The Waiting

We’ve all heard the expression “Good things come to those who wait”. On the flip side, there’s the Tom Petty song about waiting. As he says, it is the hardest part. Which one is right? In my opinion, both adages are true.

As I look back on my life, there are two very strong examples of “Good things come to those who wait.”  

The first is my husband. We dated in high school, and a little bit in college. In fact, I wrote in my journal when I was 17 that I had met the man I was going to marry. But, as most kids do, we ended up going our separate ways. I moved back to New Mexico, and Vince stayed in Texas, got married, and had a family. Twenty-one years after high school, we got back together again. We’ve now been married 20 years. And he definitely was worth waiting for.

Top: In high school, on the day we met. Bottom: On a recent snowy day.

The other waiting had to do with my college education. I never finished my degree when I started it all those years ago. But at that time, they didn’t have the exact degree program I wanted. I’ve always been interested in writing. Back then, that usually meant getting an English degree which meant teaching. I wasn’t meant to be a teacher.

The alternative was Journalism, which didn’t touch enough on the creative side of writing as far as I was concerned. I finally opted for studying radio, television, and film at the University of Texas. I really enjoyed that, as a long-time TV and movie watcher. But as mentioned earlier, I left Texas and returned to New Mexico and never finished my degree. I did, however, end up having a 15- year career in radio and television. Broadcasting was great and it was a wonderful time in my life. But as I thought about returning to school, it seemed pointless to go back and get a broadcasting degree when I’d already had a career in broadcasting. It wasn’t worth the money or the time, since I had real-life experience with that.

But late last year, my wait was over. In September, I received a notice that Colorado Christian University was offering a Bachelor of Arts degree in Creative Writing. This was the first time I’d heard of this exact degree. I was aware of MFA programs, but not a Bachelor’s in this discipline.

I had a chat with my husband who is super supportive, in so many ways. We discussed finances, time, and as many other details as we could hash out. I finally thought, “Well, I’ll apply and see what happens.”

I was accepted… quickly. Before I knew it, I applied for transfer scholarships, and returning student scholarships, and let me tell you, the doors back to school flung wide open!

So, over 40 years after I started my first degree, I am once again a full-time student and will finish next year through the online modules at Colorado Christian University.

My husband now walks around telling everyone that I had to wait for the right degree program to come along before I went back to school. Okay, 40-plus years is quite a wait. But there you go.

There is good in the waiting. even when you don’t realize you’re waiting. If, however, you can reflect, you can see where waiting was good. I waited for my husband for 21 years. With the support he gives me now, I probably wouldn’t be pursuing my degree after waiting for the right program to come along.

Waiting is good. Waiting is hard. Good things can come to those who wait.

Being Extraordinary

I love movies! Anyone who knows me knows that I love watching movies, and I will watch and analyze the same movie over and over again. Besides the entertainment value, movies can be inspirational.

Sister Act from Buena Vista Pictures

One such movie is “Sister Act” from 1992 with Whoopi Goldberg. Wait. What? A Whoopi Goldberg movie being inspirational? Okay, maybe not the entire movie, but a portion of it, as it relates to the growth of the character of Sister Mary Robert, played by Wendy Makkena.

When Sister Mary Clarence (Goldberg) takes refuge in the convent and first meets the choir, she’s suddenly thrust into the position as leader of the choir. As Goldberg takes the reins of the group, she notices Sister Mary Robert (Makkena) blending into the background and only mouthing the words to the songs. Mary Clarence then brings Mary Robert front and center. Goldberg’s character explains that Mary Robert needs to sing loud enough to be heard over the noise of a diner, with clacking silverware and loud waitresses. Finally, Mary Robert’s voice is heard, and it’s a sweet one. Throughout the course of the movie, Mary Robert is more front and center with the choir, and doing more solos when they perform. She’s come out of her shell and is no longer hiding in the back, just mouthing the words.

How often do we find ourselves hiding and merely going through the motions? Do you have big dreams, but are plagued with self-doubt? As I may have mentioned before, I’m reading a book by Alli Worthington called “Standing Strong.” In it, Worthington talks about “playing small.” In the sense of not letting comparison, fear, or self-doubt hold you back from pursuing your dreams, or just living your life to the fullest.

Mary Robert was playing small – not letting her gifts come out because of fear, and not believing she had a true talent.

Recently, I’ve come to believe there’s no such thing as ordinary. Whether you’re a CEO, a writer, a waiter/waitress, or a housewife (or househusband), you are extraordinary. It doesn’t matter what job you have! Anything we choose to do in our lives has value. Any time we come around friends to laugh and enjoy, or comfort and console, we’re offering something special to them – something extraordinary.

Yes, there are times we feel like we’re living in a mundane world, with routine lives, feeling plain and not special. But that’s not true.

In a recent post on this blog, I asked what you wanted to be when you grew up. Is there a dream you haven’t achieved yet? For some, their lives may have taken a completely different direction, and they never had the opportunity to pursue their dreams. Goals can go by the wayside when we have the responsibility of a family and bills to pay.

That being said, remember Friends, you are not a failure. Maybe your time just hasn’t come. Or maybe you were destined for something else. I don’t know what God had in mind for you, but I know we have the ability to make our circumstances worse or better, by our own attitude. Even if we’re not where we want to be in our job or in our life, doesn’t mean we aren’t extraordinary. We can offer each other so much, just by giving of ourselves.

I’m blessed to be on a new path these days. I’m a college student again, finally completing my bachelor’s degree that I started over 40 (gasp!) years ago. Will school make me extraordinary? No, not necessarily. But school is proving to me that I’m not too old to keep pursuing my dreams. I’m not too old to influence those around me. I don’t have to keep playing it small.

My new mindset is going to be “There’s no such thing as ordinary.” Remember, you are special. You matter. You are extraordinary.

Do you believe this? Let me hear your thoughts. And let’s encourage one another.

For the Wanderers and Wonderers

What did you want to be when you grew up?

You may wonder why I’m asking that question. I’m not sure, to be honest. Maybe because when I was little, I wrote little stories, then cut up the paper and stapled everything together so it looked like a book. I’ve always written.

I’ve also liked to perform. I was a dancer, and loved drama, and did little skits with my friends growing up.  I loved playing make believe.

Then, when I did grow up, I went into broadcasting and had a 15-year-career (behind the scenes, for the most part) in radio and television.

In a way, I’ve always known, at least generally, what I wanted to do.

Granted, I’ve done other things besides writing and broadcasting. I’ve worked for a Chamber of Commerce and an Economic Development Foundation and worked a few years in the hospitality industry at hotels. But as I’ve aged, I’ve turned back to my childhood love of writing and creating.

My husband will tell you that he wanted to be a rock and roll guitarist when he was a kid. And today, he is definitely NOT a famous guitarist, although he still has his love of music. God is using other talents of my husband’s in his current job.

As much as I love writing, I’m still not sure what place it holds in my future. I don’t know what I’ll write, if I’ll ever finish a novel, if I’ll write screenplays, or just be a happy blogger.

In the long run, perhaps I don’t need to know. I just need to follow the path that God has in front of me. Praying that no matter where he leads me, I’ll honor him.

I think there are a lot of people today who might be lost or wondering what to do with their lives. They may have lost their job in the pandemic. Or quit their job due to other circumstances. Others may feel like although they have a good job now, is this really what they’re meant to do in life.

Do you wonder what your purpose is in life? If you’re walking the road God created for you?

I wish I had a good answer for those who are wandering and wondering. I don’t. But I go back to the question of what I wanted to be when I grew up. If that doesn’t point you in a direction, then maybe volunteering somewhere will, or taking a continuing education class at a community college, or just getting involved with your church. I do know this: Prayer is the first step. The second step may be up to you. After that, look out! You never know where God is going to take you.

Reminder Day

Like a lot of us, I’ve been in a cycle of worry, of feeling sad, and even being short-tempered with my husband, when he doesn’t deserve it. I HATE that!

I fret about my parents and their health.

There have been other family health issues as well. My mother-in-law just went through Hurricane Ida. Oh, yeah, we’re still dealing with Covid and decisions to get the shot or not get the shot, to mask or not mask, to stay open and go into lockdown again.  I am in this cycle of unease about so many things, yet part of me doesn’t want to face any of it.  

Where’s my faith?

I’m pre-worrying about a lot of things (emphasis on “pre”). Things that may or may not happen. I guess I’m trying to be prepared, but again, it’s “pre-worrying.” I don’t know if anything will change, if we’ll have to make tough decisions, or will things continue status quo? It makes me want to cower in a corner.

I didn’t know what to pray for anymore…how to pray. I hit a wall.

With all that said, today was what I’m calling “reminder” day. I’m reading the book “Standing Strong” by Alli Worthington. She inspired me previously with the chapter on self-doubt. Today, I’m in the middle of a chapter on praying  called Ask for it. On page 148, she quotes a text from her friend, who says “Ask for manna. For strength to live off manna. Because after manna comes abundance.”

Manna. Daily manna. The Lord provides just what we need when we need it. So, all of this “pre-worrying” is a waste of time. I know that. However, I certainly needed this kick in the pants reminder! Daily manna.

God heard my unspoken prayer with a reminder that he provides and he’s still with us — always, all days.

Fear can have you cowering in the corner instead of plunging ahead, facing your fears, and getting through them to grow stronger. Life’s worries can be easy to ignore, to back away from, and hide your head in the sand when everything is overwhelming.

Hide my head in the sand. Really? When God’s strength flows through us?

I have to believe that his strength will flow through me, and believe that the manna he provides is enough. And he provides manna every day. No stockpiles for a rainy day. He provides just what we need at the time we need it.

I’ve written about daily manna before. But apparently, God knew I needed the reminder. He answered my prayer when I didn’t know how to pray.

Are all my problems solved? No. Am I still concerned for my parents and everything else going on in the world? Yes. Unfortunately, that hasn’t changed. But my perspective has. God answered my prayers with the reminder that he is with us every day, and he provides. I need only to look to him.

Trust — all days, always.

Thank you, Lord for reminder days.

What about you? How does knowing that God provides help you with your worries?

Let’s encourage one another!