyed that time and wonder where God is leading these friendships etc! Why does love have to be so complicated and difficult?

But then I’m reminded that love has it’s hard parts too! This week a friend shared with me that her family’s dog is in his final days of life! She said, the hard part of love is the hurting and the loss!” Oh how true!

So I need to remember that in time, this will happen for me! I just need to remember to be “gentle” with myself! Even when most days that is oh so very difficult to do!

Because in the end, I trust that God will answer my prayer….and that the love that will be given to me and that I will give in return will be completely and totally worth it!

Still Waiting for My Happily Ever After

“Happily ever after” 

As a little girl, that is how all those fairytales I watched seemed to end. The princess always seemed to find her Prince Charming. The bad guy always seemed to be defeated and the good guy always seemed to come out on top. As a little girl, I continually found myself looking for “my” happily ever. I would look around every corner to find what I was looking for. I always pictured myself as the beautiful princess who finally captured her Prince Charming. In my dreams, I would see myself decked out in an elegant ball gown, walking around the corner, finding my Prince. We would stand under the magnificent moonlit sky, embracing one another and kissing. That was how I pictured “my happily ever after;” a “happily ever after” fit for a fairytale ending!

But as I have grown up, I have realized that life isn’t always full of the “happily ever afters” because life has its ups and downs. Life is just as full of “unhappily ever afters” as it is “happily ever afters.” I say that as daily this reminder stares me right back in the face as my deepest desires have not been answered. I say that also knowing that my family has changed and experienced its own ups and downs in life. So I find myself clinging to fear rather than hope.

Today my friend Anna who blogs over at Girl with Blog wrote this beautiful blog post about the movie Frozen and the song Else sings where she sings “conceal don’t feel.” (You can read Anna’s blog post here: Anna reminds me; reminds us that the opposite of love is fear. As I read Anna’s words, they hit me straight in the heart. Oh how often I don’t feel because I am afraid of what might happen. I am afraid that my deepest desires and dreams might not come true. I am afraid that I will never get to be a mom…not in the way I always pictured as a little girl. I am afraid of so much. But as Anna reminds me and YOU, God feels for us. God didn’t conceal. God felt wholly and completely for each of us.

For me, that is often so hard to trust in. I open up my FB newsfeed and I see the beautiful pictures of my friends and their dear families. My heart aches because I want what they have so deeply. (I truly am happy for each and every one of them but in order for me to live my life, I cannot conceal those feelings which is why I need to share them here). I am still looking for “my happily ever after.” I am waiting for God to send that Prince Charming into my waiting arms as we kiss under that magnificent moonlit sky.

Yet I stand, with open arms, still waiting. And that is so hard for me to admit because I truly believe that God hears my every desire and prayers but there is also a part of me that clings to the fear; a fear that holds me down and doesn’t let go.

Because I am still that little girl waiting for her “happily ever after!”

Treasuring Time

Why do some things move so slowly? It seems that when I am excited for an upcoming event; a wedding, a Baptism, etc, it takes forever for that event to get here! I sometimes find myself wishing for time to move more quickly! But that is such a ridiculous thing to wish for! We shouldn’t wish time away! So many pray and hope for time back with family who left too soon etc! I am doing my best to treasure every minute and not wish for time to move quicker even when I want something do desperately to come!

Lunch Conversation Thoughts

I’ve been thinking a lot about a conversation I had about a week ago at lunch with some work colleagues. For some reason, the conversation turned to being single etc. Now many of you who read this blog regularly know that I am deeply yearning to be married, have a family, etc. My colleagues know this and respect it deeply. At lunch, one of my colleagues asked what I pray for when I pray about this. I replied that I often pray for God to give me patience, courage etc as I wait for my Mr. Right. This colleague then flipped this on its head and asked me to try praying for something differently. Basically he said “I should pray for God to put someone in my path who will bless me and who I will bless in return.” It got me thinking! I’ve reworded what Ive been praying for etc. I think often times we aren’t always sure what to pray for but God has this way of showing us how to reword it or whatever via other people etc. During the course of this conversation, we also talked about how church is definetely not the place to meet someone. Now I definetely know that, but I need to be more proactive about how I meet people. I love writing, poetry, etc. I am trying to find a writing group in this community….maybe this will be how I meet someone. I just continue to pray that God will put someone in my path that will bless me and who I will bless in return!