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Living intentionally

Facing up to the fear of rejection

the-fear-of-rejection

I realized a long time ago that I am an introvert and not just that, but I am the worst kind of introvert.

A shy one.

For me, navigating social situations is as violent and harrowing an experience as walking across a minefield.

 

I come away feeling exhausted. The kind of tired that seems to stretch through your bones making you limp and lifeless.

 

As a child I remember the world feeling big and garish. Going new places or having to make new friends arose the same feeling inside of me as losing my mum in the supermarket. A wild-eyed, pursed-lipped panic.

 

I thought as I grew older the feeling would fade but I’ve carried the same trouble with me into adulthood.  

 

The root of my shyness, as with most afflictions of the heart, is fear.

 

The fear that causes my voice to catch in my throat. The fear that suppresses my innate urge to love others. The fear that dulls the kaleidoscope of colours in this world.

 

The fear of rejection.

 

It has always plagued me. Sneakily crawling back into my life as it takes on new shapes and forms.


 

My fear of rejection causes me to shrink, inhibiting the hospitality that gives me life.

 

One of my greatest joys is welcoming people into our home.

 

I think that’s why I love food so much, because it brings us together. We gather around slices of pizza or steaming bowls of soup and we are united as one.

 

I’ve always hoped that someday I will be lucky enough to have a home with a gigantic kitchen and dining table so there will always be space to pull up one more chair.

 

But the desire to make people feel welcome, to talk to strangers and to make new friends is shadowed by this belief that they won’t like me.

 

So before they even tell me they have other plans or other friends I shut them out.


 

The fear of rejection has trampled all over romance in my life as well.

 

For as long as I can remember I’ve been infatuated with someone. Because loving feels as natural as breathing to me. I can hardly contain the swelling affection that sings within my heart.

 

But far too often I’ve found myself pining after someone for years because I’m so afraid that they won’t feel the same way about me.

 

Loving someone feels like far too much to ask. The risk of heartbreak seals my lips shut.

 

Rather than allow someone the chance to know and love me, I keep them at arm’s length and shy away from my feelings.


 

And in my day to day life, the fear of rejection makes conversations feel like an uphill battle.

 

I worry that my opinion won’t be heard or appreciated. I’m concerned that if I speak someone much more clever or witty will shut me down.

 

So I become disengaged. I smile and nod but do not venture to participate in the scene before me.  I save my breath and try to take up as little space as possible.

 

the fear of rejection, love, shame, disengagement, connection, community, facing rejection, overcoming hurt,

 

Over the past month I’ve been unemployed and wrestling with this nagging feeling of unworthiness.

I have found myself withdrawing from my friends and wanting to hide rather than go out and be sociable and last night I finally figured out why that is.

 

Everywhere I go people ask me questions. What do I do? Where am I going? What is my plan?

 

And somewhere deep down I have this belief that what I do defines me. Right now I don’t do anything and therefore I feel like I don’t belong.

 

Without a plan, without a purpose, I am not valuable. I am not interesting. I am not worthy.

 

With every job application I send, I attach a little piece of myself to it. Every time they reject me or ignore me altogether, I get a little bit smaller.

 

The fear of rejection gains its power from the simple fact that we put our sense of worthiness in the wrong places.

 

We define ourselves by our career, by who we date, by the people we are friends with, by the shininess of our car and by the size of our clothing.

 

We fall into this same old trap time and time again.

 

We become crippled by shame. Overwhelmed by self-loathing. Infected with a lack of self worth. We shrink down and we shrivel up. We are wounded easily and we snap without warning.


 

But you know what, I’m so tired of being afraid.

 

I want to live fully. I want to love with my whole heart. I want to be actively engaged with life.

 

I need a reminder of who I am because I’m not too sure anymore.

 

Perhaps because it is so unbelievable that we could have any worth just by existing.

Maybe because of the subliminal messages we have received our whole lives that tell us we there is no elevator to success, we have to take the stairs.

 

But here is the truth…I matter because I AM, not because I DO.

 

You matter simply because you have life running through your veins and breath flowing in and out of your lungs.

 

We need not fear rejection because we already belong. We are valuable. We are loved.

 

Regardless of what others may say. Regardless of whether we fail or succeed. Regardless of whether we are picked first or last.

 

We are worthy.

 

It makes me feel needy that I require so much reassurance. But then I am reminded that I was created by a God who has an infinite capacity to fulfill this need.

 

So what a beautiful reunion it is when I place my heart back in His never-failing hands.

 

“If you look at the world, you will be distressed. If you look within, you will be depressed. If you look to God, you will find rest.” – Corrie ten Boom

Being present in a distraction-filled world

I have always wanted to be one of those carefree, spontaneous people who lives in the moment. The kind of person who adroitly bounds from one adventure to the next. Who is thrilled with change, delighted with surprises, focused solely on the here and now.

 

That will never be me.

 

I have to fight for the here and now.

I have to wrestle with myself to stay grounded in the present.

 

Because introverts have this whole other world inside their heads. We wander up there frequently without anyone noticing and spend hours getting lost in our swirling thoughts and alluring dreams.

 

In my head I have this dream of myself in the future.

I’m sitting on a wooden swing beneath a grand oak tree in my garden. Bluebells and daffodils brim over in my planter boxes. The grass has been freshly mowed and the clippings lay in messy clumps all over the lawn.

We live in this perfect, old villa with rocking chairs on the front porch and hanging baskets swinging from the awning. Our mailbox has a blue roof and our fence is white and picket.

In summer I’m always out in the garden, watering can in hand, tending to my plants. 

In autumn I sit on the porch sipping apple cinnamon-spiced tea and watching the leaves pile up in the front yard. 

 

I can get lost in this daydream and lose all sense of time.


 

See, I have a heart that is spurred on by expectation. It beats a rhythm of longing. Constantly demanding more, never satisfied with what it has.

 

I am forever at war with myself.

 

I must fight for this moment. This one right here. Sitting at my kitchen table in my dressing gown, sipping coffee. I must force myself to meander back down outside of my head and become absorbed fully in appreciating the present.

 

And I’m not the only one.

 

Our modern lives are so cluttered with distractions.

 

Billboards on every corner, notifications from every app, adverts after every second song. Multitasking has become our second nature, we don’t know how to do just the one thing anymore.

 

While eating our breakfast, we are scrolling through our emails. While walking we are listening to podcasts. While having conversations we are having entirely different ones on our phones.

 

But I miss the eye contact. The face to face conversations. The careful, handwritten letters slipped into my mailbox.

 

Everything these days is so instant and hurried. I hardly ever feel seen or understood, nobody has the time.

 

Even when we are in one place, we wish we were in another. We watch the sunset through the lens of our cameras, we live our lives to upload on our Instastories, we’ve made a sport out of collecting memories and flashing them around for everyone else to see. 

 

It feels so fake, so inauthentic, so exhausting to maintain.

 

Putting my phone down feels like a breath of fresh air. Now I hardly post on social media, it feels like I’m coming home, back to the real me. Without the pressure of a billion eyes watching me, I am free to actually live. 

 

being present in a distraction filled world, living intentionally, living in the moment, slowing down, self care, the fear of missing out, social media break, rest,

 

What I need, what we all need really, is a new pace. A slower, more deliberate way of living. An awareness of the buzz, the hustle, the impatience. A return to simpler times which were perhaps not so foolish after all.

 

It saddens me to think that some of the old, slower ways of doing things will soon be lost due to our impatience.

 

I hope my kids get to experience the joy of opening up their mailbox and finding a package waiting for them.

I hope they get the chance to trawl around a hundred different shops looking for the perfect gift rather than sitting at home filling up their online shopping cart.

I hope they will know the feeling of the worn-out pages of a much-loved paperback.

I hope they will take delight in digging up carrots from their own garden rather than reaching for plastic wrapped, pre-washed vegetables in the supermarket.

 

There is something to be said for the ease and convenience of our everyday lives, but still I hope that my children will make time for a little inconvenience.

 

Because I have found that the best conversations happen when we’ve both left our phones in our purses. The most pleasure I’ve taken from a kind note was one written out by hand and delivered to me personally. The best lemon muffin recipe I have ever found was shared with me by a friend of a friend.

 

Being present is recognizing that the here and now moments are what matter the most.

 

It’s fighting the urge to move on to the next thing while you are still doing the first. It’s saying grace before a meal, giving thanks for the one who prepared it. It’s noticing the colours of the leaves as you are walking to work. It’s falling asleep to the gentle hum of crickets outside your bedroom window.

 

Being present is choosing to let go of the past and refusing to be afraid of the future. 

 

So here’s to slowing down, finding moments of solitude in a distraction-filled world and doing our very best to enjoy the here and now.

 

There is not a whole lot in our lives that we have control over but this one thing is ours to protect. We have the choice every day to fall in love with life.

That familiar feeling of a changing season

when-everything-is-changing

 

There is no season where change is as tangible as autumn.

In autumn, change flashes in brilliant reds, oranges and browns. It cascades to the ground and swirls in the wind. Change catches your foggy breath on the cool mornings and blazes across the late afternoon sky.

All of nature sings its’ song, a maudlin melody, a solemn symphony.  

 

I have an autumnal heart. Fiery and passionate, wild and chaotic.

 

This season will always be my favourite. The cooling down from the hot, sticky summer and the gentle easing into the deep chill of winter. The feeling of wrapping up in layers and bracing yourself to be met at the door by a brisk wind. The scent of rain on the pavement and damp foliage on the driveway.  

 

In autumn, the leaves take turns changing into brilliant colours and falling slowly to carpet the ground.  

What once was bright and alive, dies off to make space for the new.

 

As I’m watching the trees glorious transition I see pieces of myself turning the same golden hues. Right here and now I am evolving, Shedding my old self and becoming something new.

 

This process requires making peace with the past.

 

That girl I was three years ago sitting in that first lecture feeling overwhelmed by the flurry of information that had just been dumped on me. The girl who shyly hid away in her dorm room all year, only making an appearance at mealtimes. That girl who was ashamed of herself, unsure of herself, afraid of herself.

 

That girl was me and still is me.

 

I hold her close to my chest. I keep her near to my heart. I love her because she reminds me that as people we evolve.

 

And we need change in order to do that. Pearls need to be rubbed around in that oyster shell. Diamonds need to be squeezed depth beneath the earth. Butterflies need to force their way out of their chrysalises.  

 

So I’m not embarrassed of the girl I was. I’m so very proud. She did the best she could with what she had. And for that I am grateful.

 

This is how I am letting go, by extending kindness to the pieces of myself that I might not be most proud of.


 

And it seems my life once again is swirling with change.

 

I hoped that by the time my graduation ceremony came around I would have clarity about my future. I thought I may have a full time job or at least an inkling of my next steps, but instead, I find myself slipping back into unemployment and uncertainty.

 

Here I am again, with a door closing behind me and nothing on the other side.

 

And it makes me wonder, do the trees know for certain that summer will return again? Are they sure that the winter will end and they will have the strength to sprout new leaves and shoots?

 

It seems to me that they just fall.

 

They just let go. They just keep moving forwards and we have to as well. Regardless of what lies ahead, that’s the only way we can trek.

 

These seasons of change, these major life transitions often catch us off guard. They can make us feel as though the rug has been ripped out from under us. And it is these moments more than ever that we find our faith being tested.

 

This is the place where the rubber meets the road.

 

It’s foreign and yet somehow familiar. I’ve been here before. I know the signs of a changing season. I’m still afraid. 

 

But what I’ve learnt is that there is wonder in the waiting. That lonely place of unknown is beautiful because it places us dependent on God to meet all of our needs. It strengthens and grows a faith that actually means something.

 

A faith based on real events rather than flaky opinions and secondhand beliefs.

 

That’s the kind of faith I want. Deeply rooted in truth. Completely receptive to change.

 

change, changing seasons, faith, trusting God, fear, moving on, letting go of the past, fear of the future

 

So this time around I’m taking my cues from the deciduous trees. I’m flinging myself headfirst into the unknown. I’m leaping forwards because it’s all I know to do.

 

This is how I am moving on.

 

I won’t be wallowing, moping or feeling sorry for myself. You will not catch me succumbing to the crippling anxiety again.  

 

This time I’m just going to fall.


 

Because I know now that clarity requires movement. We can’t just sit around hoping for writing in the sky or neon signs to flash the answer. We have to just start walking, and as we do, we find out where we are going.

 

It’s one of those crazy upside kingdom rules. We step out first and then the faith comes. We jump and then we’ll find where to place our feet.

 

It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense when you are standing still but looking back over your shoulder you’ll remember how you’ve been here before. You’ll see all the big ways and small ways that God was faithful to you.

 

Well I do at least. He brought summer before and I know He will do it again.

 

That’s the truth when everything is changing. You simply have to cling to the one who is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Living in the now and the endless longing for the not yet

living-in-the-now

 

Blonde curls bounce as she runs. Squealing she dashes through the park. Little toddler legs scooting as fast as they can. A flash of pink. A blur of joy.

She zigs and zags through the clusters of people. Early-morning dog walkers and men on bicycles with neon vests. She is unaware of the scene she is causing, she is focused on getting away before her father catches up to her.

And he’s getting closer. Thundering with big, lanky strides behind her. She makes several narrow escapes and then finally he reaches out and sweeps her effortlessly into his arms.

They swing around together. This mass of pink frills and blue checks. The sweetest sight.


 

My heart feels like it might burst.

I’m surprised by the physical ache. This little, hollow gap which signifies an unfulfilled dream. A longing that lies dormant, bubbling deep beneath the surface. Knocking the wind out of me when I least expect it.

 

I think that’s the way dreams tend to be. They aren’t always obvious right from the start. We don’t all grow up with the knowledge of who we are or what we want to be.

For some of us our dreams take a long time to wiggle their way to the surface. It’s a slow process but eventually these deep desires begin to bloom and once they do…we are never really the same.

 

Once we know the ache, we wrestle with discontentment.

Once we’ve found something to pursue, we cannot sit still.

 

I’ve always been a writer but I didn’t believe it. I’ve always been someone’s partner but I just haven’t found them. I’ve always been a mother but I don’t have a kid yet.

And now I know what they are, I’m so eager to reach out and snatch up each of these dreams.

 

But I’m grasping at thin air. With every prayer the answer comes back clear. Not now, not yet.  

 

My faith gets a little shaky and my heart gets a little heavy. God, If you created me with these desires why are you keeping them from me?

 

Because timing is everything.


 

The last thing I want to do is be patronizing because I know how this feels.

 

I understand the lonely road you are travelling. I see the tears that slip down your cheeks when you think nobody is watching. I know that heavy weight of expectation which rests on your shoulders making you see every day in monochrome instead of technicolour.

 

In these times I have come to recognize that the sweetest gift a person can give is empathy. Not your condescending, sympathetic advice or your most well-meaning inspirational quote.

 

The kindest medicine for a heart in longing is to simply acknowledge its’ suffering.

 

To come alongside me, rest your head on my shoulder, to take my hand in yours and let me know that you understand.

 

I recognize that this wrestle with contentment is not one I will win by force. I cannot take what I feel is rightfully mine. I must be patient.

 

Resting in the now and respecting the not yet.

 

living in the now, being present, faith, trusting God, longing for more, contentment, being content, pursuit of happiness, gratitude, grace

 

All of us are searching for our missing pieces, scrambling around to slot the edges together, trying to make sense of this jigsaw puzzle. Our hearts hammer as we fit together more and more, the picture becoming clearer and clearer. 

 

But this feeling is bittersweet. The more pieces we add, the less we have remaining, like sand slipping through an hourglass.

 

We have to take the time to observe each section, marveling at the intricate details, delighting in the infuriating complexities.

 

I understand now that this time is precious. All I have is now. So while I’m dreaming, hoping and longing for more, I’m watching my life slipping through that hourglass…drip…drip…drip.

 

If I’m not careful my twenties will have passed me by and I’ll have nothing but bitter regret to show for it.


 

So this lesson is absolutely necessary for us to learn. All of us. Because I know you feel it too. You want to skip to the next chapter, get to the good bits.

You want to be at the top of the corporate ladder, you want the wedding band on your finger, you want the stamps in your passport.  

 

Who of us are really content? Who of us are perfectly happy living in the now? Who of us haven’t thought of the not yet?

 

I think the longing will always be there. God in His infinite wisdom created me this way. A big gaping heart, eager for love, belonging, family. The feeling isn’t packing up it’s bags and shipping out any time soon. But when I look around I can see all the ways he has provided for me in this place.

 

My daily bread is texts from my mum, hugs from my flatmate, coffee with my cousin, cuddling my pastor’s baby, playing soccer with the neighbour’s kids, sitting side by side with friends at church.

 

It’s not the feast I want, but it’s the food I desperately need. The nutrients that will sustain me.

 

That’s the way grace is, always sufficient to meet us where we are. If He is saying not now, not yet, then I have to trust that He knows what’s best for me.

I keep my hands outstretched with abandon, giving thanks for his faithfulness thus far and eagerly anticipating his goodness in the future.


 

I’m learning the art of patience.

Because what they say is true…good things take time.

The best things happen when we aren’t looking for them.

And it’s not always about arriving at your destination, it’s the journey that actually counts.

So in those moments of frustration, I’m learning to laugh.

In the midst of disappointment, I’m learning to dance.

This is the beauty of life…the tension between the now and the not yet.

 

Fighting the fear of missing out

fighting-the-fear-of-missing-out

A few weeks ago I was fortunate to be out at the beach just as the sun was setting.

It was one of those lazy summer evenings where you are gathered around the table for hours after you’ve finished eating. Settling into the dusk and drinking in the buoyant conversation.

 

Most days the sunset is blocked by trees, hills and buildings but this particular evening we were out West with nothing but sand stretching before us. Our view was unobstructed and as we chatted away, we noticed the faint whispers of clouds suddenly flecked with sunlight.

 

We quickly raced up the hill to get a better view. But as we pulled the car into the lookout spot, the sun dipped behind clouds. We grumbled and were about to give up on the sunset but we figured we might as well stay just in case something happened.

 

The sun remained encased in clouds for a few more minutes and the coolness of the night seeped over us. But then all of a sudden, the sky was illuminated. Pink, orange, gold. Streams of blazing colour flooded the scene before us. Ocean and sky became one.

A painting streaked and blended with the utmost precision.

 

We got out our pathetic, little phone cameras and tried to capture the perfection. It didn’t seem to matter what angle I stood at or how much I decreased the exposure…the image was a poor representation of the magnificent spectacle we were witnessing.

 

As the final glow of sunlight faded into the night, I felt incredibly grateful and honored to have seen it with my own eyes.

And the overwhelming emotion I felt was relief. How lucky it was that my camera was unable to capture this perfect moment. It meant I couldn’t share it with anyone else, this experience, this brief reverie was all mine.


 

Recently, I’ve felt stretched between too many things, people and places. This need to participate in everything has drained me completely.

 

No matter where I am, I’m missing something else.  

 

If I go to one party, I have to skip another. If I talk to one friend, I don’t get to chat with another. If I say yes to one offer, another one will surely come along.

 

I want to be everywhere. I want to see everyone. I want to do it all.

 

But I can’t… and so I’m forced to make a choice. To prioritize what matters most. To be decisive for once in my life. To commit and stick with it.  And sometimes I don’t like making the choice.

 

Because sometimes duty requires me to be somewhere regardless of what my heart compels me to do. That feels especially unfair. It’s that prickling on the back of the neck I remember feeling every time my mum would ask me to help with chores. But I don’t want to…


 

If I was looking to slap a label on it, I’d say I’m suffering from the fear of missing out.

A fear that tells me that other people are having more fun.

 

I’m inadequate, my time is scarce, my friendships are insufficient. It’s a fear that breeds discontentment. Snuffing out joy and leaving an echo of emptiness. 


 

It seems to me that the cure for the fear of missing out is being fully present.

 

Soaking in the sunset, feeling the rain as it batters down on your umbrella, looking the person who you are talking to directly in the eye.

 

Because our world overlooks these things. It tells us we should always be on the search for something better. We should be selfishly seeking the next adventure and when we find it, we should post all about it.

 

We are trapped by this terrible pitfall of seeking validation and approval. Of needing to be where the party is, needing to participate in the action. Needing to obtain maximum pleasure for our greedy hearts. 

It’s such a hollow way of living. It’s superficial, flaky and unsatisfying.

 

Fighting the fear of missing out is a daily battle.

 

That need to share everything with the world. ‘Hey, look at me, look how great my life is.’  

Fight that urge.  

Be selfish with moments.  

Put down your cell phone and watch the sunset with your own eyes.  

 

It’s a beautiful thing that cameras, lenses and smartphones can’t capture some things. Rainbows, beach sunsets, birthday wishes, falling in love…because that’s the way it should be.

Some things are meant to be experienced.  To be felt rather than just seen.

 

the fear of missing out, fear, faith, self care, being present, life

 

Fighting the fear of missing out means we have to immerse ourselves in the moment. Wherever you are, be all there.

Stop scrolling, sharing and feeling like your situation is lacking. 

 

We can’t be everywhere, but we can be right here. Right now, in this moment.

 

We have to make a choice to be fully present. Because there will always be somewhere flashier you could be. There will always be someone funnier you could be talking to. But chasing those things will only leave you feeling empty.

 

We find contentment when we recognize how precious, beautiful and fleeting the moment we are in really is.

 

Take delight in the intricate, seemingly mundane details…because my friend, this is your life. Don’t blink twice or you’ll miss it.

 

Funnily enough, the fear of missing out is a self fulfilling prophecy. If you’re so afraid of missing out that you try to do it all, see it all and be it all…missing out is exactly what you’ll do.

 

So instead, let’s live intentionally. Wherever we are, let’s be all there. 

I’m not in a hurry

i'm-not-in-a-hurry

When I think about patience, I think of the process of making bread. From start to finish, it’s a method that requires a lot of waiting around and restraint.  

It starts with the awakening of the yeast. The warm water and sugar solution that gently coaxes the yeast to life. The bubbles that form on the surface signify a readiness to begin the work of being made into something beautiful.  

Flour and salt are added and gently incorporated into the smooth mixture. The dough is clingy and remains in clumps, unwilling to let go and be its own entity.  

But left in the warmth of the hot water cupboard the magic begins to happen. The yeast works its way throughout the sticky dough and pockets of air transform the mixture slowly. The dough rises and rises until it grazes its’ tea-towel ceiling.  

You take it out and gently begin to knead it with your palms, fingers, knuckles. The dough is fragile so you must treat it lightly. You pull and stretch and caress the dough.

This work is messy. Your hands are caked in flour. And flour hits the floor, the bench, the ceiling and clumps under your fingernails.

But you lovingly pour yourself into the process. You see the progress and you feel the gratification.

You know that your patience will be rewarded.


 

This week I decided to make my own bread. Because there is something wholesome and sweet about homemade bread which is lacking in the commercial kind. I think it’s the connection to the past, our heritage, a time where life was slower and simpler.

The smell alone is familiar and comforting, like being swept up into your mother’s warm embrace.

 

But bread, like humans is very needy.

 

It requires much time and effort. Rest and working before it becomes something great.

 

I hate waiting.

 

I want answers now. I want recognition now. I want the reward now.

 

And our culture feeds that insatiable appetite for immediacy. We have created machines that do our hard work for us. We’ve manufactured food that can be consumed instantly. We’ve got devices that distract us so that even in the waiting, we never have to be silent.

Our world is undeniably impatient and if the cap fits we wear it too.


 

But I don’t think we were designed for instant gratification. I think we are part of this bigger narrative of patience, eager anticipation and hopeful expectancy. We were called to wait.

 

The seeds are waiting for the gentle rain of springtime. The bears are waiting for the thawing of the winter snow. The birds are waiting for daybreak and the world is waiting for a Saviour.

 

Waiting is a natural rhythm on this earth, however much we fight it, it will always be so.

 

waiting, faith, trusting God, hope, promises, truth, waiting on God, not in a hurry

 

God has been teaching me a great deal about waiting.

I’m driven, passionate and focused. I see a goal and I work until I accomplish it. In fact, I’m very proud of my ability to power through a to-do list. I hate to sit idle when I could be making something, anything better.  

 

And not only that, I need to accomplish it all now.

 

I expect to be best friends as soon as we meet. I want to master a recipe on my first attempt. I think I should have my life figured out at twenty one.

 

I fall into this trap of exhaustive productivity constantly.

 

Because waiting is painful. It’s boring, empty, dark and unknown. Sitting still just causes me to fidget.


 

But there is something beautiful about taking things slowly. This is a truth that feels especially relevant when it comes to cooking. There is a depth of flavour, an earnestness of texture, that can only be achieved when you take the time to labour over the food you are preparing.

 

Sure, you can open a jar of pre-made pasta sauce and it will complement your spaghetti and meatballs just fine but real foodies understand the pure, unadulterated joy of making your own sauce from scratch.

 

The flavours are built layer upon layer and the result is something quite spectacular. 

 

It is a truth universally acknowledged that marinated steak is more tender, day old cheesecake tastes better and homemade bread is simply divine.

 

When we have the patience to devote ourselves to the process, the reward is great.

 


This is the heart of living intentionally. It’s being aware of our surroundings, it’s appreciating the goodness and resting in the stillness.

 

We have to slowly build trust with people as we have conversation after conversation. We have to practice our skills before we will master a complicated recipe. We have to learn from life as we journey through it, rather than knowing it all before we set out.

 

In the waiting we are refined, transformed and restored. Much like the dough in the hot water cupboard, as we rest, we rise. 

As I’ve been thinking about waiting I was reminded of 1 Corinthians and that familiar verse which speaks of love. Funnily enough, love’s first characteristic is patience.

 

Love is being present. Love is showing up again and again. Love is waiting.

 


Our world is scared of waiting because in this quiet place, all of our deepest fears are revealed. Our need for control, our desire for approval, our fear of rejection.

The lingering dread that bubbles away beneath the surface is exposed and we are forced to deal with it.

 

However, I take comfort in knowing that we don’t wait in darkness. 

We have this hope that everything we have been promised will come to fruition.

 

If I trust, believe and keep tracking onwards, life will unfold. The sun will rise, the snow will melt, the leaves will turn green to gold.

 

Our purpose is not to strive ahead and reach some pre-determined destination. If we are constantly in a hurry, we will miss out on the very best bits of life.

 

The beauty of life lies in that stretch between what was and what is to come. The challenge we face is making peace with the waiting. To find hope, courage and our true selves here.

 

“Everything is interim. Everything is a path or a preparation for the next thing, and we never know what the next thing is. Life is like that, of course, twisty and surprising. But life with God is like that exponentially.” – Shauna Niequist

Resources:

Books: The In-between by Jeff Goins, Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 13, Isaiah 40:31 

Songs: Not in a hurry by Will Reagan