Cultivate as you Wait

I was getting impatient.

Sitting in the hard, uncomfortable chairs, my son and I were hoping his name would be called next.  Even with an appointment, we waited two hours at the DMV for his driving test this week.  The good news is he passed, but the bad news is that I kept complaining while we were waiting.    

Waiting is hard. 

In our fast-paced world where we can get information at the touch a button or a package delivered the next day, it is no wonder that we struggle with waiting. 

What if we looked at waiting with a different perspective? 

I just finished reading a book called Cultivate by Lara Casey.  She looks at life through the lens of gardening, and I loved what she shared about waiting.  Listen to this quote, “In the wait we are refined. Changed. Readied for whatever He has ahead for us.  Times of waiting are times of ripening.”

Have you ever taken a bite out of a piece of fruit that has not completely ripened?  I tried eating a peach that I thought was ripe; however, it was hard, juiceless, and tasted so bad that I had to spit it out.  It needed more time to ripen.

Just like fruit needs time to ripen, we need time to grow into the person God created us to be.

Growing involves waiting. Waiting for God to prepare us, teach us, and ready us for all He has planned. Instead of complaining about the wait, what if we saw the wait as a gift.  I love what Lara says in her book, “In the wait, cultivate.”

What do you need to cultivate as you wait? 

Lara gives us lots of action words for cultivate: “serve, nurture, nourish, prepare, encourage, improve, refine, pay attention, foster growth, loosen and break up hard ground, and care for what you’ve been given.”

Maybe you need to nourish your soul by reading God’s word regularly or perhaps you need to break up hard ground and identify a trigger that keeps you stuck.  Using the cultivate list above, I recommend picking an action word that you want to work on during your wait.

Friends, I know that waiting can be hard.  I am in a season of waiting on God’s timing for my book and there are times that I want to rush the process. 

But just like we cannot rush fruit to ripen, we cannot rush God’s timing in our life either.

When you begin to doubt His perfect timing, I want you to go to the store and buy your favorite fruit.  As you bite into it and taste all its goodness from waiting to be fully ripened, I want you to remember that God is doing the same for you as you wait to fully ripen!

Love, Jodi

Ripple Effects

I love this illustration.

“Just think if ripples spread out across our lake when you throw your rocks into the water, how do the words you say and the things you do affect the people around you?  And then, how do these people affect the people around them?”

In her new book, Ripple Effects, Pam Tebow shares how she taught this important lesson to her kids at a young age.   Her youngest son, Tim Tebow, is a well-known football and baseball player.  He positively influences others by sharing his faith and helping others through his foundation.   

I remember reading his book, Shaken, a couple of years ago and thinking it would be amazing to meet his mother and ask her what lessons she instilled in her son.  I am so thankful that she shares all of this in her new book and I highly recommend reading it. 

Listen to this quote: “Who has the power to impact a decision, inspire a positive action, prompt a helpful change, turn a life (or many) around for the better, and leave an eternal imprint?  You do!” 

Friends, we all have influence, the power to positively influence others! 

We do not have to be famous or have a huge platform.  Our choices, our words, our actions, they daily influence our kids, our friends, our co-workers, our neighbors, and everyone we meet.

Pam shares an important truth; “Our influence is not about whether we are adequate.  It’s about allowing God to use us and our experiences to leave an eternal imprint on the people we encounter in our lives.”  I love that God uses our stories to make an impact on others and tell His Story. 

God use our strengths as well as our inadequacies, our mistakes, and our challenges. 

None of this disqualifies us.  Listen to what Pam says, “Don’t give the enemy access to your pen or computer to finish your story.  Remember even the challenges can be moments of influence.  People in your sphere are watching you.  They need to see if you can trust your God when your world falls apart. Is a happy ending still possible? Is your God big enough?”

Friends, when your world is turned upside down, yet you still choose to have faith that God is in control, you are sending out influential ripple effects of faith!   Pam says in her book, “the way we respond to tough circumstances reveals what we believe about God.”   

I truly believe how we respond to the storms in our lives impacts those around us. 

What does your life story reveal about your faith in God?  Are you pointing others to God during your tough circumstances?  

I know it is not easy to trust God when your world is falling apart.  I have been there. I know there are doubts and questions. I think it is okay to ask why but friends, I don’t want you to get stuck there.

God wants to exchange your “why” with a “what”.  Instead of asking, Why do you have me in this hard circumstance.  He wants you to ask, What do you want to teach me as you guide me through this circumstance? 

As we run to God in the pain, my prayer is that we can trust Him through the questions and doubts and build a strong faith muscle that others can see.  My hope is that your story will become God’s story and impact others!

Love, Jodi