Friday, August 31, 2012


    Waiting is no fun. In our family we are waiting for the birth of our third child.We've been waiting and looking forward to this for so many months and now it could happen any day. We had a little false alarm on Monday and it had us all on edge. This is going to happen...and soon! But all that excitement just made the waiting a little bit harder when the contractions faded away again. When is our little daughter going to arrive? When are we going to hear her little voice? When are we going to see her beautiful face and feel the brush of her soft baby skin? And so we wait and we pray and we entrust ourselves to God's timing.
    Waiting just isn't easy to do. Every experience...even the waiting experiences...are good for us. God uses them to grow us and teach us patience. He reminds us that it's his time-table...not ours. He doesn't want us to worry and stress out because our plan isn't going as we planned or our timing isn't going as we've timed it. He's going to work all things for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28) and that promise extends also to when things happen.
    I was reminded again recently of that beautiful serenity prayer: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. What an excellent prayer. What valuable gifts to ask our Father to give us. What a great reminder for ourselves every time we pray it.
     As we continue waiting for our daughter to arrive, we'll pray that prayer and relax and leave the timing in God's hands. Soon enough, when the time is right our amazing blessing will arrive. As I work on writing my book and experience the ups and downs of following that passion, I'll continue to pray that prayer. As I continue my life's journey with all its twists and turns, its mountains and valleys, its sweet joys and moments of pain and heartbreak, its successes and setbacks, I'll continue to pray that prayer and rejoice in the gifts God has given. Afterall, no matter what happens, the reality remains that I am a child of God by his grace, that I have a perfect Savior who's life, death and coming to life again have ransomed me forever. Now each day I can live in that fresh confidence, even if today God wants me to be patient and wait on his timing.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Real Connections

Acceptance. We're all looking for it on some level. The need to feel like you're important and that people love you is ingrained deep in our souls. God made us that way. He made us as social creatures who hunger for connection with others and with himself. It's one of our basic human needs. When that need is not met or understood people suffer, problems and pain rip us apart or linger in the deeper regions of our psyche. Our relationships with loved ones suffer further damage through our own reactions or defense mechanisms. It's our lack of connection to God that causes all of those problems and so much more. Can you imagine what it will be like in heaven when we fully experience the deepest possible harmony with God and each other? When we fell into sin we tragically lost that harmony. What we call "normal life" right now is not normal. It is not normal to deal with the pain and conflict and misunderstanding and lack of trust and all that comes with it. We can't re-create Eden on earth, even though many human movements try to do that. We can't get true harmony again by tolerating sin or sinful lifestyles. Only God can bring us back into harmony with himself through his powerful truth. Only he can give us true worth and a good, healthy relationship with himself. He did that by sending his Son, Jesus, to take our sins and credit us with his perfection. Only through God's gift of faith in Jesus as our Savior do we have any positive connection with God. Only through Jesus do we grow in our relationship and connection with one another. We love because he first loved us.

The main character in my novel is wracked by his inability to connect with others. Some of it is his own fault and sinful resentments. His community is also largely to blame. I really want his struggle to resonate with people...especially people who have been damaged by the lovelessness of others and their own sinful responses. It's this impulse to find acceptance and honor in his community that will lead to his adventures and self-discoveries. He's going to need to grow in his understanding of who his God is and what God has done for him and will do. Don't we all? One of my prayers in writing this book is that those who read it also grow in their understanding and appreciation for God's undeserved mercy and grace. All of us feel disconnected on some level. Only God can truly save us, heal us and reconnect us as his people.