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Waiting for Manna

Have you ever waited for something? I have been waiting for some things too. I think it is hard to wait, but I know answers eventually come.

Over the last few days, I have been in a spirit of discernment over the words I want to weave, messages I hope to share, and a tapestry of words I am hoping to publish.

Add that to a week of information overload. Kids are getting back into the swing of the school routine after an extended Christmas break. And there was my return to graduate school after a 23-year sabbatical. Well, all I have to say about this is — WHOA, what a week.

While I have taken a variety of classes online in the last few years, it is the first time I am taking classes where my work will be graded. Meanwhile, I have some writing commitments projects waiting in the wings for both myself and others that need working. So separating the words for grades with words from my heart is creating some curiosity how it will all fit.

With the four out of six of us schooling at home, our days are filled with tons of books, papers, pens, pencils, planners, and dialogue scattered throughout the house and the day.

Maybe that discerning spirit has been wrestling with uncertainty and disorder. Trying to discern things above the noise can be a bit of a challenge.

I had to find some quiet and will share in the coming days the way I create rest and peace so I can weave words to encourage. Creators need to create.

For now, this is to share a story of waiting and falling Manna. Manna is not a word I often connect with or really ever utter until I read the advanced copy of a book written by my friend Meredith McDaniel.

In the Biblical sense, Manna is unexpected assistance, surprise, or gifts falling from Heaven when they are needed most. This Manna relates back to the story of the hungry Israelites on their journey in the Book of Exodus and how Manna (food) fell from the sky when they needed it most. While they were complaining at times, God still showed up. He is good like that.

I will admit this week was hard, and I may have caught myself complaining. What did I get myself into —blah, blah, blah?

Trying to balance it all with commitments and while my husband’s job has been more demanding than ever. Yet, I feel there is such a time as this. (Esther 4:14)

And isn’t life like that? When you plan things, like starting back to grad school, homeschooling, and writing, things are seemingly in place as you expected —but things change and create imbalance. Though, facing 5 decades on Earth, I really did not want to wait any longer to pursue this degree.

That sneaky “enemy” shows up trying to rent/squat/steal space in my head to tell me I cannot do this school thing. I was FULL FORCE battling some ugly words on my heart, and in my mind telling me I cannot, should not be doing any of this.

I fought back hard the best way I know how: by fixing my eyes above and adding in some laughter and love. It is the only way I know how to get through this life that isn’t produced like a well-scripted movie.

So there is the writing commitments I needed to complete while doing all the things. And I was getting stuck over one small thing in particular.

With all things in my life, I try to pray to discern the messages I share in this space. I am continually searching to make a connection with you, my friend, through words and images. This is all done in hopes to inspire, encourage and point you toward the light in these sometimes dark days.

Living life as a busy mom, a wife, a daughter, and a friend is not easy, especially when we are often hit with the unexpected. Sometimes the unexpected shows up as a roller coaster ride. Sometimes the unexpected is a gift, like Manna falling from the sky.

It is a hard concept to articulate, and many days I may not always get it right. I do try to live my days by listening and discerning God’s will for me and the decisions I make. I try to pay attention to what feels most like God —those life giving choices.

Trusting God and discerning His voice takes a ton of patience. We recently talked to our kids about how patience is really an act of waiting without complaining.

We all need to learn how to pay attention, listen, and sometimes WAIT. Sometimes I question this method —because how do we really know for sure?

This is Faith, my friend.

While it is all a great mystery, I will continue to live life in this lane. And the thing is, I feel like God always shows up and leads me right where I need to go. He sends me Manna.

So I open old journals. I pray, I look up quotes. I read through scriptures to search for messages that would be helpful to share for a simple little post.

For me, writing isn’t just the stringing of words. The words always come from a deep place in hopes of serving by encouraging, inspiring, or leading others to a faith-filled life.

Lord knows I could not do this alone. So I rely on discerning and waiting to hear a voice. It can be like a fun scavenger hunt in my own life.

Sometimes it’s not easy and I walk away. Frustration was setting in over that word prompt. It was not feeling inspired these last few days. Words were abundant as I listened to lectures and guided middle school girls’ learning.

I was getting lost in words and trying to filter out the noise. I was waiting for something to come together.

This word prompt was to be shared days ago, on January 15. This was part of an effort for my Hope*Writer friend, Meredith’s book, In Want + Plenty – Waking Up to God’s Provisions in the Land of the Longing. This book is about finding God’s provisions, Manna, in her life and the life of a those she encounters in her ministry of counseling.

Ironically, the word prompt that was giving me trouble was WAIT.

Imagine that the word was making me wait to find/feel something good enough, worthy enough to write.

I had several drafts of a few simple thoughts to share on this word wait. It was only meant to be a simple caption on Instagram. But this word was weighing on me. It became a weight. You know weight, NOT wait. It felt like a massive, heavy weight. I really was stuck waiting for inspiration.

Then the Manna began to fall.

Friend, sharing words in this space feels like a privilege. It is one I view with great responsibility and gratitude as I know there are so many words out there. In other words, I find when I force a message to come together that comes from me rather than through me it just does not serve others well.

Here’s the thing, I know to be true in my journey if I put something in the hands of the ONE who Created me, they seem to fall into place more peacefully.

And Manna begins to show up even in my journals. It’s always a great mystery what I will find in these journals.

I turn to a journal that was peeking out from a pile of papers anxiously awaiting to be seen and opened. I begin to flip through the pages knowing I was being led to something. It’s how things seem to work for me.

Then I discover what I needed to read on this particular day where doubt was lingering.

In my handwriting, I see these words written across the page dated January 14.

You need to look back to see how far you have gone come.” Yes, gone was crossed out as if I knew I would go back and read these words.

I giggled, thinking, “Well you haven’t come that far, this was only two days ago. I don’t remember writing this earlier this week.”

Then I realized the date was actually January 14, 2019 – a whole year ago.

On this same page is also the sentence boldly written: “Set a Blog Launch Date.”

Interesting, given I am sharing these words on a blog that I launched seven months ago. I am reminded of how far I have come. What an unexpected gift to be given to me after a week of doubting my abilities.

For sure, this is validation that I have come far simply by fulfilling a goal from the year before.

This was a gift, more Manna, so to speak.

But then as I turn the page and I see another surprise and gift in the entry dated January 15, 2019.

Here are the words and phrases that are once again written in my handwriting that makes me laugh out loud and fills my eyes with tears at the same time.

“A life of Waiting in the presence of the Lord. Live your life in a posture of waiting for the Lord.”

“Wait For the Lord, may we be strong and let our hearts take courage. Yes, may we wait for the Lord – Psalm 27:14.”

Those words, each and every one of them, were the words that I had written on that page.

Do you remember that wait was the prompt that was frustrating me on January 15, 2020?

I guess waiting for the Lord seems to be the best way for me even if it takes a year.

Waiting without complaining and knowing He will always send the Manna.

Is there something you are waiting for wondering when you will get an answer?

“Wait For the Lord, may we be strong and let our hearts take courage. Yes, may we wait for the Lord – Psalm 27:14.”

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