Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Waiting Gracefully

I'm not very good at waiting for things.  Like not at all.  But you already know that.  

The better the thing I'm waiting for, the greater the desire to just fast forward to the good part where we just get there already and I don't have to wait anymore.  After a lot of years of not staying the course, and not sticking with the plan, though, I think I've learned that not only is that not how it's intended to work, but I'm also pretty sure that there must be a graceful, balanced place somewhere between miserably impatient and infinitely happy.  

I thought today while I waited in my car for McKay to come out of yet another band rehearsal, "If I counted up all the minutes I've spent waiting in my car this year for my kids to come out of their schools, or the church, or wherever else they are, I probably could have an entire extra day."  And then the next thought I had was, "...and what exactly would I do with that extra day?"

So I thought of ways I could make that small waiting period better... 
  • Intentional music.  Sometimes when I know it's not going to be a long trip, I don't bother to connect the Bluetooth and the Spotify.  I connected everything today and just listened to better music.  Life is too short to settle for whatever happens to be on the radio.
  • Blog Posts.  Inspiration strikes in the craziest places.  I know better than to hope it'll still be in my head when I have time to write a complete post.  I've gotten really good lately at texting myself a thought or two that I can turn into something complete later.  
  • Lists.  I'm sort of already a freak about lists, but there's so much to do lately that I feel like I'm constantly forgetting stuff, so I now just keep a giant pad of sticky notes in the car.  
  • Conference Talks.  I have this great and frustrating habit of looking up all these awesome Conference talks on my phone on Sundays when people refer to them in Sacrament or other meetings, and keeping them forever on tabs in Safari so I can go back and read them during the week, but then never going back and actually reading them.  Today, while I was waiting for McKay, I read one! 
  • Texting/Calling/Making Appointments.  Um, I have an iPhone, a planner, a list and five minutes in a car.  Why do I need to wait until I get home to do that stuff?  
  • Being Still.  This one is so much harder.  Sometimes the lists and the phone are such a distraction that I never really stop and just roll down the windows and smell the air (which happened to not be rainy and grey today.
If I can figure out how to make 5 minutes of waiting in a car a little less miserable, then probably I can figure out how to make the next 5 weeks more meaningful and happy, too...and the next five years, and the five years after that, and the five years after that...finemaybe I'll stick with smaller chunks of time... 
"God prepares [us] in a slow-cooker, not in a microwave oven.  More important than the awaited goal is the work God does in us while we wait.  Waiting deepens and matures us, levels our perspective, and broadens our understanding.  Tests of time determine whether we can endure seasons of seemingly unfruitful preparations, and indicate whether we can recognize and seize the opportunities that come our way." - Ben Shockley 

P.S.  This morning I thought about that President Eyring talk where he looked for the hand of the Lord in his day.  And so I took it as instruction to make more of an effort to look for those things in my own life today.  By 3:00, though, I hadn't found anything.  I was pretty frustrated with the day, pretty discouraged at the length of time it was going to take to get to the things I want most, and pretty desperate to get to people I just cannot get to right now.  I hate that feeling...desperate, inconsolable, agonizingly impatient.  It's also a bit of an obstacle in being able to see evidence of the Lord's hand in my life.  But, at 7:30 tonight, I had an appointment with the Bishop to set me apart in my calling as a CSM Photographer.  Since this isn't a ward calling, it's taken a little while to figure out who exactly was supposed to do that, and I've been impatiently wanting to get it done before we move to a new ward.  I think there may have been some divine planning in the timing of that blessing, though, because it could not have been more relevant or perfect for this very day.  Not only did the Bishop include things pertinent to this calling that I've been specifically worried about, but he also mentioned things about this move and this particular time in my life.  He blessed me with organization, with discernment, with the ability to be a light to the people we will meet in Birmingham, and with an added measure of personal peace in this season of waiting.  

I think that qualifies as evidence of the Lord's hand in my life today.   

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