Throwback Thursday: while we wait

blogDSCN6837Almost 10 years ago, I started this Mama’s Empty Nest blog. Since then some aspects of life have changed and some have not. I’ve decided to share throw-back posts from the earlier years of this blog every now and then. Sort of a walk down memory lane.

Today’s post is a Thursday throwback to that year – 2010 – just a month after I initiated this blog.  My hope today is that these words offer encouragement to my readers as we wait for this difficult and trying time to end.  

Have you ever felt like you are just hung out to dry? Like you have no more stamina than a wet shirt hanging limply on a clothesline?

You’ve been tossed and twisted by life like dirty laundry agitating in a washing machine.  Thrown abruptly into a clothes basket with all the other soggy ones. 

Hauled out cold, wrinkled and rumpled, hung up by your shirt tails, and now you just hang there — waiting.

Laundry hanging on a clothesline must be unsightly to some people. I’ve read about some being fined for hanging wet, clean laundry outside because it is illegal in their neighborhoods. Sounds ludicrous to those of us who live in the country and have the freedom to air our clean laundry outside.

Freshly washed clothes suspended on a clothesline, slowly weaving and waving back and forth in the summer breeze like a playful child enjoying a swing, is a happy sight to me.  Crisp white sheets flapping their wings like angels as they float and flit through flurries of air remind me of pleasant memories.

In my childhood days, when my mother would ask me to help hang laundry on the clothesline, I could hardly wait for the washer to finish its last spin cycle.  I admired how Mom lined up the clothes in certain order.

One’s clothesline had to look proper back then, and Mom taught me the correct way to position clothes on the line – small items gradually moving to larger, whites all together, darks on the back line. To this day, I hear my mother’s instructions when I meander out to my back yard clothesline.

Today was a perfect day for hanging out laundry. The temperature was warm, the breeze was airy, and the sun was shining brightly. White clothes especially yearn to be hung outside to dry. There’s nothing like the sun to make your whites whiter than white.  No detergent or bleach, improved or not, can compete with brilliant sunshine.

As always, hanging out laundry elicits not just sweet memories of my mother, but a sweet fragrance as well. I enjoy taking laundry down from the clothesline as much as I enjoy hanging them up with clothespins.

Clothes dried outside in the sun and fresh air have the cleanest aroma ever. That scent invigorates me and that’s probably why I’m an easy mark for any air freshener, candle, or diffuser that boasts clean linen or fresh linen as its name.

Today, I got to inhale a whiff of the real thing. And I loved it. I wonder why more people don’t hang laundry outside to dry. You would think in this age of “clean and green” people would take advantage of this way to save energy. I imagine it comes down to not having time, or more likely, not wanting to wait.

We humans don’t relish waiting for anything. We are spoiled by instant gratification in everything we do. Computers, modern day appliances, ready to heat and eat meals, drive-through restaurants, banks, even pharmacies, ATMs and online services,  everything we need delivered ASAP.  Why wait?

So let’s face it – hanging clothes outside on a clothesline forces you to wait. Sometimes it takes all day for the clothes to dry and if you just popped them into your dryer, they would be ready to wear in no time.

For most of us, waiting is just plain difficult. I’ve encountered my fair share of waiting.  There’s nothing as nerve-wracking as waiting for medical test results when you fear the worst. I experienced that situation five (now almost 15) years ago waiting for biopsy results. While I found the waiting extremely difficult, even painful, I also found peace while I waited.

Cancer surgery was performed and I waited again to recover;  radiation treatments followed and I waited some more. More tests, another biopsy required more waiting.   Once you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, even the treatable kind, you feel like you live in waiting mode for the next doctor’s appointment, the next test, the next cancer-free milestone.

Years before,  my mother whom I loved so deeply faced her own daunting trial –incurable cancer. After exhausting treatments and much prayer, there was nothing left to do but wait for the inevitable – her journey home to Jesus. That wait was excruciating.

As a believer in Jesus Christ,  I turned to the book of Psalms for comfort during both times. God speaks to us about waiting in so many passages of His guidebook for life. 

King David wrote “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word, I put my hope” in Psalm 130:5.  Likewise in Psalm 27:14, he said, “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” 

Psalm 40 is yet another prayer for help when you are faced with trials and waiting is overwhelming.  Often we just need to wait on God’s timing or instructions. While we are waiting, He can teach us abundantly. While we are waiting, we can still serve Him and worship Him.

In the quietness of waiting, I personally have felt the most connected to my Savior. Even though results weren’t what I desired, He gave me strength to face my trials. I realized my need to rely on Him, depend on Him, trust in Him, relinquish it all to Him, and live for Him. 

And I learned that while I waited.

My husband’s favorite passage of scripture is from Isaiah 40:31 ~ “Those that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles.  They shall run and not grow weary.  They shall walk and not faint.”

I think waiting on God’s timing does strengthen us, even when we’re vulnerable and weak. Sometimes while we wait, He is silent but He’s always there.  You can sense His sweet, clean fragrance wafting over you. And the good news is He’s coming again!  We just need to…….wait.

“So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.” ~ Hebrews 9:28

I believe God never leaves us hanging out to dry.  Do you? 

©2010 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

We are waiting. But it is for good reason. And while we wait, let’s hang on to hope. Stay safe, dear readers, and have patience to wait and think of others. Check on your loved ones, neighbors, and friends. And pray.

“When our waiting is intentional, when it signifies surrender to a better plan, a better timeline, a higher calling, then we are waiting with purpose.” ~ Mark & Jill Herringshaw, from “When the Going Gets Tough, The Tough Wait.” 

©2020 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Throwback Thursday: stop fishing

blogIMG_3009Almost 10 years ago, I started this Mama’s Empty Nest blog. Since then some aspects of life have changed and some have not. I’ve decided to share throw-back posts from the earlier years of this blog every now and then. Sort of a walk down memory lane.

Today’s post is a Thursday throwback to the year 2011. Back in January of that year, I wrote this post and today, I think it can still offer encouragement to my readers as we “shelter in place and flatten the curve.” 

Patience is not always my strong suit. It’s a virtue that I’ve tried hard to develop over the years and I think I’ve succeeded somewhat.

When that overwhelming urge wells up in me to complain over the slowness of the checkout line, or the traffic ahead of me, I’ve learned to squelch it. I silently ask myself what’s my big hurry? Is waiting five more minutes going to make that much of a difference? The answer is usually no.

But when I’m forced to wait for answers to the big deals in my life, I admit it isn’t so easy. Currently, I’m in waiting mode. My jet plane is flying in a holding pattern, just circling the landing strip, waiting for the signal that all is well, proceed to land. And it’s not easy.

I heard a snippet of information today that made an impact on my way of thinking.   Corrie ten Boom survived the heinous Nazi concentration camps during World War II, and wrote the book, The Hiding Place.  She once commented that God cast our sins into the depths of the ocean and then posted a sign that read “No Fishing Allowed.”

I liked the visual picture her words painted for me. And it prompted me to take this picture and apply it to my current holding pattern. I think we can cast our anxieties into the depths of the ocean just like God throws our sin into the deep.

If God is majestic enough to take care of the tiniest piece of plankton or the smallest sea creature in that ocean, He can handle any problem I encounter. He has the power to control the tides of the vast seas and if He is mighty enough to do that, He is powerful enough to wash my worries and concerns out to sea with the waves He commands.

But here’s where I must do my part. Once I cast my cares on Him, into the ocean of His love and sovereignty, I need to stop fishing them back out. Today on this 18th page of Chapter One in my new book of Opportunity, I need to put down my fishing pole, pick up my Bible and wait for God’s perfect timing.

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.  Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” ~ 1 Peter 5:6-8 (New International Version)  ©2011 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Be encouraged, dear readers, and cast your anxieties on God. He cares for each one of us.

“Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength.”  ~ Charles Spurgeon

©2020 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

While you wait

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Waiting for the sheets to dry

From the doctor’s office to sitting in traffic, we’ve all done our fair share of it. Waiting, that is. Depending on your level of patience, waiting can either be just a little blip in the road or a major interruption.

Waiting just happens to be the theme for this week’s photo challenge and I’ve found that I just don’t have the time right now to wait for an idea of inspiration to come to me nor do I have a few spare moments to think about a photo to accompany my words.

So, to keep you, my readers, from waiting any longer, I’m recycling a photo (above) and a post I wrote seven years ago not long after I began my blogging journey here on Word Press. Way back then, I shared my thoughts about waiting and you can read them by clicking here.

“You usually have to wait for that which is worth waiting for.”~ Craig Bruce

©2017 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

We wait

blogimg_6827-2This week’s WordPress photo challenge, “anticipation,” is appropriate for the week leading up to Christmas.

Anticipation.  Something we look forward to. Something we wait for.

Anticipation. We wait. 

When you’re a child and your family follows the custom of jolly old St. Nick visiting your house via the chimney on Christmas Eve to fill your stockings and load up the floor beneath the tree with gifts, this photo definitely personifies ‘anticipation,’ especially when that plate is loaded with homemade cookies and that mug is filled with milk.

Anticipation. We wait.

It’s what we believers in Christ do as we celebrate the Advent Season leading up to Christmas Day. We wait. We anticipate that holy day to celebrate the most miraculous gift of all to all. A Savior born into this world named Jesus Christ.

Anticipation. We wait.

And even though our Savior came to earth as a wee babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a lowly manger long ago, we still wait.

With anticipation. We wait. Why? Because someday He’s coming back to this earth in all His glory. That will be a day worth waiting for. 

“Anticipation is a gift. Perhaps there is none greater. Anticipation is born of hope. Indeed it is hope’s finest expression.” ~ Steven L. Peck

©2016 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com