Friday, June 25, 2010

The Waiting Room

We've all been there before: The waiting room. We hurry and rush to get to the appointment on time and we hustle inside to sit and wait our turn. With our mind running 100 mph, we sit and fidget and try to still be productive by thieving through as many magazines as we can. Sometimes there are lots of people in the room with you, and little by little you sit there watching other people get called to go. It's there turn, while you just continue to wait. Other times, the room is completely empty. And although you would think you might get called in quickly, you find yourself waiting. At the time we think the waiting room is torture. Here we set aside a portion of our day for this "appointment" and we were on time. Why aren't they? The anticipation seems to kill us and yet I wonder; has it ever occurred to you that maybe the waiting room is necessary? Do we ever take the time to stop? It seems, the only time is when we are forced to wait.

This summer, that's where I am: the waiting room. Lots is going on around me, and yet I feel like I am just waiting my turn. I am about to be a Senior at IWU and (Wow that has gone fast!) and this summer has really had me questioning, now what? Last summer every day I was busy serving and working in the high paced YouthWorks! lifestyle. And now this summer, there is quite the change of pace while I take classes in order to graduate on time. Although I have felt confident that this is what I am supposed to be doing, lots has been going on in my heart. It just feels like God is saying, wait. Wait for me to call you in. Wait and trust me. After all, have we ever seen anyone bust down the door in order to get called out of the waiting room?

A long time ago, I wrote about how every time I went to church, Abraham was the topic. And I just really felt like the messages were directed right to me. So this whole time I have been thinking... ok, so how does this all fit? Well so far, here's what I think: I've decided that Abraham had great promises by God, but God had him wait.... big time. Well I have big dreams, and God knows those dreams. (He did create me) And although it is difficult to trust, I say that my motto is "God's got it" Seems to me that if I am going to claim that as my motto, I better follow through and believe it. Abraham jumped the gun, and took things into his own hands by taking control instead of waiting for God's timing. I guess we could consider that like someone going up and nagging the secretary about how you have been in the waiting room and you NEED to be helped. Let's remember that, the secretaries usually don't forget about you out there. And we can definitely trust that God does not forget about us. Never the less, the waiting room is still hard. Right now, it seems like others around me are having major things happen in their lives and little by little, I'm feeling like I am the only one in the room. I've read EVERY magazine, and all the sudoku puzzles are done. I didn't plan on this taking so long, but I've been there too long and don't want to just pick up and leave! So I keep waiting.... and waiting.

But you know what?!

Little by little, God is teaching me. Today, my Grandma's best friend drove up to visit her at the lake. We ended up going out for brunch, and I was captivated by this 5 foot 80 year-old. Her sense of humor and quick wit got the best of me and I couldn't keep the smile off my face. And even though I have been hating homework, taking these classes has allowed me to connect with so many people I would have never had the chance to talk with had I been working a normal summer job, or been doing YW some where. It is easy to take for granted, but I have remembered how special it is to just sit with family and eat dinner together. Steve and Jodie are a hoot and their hearts for others truly inspire me.

Finally, while I'm in this waiting room, God has reminded me of a simple truth: It is not about me. Of course when we first walk into the waiting room, it is because we have an appointment for ourselves, but what does it mean to stop and forget about the fast paced lifestyle we are so used to? For one of my classes I had to write a paper about a book of the bible. I chose Philippians, and when I was reading, it focused on seeing like God. In order to really get closer with Christ, we have to try and see like He does. Take joy in what He does, and remember to love like He does. So maybe the waiting room isn't that bad. Summer is only 1/2 over for me, and who knows what's going to happen in the waiting room. But one thing is for sure, next time I'm in a real waiting room, I'm going to remember all that God does when we stop and wait for Him.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Get Serious 2010?!

Starting off 2010 sick was not on my list of choice activities but it is a perfect example of how I would describe 2009: Unplanned. Last night when I thought back to January 2009, I was amazed to think that it was only one year ago. In this past year I have experienced so much more than I could have ever thought up on my own.

I specifically remember in January one night after Summit at school, I had to go back to my room and apply for Youthworks! I had NO idea what I was doing, but I was simply trying to follow through with what I felt I needed to do. Well I half expected for things to not work out. I didn't think my parents would be too excited about me leaving for the WHOLE summer, and it all seemed more like a dream rather than a reality.

The application process continued all while softball season was underway indoors. I became really close with girls on the team, and we even made up a "comedy club" called CHART: Featuring Special K. Indoors was filled with so many memories and lots of laughs. In late February we started games and softball started getting tough. Throughout the season, I did not get much playing time, and it caused me to get frustrated. God and I had man conversations and at the time I was as discouraged as ever. It was not until Youthworks that the pieces began to fall together and I started to be okay with softball.

The entire summer was a stretch. It began with me super sick traveling to a hospital in Philly, and I had only been home for about 6 days before I left A-town. I was nervous. I did not know a thing about Youthworks but I was going for it. When we found out where we were going to be "living" I was still a little shell-shocked, but little by little the old Jr. High in Hamlin, WV became home. My job was to be the extroverted excited face that gave announcements and communicated ALL THE TIME. At night I was supposed to dig into my life and find experiences to relate to the high schoolers and share how God worked. I am known to be a story-teller, but at first I questioned how to come up with 5 talks. Well in time I realized this was the place for me to be because four of the talks centered around experiences I had in 2009.

Softball was discouraging for me, but it helped me see that God is more interested in our Character than our Comfort. I learned the true meaning of what it means to put aside temporary treasures like playing time and experience what it is like to play to please one: God. During the frustration of the sport, God gave me friendships that still mean so much more than statistics. We still laugh until we cry, and yet I know that beyond the laughs, we truly care about each other.

Most of all, in 2009 God worked in me. After an exciting summer of growth, and adventure like I had in WV, I was apprehensive to go back to school. For some reason I thought God would take a break a little and I would be able to reflect on what happened over the summer. But no, God was ready to get right back to work. It was time to apply my learning from the summer, and continually give God control. The last part of the year and growth can attributed to my roommate. Going out on a limb to be roomies, and not talking until 3 days before we moved in seems crazy considering how planned I usually like to be, but it could not have been more perfect. After a sophomore year of fun but still a great deal of frustration, Kayla and I were able to start our Junior year with a TON of laughs. This semester has been the most fun by far. God taught me some lessons and I have been stretched in difficult ways, but I have learned to trust that it all works out, it always does.

I do not know what kind of adventures 2010 will bring but I am excited because I know that some how it will all work together. I am sure laughs will be a part of it, and the memories are something I just cannot wait to see.

Now usually my posts have a little humor, so here it is: This holiday season was incredible. I found myself crying from laughing at almost EVERY family gathering. Jodie had her classic dramatic moments like when she got a piano bench and immediately stopped everything to place it by the piano and play some of her beautiful chords. But the best moment came when Christi and I played Catch Phrase with our cousins Hannah and Breanna. It was sisters vs. sisters, and Christi and I started off strong.
For example: "Grandmas favorite fruit!" "CRANBERRIES" "Perfect"

H & B however seemed to struggle a little. The category was: Entertainment. Hannah was describing:
H- "Ok, its the number after 19"
B- "20"
H-"YEAH! Ok, so say it again now"
B- "20"
H- "Ok, 20 now say it again."
B- "20"
H- "Ok, its 20 REPEATED!"
H- "NO!!!"
B- "I don't get it."
H- "Ok, its 20 AGAIN! Say 20 AGAIN!"

At this point Christi and I were doubled over laughing. It did not matter if we won or lost the entire game. It was the cutest/funniest thing ever. The description of the 11 year old was so guiding and yet her brilliant older sophomore sister could not catch up :)

Finally B did make a tentative guess: "20/20?"