September 18, 2018

Guest Post and a giveaway! : The Ache of the Waiting Room ....

I'm beyond excited to include a guest post from Jennifer Duke's Lee on my blog!! EEEK! I am part of the launch team for her newest book "It's All Under Control" and let me tell you this is good food for your soul! I can't recommend the book enough ... so without further ado here's Jennifer ...

The Ache of the Waiting Room .... This is the waiting room. Welcome. You know this place, don’t you? When we are in the waiting room, we eventually have to make this choice: We can either distance ourselves from God or we can trust him in the wait.

This truth became so evident to me over the last three years, a season when I’ve logged
many hours in waiting rooms—literal ones. Waiting for a friend when she had a
cancerous lump removed. Waiting for our daughter Anna when she underwent
procedures for a digestive problem. Waiting for Dad when he had a pacemaker put in,
and then more waiting when he had part of his right leg amputated.

I’ve found that waiting rooms everywhere are a lot alike. An interior decorator has done
what he or she could to make the place inviting. Chairs are upholstered in trendy colors.
Fake greenery has been arranged in matchy-matchy ceramic pots.

Meanwhile, the one you love is on an operating table.
Your inner “fixer” is paralyzed. Unless you happen to have a degree in neurosurgery or
anesthesiology, you are clearly not needed. You are, instead, stuck—feeling rather
powerless—in the waiting room. If you’re lucky, a digital board identifies your loved
one by a number and provides periodic status reports.

My family of origin tends to be the obnoxiously loud ones in the waiting room.
Humor has always been a coping mechanism for us. I suppose there could be worse
things than laughing through hard times.

Our stories in the waiting room kept us sane during one of Dad’s recent surgeries.
Every so often, one of us would step out of our circle, somber faced, to check the digital
board. A sister would whisper, “Still in surgery.” We’d pause, and then we’d all start
in again. Here in the waiting room, it was about stories, connection, laughter.
It was about family.

There was no pushing, only pausing.

Oddly, these moments, when I sat miles away from the answers I wanted, were an
unexpected gift because they caused me to consider the practice of being still. I did not
flit or fly. I was a bird on a wire, wings tucked in, waiting for hope to appear, inching up
from the horizon.

Waiting has compelled me to understand that I’m not in charge of the world and that my
notions of control are all an illusion anyway. Waiting can feel like a weakness,
especially in a culture that places a high value on self-sufficiency and
“making things happen.” Waiting is the opposite of sufficiency, and it leaves me
exposed and armorless.

I step into so much of my life wearing armor: The armor of ambition. The armor of good
performances. The armor of masks. The armor of control. The armor of trying harder.

There is no armoring up when you’re waiting. You simply wait, stripped down,
vulnerable before your struggle. You can fix nothing. You are not in charge now—not
that you ever were—but the armor you wear on a typical day gave you a false sense
of security. You finally realize there shall be no pulling yourself up by your bootstraps.
This can be a very beautiful thing. When you pause—instead of push—you do all the
things that matter most: You pray. You read Scripture. You sit quietly—or laugh loudly,
if that’s more your style—with friends and family. You practice allowing yourself
to be still.

In the quietness of a hospital waiting room, I would often turn inward and whisper to
my Savior, “How would we get through this without you, Jesus?” Letting down your
faux armor causes you to more carefully inspect your life and discover how incredible
it is to belong to Jesus: Where, oh where, would we be without Jesus?

Where are you today, friend? Where, oh where, are you?

Perhaps you are in a waiting room of some kind too. Perhaps you wish to act instead
of wait. You want to take matters into your own hands but haven’t a clue how—or even
if you should.

What are you waiting for? The answer to your financial distress? A baby to come?
A resolution to a relational conflict? The phone to ring? The wound to heal? The last
twenty pounds to drop? That moment when it’s your chance to finally celebrate?

You ask good questions for which there are no immediate answers:
Why is this opportunity slipping through my fingers?
How am I going to go on now that he’s gone?

Maybe today you actually are reading these words in a hospital waiting room while
someone you love is in the operating room, and your prayers seem to dissolve
into antiseptic air as you cry out silently: Are you here, God?

Though he may be silent, God has not abandoned you. He is working while you wait.

The work that God does in the waiting room often proves more important than the end
result. Here he will give you clarity for what he wants you to do when the wait is over.
Here he will draw near to you. Here you will get in touch with your essential self,
the one who wasn’t made to wear all that armor.

This is the greatest gift of the waiting room. Lean in close, for when you least expect it, you will sense the presence of Jesus in ways you never could have before. ........ See I TOLD you it's good stuff ! Thanks Jennifer for allowing me to be part of your wonderful book launch! AND not only that but Jennifer and her team at Tyndall are sponsoring a HUGE giveaway to celebrate the release of It’s All Under Control. They are giving away 50 copies of the book in celebration of its release! Follow the link below to win!! ... Giveaway ends September 30. Winners will be notified by Tyndale House Publishers.

Jennifer Dukes Lee is the wife of an Iowa farmer, mom to two girls, and an author. She loves queso and singing too loudly to songs with great harmony. Once upon a time, she didn’t believe in Jesus. Now, He’s her CEO. Jennifer’s newest book, It’s All Under Control, and a companion Bible study, are releasing today!
This is a book for every woman who is hanging on tight and trying to get each day
right―yet finding that life often feels out of control and chaotic.
Adapted from:
It’s All under Control: A Journey of Letting Go, Hanging On,
and Finding a Peace You Almost Forgot Was Possible
by Jennifer Dukes Lee, releasing this fall from Tyndale House Publishers.

November 24, 2017

Going Gray ....

Check out my latest guest post over on Planting Roots!   You can link to it here -
Going Gray.

November 9, 2017

Stubborn Love ....

Hi All!! It's me again finally.

 What a couple of years (yikes!) it's been since my last post on here. We've moved - again -, a few of our chicks have flown the nest, hubby is closer to retirement, and a whole bunch of other things!

 I hope to get back to this blog on a regular basis in the coming days but for now I wanted to share a guest post I recently wrote for the National Military Family Association (NMFA) please have a look-see by following the link below and then tell me what you think .....

 Is stubbornness important in marriage?

NMFA Blog Military Marriage

Is Stubbornness Key to a Strong Military Marriage? One Spouse Says YES!

October 1, 2014

Fall Color

" All the color and the beauty were a result of the slow death of each leaf.... I started thinking about how much that phenomenon reflects the Christian life.We are most beautiful, most attractive, most stunning on the outside when we are dying - to ourselves, our wants, our desires, our lusts, and our very natures that on the inside that say "Preserve! Preserve! Preserve!"

 ... Twenty Something.


Hi all,

   So yeah there's that whole thing about trying to write more, trust me I'm still working on that! But my apologies -again - for not doing so so far. Transformation is tough stuff!

One of the areas God's been talking to me about is Forgiveness... in various ways, but one way was that I was privileged to be part of the Launch Team for Sara Horn's new book which releases TODAY!

I was able to meet Sara at a previous PWOC conference and chat with her briefly, as well as lead an online study for her book "Tour of Duty". I love all of her books - if you've not read God Strong and are a military wife, you really should! At first glance I admit it, I thought what can a part-time/reservist Seabee wife have to say to me as a full time/active duty Army wife with several deployments and years under her belt?! I mean the Navy generally doesn't even deploy as long or into as dangerous as places ...."The arrogance of some people"... sorry we just watched Robots recently, anyhow it's a great book but back to the subject...

Forgiveness is easy to talk about, hey we all KNOW we should whether you are a Christian or not. I mean there's study after study out there talking about how it's good for us, etc; but it sure can be awfully hard to do! Especially if it's an ongoing hurt from the same person, something you've tried to address repeatedly or traumatic.  Sara does a great job in the book of breaking down why we should, tips on how to do so and is very real with her own struggles on the subject. I was in tears for much of the book and I'm sure I will be revisiting it frequently.

You can find a free chapter sneak peek here...

January 10, 2014

A New Year ....Transformation

Hi all,

Oh do please forgive my lapse in blogging. I know I've never been the best at keeping up with this blog -- I could tell you we've sold a house, moved,etc this year ---but instead I'll just say I hope to do better this year!

Many of you and others I know choose one word at the beginning of the year, either that you feel the Lord has laid on your heart or that you want to focus on for a particular reason for the coming year ..

My word this year is:
I really feel this year is going to be transformative for me, my family and our home on so many levels (physical, financial, spiritual, marital, and more)!

Can't wait to see what God is going to do! 

           Hope you'll stick around for the ride even if it stops and starts!

June 23, 2013

Tiny Laundry Spaces

So one of the blogs I follow was talking about how to make a laundry room nice even if it's small! ( oh how I wish I would have taken pictures of all our funky laundry rooms over the years!

We've done them all I think from coin ops to washer and dryer side by side in the kitchen (no hiding them!), hiking down 4 flights of stairs to shared machines in the basement, an actual decent laundry room with storage space, side by side by the back door, to a laundry "room" where you couldn't open the dryer and stand in front of the washer at the same time and the kids had to sit on top of the machines for tornado warnings, back to hiking down stairs to shared machines (2 flights this time), to a nice laundry room right off the garage that I actually was able to make into a craft room as well (tight but it worked), living in a tent for a bit and now this house where the washer and dryer is in the kitchen again but semi- hidden in an alcove.

Wash. Rinse. Repeat!

So the discussion was on how there's no good ideas on Pinterest for itty bitty living spaces -- but I beg to differ, I think you can find tons of ideas and adapt them to your situation. I also highly advocate praying and asking the Lord for a vision for that space! It works every time .... sometimes you just have to live with it for a bit too while you wait for inspiration to strike or rearrange the whole space, it's worth it if it makes you happy doing a chore!  In that vein I thought I'd share mine:

So here tis:

        Yes that's literally the whole width, the brown strip to the right is the hallway door. So when we moved in it was dingy white, had wooden shelves,etc. I originally fronted those shelves with fabric I liked, hung up curtains and we had a file cabinet by the machines. It was never exactly what I wanted but it worked and it was accessible.  Because we are selling our home to move to the next duty station I decided to revamp it and have gotten to enjoy it for the last 6 months. Painted it a lovely Hawthorne Yellow (Benjamin Moore), hung up the white wire shelves. Gathered matching baskets I already had and glued clothespins on the front with labels (ala Pinterest!) ...
                      Because I wanted it to still be a pretty space I added a couple framed sayings I liked (also found on Pinterest) and kept my sad iron and tailors ironing board in plain view.
 The other side has the ironing board and a dog food container now, plus my clothespins holder which is also decorative and says "a tisket a tasket, clothes pins and clothes basket"
      And another inspiring saying for the times when laundry seems ridiculous -- or smelly like yesterday when son came home from Boy Scout camp!! :D  (sorry for the blur)

And there you have it, so much better, goes with the Kitchen (Kitchen walls are Macadamia color by Martha Stewart. You can see our kitchen redo HERE)! Took me less than two hours (paint has to dry) and I love it!

Don't let a small or funky space keep you from loving your home .... take it as a challenge and you just might wind up with it being one of your favorite spots!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." .... Jeremiah 29:11 (esv)