Tag Archives: waiting

I was interviewed this week on a “Faith and Infertility” series podcast, talking about our journey through infertility, loss, suffering, and adoption.

Reliving a journey of tears is never easy, yet in the spirit of bringing hope I was honored to share our story.

One of the most poignant questions I was asked was…

“What do you say to someone who is in great despair right now, hopeless, maybe even angry at God about their journey and pain?”

I’ve been asked this many times over the last ten years, yet this time something different came out of my mouth first…

“No one can successfully navigate suffering alone. We MUST have relationships and a community we can lean on and depend on when our own faith is under siege.”

This answer unlocked a subsequent flood of sorts, on this subject of not doing life alone…

We are made to be in relationships, doing life with people who deeply care, those we can share our dreams and hopes with, trustworthy friends. They notice when we’re not at work or didn’t make it to church or a connect group this week.

They’re like those friends who took their sick friend on a cot to go meet Jesus. Arriving where He was speaking they found no room to get close.

Undaunted, they hoisted their friend up onto the roof and started attacking that roof until a hole big enough was ready. They lowered him down right in front of Jesus, who healed the man and marveled at the faith of those friends.

Don’t you want friends like that?! Unrelenting, energized by your need instead of put off by it? Focused on getting you to your miracle no matter what it takes.

I had a group of friends just like this, who helped carry the miracle of our twin daughters into our arms. They prayed for years ahead of time, and when the news of the pregnancy emerged, went to prayer around the clock til the decision was made in our favor.

For years prior they bought me baby gifts, left voicemails saying, “They’re coming don’t give up.” They stood, prayed, believed, and broke through roofs til our faith became sight.

No wonder I call them my midwives! I honor them still and want to be this unrelenting with friends still suffering and hopeless right now.

So how do you find these unrelenting friends?

During seasons when we may not feel so desperate for friends is actually a great time to find these faithful types. Dive in, network, get to know one person and let them lead you to others. This is exactly what I did when moving to NYC, knowing only one person and starting over relationship-wise at nearly 40 yrs old.

I’ll share the link to this infertility interview soon when it’s posted, but meanwhile let me encourage you that true friends are borne for adversity. Their hope and faith can help save you from losing yours.

They’re also the best ones to party with when your miracle happens and joy returns!

I’m cheering you on in whatever you’re still waiting for right now…


Absolutely_nothingWhy is it that so often things seem completely on hold and standing still?

It struck me today that just a year ago I was utterly exhausted and discouraged about how little sleep I was getting, and in the months that followed how little progress we seemed to be making on getting our baby twins to sleep.

I was reading every book on sleep training, applying all the techniques diligently, trying to be patient, not being patient, thinking for some reason our girls might never sleep through the night.

After six months, one Monday morning we were both at our wits end, so I googled “night nurse” and the next day the wonderful Lisa Bailey, a 16-yr registered nurse pro, spent the night.

She didn’t sleep but the babies did, with hardly a whimper or wake-up. She came two more nights and they slept both nights, all night!

Her awesome tricks-of-the-trade plus our own learning had finally yielded a breakthrough.  And ever since, our darlings sleep 12 hours a night, with few exceptions except for occasional colds, travel, or teething.

Isn’t life so often like this? The monotony of waiting, pain, worry, hopelessness, zero signs of change, zero evidence of breakthrough.

And then, THEN, everything is different.

It felt similar while waiting 10+ years for a dreamed-of move to NYC. Years of working, trying, investing, learning and zero apparent possibilities. One day after long meetings I called my Mom in tears, feeling completely wasted and out of hope that a move would EVER open up.

What I didn’t know was a dinner I’d just had that evening with someone I’d only just met, was THE open door. That man would make a call in the next few days and just two months later I’d be living in NYC.

So whatever it is that feels hopeless, forever on hold, or without any movement, really IS moving. Because YOU’RE moving, and so are a dozen other things you have no way of seeing or knowing are in motion. But they are. And so are you.

Be encouraged today while you wait. Your breakthrough is on the move toward you even now.

 


Excellence is a cultivated art.  You’d think it would come naturally but in truth, it requires study and focus.

It seems to be rare nowadays, yet those who will devote a bit of time and effort to observation and application, can truly be excellent.

Begin by cultivating an eye for excellence, so when you come across what is excellent you will know it.

This principle proves true in relationships, work, and hobbies.  For years before meeting my husband, I prayed over and observed qualities in men that represented excellence, be that in character, work ethic, or their walk with God.  Excellence in men may be rare, but my eye for it was cultivated so that my taste for it became refined. Thus the ability to wait til meeting my excellent Ron, though long and frustrating at times, was non-negotiable.

Work excellence starts with personal attributes…how we approach tasks, co-workers, and our attitude overall.  It then plays out in performance, and results in promotion and recognition, over time if we stay the course and keep the bar raised high.

This eye for excellence plays out in taste and preferences too.  I study beauty in decor, fashion, cooking, and art, pondering why one thing looks of higher quality than another.  That way, when I come across something excellent, I’m able to spot it, hopefully for a great value and price.

If you will cultivate this taste for excellence, and every person can do so, you will be increasingly drawn to what’s best, and find it tough to settle for less.  This is not an arrogant posture of “I’m better than others,” but is rather a reflection of our excellent Father who calls us to an abundant life, saying no to good enroute to best.

I spent the day yesterday doing yard work and alterations on a couple of excellent little numbers my shopping has turned up over the last month.  Thought you might enjoy seeing them.

Happy Weekend excellent friends!

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Excellent steal, Christian Louboutin hot pink sling-back from NYC consignment shop

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Cute Shareen Vintage dress, reminded me of a Dolce Gabana floral number, was too big but sewed it in on the sides, at $45 an excellent value!

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These T.J.Maxx palazzo pants look just like high-end Missoni which would retail for over $1,000, and for just $19 an excellent addition to summer-wear.

 

 

 


SmallDaveEver feel like you’re the smallest no-big-deal person on the team? Do you long for recognition and reward, wondering if it’ll ever come?

I had years and years of those exact sentiments, but let me assure you it’s never your final destination. Promotion WILL come, typically along with recognition and rewards.

I spent last week at Board meetings in Tulsa, where it’s my privilege to serve on the Board of Trustees at my alma mater, Oral Roberts University. I’m now in a position of influencing a University I love, but there were many years (I worked there for 10) that included insignificance, hard work with little pay, rare esteem, and bouts of frustration.

Though TV showcases overnight success, most people of prominence experience LONG seasons of insignificance. In the Bible we find Moses on the back side of the desert for 40 years, Joseph in prison for 13, even Jesus waiting til he was 30 to start his public ministry. And let’s not forget Daniel who was thrown into the lion’s den for his faithful service, and his three friends who ended up in a killer-hot furnace.

Kind of makes our agonizing wait seem a bit less dramatic right? But still, it can be hard and there are no easy fix-it formulas.

My best advice?

read more


Have you ever felt like you were missing out or being left behind?  I sure have.  Sometimes professionally and often in my personal life, I’ll see others who seem to have it all why I wait for a few crumbs to be thrown my way.

One such “crummy” moment happened recently.  I was visiting family and had an afternoon to watch my 9 yr old niece and her cheerleading squad perform at a pep rally.  Later that evening I wrote an email to my husband describing how I felt….

“I was in the gym this afternoon with all the kids, tons of moms and dads, the football team, Ally and her cheerleader friends, so sweet and glad I got to go.  Funny though, I thought while I looked at everyone, ‘I’ve missed this whole experience of being a mom with young kids in school.’  It’s still so strange to me, I look at all these women and think, ‘That was going to be me, being at school, pouring into my kids’ young lives.’  I know that I know, for some reason, I’m called to a different path, one I do love, but at moments like this it’s still hard to grasp why and how it turned out like this.”

Perhaps you can relate to my “missing out” sentiments.  It struck me later that night and again this morning while on a run, how tempting it is for EVERYONE to feel at some level like we’re missing out.

Missing out on….

  • A job breakthrough
  • A relationship you’ve always dreamed of
  • Real, true friends
  • A promised promotion
  • Financial relief
  • Health
  • Freedom from depression and addictions
  • The list goes on….

I finished my email to Ron with a line that is truly my heart’s mantra and one I will always hold to:  “I’m rich beyond words and have no regrets.”

Over and over we’re challenged to choose the “glass is half-full” mentality vs. concentrating on the empty place.  Yes, there are mysteries, things seemingly withheld, fulfillment we rightfully deserve or would imagine a loving God is eager to grant us.  So what gives when I feel denied?

One of my favorite scripture verses is Isaiah 55:9, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”  I have come to realize with increasing assurance my Father is all-wise, full of love, withholding some things only to grant others, in His way and in His time.

Could it be our challenge is to live not by what is visible now, and then choose, over and over again, to be content and grateful, celebrating what we have?

I’ve been focused on Psalm 23 lately while we walk through the valley with our son Jordan who is fighting cancer.  I’m often reciting under my breath, “Yeah though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me…”  I’ve also been loving verse 5 that says, “….you anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows.”  What a gift — an overflowing cup.  Not just half-full, but running over.

So even with unanswered questions, I’m going to declare that my cup WILL run over, realizing that perhaps part of the gift and adventure for all of us is, we just don’t know quite yet, what He will fill it with.

 


Holding On and Letting Go

It’s a New Year!  Time to let go of 2010 and look forward to what’s next. In doing so, I’m pondering…

When do you hold on to a dream and when is it time to let go?

For five years I’ve wanted to get pregnant.  I was pregnant once, but had a miscarriage.  My heart was broken yet hopeful it would happen again, right away.  Three years later, two surgeries, countless doctor visits and hundreds of prayers….still no pregnancy.  What’s a heart to do?

Part of me remains full of faith…faith to believe and stand…faith stronger having been tested.  I’ve also opened up to alternative “packages,” like adoption or foster care.

Lately though, I’ve really been wondering, maybe it’s time to move on.

I’ve been here before, waiting until 42 to marry. With that dream too, there was a season when it was time to let go.

It wasn’t a magic moment, a specific day or hour, but rather a decision to focus on other dreams, aiming beyond that one dominating dream.

That journey and the one I’m on now have brought to light several principles for navigating the awkward time between dream-ignited and dream-come-true.

Letting Go Doesn’t Mean Giving Up – There is a fine-line difference here and it’s not just semantics.  “Letting go,” is much like putting a dream on the back burner of a stove.  It’s still “cooking” but my focus is on the front-burner dreams, those I can “season” now.

Dreaming Other Dreams Uncovers Surprise Gifts – Focusing on what we want is good, but in our own limited thinking we may miss other gifts nearby.

One time in my career I was desperate for a promotion.  It had been promised for years but wasn’t happening.  I felt abused and wanted to leave, hated feeling stuck.  Still, no better options appeared. So I stayed, found new outlets for fulfillment on the job and personally, and then much later, promotion came.

So at this juncture, while I’m still hoping for pregnancy, I’m also thinking about the 20-something girls I can mentor, and in a sense, “mother.”  Maybe I can get more proactive, creative, and “birth” in them something new?

Things to Say and Not Say – I don’t say, I’m Giving Up, but I may say, I’m Letting Go. Rather than, I’m Hopeless, I am Hoping for Something More. I don’t say, I’ve Been Cheated, but I am, Expecting to be Surprised. Small difference in words, big contrast in attitude.  It’s been said that attitude is everything.  I say if not everything, it’s certainly BIG.

(Speaking of what not to say, when someone is waiting for a dream, it’s best to forego advice and instead, major on encouragement.  All the advice we need is one Google search away, but encouragement?  Now that’s a rare and precious gift.  Simple things like, “I’m with you, you won’t be disappointed,” can go a very long way.

Timing Is Crucial, and Out of Our Hands – God knows our hearts, He really does, and He’s working actively for our good, a good that has to do with timing, preparation, and the inevitable domino-effect our dream fulfilled will have.  The more I rely on this truth, the more freedom and joy I experience while I wait and hold on, or decide to let go.  “Dreaming on all cylinders,” describes the posture I try to have.

So here we are, diving into a brand new year, full of unknowns and uncertainties, wrought with surprises and possibilities.  What are you dreaming of?  Maybe it’s time to make a move, shifting one dream around in your heart and mind, aiming talents and energies in the direction of another one you can really make happen this year.

I’ll keep you posted on my “Wanting-to-have-a-child” journey, I’m not giving up, but for now, I’m moving on….on to front-burner possibilities that tell me the BEST is yet to be!


The other evening walking to our favorite dinner spot, I bumped into two beautiful women, friends of mine.  They started sharing how discouraged they’ve been about being single.  One tried unsuccessfully to hold back tears.

“I just helped one of my best friends pick out her wedding dress,” she said.  “And all I could hear in my ears was, ‘You’re 28 and have never had a serious boyfriend, what’s wrong with you?'”

The other one shared, “I’m about to turn 30, with no prospects in sight.  It’s easy to feel utterly hopeless!”

Boy do I relate!  I married at 42 and until then, accompanied each of my best friends, my sister, and myriads of others, down the aisle toward all MY dreams.  I threw the showers (first for weddings, then many babies), and looked around to find my hopes fading and options increasingly rare.

So how does a heart hold on without any signs of change?

There are several ways, not rocket science but effective nonetheless.  Here are the few I shared with my two friends…..

1.  Keep Dreaming Other Dreams — Maybe you can’t make your dream relationship happen, but what other dreams can you make happen?  Do you want to travel?  Write a book?  Redecorate or take a cooking class?   Start a new career?  Buy a fun car that only a single would enjoy?    Use this season to do these or other dreams.

So often single women feel “on hold” or “held back” because they imagine so much will change when they do get married.  Maybe it will, but likely it won’t, and in the meantime you can bring your heart alive by dreaming other dreams.

There was a time when I realized part of my frustration in being single was really about not having a home of my own where I could express my love of decorating and entertaining.  While I had enjoyed some wonderful roommates, it was time to get my own little place.  Wow, the fulfillment I imagined would only come in sharing a home with my husband, suddenly happened by just moving out on my own.  No more waiting to buy a Cuisinart, or a beautiful table and chairs!

While love and marriage tarry, move boldly in the direction of other dreams.  This is THE MOST empowering thing to do whenever a dream feels on hold and out of our control.

2.  Enjoy Your Friends — This may sound obvious, but even after you get married there are certain ways that only friends can enliven the heart and satisfy the soul.  No one relationship is ever an “all-in-all” so take the time now to cultivate varied relationships that bring joy and courage while you wait.

I always dreamed of going to the ballet with my husband, then I married a man who doesn’t like the ballet!  I’m so glad that before we met I was enjoying the Nutcracker with my friend Elizabeth who worked for the ballet and got free tickets.  Nothing like a girl’s night out to satisfy the female soul.

3.  Spend Time With People Like the Person You Want to Marry — 85% of people meet their spouse through mutual friends.  Think about your dream man and imagine who his friends are, where he spends his time, what he probably enjoys doing.  Then make a point to get involved in those settings, not trying to manipulate, but in a sincere desire to position yourself where you also belong.  For me that meant finding a dynamic church full of “whole” people (without “issues”!) who care lots about their faith and making a difference for God.  It also meant attending certain conferences and being proactive in business circles.

There is nothing quite as attractive as someone living their dreams, full of life, engaged in a variety of interesting things.  Open to relationships YES, but not desperate or increasingly depressed.  Bottom line — the more people you know, the more people you know.

4.  Be a Woman of Hope — Lastly, choose to keep hoping.  In spite of what you see or feel, regardless of how things look or don’t look.  Hope is a choice, not a feeling.  Hope is also a “beauty treatment,” making the face beautiful and alive, while keeping the heart engaged.  We all choose whether we will let facts and circumstances determine our countenance, or if we will believe in a power higher than our own and a sovereign plan at work, even amidst no signs of change.

I have determined that for every dream in my heart I will be a woman who hopes, no matter how long it takes.