field of grain

I gave up mothering for a frozen pizza last night.

It was Sunday night after a long weekend and I opened the freezer. Score. A frozen Tombstone. I preheated the oven to 400 and flopped back down on the sofa.

This mama is done. Over it. Exhausted and Sunday night lite-dinner was going to be frozen pizza.

I had no guilt. I carried no shame. Frozen pizza is an entirely acceptable Sunday night dinner for a tired family.

My husband offered to pop the pizza in and he set the timer. The pizza came out of the oven 20 minutes later and needed to cool on the counter.

The smell of hot pepperoni must have spurred something in the girls’ stomachs because not 30 seconds passed before one of them wailed “I’m hungreeee!”

I looked over at her, “Seriously? Pizza is out and it’s cooling. You can wait five minutes.”

“But I can’t!!” She came back at me.

“Of course you can.” I reassured her.

“Eat a banana,” my husband piped in.

{In our house, “eat a banana” is the panacea for most ailments}

She just couldn’t wait. Waiting is hard and it’s not natural. Or at least we think it’s not natural.

I’m glad God didn’t create women to give birth the moment they understood they had life growing in their belly.

And that a line prevents me from riding the roller coaster over and over again. I have to wait. At least not at my age. Thirty-eight years equals headache and nausea after two rides in a row.

I’m glad that I can’t think a song or a book into existence. That the writing is a process and a birth of its own. And I’m glad that our children take so long to grow. I couldn’t bear to give them away to the world as soon as they were born.

There is so much waiting in life.

We wait for everything. I joke with my ever-late husband that I’ve spent most of my adult life waiting for him to do something: get home, get to the dance recital, finish in the bathroom.

But we are an impatient people. We wait for a living, but we still can’t grasp the idea that waiting isn’t only a part of life, it is necessary.

What IF we gave birth when we figured out we were pregnant. Nothing would be ready, not our homes or our hearts or our families. And IF we could think a book into existence? We’d be robbed of the joy. There is so.much.learning in the writing. So much valuable learning in the process.

And there is so much learning in the waiting.

We learn patience and long-suffering and tolerance when we wait. We learn forgiveness and self-awareness and we learn how to slow down. When we wait it is one more example that life is a journey to be walked through not a destination to be won.

Waiting makes us mature and age well, I believe.

So next time we are forced to wait, for a child, for an ever-late husband, for a project or a venture to be born into existence, maybe we can rest in the waiting, knowing that it’s making us ready for the next thing.

That is the grace in life: that even in the long night before the morning, there is goodness even there.

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  1. 1

    Sarah,
    My “life scripture” is Psalm 40:1-3 and how fitting that it begins with, “I waited patiently on the Lord…” In 52 years, I’ve gotten better at waiting. It’s the “patiently” part I sometimes struggle with. But, like you say – so much good can be learned in the waiting! I love your line that life is a journey to be walked through and not a destination to be won – beautiful! Thank you for the encouragement in my times of waiting!
    Blessings,
    Bev

  2. 3

    Great truths that I had to copy and paste into a Word document. Thank you.

    When mt kids are hungry I send them for a banana too although my kids are young adults but it has been a saying for many years.

  3. 5
    kerry Brasher says:

    Thank you for this Sarah! I have often read your posts and thought how similar our personalities seem and I especially have been having a hard time waiting on my husband for what seems a lot of things. But I feel that change God is doing within me and there is an excitement brewing that I know is going to pay off……like after waiting on that long line for a roller coaster ride…but hopefully no nausea afterward! (I too am 38 and once a roller coaster fanatic now find myself getting nauseated after “swinging” to high while playing with my kids -what’s up with that?)

  4. 7

    thank you, Sarah. the title of your post captured me, I feel a kindred spirit with you this morning. these waiting room times are way too hard. and I know He’s teaching me things I need to learn, right and left.

  5. 9

    Wonderful words to remember!! He is with us in the waiting, whether it’s an everyday occurrence, like dinner, or a once in a lifetime event – like a baby or a book! Seasons of being in the waiting room bring depth to our faith. He is so good! Thanks for sharing!!

  6. 11

    “…so much learning in the waiting.” Yes, there is and you have given me a new perspective on the waiting, Sarah. Thank you.

  7. 13

    Once I was so frustrated waiting on a light to change. I had just missed making it through. And I heard the Lord whisper, “by waiting here, I have made you a leader.”

  8. 16

    Thank you for this. I am in a ‘waiting’ stage in my life and I’m so impatient and just wanting to get going already! Thank you for the reminder that my waiting phase isn’t dead time. It’s time to grow and learn.

  9. 18

    Laughing at the “waiting for hubs to finish in the bathroom”… WHY do men take so long in the bathroom?! What on earth?? It’s such a mystery, and I admit, I am VERY impatient. Now I’m going to have to ponder what lesson and wisdom I can gain in my time of waiting for him to HURRY UP AND FINISH IN THE DANG BATHROOM. Haha!

    Other than that bit of silly, I loved this post. Loved it so much. It’s gonna ruminate in my mind all day today.

  10. 20

    Thank you for this (extremely) timely message… As a military spouse I find myself often waiting, and frequently frustrated (and hard on myself) when I don’t know what is going on or what is waiting for us around the bend… Really, it all comes down to control, I think. Am I waiting on God?, or am I trying to force His hand? (and end up worse off, always). Life is an unfurling– it begins at its beginning and ends at its ending — a river through time. I need to see what there is to see during this part of the ride and not sqaunder the chances for never-again beauty and opportunity.

  11. 22
    Sally Anne says:

    Wow. This blessed me good.

  12. 24

    There IS so much learning in the waiting – something we don’t always remember until the waiting is over. SO thankful God is patient with us! Good read Sarah : )

  13. 26

    I love this. And, ironically, I fed my kids frozen pizza for the first time Monday for lunch. :)

  14. 28

    Excellent! Just Excellent!

  15. 30

    Perfect message for me today (and, well, probably every day). “When we wait it is one more example that life is a journey to be walked through not a destination to be won.” <– I need to etch this on my heart and remember it always… and then maybe share it with my husband, because he and I both suffer from a case of "why-won't-this-just-happen-already"-itis :)

    And then I need to re-evaluate what I'm teaching our kids. We tell them "hurry up! We're running late!" We are always displaying our impatience for them, and then we expect them to wait 2 minutes for us to help them or 5 minutes for dinner to be ready or a week before a friend comes to visit?

    Thank you for this lovely post! Heading off to share it!!! Others need to read this!

  16. 32
    Jennifer says:

    After years of waiting, all I’ve been shown is that the things I’m waiting for are never happening for me. For friends and family, yes, but not me. Not everyone gets the husband, children, book, etc., and to suggest that everyone does is incorrect.

    • 33

      i’m sorry for your hurt, Jennifer. I hope i didn’t suggest that we all receive what we wait for. the point of my post was that there is grace and goodness even in the waiting. i’m so sorry if my words hurt you. It wasn’t my intent.

  17. 34
    Priscilla says:

    YES! That is the first word that came to my mind when I read your post – YES! Thank you for sharing this. It speaks volumes to me as I worry if I will get it all done – the ‘it’ being so many things in my life – my life’s calling, my book(s), etc. I love it when you wrote, “There is so.much.learning in the writing. So much valuable learning in the process.” – YES! Yes, you are absolutely right.

  18. 36

    Most times the waiting is just to give us time to claim the gift of acceptance…still not time wasted.

  19. 38

    I have never been able to attribute this quote, but I have cling to it, as with so many of the wonderful Bible verses mentioned already- “beautiful are the difficult things. Nothing worth it’s easy.” Waiting is definitely one of those beautiful difficult things for me, too. Such a great post, Sarah. I could so relate!

  20. 40

    This is so timely. I had a brain MRI yesterday and now am waiting for the results, hoping they will explain my symptoms and not be too scary. Yesterday i obsessed on wanting to know right now!!! and your words calmed me. I liked what Joan said in her comment also, ” waiting is just to give us time to claim the gift of acceptance” I am praying for that and for absolute trust in God to take over where fear makes my insides clench up.

  21. 45

    After living in Scotland (on a job assignment) we finally filed the paperwork to retire and return home to the States. I was so anxious to be going “home” that all the little differences in our life in Helensburgh began to bug me. I could hardly wait to get home! But the Lord pulled me up short and told me in no uncertain terms to stop it! He wanted me to slow down, stop running ahead of Him and enjoy the journey to where He was taking us. It’s so easy to focus on the destination and miss the joys of walking the journey with Him.
    The last nine months of our stay were so precious to me and I would have missed it all if I’d rushed ahead of the Father. Waiting is always hard for a “bottom-line kinda gal” like me but He showed me that He still had a lot of blessings for me on the journey and I’d miss them if I stayed focused on the end. I learned so much about myself and the Father as we walked together through the waiting time.

  22. 47

    After two failed adoptions waiting to be a mother is hard most days. We don’t get to see the big picture and have no understanding why we have to walk through some very difficult times, but I do think that in these times we find the Lord in a way we have never seen Him before, and the people around us become cheerleaders in a way they have never before. There are blessings in the waiting, but there is deep pain and healing as well.

  23. 50

    “Eat a banana” is a fix-all in our household too :)
    Love these thoughts this morning as I w a i t to hear back from a potential job…

  24. 52

    39 weeks/5 days pregnant. Waiting is the WORST! Maybe I’ll go eat a banana and see if that helps things along. :)

  25. 54

    Hi Sarah,
    Love the banana panacea! Mine was “drink a glass of milk” :)

    Ahh the lessons in the wait — none are wasted, all have purpose. The key is to stay faithful, even when the wait is long and God seems silent. Thanks for the reminder.
    Hugs from Virginia!

  26. 56

    A friend of mine recently found out she was pregnant. Two days later we went to another friends baby shower. In what I can only assume to be a normal freak out moment, she exclaimed, “I’m not ready for all this?!” My response: “That’s why God is giving you 40 weeks. You don’t have to be ready today.”

    Thanks for the reminder that waiting is not only inevitable, but that with a little perspective we can view it as a good thing!

  27. 58

    Sweet words. True words.

    And your thoughts on writing…how it is a process. Yes! It needs to bake, doesn’t it? When it comes to writing a blog post or something – it doesn’t usually come quickly for me. I have to sit in it for a bit…allowing the Spirit to move and such.

    Great reminder today. Grateful!

    May faith and joy be yours,
    Kate :)

  28. 60

    How fitting to read this post tonight. I’ve been sick with stress all day because of a waiting period that is completely out of my control.
    My mother was sent to Hospice after a month + of serious hospitalization in Florida (I’m in Indiana) and my hubby is away in Texas for an extremely important meeting & work schedule all week.
    I don’t think I’ve ever felt so helpless or stressed to be somewhere so badly that I can’t get to on my own.
    So…I wait.

    I keep praying & believing that God knows just what He’s doing even if I can’t see it right this moment.

    • 61

      i’m so sorry wanda. praying peace and rest over you and your family tonight.

    • 62
      Beth Williams says:

      Wanda,

      Praying for you and your mother. I can’t imagine not being there for her or having a hubby close.

      Lord–Please comfort Wanda and her family in their time of stress and illness. Give them the courage they need to wait on your timing. Shelter them with your love & warm arms.

      AMEN!

  29. 63
    Beth Williams says:

    Sarah,

    I knew from the title that I would instantly love this post! I have been impatient all my life. I’ve waited to get married (was 39) when that happened. Waited for jobs, people, etc. Now I find myself waiting on God once again.

    I would like a different job–one that suits me better. My hubby and I are waiting and praying to see what happens–can he keep his job? So many medical people around here have lost theirs.

    Thank you for the insightful post about learning in the waiting!

  30. 64

    Thank you very much for this post! So timely for me because I need to be reminded of the beauty of waiting now that I’m waitiing for many things to happen/unfold.

    I can also relate to the “tired family.” :) We just moved to a new house and many of our boxes are still untouched. On top of that I have books to finish and launch, articles to write and a business to manage.

  31. 65
    Mark Allman says:

    I think waiting can be acted out faith as well. It at times is hard work.

  32. 66

    This is exactly where I am right now. So appreciated reading this blog post and all the comments! God has been helping me, through the timely words of a friend, when I am tempted to feel anxious in the extended wait of our adoption not to be like Saul, who didn’t wait on Samuel to arrive before he offered the sacrifice (1 Samuel 13). I don’t want to cut short the waiting, but to embrace all that God has for me in it! Thanks for sharing and encouraging my heart.

    http://jodiejournal.blogspot.com/2013/07/wanting-to-wait-well.html

  33. 67

    And once again, God has used this blog to speak truth that I need so desperately at the right time. Thank you.

    I am currently waiting…on a phone call…or even a text…Not sure when or if it will come. And it sounds so superficial to say that in my comment…but it’s the truth.

    Waiting is hard. It’s necessary and He is present in my waiting. Thank you for reminding me…

  34. 68

    Thank you, Sarah, for your thought-provoking post on waiting, especially the reminder that there is “goodness in the night of waiting.” Oh, yes. Spiritual maturity develops, intimacy with our Heavenly Father deepens, appreciation for current blessing is enhanced, others are encouraged when we demonstrate patience and trust. Waiting provides powerful lessons of obedience, too. Oswald Chambers expressed it so well: “To wait is not to sit with folded hands, but to learn to do what we are told.” And obedience is what leads to deep contentment.

  35. 69

    I loved your post. I’m not a patient person. My husband’s always telling me I need to give the kids and him time to do what I request. He says “You want it done yesterday”. He is so right. I never gave any thought to how waiting has benefits. I liked your perspective. Thanks for sharing. Blessings, Kasey

  36. 70

    Thank you for these timely and encouraging words.

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