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The Time I Didn’t Wait (CV Lay-off Week:10

Last week, we found out that Tim’s furlough was extended again, this time, until July 31st. Naturally, we wonder how many more extensions are in our future and what that looks like for our family. 

Psalm 27:14 is such a word to remember in the waiting. It says, “Wait for the LORD; be strong and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD.” 

Often times, when we think about the word, wait, we might get the idea that it’s a passive act. On the contrary, when we wait upon the Lord, it is an action. The Hebrew definition for wait means: to look for, hope, expect. When we wait for the Lord, we place our confidence in Him with hopeful expectation.

The time I didn’t wait

Last year, I wrote about a time that I didn’t wait on the Lord. Summer was quickly approaching; our daughter, Sarah, was away working at a camp for the season, and Justin was a few weeks launching out on his own. Tim’s new position at work would require some travel, and it would be me at home with our three youngest boys. I decided that I needed to do something for myself. 

I thought, why not start a furniture business? So, I began acquiring great vintage pieces to paint and market. I jumped in with both feet, and soon our garage was filled with treasures. But, every time I prayed about it, I sensed the Lord saying, “No, wait.” Still, I continued to paint and collect more pieces. I prayed about it again, and I received the same response, “No, wait.” 

Well, one morning, I woke up and said to myself, “What am I waiting for? Maybe God didn’t say no; I probably heard Him wrong.” That day, I created my Facebook business page, took countless pictures, and began listing my furniture. I was pleased with myself.

Friend, the VERY next day, we lost Justin. 

God said, “No, wait.” for a reason. He knew what I would be facing, and a furniture business would not at all fit into my journey. 

I share this story because lately, when my anxiety peaks, I’ve found myself thinking, “Hmm, maybe I need to start a side-hustle.” But, I learned a valuable lesson with my short-lived furniture business; no matter how bad I want to feel in control, it is always better to wait on the Lord. If He tells me to start a new business, now that’s a whole different story, isn’t it? 

So, for now, I wait upon Him.

You might be asking, what does waiting look like? How do we wait upon the Lord? Psalm 37:5 gives us some great insight on the matter. It says, “Commit your ways to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.”

The word commit means- to roll, to roll away, roll down. 

Do you see it? It’s a similar picture of 1 Peter 5:7, “Casting all our anxieties upon the Lord because he cares for you.” In our waiting, we are pushing, rolling all of the cares, questions, and concerns upon the Lord as we wait upon Him to act. Indeed, there is nothing passive about waiting. 

If you are in a season of waiting like me, set your gaze on Jesus, Friend. Take courage in the wait, stand firm with confidence; the Lord is faithful, and He will bring His plans to fruition. 

Until tomorrow,

Missy

Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD.        Psalm 27:14

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Hope that Surpasses Fear CV Lay-0ff Day:28

Christmas was in the rearview mirror, and the new year was only a few days away. My social media newsfeed contained post after post laced with excitement for 2020. I, on the other hand, felt complete dread. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get excited about a fresh new year. 

Things came to a fever-pitch one evening as I was preparing dinner for my family. As I stood with my back to my boys grating cheese at my kitchen counter, tears ran down my cheeks. I felt so anxious, I could hardly speak. No matter how hard I tried, I could not shake the feeling that another tragedy was imminent. 

Just as I turned to retrieve a bowl form the island, Psalm 23:4 sprung to my mind, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me.” I knew, without a doubt, the Lord was speaking to me. 

Instant relief ran through my entire body, and God’s peace settled upon my heart. A mini-movie played through my mind of all the ways that the Lord cared me for since losing Justin. I remembered the way He drew near and comforted me with His presence, and soothed my shattered heart with His healing balm. I thought to myself, even if 2020 held more trials and heartache, I would be okay because the Lord Himself would be with me. 

Today, almost four months later, I am circling back around to that same truth. Because, sometimes, the unknown future feels like a long and dark hallway, and it is frightening. But, the truth is, no matter what trial we might be facing, we won’t face it alone. The Good Shepherd will be with us, and He will sustain us once again. 

Until tomorrow,

Missy

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When Fear Comes Knocking CV Lay-Off Day: 15

Over the last two and a half years, I have struggled through gigantic waves of fear and anxiety. Not too long ago, I was waiting for my daughter to get home from work. I had dinner on the table when I realized she hadn’t made it back yet. I called her to see if she was running late; her phone went to voicemail. A few minutes later, I sent her a text asking if everything was okay. 

By this time, I served dinner, and the boys were full of conversation about the day. Though I appeared calm on the outside, my insides were in complete panic mode. If you know the story of losing Justin, you understand my train of thought. 

As I sat at the dinner table, I was not present, but imagining every worst-case scenario. As the minutes ticked by, a lump sat in my throat like cement. Finally, I whispered to my husband, 

“I am freaking out right now. Sarah’s not home, and she’s not answering her phone.” 

My tears began to spill, and as he reached over, I leaned into him. Just saying the words helped me to breathe. Sarah called me a few minutes later, and my world began turning again. As it turns out, our dear girl was talking to a friend after work, lost track of time, and forgot her phone in the car. 

After experiencing such a tragedy, it was natural for my thoughts to take the pathway that they did. But because I don’t want to live on fears teeter-totter, I must exercise the apostle Paul’s instruction when he said, “We take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5b)

So, what do I do the next time a dark cloud of fear ambushes me?

First, I pray. I tell the Lord exactly what I am afraid of; in this case, I might have prayed, Lord, I am so scared that something has happened to Sarah. Please help me not to fear, but to trust you. 

Second, I go to the Word. In times of great distress, I most often turn to the Psalms or the book of Isaiah. I go there because the Psalms and Isaiah point to our natural inclination to fear. The best thing I can do when I am in full-panic mode is to renew my mind in the truth. The Spirit of God ministers to me in the deepest recesses of my heart and soothes my distress with His peace. 

Lastly, I talk about it, usually with my husband. The more in the open that I can share my fears and worries, the less of a hold they have on me. Tim speaks truth to my heart and helps me to spot the lies from the enemy; how I love that man. 

I am nowhere near the end of this journey; it’s only just begun. But, I am writing this post because of our current climate with COVID-19. The unknown is frightening, and fear lurks waiting to consume us. 

Instead of inundating ourselves with every nuance of the virus, endless unemployment facts, and the 10,000 different opinions on social media, let’s anchor ourselves with the Word of God and put into practice Philippians 4:8:

“Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” 

Dear friend, let’s stay alert and guard our minds; this is a battle worth fighting. 

Until tomorrow,

Missy

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Peace in the Storm CV Lay-Off Day:7

When I was a new mom, I met an Irish woman at church named Rosie. She had flaming red hair kept in a pixie cut. Her sense of humor was razor-sharp, and she held a wealth of wisdom in her petite frame.

At the time, Tim was taking a full load of classes at seminary and working fulltime at the hospital. Most of my days consisted of just Justin and me. I noticed that Justin started to misbehave in the late afternoon, making the home stretch to bedtime feel like an eternity. One day, I shared my concern with Rosie. She looked me in the eyes, and with empathy, she said something to the effect of, “Missy, no wonder. the hours from 5:00-7:00 pm are known as the arsenic hour.”

At the time, that sounded a little sinister to me, but now, five kids and twenty-some years later, I get it. By dinner time, I come in limping, and tonight was no exception. Tim was making chicken on the grill, and I was at the kitchen counter, cutting up vegetables for our salad. Sarah was trying to tell me a story, two of the boys were chasing each in and out of the house, and our youngest was crying because he got hurt in the middle of the chaos.

Tim called Sarah and me outback and said we had to see the sunset, my favorite. As I stepped outside, I caught a glimpse of the sky filled with glowing pink clouds. I breathed in deeply, unclinched my jaw, and drank in the beauty. And in a single moment, I heard, “Peace! Be still.” At that point, I walked back into the house, out the front door, and crossed the street to the cotton field to get a better look. I repeated to myself, “Peace! Be still!” And when I did, I thought of the story in Mark 4:35-41.

Jesus and the disciples were winding down after a long day of their own. Jesus had just spent the day speaking to massive crowds. He said to his disciples, “Let us go across to the other side.” The Scripture goes on to tell the rest of the story:

“Upon leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still.: And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

As I gazed at the sky, now almost twilight, I knew that the Spirit reminded me of Jesus’ words not only because of the chaos happening in our home, but the storm that we are facing with Tim’s lay-off. There are no guarantees that Tim will have his job back in eight weeks. We don’t know how long it with take the travel industry to bounce back.

The truth is, my security is challenged, and it is frightening. But just like the disciples, I must take Jesus’ words to heart, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?”

As I began walking back to our house, fragments of Colossian 1:15-17 played through my mind,

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him, all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him, all things hold together.”

Nothing is a surprise to God. He created heaven and earth, and all things visible and invisible. The One who calms the storm holds us with his right hand. 

Are you facing a storm in your life?  How can I pray for you? Please leave a comment or send me a message. I would love to pray for you.

Until tomorrow,

Missy