Posts Tagged ‘God’s timing’

Somehow eight minutes elapsed between the time I last glanced at the clock to when I got in my car. Now, I ran behind. Arrgh. I hate to be late.

traffic_light_05Of course the first traffic light I came to turned red just as I drove up. Really? One of the longest lights in my city and I am stuck at it. My fingers tapped the steering wheel as my gaze kept darting from the stop symbol to the clock on my dashboard.

Finally, green. Then, from there on in, I sailed through the next four lights, all on green! Even the left turn one onto the highway. Hurrah! Lo and behold I made up those few minutes I’d spent in frustration waiting for the first traffic light to change.

Oh – another God-lesson seeped into my brain and I slid down in my seat feeling a bit sheepish. Sometimes waiting is good. Okay, I get that.

God may have us halt for a while, but that is because it is in our best interest. It is not yet time for us to move. But when we do, in His timing, then we zip along and everything is a “go”.
Have you had that happen to you? I have. It is if every possible obstacle suddenly parts like the Red Sea. When we are in His will, paths are made straight. Waiting on God to say “Go” is well worth the wait…every time.

The next time I am getting impatient, Lord may I recall the traffic light lesson. Thank you for letting me find You today as I stared at the red, waiting for the green.

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DSCF8872Why is it that we seek after what we do not have?

Human nature tells us the grass is greener across the fence. I had been coveting one pasture for quite sometime. Lush, shady, secure. Prime real estate. If I ended up there, people would respect me, and maybe be a bit envious. The idea lured me. I even put my foot on the lower rung, ready to hoist myself over by my own strength.

I had a chance six months ago to chat with an acquisition editor employed by one of the most renown publishing houses. She dangled the carrot and I chased after it.  I’ve always been a mystery buff and several people had tickled my ear to try writing one. I presented my idea and she told me it seemed to have all the elements and submit it. I couldn’t wait for the conference to be over so I could dash back to my keyboard. I brainstormed three synopses and wrote the first three chapters of the first novel as a tickler to show her my style. She responded by email that she looked forward to reviewing it…

For days on end I’d check my in box. Nothing. A week went by, a month, three months. I emailed her again in case it had hit her spam file. Nothing. I kept writing and when I finished the first draft I sent her another correspondence. Yep, nary a response. My ego deflated like a whistling balloon.  I felt unworthy, questioned my writing ability and almost gave up.

God yanked me off that fence so fast I landed on my rear end. And it hurt.

But God knew what lay on the other side of the fence was not in my best interest.

I learned it meant sticking with the publisher I had. The one who treats me well, appreciates my writing, always responds quickly to every email I send, and is willing to promote me. DUH- why look elsewhere?

Even though mystery was not a genre they’d ever published, I  felt a strong urge to query the editor in chief. I gulped and hit “send.” Within two hours she replied very positively. In another five days, I had a contract in hand FOR ALL THREE novels!

The Hebrews whined they had no meat in the wilderness when they had flocks of animals with them. God provided. Even when they continued to whine. David couldn’t help watching the wife of his troop commander bathe, even though he had a loving wife, and his desires lead him to leap where he didn’t belong. Greener looking grass lures us every time.

If you find yourself focused on climbing the fence to get to that softer, verdant, shadier landscape you may be ignoring the wildflowers right underneath your feet. Sure, goals are important, but so is God’s timing and His purpose. His blessings are all around you. Seek those, thank Him for what He has provided, and trust that He will tell you when it is time to explore a new field of opportunity.

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Have you ever had everything suddenly fall into place? Your heartfelt, deepest dream come true? This week, I did. And I saw God’s fingerprints all over it. It brought me to my knees in tearful gratitude.

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Six years ago I had a dream – write a novel and attract a well know publishing house.For five years the windows and doors slammed in my face.  I indy-pubbed one novel that has had mild success and six non-fiction works. But still, I was not recognized in the Christian publishing world.

Over the past year and a half, that dream has come true…twice!  At first the curtains quivered. Then a ray of light poured in with one email in response to a query- I was under contract for Hush in the Storm. Was it really happening? My dream slowly evolved into truth. My eyes began to adjust. Inch by inch, more light streamed into my dream, waking me into the fact this is a reality. Dare I believe it?

Then the editor-in-chief of Prism Book Group, the publishing house who contracted with me, read my novel and proclaimed it as “brilliant, just brilliant, and A+++.”  She asked if I had another WIP (work in progress), which I did.  I’d just finished the first draft of the next novel, Legitimate Lies. Within an hour I had my second contract and an editor assigned to me. Within two days, I had the cover already done!

Last week, I signed up for a book e-blast to advertise Hush in the Storm’s launch on August 6th.  I expected them to blast it across cyberspace in a few weeks when Hush in the Storm releases. Then I got an email that it was my “blast day.” My heart sunk. Oh, no. I’ve wasted my money. It’s too early. Three hours later, I got a surprise email from my publisher. My novel was on Amazon at a pre-order discount rate!

The curtains drew back, the sash flew open, and the sun poured in. God’s timing evident. I felt His warmth envelop me, His perfect love pat me on the back.”See,” I heard His soft whisper to my heart, “I’ve got this.”

Within two days, I have landed four book signings and my press release has been accepted by five local papers, which will reach 125,000 readers. Just like that. Ads for my signings will also appear the week they happen. Sash inched higher and higher. Fresh, fragrant air whiffed in, like the first spring day after a long winter.

ECover copy I don’t know if I will sell 50 or 50,000 copies. That is truly in God’s hands. All I know is when I finally hold it in paperback form next month,they are going to shake with joy as my lips quiver – just as when I first held my son moments after birth.

After all, a Christian novel is like a baby. You have long gestation period when you wonder how it is forming and if it will be okay. Then you get a contract and the heartbeats sound stronger and stronger. You feel small flutters, then kicks as it grows and evolves through the help of critique groups. Near the end, the labor pains of editing start. Finally, it happens – a new creation, orchestrated by God becomes a tangible, hold-in-your-hands reality.

.I trust in the fact He will use it to His glory and touch hearts with it’s message, just as He has planned. He already knows whose faith-walk it will encourage, and who will be respond to it’s message. It’s time…His time.

Thank you dearest Lord for honoring my dream. How undeserving I feel, and humbly blessed. I wonder what unstated dreams hiding in my soul You are waiting to bring to fruition next…

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After a two-hour drive, minus one pit-stop, my friend and I pulled up to the church in a strange town where in another month’s time we would be conducting a workshop for the women of my denomination. It had not been a good morning so far. The gas pump ran out of gas. so I grumbled as I had to pay $2.24 and then get in the car, back around, go to another gas station and fill the car the rest of the way. Then, It seemed that every slow driver in a 100 mile radius had descended on the highway in front of me. Grrr. And of course, every traffic light turned red just as I pulled up. And, when my bladder told me I probably should stop at a convenience store before arriving at the church, I grumbled again. “Sorry, I told my friend. I hate to be late, but…”

I decided to get a cup of coffee, because it seemed rude to use the facilities and not buy something. Besides, there was no one else at the counter, so what was another thirty seconds, right? But, of course, I had to wait for the cashier to get more change, As he tapped the bankers roll of quarters, my lips curled into a smile. But my mind screamed, Hurry, hurry.

But, at last we arrived at the church grounds. I looked at my dashboard clock. Five minutes to spare. I asked my friend who rode shotgun, “How could that be when I’ve been running late all morning?”

As we got out of the car, I noticed a woman sitting on a bench under a tree.  At first I thought she might be one of the ladies we were supposed to meet to go over the logistics of the workshop. Maybe she was early, too and didn’t have a key. I said, “Hi”.

The woman’s shoulders almost folded into her torso. She gave me a quick glance, then her eyes darted back to her hands.  “It’s so peaceful here. Is it okay if I just sit?”

It was then I noticed her red nose and eyes. She was crying. I looked at my friend. I think we both sensed that if the two of us approached this distraught person, it might overwhelm her. My friend discovered the door was unlocked, nodded, and slipped inside.

I walked over to the crying young woman and asked if I could pray with her. She shrugged. “I guess.”

She appeared uncomfortable. So, I told her I was visiting from out-of-town and gave her my first name. Her face relaxed a bit, as if she was relieved I might not know someone who knew her, the way small towns often work. She gave me her first name. I sat beside her, put my arm around her and held her. SIlently, I asked the Holy Spirit to give me the words to say out loud that would comfort her. I heard the message, “Tell her I love her.I always have and I always will.”  

As I prayed that, I felt her body ease. After I said, “Amen.”,  she whispered, “Thanks. How did you know what to pray for?”

I blinked back my own tears.  “God did that. He told me what to pray. Trust me, He loves you more than you can ever imagine. He will never, ever stop, no matter what. So, hang in there, okay?”

As I walked into the church meeting hall,  a sudden surge of humility flooded me. I was on God’s schedule, not my own.  By His grace, I arrived just in time to meet this young woman, and pray with her. I thanked God for orchestrating my journey just right so as to put me there when He did– especially after the frustrations of the morning. 

I will continue to pray for that young woman until God tells me I no longer need to do so.  I don’t know why she was crying. I didn’t think it was up to me to ask. But God knew, and He used me to reach into her heart and offer her a ray of hope by giving me the words she needed to hear.

Despite everything else that went wrong that day, He turned it to good by giving  me five minutes to spare.

What will He give you today to let you know He is there, and He cares?

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????????????????????????????????????????This next Sunday, November 3rd,  at 2:00 a.m., most of the U.S. will be prompted to turn their clocks back one hour. It is called “Fall Back”, to reverse the hour we lost in the spring when we went adjusted our clocks forward one hour for Daylight Savings Time.

Many,  like me, crumble about this whole concept originally joked about by Benjamin Franklin 200 years ago and conceptualized by George V. Hudson in 1895. We not only relish that precious one hour of sleep, we applaud that we are finally getting back to “God’s time”.  Good riddance it’s about time! (Pun intended.)

But, we don’t have to wait until Congress deems it is time to go back to God’s time. His mercies are new every morning. (Lamentations 2:3) Each day, we can choose to fall back into His ways and not rely upon our man-made choices. Each moment,  we can choose to follow His timing instead of trying to manipulate things to march to our own schedule.

Scripture tells us He is working His purpose out, (Romans 8:28, Philippians 2:13)  and that His ways are not our ways. But our limited view often blocks us from realizing this. We want it all to happen now  — our way, please.

We only have this present second — God has all of eternity. We can only make our decisions based on the now, and our skewed version of the past as seen through our eyes and experiences. God sees all, knows all.

Who will you fall back on today?


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There it  was – in the middle of Rebekah and Isaac’s story in Genesis 25. Verse 22 suddenly became bolded and two fonts bigger in my mind.

The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the LORD.

Okay Guys –  even though this is about Rebekah’s pregnancy, don’t click off just yet. This is about any idea, dream, passion or hope that is growing inside of you, waiting to be born – whether you are a man or woman, child or senior citizen.

How many of us struggle with our deepest desire – the one we are sure is God-given? We wonder, if I am following Your ways Lord, why is this so hard? Why the roadblocks, the difficulties, the jostling inside of my gut? Why is this happening to me?

As a Christian writer, I can tell you this is a common story. We have a message that is itching to come out. A Divine revelation we know we are called upon to share. But no agent looks our way and we get rejection after rejection from publishers. Or, once we are published, we get an unkind review , or our book only sells 20 copies that month.  Why is this happening to me, Lord?

If you have a dream in formation, don’t be impatient with the growth process. When the timing is right, it will come forth. And yes, there may be pain. But there will also be joy.

Do as Rebekah did – go, inquire of the Lord. You just may be surprised at His response. She certainly was!

And truth be told, if this dream or desire is of God, it will come forth when He deems it. So be a willing vessel in the meantime. Your dream is not the only thing growing inside of you, so is your walk with the Lord. Oh, that’s why this is happening to me.

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003 Happy dance! It’s Laundry Day.

I know because I have one pair of underwear left in the top drawer of my dresser and the basket will not hold any more clothes no matter how many times I push them down and cram them together.

So, sigh, I begin to sort. I sort by color and by fabric weight- heavy cottons like sweats, jeans and towels, perm. press, lighter weight delicacies, bleachable whites, etc. Each has to be washed a special way with a certain temperature of water, agitating speed and spin. Then each has to be dried per the instructions on the label. Oh, sure you could dump them all in together but then colors may bleed and some won’t get thoroughly clean. If tossed together in the dryer, some may get too hot and others come out damp. Some may shrink and no longer fit.

Can you see the analogy yet?  When it comes to my faults, sins and imperfections, I want God to zap them all at once. Let’s get this over with, I have things to do. Clean me up, dry me off and send me out. I want to be a super Christian,  always walking with You and filled with Your Spirit.

But God knows that is not for the best. He sorts out the things in my life He wishes to revamp into a more excellent way. He knows how to handle each fabric of my being. He has it figured out and knows how long it will take to wash each category clean and get it ready for the task ahead. Some stains in my personality may need a very long soak and extra care. Some areas of my heart should be on the delicate cycle. Some need more vigorous agitation to break loose the grime.

Here is the light bulb moment. Cleaning is only half the job. Everything has to be dried, maybe pressed, in order to be presentable. Some clothes need to drip dry. Others can take the heat. Some need the wrinkles ironed out. Is that not true with the areas of our lives God chooses to work on? He washes away our sin, doubt, grime and negative thoughts. But that is only the beginning. Before we can wear this new aspect of our lives into the world as witness of His mercy and grace, we must go through more. We must be transformed back into the original, fresh-from-the-store state.

So our All-knowing LORD hangs our issues up to dry, or applies the swirling heat in our lives, not out of cruelty, but out of care and love. That requires time, patience and the knowledge of what each area of our lives needs.

Praise God-  may every day be Laundry Day!! May I no longer cram things down, assuming I will bring them to Him later to clean and prepare. LORD, let me not wait until I have only one little thing left to cling to before I bring the situation to you.  Teach me to be joyful in the knowledge that You are taking Your time and handling each load as it should be handled. Thank You that, through Your blood, You wash us white as snow and through Your Holy Spirit, you prepare us for what is next by giving us the spiritual clothes we need. Amen.

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dreamstimefree_209775Visiting a friend, I noticed a little  dog in the backyard. When she heard her master’s voice she came to the slider and perched, ears cocked, and waited. She was unable to reach up and open the sliding glass herself. But she knew her master would come over and let her in.

However,  my friend waited until everyone at the gathering had come through the front door and found a seat. She didn’t want wilds of the street to be too tempting, or for the little dog to get underfoot. My friend knew when the best time to open the door would be. The dog sat there patiently and didn’t even bark. That is trust.

As my friend made her way to the glass door, the little dog sat up and wagged her tail back and forth so rapidly that it became a blur of fur. She stood, her weight shifted from leg to leg and her eyes were fixed on the hand as it reached for the handle. With each wag I could almost hear the doggie’s enthusiastic thoughts –

“My master is here. My master noticed me and is coming to meet me. My master is opening a way for me.”

Dearest Lord, May I be so eager to receive You. Your death on the cross opened a way for me to enter into Your presence. My prayers summon You to the Heavenly slider between earth and eternity. May I have the patience of that little puppy to know You will open doors for me in Your timing when it is right. May I wait in trust and obedient certainty, then be quick to respond in thanksgiving and praise. Amen.


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43 QueingToday I was taking my son to work, which is usually a three to five-minute trip. But there must have been a wreck or something up by the highway because our side of the street was bumper to bumper for as far as we could see (which was pretty much the car in front of us).

We crept along at 5 miles an hour max on an otherwise 35 mile an hour road. Then we stood still for almost a full song on the radio. Creep a bit more, stop. Inch a few more car lengths, stop.

In  the rearview mirror I saw a ribbon of cars behind me in both lanes. There were no side streets to provide a detour. We were stuck.

That seems to describe my life at the moment. I am creeping along at a speed that is far slower than I want when it comes to my writing recognition, career and monetary situation. I should have gotten to the destination of being where some of my writing friends are by now. I have worked hard for years, studied techniques, attended conferences, hobnobbed with publishers and agents, read “how to write the best novel in the world” books, promoted myself over and over. I want ot stand on the car top and sceam “Here I am! Look at me. Let me through.”  But that would only make me look foolish at best.

I get a commission to write for a missionary society and they like what I wrote, so I creep forward. Then stop. I get a letter saying I am published in a magazine. Creep forward. I get a royalty check off my one of my Bible Studies – under a $100. Creep some more. Had another radio interview. The tires roll a few more rotations. Yet, I feel stuck.

But, just like the traffic jam today, I can’t see what is up the road. I can only see directly in front of me. There are no detours. So, I must plod along only as fast as the car directly in front of me moves. That car is God’s will. He made this road, He made the road blocks, He is setting the pace. I will try my level best to be patient and not blow my horn, or my cool. Neither would accomplish a thing.

Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him.  Psalm 62:5 NLT

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Have you had one of those days where you have a lots of things that need to be done on your  list, but somehow, things happen so the check list is just not getting marked?  Well, that was my day yesterday. But for once, I decided not to work myself into a tizzy. Each thing that cropped up was important, and actually part of my ministries for God. So, I gave Him my mental to-do list.

Here, God. If you need me to meet with this person or to do this thing, then You will figure out a way for me to get the rest of these done.

Guess what?He took me up on it.  Little did I know when I was called into work early, God would use that time to my benefit. With my employer’s permission, I was able to catch up on my freelance deadline because the phones were, for once, quiet. In fact, it was good quality time to research what I needed for the articles that loomed on my time schedule. Nothing out of the ordinary happened to distract me from either duty – manning the phones and greeting students for tutoring, and also getting a leg up on my research. Who knew? Well, yes, He did.

Think I will try that again today, and tomorrow.

I will counsel you and teach you in the way you should go. I will counsel you with my eyes upon you.  Psalm 32:8

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