Jun 25, 2013

Five things to do while you are waiting for the journey to begin

I love the quote: "You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore."  I find it both inspiring and terrifying all at once.   The inspiration always precedes the terror for me.

Have you had times in your life when you feel like you are drifting?  Your lines are untied, your bearings haven't been set, and you are waiting to feel which way the wind is blowing. 

There are definite moments in life that are more about "waiting" and less about crossing the ocean.  So what do you do? {Other than cry and maybe drink wine...}

I am am in a state of "limbo", a state that another friend of mine is also in, and we discuss the pain and agony of waiting as we walk 2 miles every other day.  It's not that we are entitled to the knowledge of the future or that I feel I should KNOW what exactly I am going to be doing when I am on the other side of this "waiting room", I just wish God would come down in the form of a bush on fire and talk to me for a little bit.  

Then, I remember that Moses had to first kill a man {not gonna do it}, and then wait for a long while, long enough to get married and have children, to have his burning bush moment (in Exodus 3).   I have waited exactly 24 days.  I cut all of the lines that tied me to my mooring and am not adrift in the bay of my life.  I have not set sail, I am not on a motor boat, heading powerfully out to sea, I am simply waiting for the heading, so I can raise my sails and set off in the direction the Holy Spirit is blowing.

Waiting happens in the strangest moments; when you are waiting for the "right one" to come along, the months before you get married, the time you are trying to get pregnant, while you pregnant, between jobs, before you move into a new house, after your marriage crumbles, the list could go on and on.  Just know that if you are in one of those places, there are others out there (like me) who are waiting too.

So, what do you do when you are waiting?

Perhaps you sit in the back seat and whine every few minutes, "This is taking FORever!  How much longer?" 

Maybe you start to row off into the sunset, and figure you can reset yourself to the coordinates God gives you whenever He gets around to it.

Or maybe, just maybe, you sit and wait.  {I once wrote a fairly popular post on waiting}

1. You could "Son" bathe
Those waiting moments are perfect times to really get in touch with who you are in God.  We spend so much time striving to be "perfect" or who the world wants us to be, we can't see the beauty of the simplicity of our identity in Him.   I wrote a series called "31 days of {Inner} Beauty" which is 31 fairly short devotionals about your identity in Christ. Even if you aren't a Bible believer, many of these things are positive and will still have relevance to you, click here to check it out!

2. You could practice your "strokes"
If you aren't on a journey, and instead are "waiting for orders" spend the time to make yourself a better version of yourself.   Read a book or two, peruse a blog, practice a new skill (like a language or an instrument), maybe set some short-term goals (weight loss or fitness) and focus on achieving them.

3. Enjoy the view
Sometimes, when we are waiting, we are so focused on the horizon we are missing the beauty around us.  Spend time appreciating what you have.  Focus on your spouse, your children, your current job, the home you've made with your husband, your amazing job, any of the blessings that God has given you.  Become fully content with where you are and the waiting won't seem so intolerable.

4.  Recruit a trustworthy crew
Life can be hard and busy.  In those moments of relative quiet, invest in relationships with people who invest in you.  Not every friend falls into this category, some friends suck the energy right out of you.  Find people who you can challenge and in turn, challenge you, to be a better version of you, and spend time with them.  Once your journey begins they will be supportive and encouraging to you, rather than negative and discouraging.  

5. Get really comfortable with the rhythm of the waves
The reality is that if you are setting off across the ocean, you need to become really accustomed to the waves and wind.   Life is not easy, a huge part of success is not in what happens to you, but what you make happen.  Learn the secrets of healthy coping skills so you can face anything that comes along.  Get comfortable with the understanding that there is an ebb and flow to life, find a balance.

What else can you do to pass the time as you are waiting "in limbo" for the next thing to come along? What do you do??

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