Archives for posts with tag: waiting

I can hear it before I see it.  Some days it’s louder and faster and more powerful. Other days it’s slower and  more quiet and peaceful. But I can always hear it before I see it. DSCN1597.jpg

I know plants can’t hear. But I’m sure there’s some sense of the water raging by.

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And spiders hanging by threads inches from the waters edge….I’m sure that they are aware of the powerful force of the waves beneath them.

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And rocks,…more like boulders, that have been there in the midst of the water’s flow…they stand still as the river rages on.  I’m sure there’s erosion, but it’s a little by little wearing down.  It’s a standing in the midst of the raging waters…they’re still standing steady, well-grounded, as the waters rage on.

 

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The rock stands the test of time, but the flower…not so much. But then again perennials come back year after year, and if not perennial, well seeds reproduce and the flower lives on through its seed. But in its short life time as this flower?  The delicate presence remains delicate and beautiful and present no matter the flow of the river a few feet from the ground where it has grown.

As my camera lens was  zooming in on the plant, the spider, the rock and the flower, these objects came into focus, into clear view.  But the more I focused in on the objects, the more the fast-moving waters became blurred. I loved looking through the lens and seeing the objects standing still in the midst of a world of water rushing by. And I loved it for a few reasons.

Sometimes life can feel like the world around us is in fast forward overdrive motion. And we can be tempted to focus on those waters. And it might cause us to lose focus…to lose a sense of a clear view of who we are and what our purpose might be. Yeah, raging waters, spinning worlds,…they move fast. But that doesn’t mean the rock does. Or the flower. Or the plant, or even the tiny spider hanging on its web. Yes, I loved seeing the steady standing still of the objects as the water rushed by.

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And I love seeing people stand strong and steady in the midst of the storms in their lives. I’ve witnessed it quite a few times just this week in ordinary souls who choose to stand strong when their worlds come crashing down with difficult news or circumstances.   Steady hearts stay focused. But not on rushing winds or raging waves. Steady hearts stay grounded in truth.  In love. In hope beyond themselves. Staying steady and faithful in a world that encourages people to bail on beliefs and get caught up in the waves of the next momentary trip,…staying steady in this world encourages people to have hope and maybe stay steady themselves. Yeah, it all seems to depend on where the focus lies… on lies or truth…on hope or defeat…on integrity or momentary choices that can get us caught up in a current we had never intended to ride. A wavering heart can lead to wind-and-wave-driven feet. Steady heart….steady feet.

Well, these feet were so thankful for the walk and exercise, and the FitBit was congratulatory when I hit my steps goal. But am most thankful for the encouragement that comes when there’s a little time to reflect, to think, to see, to wonder. Am thankful that God’s Creation speaks (LOUDLY) of His Presence, and that His steadfast love can keep the most wavering of hearts steady when they are stayed upon, focused upon Him.

Blessings~

Heather

P.S. I can hear the river before I see it. And the cool thing is, I can hear the Word of God and ‘see’ with eyes of faith things come to life before I see them. I can trust, believe, stay steady and hold on tight to the Truth…and I believe….that then it’s just  a short walk or a long walk until I see it fleshed out in my life or the lives of those around me. Sometimes hearing comes before seeing, and believing comes before the answer is seen. But much in the same way that i can hear the waters rushing and then know the river is there, I can read the Truths of scripture and trust God with each prayer…because it’s only a matter of time before I catch glimpses of the answer…or better yet, catch glimpses of Him in the midst of it all.

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering,

for he who promised is faithful.”

Hebrews 10:23

“The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the Word of Lord endures forever.”

Isaiah 40:8

 “Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.”

1 Corinthians 16:13

 

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“Don’t dig up in doubt what you planted in faith.”  ~ Elisabeth Elliot

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Sunflower in the Backyard July 2017

If a sunflower could wink, I think this is what it would look like. It’s slowly unfolding its petals and unveiling what’s beneath a little bit at a time.

Kind of feel like life is like that sometimes. Sometimes it takes a good good long while to see the bud turn to a bloom, and then the bloom to surrender all the petals to reveal what’s beneath. Sometimes it takes awhile to see hard work pay off, lessons be learned, efforts bear rewards. Sometimes, most times, good things just take….t i m e…

Just wanted to give a little reminder for those of you waiting to see the fruit of your efforts, the answer to prayer, the evidence of things hoped for.  Faith keeps its heart and eyes wide open even when there’s a slow unfolding of what may be hoped for or expected. Yes, faith keeps its heart and eyes wide open even when it can’t see any signs of what’s hoped for. Why?  Because faith doesn’t want to miss the moment of the unfolding, the unveiling, the revealing of the hope realized.

Yes, in a life of faith, it’s important to keep eyes and heart wide open even when circumstance screams to move on, shut down, and close our eyes. Faith opens its eyes and heart wide…regardless.

And when the unfolding comes, eyes of faith see what we’ve known and hoped for and believed was coming all along. Keep pressing on, praying through, staying free…you never know when the slow unfolding will reveal something even more beautiful than what you had imagined. ❤

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Sunflower Field in Kings Mountain, NC July 2017

Blessings ~
Heather

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen….By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.”  Hebrews 11:1,3  

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Sunflowers ❤  Kings Mountain, North Carolina  July 2017

 

 

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In the Spring, my mother-in-law gave me a beautiful mandevilla plant. It’s been growing beautifully and is filling up the trellis behind it. But one day, I noticed that a vine had reached the top of the trellis. And there was nothing close for it to cling to. Day after day, it grew in the same direction…seemingly reaching for something to cling to. It grew and grew and was just floating in the air, apparently searching for a landing spot.

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So, me and my rescuing self decided that I’d go ahead and help that little plant find a support, something to cling to. I gently took the tender shoot and led it back to the trellis. I thought it was no big deal and that the vine would go on growing, and twist and twirl itself around the trellis.  I was wrong.

Within a few days, the shoot was turning brown, and soon, part of the vine fell off all together.  Where was the point of decay?  Seemed to be right where me and my well-meaning self moved that vine. I was pretty shocked because when I had moved it, it was done slowly and easily and seemed to place no stress whatsoever on the plant. But obviously it had. It wasn’t ready to cling. Not to what I had chosen. And me choosing what and where to cling to for that plant wasn’t helpful. It was damaging. It was forced…and the mandevilla plant would have no part of that. Instead of helping, I hurt it.

(Case in point. See the healthy shoot on the left?  It’s doing just fine without me. And the one on the right..far right kind of whitish looking shoot…it’s still recovering from my ‘helping’.)

So here’s the thing. We’re made to cling. We are. Like mandevilla vines searching for a trellis, we are made with hearts and minds and bodies that yearn for connection. And sometimes the people, ideas, or things we cling to make us stronger, wiser, and more productive. And sometimes the people, ideas, or things we cling to make us weaker, stupid-er,  and ill-equipped. And we, the cling-ers get to choose. But you don’t get to choose what another person clings to. Nope. They’ve gotta choose that for themselves.

As a mom, as a wife, as a friend, there have been so many times when I thought I knew what (or Who) might be best for my loved one to cling to. And no matter how well-intentioned my thoughts or desires were, interventions that force issues could be more damaging than helpful. ( Note: I so know interventions can help lay things on the table, and persuade, and bring things to light, but bottom line, a cling-er chooses what it clings or does not cling to.)    Kind of like with my mandevilla.

Like a mandevilla vine that is not yet ready to cling, sometimes folks need time on their own to decide when and to what to cling to. We can know something is so good and right and true and ‘gently bend’ their little shoots of a son or friend or husband toward the trellis of truth. But if that plant isn’t ready, it won’t cling. Might have to be floating in clouds of in between for awhile.  So often, well-meaning folks can ‘arrange’ (force) connections that aren’t healthy. Seems to me that timing is important.  It also seems to me that willingness is important.

So now, lesson learned, with regards to the mandevilla at least! There are three shoots flying in the wind above the trellis, and I’m not intervening. The mandevilla is on its own. I’m pretty sure it’ll find its way. And I’m believing that for some of those in my life as well. Gonna pray, encourage, and ensure some supports are available….and then wait. Am often amazed at how well things work out when I pray and get out of the way.  With mandevilla plants, and with people.

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Am believing there’s a Sovereign Hand of grace that knows a bit more and has more power than I do. For me. For you. For those we love.

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Blessings ~

Heather

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“My soul clings to the dust; give me life according to your word…”

Psalm 119:25

 

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https://wordpress.com/tag/silent-sunday

baseball

Sometimes there are seasons of waiting.  Waiting when you see no signs of what you’re waiting for, but choosing to hope that it’s coming and that things are going on below the surface.

Here’s a visual for ya–This bench won’t be empty for long…and the field will be full of cleat-clad baseball players giving it all they’ve got.  But it’s still now.  Quiet. But the players are all out there…somewhere, and when the time is right, they’ll convene and practice and their friends and families will rally and shout and cheer them to victories and comfort them in defeat.  Yes, they are out there, but there’s a little more waiting, a little more orchestration of events that need to occur before it’s time….baseball season.

I’ve seen it time and time again, how we wait and wait and wonder if God is hearing our prayers…let alone answering.  But then, after a period of time, it’s as though all variables come together and series of events are interwoven to bring about the perfect scenario of answered prayer that is bigger than what we can imagine.  He’s kind of like that master mind coach working out all the details when all the spectators see is a snow-covered empty field. (We rarely see the things a coach does…Assembling a team, getting uniforms, try outs, setting up a schedule, getting coaches, refs, etc. etc. etc., but we trust that these things will get done.)   Yes, things are going on that we can’t see for sure.  Funny how we think we should see things that are just not ours to see or understand.

I love the verse that says, “For the vision awaits the appointed time, it hastens toward the end and it will not fail. Though it linger, wait for it.  It will certainly come and not delay.” Habakkuk 2:3   God knows the what and how of answered prayer.  It is ours to will to wait…to rest, to know that though all we may see is a snow-covered field, that in time, the snow will melt, the people will convene and what God ordains best will happen.  Just a few rambling thoughts on the season of waiting for this weekly photo challenge.

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/seasons/

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http://www.cosmicgirlie.com/silent-sunday/

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wordlesswednesday.blogspot.com

Birds Waiting for spring

When I was a little girl I knew the names of all of the birds in the backyard.  Not just birds.  Trees as well.  And fish in the nearby ponds and rivers.  You see,  my Dad is a teacher at heart.  We spent a lot of time outside and there were always a lot of teachable moments that he took advantage of.  I’m thankful for that.

I’m not sure whether it was my Dad or my mom, or both or neither, but as a child, when I saw a robin in the winter, it was said to be a sign of Spring.  So when I saw this robin perched on the branch with it’s little head facing toward the sun, all I could think of was that this little guy looked like it was waiting for Spring.  (Me, too!)

And that brings me to the topic of ……………………….waiting. It’s not an easy topic at all.  I learned that firsthand today as I tried to get some photos of birds. You see, birds can be a bit camera shy for sure.  Especially chickadees.  And the chickadee was the one that I thought was so cute so I really wanted to get a few shots of these little creatures that flit all about.  So, I’d wait.  And wait some more.  And then, there would come a little chickadee landing right at a spot for a great photograph, almost posing, for Heaven’s sake, but by the time I’d find the little guy in the lens and then focus, he’d flit off in the wild blue yonder.  And I’d wait some more.

Well, after a lot of those unsuccessful moments of trying to capture a photo of some birds, I learned something. If I’d anticipate where the birds were landing (all near the birdseed of course), and focus my camera on that area and wait for the birds to fly on into my range of vision instead of trying to point the camera all over creation as it came in, well, I was a lot more successful.

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And I started to think about waiting, and how we can make things so much harder on ourselves in the waiting.  There’s a verse that says, “Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint…” (Isaiah 40:31)   T


Life is full of lots of waiting. Sometimes we can be like the chickadee flitting around trying to busy ourselves to fill the time until whatever we’re waiting for finally shows up.  Or, we can be like the blue jay that bulldozes it’s way and takes over the situation and tries to control what it can’t control.  Meanwhile, all the rest of the little birds have made sure to steer clear of this disruptive fellow. 

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Or, we can be like the bird that pouts a bit and lets everyone know that he indeed is waiting and how incredibly difficult it is.  We can complain with the waiting. And complain and complain and grumble some more.

Birds who's looking at you

Or we can be proud and pretend.  We can pretend that we aren’t waiting and we don’t have a care in the world.  We are just fine and no we are fully in control of ourselves and our surroundings thank you very much.  Proud Bubble. About to pop when the waiting goes a little bit too long…

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Or we can take it to a whole other level and just not be satisfied with anything or anybody until the waiting is over.  We can challenge people to get things going or ….or …..or we don’t know what we’ll do, but it’s so not going to be good!  (The cardinal’s face says it all!)

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Or, we can learn to focus on the tasks at hand.  Not looking to and fro, trying to make things happen quicker.  I’m all for hard work, but right now, the waiting I’m referring to has to do with waiting for things that are out of our control, not in our control.  We can be resolved to enjoy the moment.  Do the task at hand and notice our surroundings and the ones who are around us.  Be all in where we are rather than focusing on the next thing.  Funny how it’s easy to always be looking forward to the next thing in a way that makes us not even enjoy the moment we’re in.  I don’t want to look back and think on missed opportunities because I was always focused on the next thing.

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This photo sums up for me the waiting process that I think is pleasing to God.  No matter how busy we are, if we can find that place of solitude of knowing that God has it all in control and we can trust Him, the waiting looks a lot different.  It’s the “Be still and know that I am God” kind of waiting demeanor.  Not like the bulldozing blue jay, or flitting about chickadee, or confrontative cardinal.  It’s  the ‘I’m going to fly on wings of eagles’ kind of waiting.  Because why?

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Because….I know who holds me in the shadow of His wings. Right before the verse that says, “those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength….”, the verses say, “Do you not know?  Have you not heard?The Lord is the Everlasting God, the Creator of the Ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom.”  (Isaiah 40:28)

In those times in my life when I’ve been able to be still like the above bird, rather than being the cardinal or blue jay, or chickadee, there’s been a resolve of knowing a few things.  God is in control.  I am not. ( I mean, there are just some things …a lot of them…that are not in our hands!)  And last, God is good.  Put them all together, and it’s just trust.  Trust.  Trusting God and His perfect timing can make the waiting for the answered prayers and relational breakthroughs and desire for direction a joy rather than a wrenching of the heart and a wringing of the hands.  God’s got this…

Oh, and I hope I can get a memo out to my little (metaphorical) bird friends. His eye isn’t just on the sparrow….  He’s non discriminatory when it comes to caring for “birds” of any feathers.  Confrontative Cardinals.  Flitting Chickadees, Bull dozing blue jays.  He knows us well and He loves us well.   He gives.  It is ours but to receive.

Matthew 6:25 says, “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”

Take heart, little cardinal.  His eye is on you, too.

 

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In looking back over some of my favorite “angular” shots, I realized that some of my favorite photos in this category were taken during hospital stays.  There are lots of clean fine lines, straight edges, squares and rectangles and neatly designed orderly boxes.  Maybe the order and fine lines of the surroundings grant a little comfort for those who find themselves at crisis points in their lives when things are anything but orderly and planned out.  I know there are some positive hospital stays,…like having a baby, or going through a planned surgery for one’s health and betterment.  But, often times, these straight, tall, well-planned hospitals  are full of people whose lives have been turned upside down by an incident, a tragedy, an illness that blindsided them and makes their lives feel anything but ordered.

Here are a few of my favorite shots for the weekly photo challenge of angles…

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The Clock on the Wall

slowly tick, tick, ticks as the shadows gradually inch across the wall.

ticks of the clock, shadows and light…..quietly remind that things are always changing

even when it feels like it stands still within the hospital walls.

 

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Sights and Sounds

If there were audio to this photo, you’d hear the loud rhythmic sounds of

the propellers of a helicopter rushing in for a landing on the roof…

the same roof where my son had landed a few days prior to this photo being taken.


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Morning…or is it?

Days and nights get a little confused sometimes

But one thing is certain.

A warm soft blanket, some sunshine, and a little rest

sure are good medicine for those who are doing their best to care

for their loved ones in the hospital bed.

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…the sun rises still.

After a long restless night of beeping machines, nurses rushing in, endless pleading prayers,

this sight felt like rays of Hope streaming into the room that  morning.

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I know the photo challenge is “angular”, so I’m stretching it a bit….

but these next photos are taken from “angles”, or points of view.

this was the mom’s eye view

after all of the wires and pumps and IVs and gadgets were slowly taken away

there was just a 13 year old boy

resting, rejuvenating, recuperating.

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and here’s that 13 year old boy

and a view of his view

up on the roof of the hospital

gaining strength,

gaining perspective,

branching out of the four walls of his room.

I’m thankful we’ve had very few hospital stays and visits.  I’m also strangely thankful for the time spent there.  Sure makes me appreciate the days outside of the walls of the hospital, and all that those who are within the walls go through on a daily, monthly, etc. basis.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/angular/.

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