What are we Waiting For?

I have a confession to make. I was a Ferberizer. If you aren’t familiar with this term, a Ferberizer is a person who prescribes to Dr. Ferber’s approach for training an infant to sleep. When I think back on those early years with my children, the newborn stage was, by far, the most difficult for me. You see, I adore sleep and have generally been very good at it, sleeping on average seven to nine hours a night. Going from a healthy, luxurious eight hours of sleep, to sleeping three hours before being awoken by a cute, tight-fisted, red-faced, screaming narcissist was a nightmare. Within a month’s time, I was transformed from a relatively fashionable, semi-capable human being, to an unkempt, waitingbaby-2387661__4802smelly, baggy-eyed, babbling zombie, which is why I was a Ferberizer. It was imperative that I find the quickest way back to my cozy bed and the sweetest of dreams. You can read all about Ferber and his methods here, but essentially, when it was time for your babe’s beddy-bye, you placed your little one in the crib awake. The premise was that the child needed to learn to fall asleep on his own and self soothe, if need be, without any cuddling, rocking, or excessive bum patting on the part of the parent. Inevitably, the crying would begin. The parent was to wait an increment of time and then go in and give their offspring a few gentle pats of reassurance and exit the room once more and continue doing this until the child went to sleep. Eventually, the kid, squawking, waiting for his mother’s return would think, “Aw, nuts, she’s not coming back and this is exhausting” and he’d peter out into a restful slumber. Sometimes, this worked perfectly and sometimes it was an agonizing waiting game, but whatever you think of this method, I believe it taught my children a valuable lesson: sometimes, in life, one has to wait.

We start our lives waiting, waiting for someone to come and feed us, clean up our dirty bottoms, wipe our tears, and hold us until we feel relaxed and content. Later, we wait for our birthdays to come round, for Santa Claus to show with his big bag of toys, for the Easter bunny to scatter his chocolaty eggs, and for the tooth fairy to drop by for the exchange of enamel and coinage. Soon enough, we’ll wait on that first, crisp, fall day of school, we’ll wait for our marks to come back, for our crushes to answer our silly, scrawled love notes, and for summer vacation to start. We’ll wait for our chance to grip the wheel and get ourselves to and from, to walk across a stage and receive recognition for 12 years of hard work, and to take that first sip of adulthood from a bottle or a can. At this point, our waiting has only just begun.waitinggraduation-995042__4802

As we enter into the busyness of adult life, we’ll wait on more weighty things, job interviews and offers, marriage proposals and wedding days, pregnancies and births. Our waiting will be more meaningful and often, more stressful, but we’ll also still have to wait on all the countless, seemingly inconsequential things that siphon off our time and make us feel like we spend our lives waiting. We have rooms set up specifically for waiting. At the doctor’s office, we wait when we check in and then we’re ushered into the examination room to wait some more. We wait in lines to get to where we want to go and to buy the things we need. We wait for sporting events, movies, concerts, and plays to start. We yawn through and wait for boring lectures, speeches, and sermons to end. Many of us go from waiting 30 minutes for the bus to sitting for hours in gridlock on a freeway or on a layover in an airport. We women, for obvious reasons, wait in longer lines than men to relieve ourselves. waitingpregnancy-644071__4802

The how we wait is as important as why we wait. Some people choose to wait productively, to use their waiting time to catch up on the latest novel or complete paperwork or engage their mind doing Sudoku or crossword puzzles. With the advent of the smartphone, the internet in our purses and pockets, it’s easy to stalk our family and friends on social media, read the latest trending article, or watch that goofy viral video when we have a moment of repose. Unfortunately, waiting isn’t always benign. Sometimes, our waiting is laced with excitement as we anticipate a rewarding outcome,waitingsmiley-2979107_12802 but sometimes waiting is soured by uncomfortable emotions. Sometimes, we must wait for those who are chronically late and their lack of consideration for our time is frustrating and we stew and grow angrier the longer we wait. Other times, we must wait to confront someone we believe has wronged us and the waiting is fraught with anxiety and trepidation. The same would be true as we wait for a doctor’s diagnosis and the possibility of bad news. Still other times, our waiting is marred by sadness as we hope and pray and wait while a child of ours tears down a destructive path or as we wait and watch a loved one suffer at the end of life.

These are hard times of waiting, when we must wait helplessly, having done all we could, and when the outcome isn’t up to us, but is still very important to us. It’s where the fruit of patience, a fruit that is often in short supply in our lives, is developed. For me, as a Christian, this is the time I must wait on God. If I truly believe that he loves me and wants what’s best for me, I’ll give the outcome over to him and stay close to him in my waiting. Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace waitingprayer-1308663__4802of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” He promises his unexplainable peace where fear and stress and sadness would normally rule, a peace that doesn’t fit the gravity of our circumstances, a fierce, protective peace that will stand watch over our hearts and minds. If this is true, we’d be fools not to wait on him in all of life. Why would we choose upset, and often ensuing illness, over peace? Maybe, because there’s nothing more we can do, getting upset is our last bid at trying to control the situation. We’d be smart to let go of the illusion of control, to admit that we aren’t very good at waiting, and to allow God to exchange our burdens for peace and rest.

There’s one particular type of waiting that I’ve practiced, quite successfully, for the bulk of my existence, much to my dismay. I’m often a spectator of my own life. I wait for life to happen to me, rather than carefully crafting the life I long for. I wrote a song about it once entitled, “Wishing”. The chorus illustrates this point perfectly.

I don’t wanna spend my life wishing
And never really living
Wishing I was somewhere else
Wishing I was someone else
I don’t wanna spend my life waiting for something to happen
Hoping for another day
Throwing my whole life away
Wishing

Oh, I’m an expert dreamer, but not much of a doer and you’ve heard this before, if you’ve been following my blog. For me, there’s a disconnect between the wish and the wish fulfillment, but I know that wishes are rubbish, if they don’t come to pass, not something to build your life on, and God intended me to be a vibrant, fully-functioning, world-changing human being, not a hunched over bench-warmer. If I believe in a God waitingcross-2713356__4802who is all-powerful, a God who raised his son from the dead, a God who does miracles, a God who says emphatically, “all things are possible”, then I must believe that my lack of motivation, my reticence to take responsibility, my fickle commitment, my shoddy attempts, my mistakes, and my failures can be redeemed by the one who loves me and gifted me and is transforming me, even in my half-hearted yielding. Praise him, who knows are frailties and, yet, loves and uses us still! Not unlike my babies, as they waited in their beds for me to return, calling out for comfort, I wait on my Lord’s saving. But unlike my babies, I wait actively on the one who promises to complete the work he started in me some 46 years ago. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 15:52 that upon Christ’s return, in the twinkling of an eye, we who love and follow him shall all be changed for good. I can hardly wait.

 

Posts come out every Monday morning, a poem every third Monday. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to receive notifications of my posts via email. Follow me on Instagram username: pollyeloquent. Thanks for reading. 🙂

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Standing in the Storm

When most people think of Canada, they think of cold, ice, and snow. We specialize in winter up here. The province of British Columbia has milder temperatures the further south you go, but Canada is largely a chilly place for a substantial part of the year. I’mblizzard-91898_12802 from Alberta and winter can last close to six months with dumps of snow recorded even in the summertime.
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Here’s to the Great Sorter in the Sky

Take control of me, Jesus. The current management is woefully incompetent.

 

My son, like many other boys his age, loved to play with Lego. His imagination soared as he created all manner of scenes, structures, and creatures. One Mother’s Day, I even received a clever, Lego cake!legocake_Fotor

At one point, he began the daunting task of sorting his Lego. He made this decision, because it took too long to locate the particular piece he needed. Having obtained a load of it at a garage sale, I watched him patiently sorting through it for days.

One afternoon, I was helping him, while his younger sister looked on.

“Why are you helping him sort his Lego, Mummy?” she asked.

Without hesitation, I replied, “Because I love him”.

In the silence that followed, I had a moment of gratitude for the love of God
and His willingness to help me sort out so much more than just my Lego.

 

Complete the experience. Listen to Audrey Assad’s “Good to Me”. 

Posts come out every Monday morning, a poem every third Monday. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to receive notifications of my posts via email. Follow me on Instagram username: pollyeloquent. Thanks for reading. 🙂

Got Junk?

Does freaking out all the time make one a freak?

Self-awareness can be a scary venture. We all try to bury or look away from those things we don’t like about ourselves. Yet, if we want to grow in goodness and grace, we must take the time to examine who we have become. If it’s something we put off, because wagon-524514_19202we’re busy and reflection takes time and stillness, or because we’re afraid of what we might find, we will pay for it in our relationships. Too often, I’ve taken the train to destination unknown, all the while failing to note the scenery and I’ve ended up in Sorryville. It’s about being in the moment and it’s a matter of self-care. It’s something I struggle with on a daily basis.
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Pieces

I’m starting to piece my past together

                And at this point

I’m wondering

If my past should have been left in pieces

                                                   When I open up the wounds of my past

I suffer again

Having gained an understanding of why I suffered

It’s painful

But worth the pain

I think

    Understanding leads to forgiveness and healing

Healing is about wholeness

                                                                                      It’s about picking up the pieces

And putting them back together

One shard at a time

Fashioning something new

                     That glitters

When the light hits the jagged edges

 

Complete the experience. Listen to Gungor’s You Make Beautiful Things.

Posts come out every Monday morning, a poem every third Monday. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to receive notifications of my posts via email. Follow me on Instagram username: pollyeloquent. Thanks for reading. 🙂

 

What Does a Gal have to do to get a “Like” Around Here?

For those of you who enjoy watching movies and are around my age, you may remember the moment Sally Field received an Oscar for Best Actress in the 1985 film Places in the Heart. She was glowing and gushing as she delivered her acceptance speech, her bouncy curls combed high atop her head as was the style. (Watch the clip here.) She mentioned her cast and crew and her family and then went on to say something that has been mimicked and mocked ever since and I quote, “But I want to say thank you to you. I haven’t had an orthodox career and I’ve wanted more than anything to have your respect. The first time I didn’t feel it, but this time I feel it. And I can’t deny the fact that you like me. Right now! You like me!”
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Don’t just Live a Little

I can’t help but wonder. I keep it turned on.

marjorie-bertrand-147634The little girl I looked after today wasn’t two yet. I’d forgotten how utterly spontaneous they are at that age. On our way to the park, like a clumsy butterfly she landed here and there. She had to peek through the neighbor’s fence in search of doggies. She had to lie flat on her back in the grass, in the gravel, in the middle of the road. She tried, anyway. She caressed rocks and inspected pine cones and, at one point, sat down in the dark dirt and proceeded to cover herself with it. The idea that we were on our way to the park, the place designated for child’s play, meant nothing whatsoever to her. The world is her park.
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Seek First

God marks the way home with the bread of his Word.

I don’t know when the realization came that my priorities were off. I’d had inklings before and even after a disastrous number of years, I still didn’t clue in that I needed to wisdomgerdaltmannchange. I wish, as a human race, we could mature faster than we do, that our wisdom and ability to follow through wouldn’t show up just as our bodies are starting to give out. Am I the only one who feels like life has just begun and I’m almost in my 50’s?
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The Sacred Meet and Greet

Somebody needs you. Don’t keep them waiting.

It happens when we leave the house, often numerous times a day. Two people who know each other pass by in a hallway at work or on the sidewalk, at school or a conference, at a bar, a gym, or in the church foyer. Our eyes meet, we recognize each other, and we acknowledge each other with a greeting. We say “Hello”, “Hey there”, or we throw out a quick “Hi”.
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A Birthday Grief

So far the days have strayed since when we were together
Oh, how the hours have flown since I last held your hand
I long to hear your voice and trace your face and hold you nearer
And wish to never lose you again
Now time is marking days we spent in celebration
But in your absence, I am at a loss for joy
The day that you first graced this place, now a reminder
That you will tarry elsewhere evermore
Oh, God, who watched his closest friends desert, betray him
Oh, God, who died alone in agony
Oh, God, I clasp your promises in weakness and hang my head in heart-sick misery
I plead, though feebly, with the psalmist
Come satisfy as only you can do
I stumble onward, tearful, faithful, and in earnest
And trust that you will see me through

 

Author’s Note: This poem was written for a friend who lost his spouse.

Complete the experience. Listen to Danny Gokey’s Tell your Heart to Beat Again.

Posts come out every Monday morning, a poem every third Monday. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to receive notifications of my posts via email. Follow me on Instagram username: pollyeloquent. Thanks for reading. 🙂