“Just a minute”
The words are said frequently around here. With four kids (and a husband and two dogs), there is a near constant pull for my attention.
“When will dinner be ready?”
In just a minute.
My 2 year old yells “Mommyyyyyyy!” into the bathroom and sticks his chubby little hands under the door.
“Mommy needs just a minute, ok?”
“Can you help me with…..?”
“Honey, where is my…..”
“Mommy, I want to show you….”
Just a minute. Admittedly there are times when it sounds more like, “FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS DECENT, CAN I PLEASE HAVE JUST. ONE. MINUTE?”
It’s not always a real minute. Sometimes it’s far less. Sometimes I just need a few more seconds to get that last dish in the dishwasher and dry my hands. Sometimes its longer. Sometimes the food actually needs about five more minutes before it’s done. But my family knows that my “just a minute” means I have it all under control and the answer is, “not right now, but soon!” That’s not to say that they are completely patient with their waiting because, let’s face it, sometimes waiting is hard.
That same sweet two-year-old is not so sweet when his chicken needs more than “just a minute” to cool. But I know better than to give it to him hot, so even though he protests, he still has to wait. Maybe what makes waiting so hard is that it’s often chosen for us, and we don’t have any control over how long it will last.
Recently, we had some friends coming to visit and they were running late. My eight-year-old kept asking, “When will they get here?” I just kept answering, “Hopefully any minute.” She sat at the kitchen table and sighed heavily.
“I hate waiting,” she said. “Waiting is no fun!”
I was quickly taken back to a time two years prior when we were “waiting” as a family to be matched to our little guy for adoption and I had said those exact words to a friend of mine. The paperwork seemed unending. No one was in a hurry like we were. We did lots and lots of waiting. We knew there was goodness ahead for us, but we had to wait.
That waiting felt hard.
I looked at my sad eight-year old daughter and said the same words to her that my loving friend had said to me back then, “There will always be waiting in life, but you get to choose what to do while you wait.” My friend had encouraged me to find the purpose in the waiting. Stop looking at it as a means to an end. Don’t spend your time waiting for the next best thing. Love the now. Her words brought clarity to my weary, clouded heart. I chose from that moment to breathe in the goodness of the day. We still prepared and prayed for our match to come soon, but in the meantime, we made memories (the good kind where you imagine them playing as a slide show set to some Wonder Years music).
Our waiting did come to an end! We were blessed with the most perfect match for our family. We couldn’t imagine our lives without him, and had we gone through the process faster, we would not have been matched to him. Now, when we talk about the whole adoption and waiting process, we have stories that make us smile and laugh.
I’ve learned that there will always be something to wait for. As soon as our waiting to be matched was over, I moved right on to “waiting for him to sleep through the night,” followed by “waiting for him to finally break that first tooth.” Even on those sleepless nights, I reminded myself that God’s plan was not for me to wish the time away. Had I hurried through those early stages with lamentations, I would have missed so much good stuff. Wishing time away is like taking a road trip and complaining until you reach your destination, only to find that there were some pretty cool things to see along the way.
We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.
Be encouraged. Whatever it is you are waiting for: that adoption, a pregnancy, a new job, healing, love…..trust that it’s all under control, and maybe the good Lord needs “just a minute.” It’s not time yet, but soon. In the meantime, find purpose in the waiting. Look for joy in the moments so that when you look back on your time of waiting, it can be filled with the good stuff.
By His Grace,
A native of San Diego, Heather loves the ocean (but not going in it). While she dreams of having a water view one day, for now she is happiest when she is with her family and a cup of coffee in her hand. She and her husband Brian have been married for fifteen years and love to take their four kids (ages two to thirteen) on road trip adventures.
Heather grew up in a Christian home and gave her heart to the Lord at a young age. But it wasn’t until College that she understood the true love of Christ. After receiving her Bachelors degree in communication writing, she pursued a Masters degree in communication studies. Heather has been a forensics and debate coach, a professor, a ghostwriter, and a business owner. Her favorite job though, is making her home a loving and thriving place. She has a passion for DIY, holistic medicine, and healthy eating.
Heather loves connecting with people and making them feel valued. She hopes you’ll grab your cup of coffee (or tea) and maybe laugh a little as you feel those “me too” moments in her words. http://alittlecoffeealotofjesus.blogspot.com