Waiting

As you are reading this post, you may not be able to shake off that feeling of waiting. Whether you’re waiting to hear back from a job interview, waiting to get lab results back, or waiting for that promised breakthrough, the fact still remains that you are waiting.  I just finished reading a chapter titled “Waiting” in Joni Eareckson Tada’s book a lifetime of wisdom and I wanted to share her wisdom with you in the hope that it will make whatever you are waiting for a bit easier.

These are some of the things I picked up:

*Waiting is not easy.

*“It is important to be still when waiting on God so that He can give you Himself.”

*God will give you the strength to wait and He grants you peace as you are waiting if you surrender your heart and mind to Him.

*“We should not wait to live. We have to keep living while we are waiting.”

*“All and all, it’s worth the wait.”

*Keep in mind Isaiah 40:31:

But those who hope in the LORD
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.

I am the last person to praise the process of waiting.  Waiting is very difficult for me, especially this last month when we discovered my dad had melanoma skin cancer.  My mom shared the news with tears running down her cheeks.  I asked her what the next step was and she said, “Well, we have to wait to get back the results from the lab tests.”  That week of waiting seemed almost unbearable. I tossed and turned in my sleep and I was miserable during the day.  It seemed like every what if I could think of plagued my mind.

After that long and difficult week, the results were not very favorable.  Surgery would have to be done immediately.  We had to wait for my dad to get an appointment, wait for my dad to see a surgeon, wait for other lab work to be done, and finally wait to see how the surgery took.

Joni’s statement, “All and all, it’s worth the wait,” resonated with me; I can understand the truth behind her words. We pulled together as a family and we had all of our loved ones praying for my dad. He was showered with more love than he could probably take in.  I had several emotional wrestling matches with God and He showed me each time His strength.  I am pleased to say that my dad’s surgery was a success and that he is cancer-free!!  Now tears are rolling down my cheeks.

What is it that you are waiting for? Do you have any prayer requests you would like to share with us? Do you feel like God is BIG enough to handle your situation? Are you sick of hearing about God because you felt let down in the past? Please tell me what is on your heart. Sharing is never easy, but it sure feels good once you do.

Something Sweet

When I close my eyes, I can remember what it was like to smell those crisp, powdered sugar cookies.  I must try not to salivate while explaining this childhood treasure. Tears flow down my cheeks as I type this because I realize that I will never get to taste those special Czech cookies again. But for now, I  would like to go back to that moment…

Me: “Baba, can we make cookies now?”

My grandmother: “Let me make sure we have everything Misa and then,…Yes we can start to make cookies.”

Me “Baba, how come you have to put so many things into the bowl to make a cookie?”

My grandmother: “Well, every ingredient is necessary to make the cookie taste the way you like.”

All the ingredients were carefully poured into the mixing bowl by Baba and I was there determined to help her as best I could.  I was not old enough to crack the eggs, but I was given the opportunity to roll the dough and poke holes in the cookie balls. I took my position very seriously and I even refrained from eating the cookie dough (my willpower has diminished over the years). Baba had an old a scale in which she carefully would weigh each ingredient. Every Christmas the scale came out for the first time, I felt like a dog hearing kibbles of food being poured into her dog dish and I would immediately ask if I could help her make the special Czech cookies.

I miss Baba and I enjoy remembering our precious baking time together.

In His Arms

I remember when our family would take off for Mammoth during Christmas break. My dad, being an avid skier, got us all started on skiing at the early age of 3.  By age 8, I was tearing down black diamond runs.  Interestingly enough, I did not mind skiing down practically vertical slopes, but I was terrified of a particular chairlift…Chair 23.  The name still sends chills down my spine…

Dad: “Misa, come on, let’s go. We need to get on the chairlift otherwise we can’t ski the mountain.”

Me: “But, daddy, the chair scares me and I am afraid of falling off.”

Dad: “Nonsense, I got you.”

I begrudgingly moved to the chairlift and as soon as we got on it, my dad wrapped his arms around my shoulder and placed the pole like a seat belt in front of me.  “You see,  he said, “I have got you.”

I think back to how many times our Father in heaven sees our fear and wraps His arms around us and secures us where we are.  So many times, I have feared falling, but like my dad, God has protected me each time.

How has God protected you from falling or wrapped His arms around you?

The Warmth of Christmas

It’s freezing outside–okay not freezing, but pretty darn cold. The other day a good friend of mine came over to help me hang up Christmas lights.  For three years I have avoided hanging Christmas lights because it felt strange to put them on a house that is not my childhood home.  This year I felt the spark again so I rummaged through our garage in search of our Christmas lights.  I managed to get two very heavy boxes of lights down from the a shelf and I meticulously reviewed the lights to see which ones would make the final cut.  After tossing out about three-quarters of the lights, I looked down at the strand of shimmering lights that did work and I the tears starting to flow.

Where was she?  Why couldn’t Baba make it to this Christmas or any of the past seven?  Doesn’t she know how much she is missed and needed?  As I placed a strand of lights around my shoulders like a boa, I became that little girl again…

“Baba, can we put up the lights now?” “Na ya. Let’s have daddy get the heavy boxes from the garage and we will put them up.” My dad would then take down the boxes I have waited to see since the prior Christmas.  I can hardly wait!  Baba and I carefully test each strand of lights.  I climb up on the ladder and she hands me the lights to carefully lace over the old rusted nails.  After about an hour, I am on may last strand. “It is almost done,” I shout with complete excitement.

My favorite part of hanging up the Christmas lights was when we were able to step back and admire all the beautiful lights shining as brightly as ever!  Even though it was very cold, the lights warmed our souls.

What Christmas treasure do you have that warmed your soul?

Christmas Treasure Chest

I thought this Christmas season I would do something a little bit different with this blog.  My grandma, Baba, passed away a little over seven years ago and since then I have struggled year after year to find joy and celebration in Christmas.  I know Jesus is indeed the reason for the season and that should be more that enough to celebrate, but I have come to learn that you can do very little with a broken heart.

I remember when my mom came to pick me up after school with huge sunglasses. It didn’t take much to see that something was definitely wrong. She told me that this would be our last Christmas with Baba. Stop for a moment and imagine what would it be like to hear that this will be your last Christmas with your loved one who part of the reason Christmas was special when you were growing up. Looking back on that day, my mom gave me a ruby of wisdom. She told me to close my eyes and imagine Baba. Then she told me that all those memories will live forever inside means; no one can take them away. She told me that Baba will always be with me. All I had to do was close my eyes.

The other day, I closed my eyes and allowed myself to meet Baba during Christmas time. In that place, I realized how precious my memories of Christmas are and how important it is to allow them to be shared with others. This Christmas season I welcome you into a treasure chest of Christmas memories that may  encourage you to open up your chest of memories and share with others. I hope you do.

Hiding My Bible

I had an interesting thing happen to me while tutoring in a public library.  A homeless man quickly broke the library’s silence by yelling, “Where is my book on evolution?  Who took it?”  The librarians were incredibly fearful of this man’s hostile attitude.  I noticed from the corner of my eye that he had spotted my Bible on the desk and I quickly slid a book over my Bible because I feared that he would hurt me.  I did not feel safe at all and leaving the library would make me stick out like a sore thumb.  Never in my life had I feared reading my Bible in a public setting.

Looking back, I am ashamed that I hid my Bible, especially when we live in a country in which we are free to read the Bible and express our religious views.  Even our currency declares, “ In God We Trust.”

After the fear subsided, I remembered a very powerful verse, “Greater is He that is in me than he that is in this world.” 1 John 4:4.  Why didn’t I remember that scripture when I needed it the most?

Have you ever been in a situation in which fear kept you from learning or sharing about God?  What fear did you experience?  Were you able to fix the situation later?  Do you have any advice for those of us desire to share about Christ but are afraid of the consequences? I would love to learn from you!