We’re still waiting for Grandbaby #3 to be born! Any day now, we hope… but boy it’s tough to wait when all I want to do is hug on that precious newborn. (I’m sure his Mom and Dad are equally excited to welcome their son into the world, eh Chandler and Brett?)
This year we are excitedly awaiting Paxton’s arrival but I have noticed that we always seem to be “waiting expectantly” every Christmas season. Advent is a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Birth of Jesus at Christmas. We wait for Christmas festivities, gift-giving, a New Year to begin. New opportunities, new possibilities, new memories to be made! We’re already planning summer vacations and events to put on next year’s calendar. Sometimes I get so excited and ahead of myself, I just can’t wait for it all to happen right away! It’s weird, but the fun sometimes is in the waiting…not knowing what to expect! It’s being pleasantly surprised, being caught off guard, to not have things turn out the way I planned them. That is Life’s journey. I like to make my plans but sometimes it’s God allowing some unexpected curves on my well-thought-out path that makes life interesting.
I think the hardest thing for me to do…EVER…is wait. I am not the “waiting” kind! I want things to happen yesterday, meaning I don’t have much patience or stamina to wait for anything, ever!
I learned I had this problem with waiting, especially around Christmas time and birthdays. I could not wait for Christmas or my birthday to arrive. It was my thinking and anticipating about all the great presents I would get that probably threw me over the edge. I just couldn’t wait to open all those gifts and start playing with all my new stuff.
One year, I must have been six or seven years old, curiosity finally got the better of me. My parents had put me to bed and then went downstairs into the basement to wrap my presents for Christmas. They did not know it, but a few months previously, my parents had inadvertently allowed me to discover a hidden secret in my room when they had moved my dresser to make room for a new bed. The heat register, that had once been hidden under my dresser, was now visible if I crawled under my new bed. The ‘secret’ was that it wasn’t really a heat register, it was just a hole that looked straight down from my room into the basement below. Crawling under my bed I had a clear view of our ping-pong table that was being used as my parent’s wrapping paper production line. While they talked and wrapped up all the toys for my brother and me, they had no idea that I was peering down through that little hole in the floor and watching every move they made.
I was as excited as I could be knowing the great gifts I would get at Christmas, and it took everything in me to not blurt out that I knew what I was getting for Christmas. However as the weeks dragged on until the big day, I discovered something else. I was not as excited about Christmas as I had been before I knew what I was getting. There was something about the anticipation of waiting that I had not counted on. I knew exactly what I would get at Christmas and I didn’t look forward to the day with the excitement I had in previous years. There was no surprise element! In fact, the more I knew what I was getting, the more disappointed I was. It wasn’t that I didn’t like the toys, I did…my parents had got me almost all the things on my ‘wish list’, but I was still disappointed. The whole fun of the day I had ruined for myself by not waiting.
I have often thought about how often God has asked me to wait, to be patient, to not run ahead of Him so I might miss out on what He wants to do in my life. The fun is anticipatingly waiting on Him! I’m a break neck speed type of gal. I like the fact I can cook supper in five minutes in my microwave, or I can message a friend around the world using my cell phone or Facebook. I don’t like to wait but lately God is challenging me to slow down, be patient and enjoy my time in…waiting.
So what am I doing while I’m waiting? Well, sometimes I don’t ‘DO’ anything. There is a time to be busy but there are also times to be still. I have enjoyed having some time to appreciate stillness! I have also enjoyed this time anticipating what it will be like to be a grandma of a newborn…again! I’ve been having fun going through some photo albums when MY children were babies and when my first two grandchildren were born. I have enjoyed time spent with my husband, and our adult children, thankful for the blessings each of them are to me.
I have had to continually remind myself to slow down enough to enjoy those spur-of-the-moment times with family and friends that are totally unplanned and unexpected. As much as I look forward with great expectation to what will happen a day, a week, a year from now, I need to remind myself to enjoy those in-between days, those sometimes mundane but spontaneous, out-of-the blue occurrences that catch me totally off-guard but give me a lifetime memory. I know I may make my plans but God directs my steps. (Proverbs 16:9) It may not be at all like I expected, but whatever may come…
I am learning the value of waiting.