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Waiting Patiently

 

Psalm 40:1

I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.

In the last post, I gave the definition of wait as staying where one is or delaying action until a particular time or until something else happens.

The definition of the word patiently means in a way that shows tolerance of delays, problems or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.

So, to wait patiently means to delay action without becoming annoyed or anxious. I will be the first to admit that I am not always a patient person, especially when it comes to waiting on God. I have a tendency to whine or gripe because so and so is living there God given life purpose already and I should be too. As a single mom, I have cried out in my despair and desperation. I have begged God to lift the burden of poverty from me. There have been three things that I have found help alleviate the discomfort of the wait:

  1. Prayer: Prayer can move mountains. Prayer has given me the strength and courage to wait when I really didn’t want to. God has given me peace in answer to my prayers.
  2. Serving: Step out of your comfort zone and serve someone in need. Find ways to serve those in your community in your wait time. Serving others takes your focus off of your own issues and onto the needs of someone else.
  3. Change of Perspective: Is God trying to change your perspective about your situation? I have struggled with poverty my entire single mom journey. I believe that God kept me there to change my perspective from “living in poverty” to “living simply.” I am a minimalist. I have very little and I don’t want what I can’t afford or don’t really need. God changed my perspective on money and my financial situation.

If we wait patiently, God has promised that He will turn to us and hear our cry. Whatever it is that you are waiting for today, I encourage you pray, serve and change your perspective on your situation. God will hear your cries of despair and He will turn you. Hang in there! Whatever it is that you are waiting for, it WILL come to pass eventually. Just be patient.

 

 

 

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My last day of work was Saturday, May 4th. I thought it would be more emotional. It was bittersweet saying good-bye to the Sisters that I have grown to love and some of my co-workers, but honestly I have had a love-hate (mostly hate) relationship with the job for the 8 years I worked there. I was surprised that I felt nothing. There was no anxiety. There was no doubt. There was only a looking ahead to the future. I am assuming that the lack of emotion means that the time is right for me to launch into a new adventure.

On Friday, my co-workers had a carry in for me and surprised me with some going away gifts. The gift I will treasure the most is a coffee cup that says, “She believed she could so she did.” It inspires me every time I read it! She believed she could. Do I believe that I can accomplish my dreams, my God given purpose in Georgia? Yes, I do believe. Although, I can’t do it alone. It is only as I partner with God am I able to accomplish all that I set out to do. It is not in my power alone that I can do anything. Matthew 19:26 tells us that with God ALL things are possible. That is what I hang onto. In God’s power She Believed She Could So She Did.

 

My daughter, Cherokee, parents Ava (5) and Christopher (3) using natural consequences. Christopher had gotten himself in trouble by throwing a disposable cup out of the car window as they were driving. When they arrived home, Cherokee took Christopher up one side of our street and down the other to pick up trash. Armed with a bag for trash, a bag for recyclables and the wisdom of her 25 years, Cherokee, made sure that as he picked up the trash that Christopher understood that his actions have consequences. Cherokee made sure that he understood that just as he did not like cleaning up after others, other people shouldn’t have to clean up after him. Christopher was disciplined for his disobedience and hopefully, he will remember the lesson and the trash will be properly disposed of in the future.

Just as Cherokee disciplined Christopher for his disobedience, there are times in our lives when God has to discipline us for ours. There are times when we have to suffer the consequences for our behavior. One of the hardest things for me to deal with is the distance that my disobedience puts between me and God. I always seem to have a troubled spirit when I know that my behavior has been against God’s will and a disconnect is the result.

What can we do if we have disobeyed God?

Upon returning from our trash collecting, Christopher needed to apologize for disobeying his mom. Cherokee forgave him with a hug and a kiss and all was forgotten. I always know that the only way to make things right with God is to apologize and ask for forgiveness. We still have to deal with the consequences, but the issue will not be completely resolved until we ask for forgiveness. God loves me. God loves you. He will never stay angry.

Psalm 103:12

as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

If you are feeling disconnected from God because of an act of disobedience, don’t despair. God loves you! Apologize and ask God for forgiveness. You will still have to suffer the consequences of your actions, but you will no longer be separated from the God who loves you! Lamentations 3:22-23 tells us that:

22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

We are going to sin. We are going to disobey God. Our reassurance is that God is compassionate and will not hold our transgressions against us. Every morning is a chance to start over. Don’t dwell on the mistakes of yesterday. Today is full of wonderful opportunities to turn things around and step into God’s will and purpose.

 

 

Psalm 27:14

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

 

The definition of wait is to stay where one is or delay action until a particular time or until something else happens. I must admit that I do not like to wait for anything. Who does? In these days of instant gratification, no one likes to wait for anything. But, sometimes waiting is a good thing. Psalms 27:14 tells us to wait for the Lord. Why do we need to wait for the Lord?

  1. For our own protection– God will at times tell us to wait to keep us out of a harmful or dangerous situation. My daughter Kiowa has always been an passionate runner. Her first marathon was a couple of weeks before her 18th birthday and her goal was to qualify for the Boston Marathon. As she crossed the finish line in a remarkable time of 3 hours and 43 minutes, she already knew that she had missed the qualifying time by 8 minutes. She was disappointed. That year of the Boston Marathon is one no one will forget. It was the year of the Boston bombings. Had Kiowa qualified, we would have been there. Had God not made her wait, who knows what could have happened.
  2. For our own spiritual growth– God will often tell us to wait when we need to grow spiritually. Is the Holy Spirit working on your character? Do you need to learn to pray? Do you need to cultivate a daily habit of digging into God’s word? Do you need to cultivate love in your heart? If you do then God will make you wait.
  3. To prepare the way– There are times when we need to wait for God to prepare the way for us. There are times when the timing is not yet right for us to serve in a specific place or take on a specific ministry opportunity. Sometimes God will ask us to wait a few months or maybe several years. God’s timing is perfect. We may not understand it, but we need to trust that God knows exactly what He is doing.

What can you do if God is asking you to wait?

According to Psalm 27:14 we need to:

Be Strong: the definition of strength is the capacity of an object or substance to withstand great force or pressure. As Christians, we are expected to have an unshakable faith. We are expected to have a faith that is strong enough to withstand the great force of the Devil or the pressure of unbelievers. We need to be willing to be obedient to the Holy Spirit no matter what the situation or how silly we may look. We need to be willing to defend our faith no matter the opposition. We need to able to trust in the wait, knowing that God has everything under control.

Take Heart: To take heart means to be encouraged and made to feel optimistic. When we take heart, we are choosing to be encouraged by the fact that God is control. We are choosing to be optimistic, knowing that God is working everything out for His purpose and in His timing.

We never know when God is going to ask us to wait. If you are in a season of waiting right now, be strong and take heart! God has everything under control. He hasn’t forgotten you. He hasn’t abandoned you. He maybe working behind the scenes, but He is still working. Keep growing in your faith, so that you will be unshakable when that great force of opposition comes against you. Be encouraged! Remember:

Romans 8:28

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

 

 

 

 

 

A Time For Change

 

A year ago Kiowa was stationed in Georgia and we talked about me moving from Indiana to live with her. I visited her for a few days and loved the area. I hesitated at the time because military life can be unpredictable and I wasn’t sure how I would fit into that. So, I put it out of my mind. In the meantime, my job was getting more stressful and my anxiety climbs for months before Winter makes it’s ugly appearance. Kiowa visited for Christmas and after hearing my sob story about work and the Winter she told me that I need to come live with her in Georgia. I said yes, but still I hesitated. During a particularly harsh winter, I made up my mind that this would be my last Winter in Indiana. I would no longer go to work when it was -9 degrees. I would no longer break my door handles when they froze up and wouldn’t open. I just couldn’t do it anymore.

I gave Kiowa my answer: YES! I would move to Georgia. I prayed and prayed and decided to trust in God. After all, He is the one in control of ALL things. I gave notice to my job on March 5th. My last day will be May 5th. Yes, I gave 2 months notice. I have been there for 8 years and decided to give them plenty of time to find someone to replace me. As soon as I gave my notice, I felt a peace that surpasses ALL understanding. I felt a peace that can come only from God.

I will be volunteering at a non profit that serves single moms and looking for a way to pay the few expenses I do have and help my daughter out with household expenses. I will plug into a local church. I also want to start a training program to become a certified Biblical lay counselor. I will go and get involved in the community and see how God works. I have not worried as much about not having a job or health insurance. The key is for me to go and get involved in the community and allow God to work in my situation. It has been a bit strange since I am a natural worrier with an anxiety disorder.

The last few days have been a struggle with my mind. I lost my focus and did start to worry. My thoughts started to spiral out of control and I wasn’t sure about the non-profit or a church or finding some sort of income. Satan rears his ugly little peace stealing head and tried to steal my focus and peace. He is the author of confusion and keeping me confused about my purpose in moving to Georgia assures that he wins. I WILL NOT ALLOW THAT TO HAPPEN SATAN! It is a struggle to stay focused. It is a struggle to trust some days. I surround myself with life giving Christian songs and scripture. I pray for focus and peace.

My last day at work is May 5th and I drive to Georgia on May 13th or 14th. I will pack up my few must haves in my SUV and drive the 11 hours to my new home. Kiowa is supposed to arrive at some point to drive back with me. Talon graduates high school May 8th and Cree graduates from Indiana State University on May 11th. I have three weeks left in Indiana. I will leave behind four kids and four grand kids. I will also leave behind the Sisters that I am sure will make me cry before my last day. Change often involves sacrifice. I am blessed to have kids that have given their blessing and want what is best for me, even if that means giving me the freedom to move 11 hours away from them. I am excited to start a new chapter! I am also getting a bit nervous. It is getting real. I spent 22 years in So. California where I was born and raised and have lived in Indiana for just under 27 years now. So, it is time to shake things up a bit and see what the next 20- something years bring me.

Isaiah 43:18-20

18 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

 

 

 

I Lift My Eyes

 

 

Look Up Child By Lauren Daigle

Where are You now
When darkness seems to win?
Where are You now
When the world is crumbling?

Oh I, I-I-I, I hear You say
I hear You say
Look up child, ayy
Look up child, ayy
Where are You now (where are You?)
When all I feel is doubt?
Oh, where are You now
When I can’t figure it out?
Oh I, I-I-I, I hear You say
I hear You say
Look up child, ayy
Look up child, ayy
Look up child, ayy
Look up child, ayy
Look up
You’re not threatened by the war
You’re not shaken by the storm
I know You’re in control
Even in our suffering
Even when it can’t be seen
I know You’re in control
Oh I, I-I-I, I hear You say
I hear You say
Look up child, ayy
Look up child, ayy
I LOVE this song by Lauren Daigle! It is that windows down, sing at the top of my lungs kind of song. The kind of song that reminds you that no matter what life is throwing at you right now, LOOK UP! God is still on His throne and He is still in control.
I remember the dark days of trying to deal with my own emotional baggage from a failed marriage and still try to take care of five kids without messing them up to much. I remember the pain and anger of lost dreams and living a reality of poverty and struggling alone. I remember the days of doubting myself as a mom and not knowing if I would ever get it right.
I know that you have your own story, your own single mom journey, that you are struggling through. Maybe you are wondering how you will ever get through it.

 

Psalm 121:1-2

I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

Whatever you are going through today, LOOK UP CHILD! Lift your eyes unto the hills! Your help comes from the Lord and if He made the heavens and the earth, He can certainly help you in your situation today.

When the world comes against you, LOOK UP CHILD!

When you don’t know how you will pay your bills, LOOK UP CHILD!

When you are facing a custody case and could lose your kids, LOOK UP CHILD!

When you are desperate for answers, LOOK UP CHILD!

You are NOT alone in your struggle single mom! Let me know if I can pray for you or walk with you through your journey.  You are never alone!

 

 

 

“After all, our only support, our only strength is God.” Saint Mother Theodore Guerin

“Have confidence in the Providence that so far has never failed us” Saint Mother Theodore Guerin

“But our hope is in the providence of God, which has protected us until the present and which will provide, somehow, for our future needs…” Saint Mother Theodore Guerin

“We had but one dollar remaining…and we did not know where to get a cent for the want of the house. Still, how could I mistrust Divine Providence?” Saint Mother Theodore Guerin

 

 

After eight years of serving the Sisters in the food service department at the Sisters of Providence, I will be leaving. I am moving from Indiana to Georgia in the middle of May. I have written about my frustration at being “stuck” in food service and not being able to realize my dream of working with single moms. God has answered my prayers and I am moving to Georgia to work with a non-profit that serves single moms and their children. I will move in May and am so excited to see what God has in store for me. The move is bitter-sweet. I am leaving behind a community of women that I have grown to love and respect. These women have been my strength when I struggled in my job and personal life. They will never know how much they have taught me about serving God and life. They have taught me many lessons that I will carry with me as I leave the nest:

  1. Community – The Sisters are a community of over 300 women religious. They have been an example of what living in a christian community should look like. They have different personalities and different perspectives, but they respect each other. They listen to each other and they find that common ground that brings them together. They celebrate the good, they mourn the losses, they pray, they worship, they serve…TOGETHER. These women pray for each other, they encourage each other and they support each other through good and bad. No matter where they are serving, they still do life TOGETHER.
  2. Prayer – The Sisters pray continually. They pray through the nightly news. They take turns praying the hour in the Blessed Sacrament chapel, praying for justice in a world of injustice. They meet together to pray, knowing that where two or three are gathered together, God is there in the midst of them. I will forever treasure the memory of seeing two Sisters, who are biological sisters, praying the rosary together in a quiet corner of the convent. Prayer is an integral part of their lives and they model this effortlessly.
  3. Service – Every Sister has a ministry outside of her religious life. Many of the Sisters are now retired educators. They have been teachers, principals, and administrators in all levels of education. There are Sisters that serve in the medical field, in different roles in the Catholic church, empowering the powerless through justice organizations and they serve in other ministries in housing, food distribution, advocating for the poor. They take on whatever ministry God calls them too. They never shrink from a challenge, but embrace the opportunities to minister to all.
  4. Providence – Providence is the foreseeing protective care and the guidance of God. I have learned to trust in a Provident God. I have learned to have faith in a God that has ALL things under control and has access to ALL resources. I am used to hearing the Sisters comment on the providence of God when things come together in supernatural ways. I have learned to open my heart to those instances when circumstances are aligned in ways that only God could have aligned them. I take with me the faith that a Provident God will continue to provide and protect me in miraculous ways as I serve Him and others.
  5. Courage – Saint Mother Theodore Guerin was the epitome of courage. In 1840, she led a group of nuns from France to establish an academy for women in the wilderness of Indiana. She was often ill, but still founded what is now Saint Mary of the Woods College, the oldest Catholic College in Indiana. She is also the founder of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary of the Woods, Indiana. The Sisters of Providence are an order of women religious who have welcomed over 5,000 women as Sisters in the 179 years since their founding. Following the lead of their courageous leader, the Sisters have opened schools, health clinics, food pantries, reunification programs for children in foster care, and a myriad of other programs that address the needs of the poor. I have watched as Sisters courageously battle cancer and other illnesses. I have watched as they have courageously tackled financial struggles and I have watched as they continue to fearlessly face the future.
  6. Love – The Sisters LOVE ALL that walk through their doors. I have felt that love for 8 years, as I have been prayed for, encouraged, shown appreciation for my work, and blessed in so many different ways. The Sisters are an example of God’s love in this world. They truly love those they serve. It isn’t just lip service. When the Sisters say they care, they really do. They welcome strangers into their midst, hoping that the love and peace found at the Woods will be carried in the hearts of those who wander in. No one who encounters a Sister walks away without knowing that they are deeply loved. They don’t care about imperfections and sins of the past. They love simply because God loves. Love is part of their DNA. It is a part of who they are and I have been a blessed recipient of that love.

 

As I face this next chapter of my life, I will remain in community with the Sisters as a Providence Associate. I will continue to join with them in praying for justice where injustice reigns and I know that I carry their prayers with me wherever I go. I will serve where God calls and in Georgia that means that I will be doing what I have dreamed of for thirteen years, serving single moms with a faith based non-profit organization. I will continue to place myself gently in the hands of providence, trusting in a Provident God, who will continue to provide for me as I find resources to provide for other single moms. I will face my future with courage. There are unknowns and obstacles, but I serve a God who is in control of ALL circumstances and I will fearlessly walk forward in faith. I will welcome those around me with the same love that I was welcomed. I will love others despite imperfections and past transgressions. No one is perfect and God loves us ALL.  The Sisters will remain forever in my heart and I will miss their kind words, their laughter and jokes, their good natured teasing of each other and me, and I will miss their patience when I am flustered and stressed. They each go with me as I journey forth. I will never forget the Women of the Woods.

 

To know more about the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary of the Woods, Indiana visit their website at www.spsmw.org