Wednesday, September 17, 2014

For My Friends in a Season of Waiting

It's been longer than I intended between blog posts!  Between my son getting hand foot and mouth, and my husband and I not feeling very well either, we've had a full week or so.  As for the couple of weeks before that, I have no excuses.  Today I just want to leave a little musing here, and hope that it might be encouraging to you.  The thoughts at the end come out of my Christian worldview.

Cooking and Crying

Here is a meal I made last night ... Falafel with baby kale and a cool yogurt-cucumber-lemon dressing.  What a fun word to say ...  Falafel!  Cracked myself up repeating it to David in weird voices yesterday.  Fun and yum.

Nailed it?
This was one of those meals where my son was crawling around under my feet for my attention while I was preparing it.  Luckily, Ben walked in right as I got to the frying phase, so I didn't have to decide between letting my son cry or making dinner.  But there are many times where I do have to make that choice, and usually I think the right decision is to pick up David, give him some cuddles, and redirect him with some toys before trying to get back to cooking.  "Food is important!"  I tell him as if he can understand.  And at those times when Ben's not available to watch David and he's crying for my attention while I'm cooking, I feel better holding my ground when I tell him "Mama and Daddy need it so that we can take good care of you."  It may not do David any good, but it helps to remind me that it's not a totally selfish action to sometimes choose cooking over comforting.

Sometimes, though, I'm a little tired, and a little hungry, and I don't have the energy to even look at David and tell him that in-my-mind encouraging line.

He wasn't too sure about the falafel...

I want to tell a little encouraging story that came out of one such incident.

It started with THE PEPPERS.  The ones that just really had to be cut and plopped in the crock pot.  It seems like such a simple chore.  David was happily playing by himself when I started.  And then after the first few chops ... there he is, crying at my feet.  My hands were full of pepper and garlic.  It really was just so much easier to finish the chore - it wouldn't even take that long.  But for some reason, David's crying bothered me a little more than usual.  I was tired, and I was hungry.  I told David "I'm sorry," and then tried as hard as I could to ignore him while I finished the chore, so that I could do it as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Profound Thoughts ;)

That's the thing about us humans.  When we're engaged in something we can't fully give our attention to our loved ones who may want it right then.  We're not thinking about them ... We're thinking about the task.  

God's not like that.  Even though he may seem like he's engaged in something else and not you, his heart is fully on you.  You, your thoughts, and everything about you are on his mind.  Even if it feels like you're just tugging on his pant legs trying to get him to pay attention to you, confused and upset about how he's making you wait, he really is paying attention.  My reason for not paying attention to David was so that I could finish chopping up those peppers, because I'm not a very good multitasker.  God, on the other hand, is an excellent multitasker (probably really the only good one out there).  His reasons for making you wait are much better than my reasons for making David wait.  God's working on something good (definitely better than my crock pot pepper dish, which actually didn't turn out very well).  Also, my only way to deal with David crying was to disengage from it so I could finish the task ... but God's not like that either.  He's there in the pain with you.  He feels your pain in the waiting.  

I wanted to pay attention to David even though I couldn't.  How much more did God want to pay attention, and how much more capable He is of paying attention!  I wanted to let David know I was there for him but couldn't for a few minutes.  How much more does God fill in those holes to say I'm here!  I think these things are so hard for us to understand because we're not like that.  We can't do these things.  But God can.

Another thought that I had about my son's crying while I was making dinner was that to him, it seemed like forever.  I, on the other hand, knew how long it was going to take to chop those peppers and knew that my son would be back to smiling very soon.  I think it's kind of like that for God when we're in a painful season of waiting.  Even though it seems very big in the moment, God sees beyond it and we will, too.

I know these words don't have much comfort to offer for those in the hardest times of waiting, but on the chance that they may offer some I wanted to share them.  And in the case that none of this made you smile, here's another cute baby picture.

He totally did like the falafel, eventually!

The next time I find myself in a season of waiting...

...these are the questions I want to ask myself.
  • How am I approaching God about this?  Am I tugging on his pants and crying, not knowing that he's planning something good for me?  
  • Do I trust him?  Am I expectant?  Am I hopeful?  
  • Do I feel engaged or disengaged with him?  What's causing me to feel this way?  
What about you?  Are you in a period of waiting?

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As I've mentioned on previous posts ... Thank you so much for reading.  My writing is very personal to me and I'm honored to have you stop by.  I'd love to hear your thoughts in a comment or an email!

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