It’s a word that’s been on my mind lately. Everywhere you look, things seem precarious: flip on the world, national or even local news…yikes! Precarious. Friends and family with scary health circumstances….precarious. Financial needs vs checkbook balance…precarious. Suddenly, life feels uncertain. Risky. Perilous. Insecure. Dangerous.
So being a writer and a word nerd, I did an etymology study of the word precarious and it was pretty eye opening:
Precarious is a legal word meaning, “held through the favor of another,” from Latin precarius “obtained by asking, praying or mere favor,” from prex “entreaty, prayer.”
The notion of “dependent on the will of another” led to the extended sense of, “risky, dangerous, uncertain.”
There’s a lot of advice buzzing around the internet about how to navigate this covid 19 crisis. As a writer, I’ve been encouraged that this is my time, the perfect opportunity to pour forth to the world all of my hard-earned wisdom. To that, I say:
Listen, friends… you already know what to do. You were born for this, although you might just now be realizing that.
The question is, will you accept the challenge? Because, like I always say, you have a choice.
But you already know that, too. Soooo… what should we talk about?
As much as I really. don’t. want. to write about this present crisis, (because who needs to read one more list or opinion?) NOT talking about it feels like avoiding the elephant in the room. Since we can’t avoid the elephant, let’s just feed him a handful of peanuts and hopefully keep him distracted for a few minutes, while I share a few random things I’ve been thinking about.
Here they are, do with them what you will, and don’t forget to wash your hands afterwards.
You should know, unlike some bloggers, I don’t have a stockpile of blog posts sitting in a computer file waiting for me to hit the publish button. I have writer friends who seem to be able to manage this and I have to admit, I’m a little jealous of them. No last-minute head scratching, wondering what in the world they’re going to write about that day? Yes, please.
But God said no. NO.
Fresh bread, He said. That’s what you’re offering your readers. We’re not baking and stockpiling loaves for the freezer that you can pull out when needed.
I’m not saying this way is better. Not at all. It’s just the way He wants me to write, at least in this season. I literally went from spending three days chiseling out a post to waking up on blogging days (Wednesdays) not having a clue what I’m going to write about.Read more
I’ve watched you as you wait. Motherhood is a waiting game, you know—a game that seems to have no end, at least not as far as I can tell, and I’m a grandmother seven times now.
The waiting game starts with waiting to get pregnant, then the nine months of waiting to deliver. You wait and you count the days on the calendar; you waddle around WalMart, shopping for a car seat, and then you wait in line until you think your bladder will burst. It bursts, but it’s not your bladder; it’s time. You thought it would be over then, the waiting, but no; it’s just beginning.
Days, weeks and months go by as you wait to get the hang of this motherhood thing; you rub your weary eyes and wait for the baby to go back to sleep, then to sleep through the night. You wait and wonder if this child will ever get potty-trained or learn to walk.
Then there are the years of waiting for the school bus, soccer practice and report cards to show up in the mail. Before you know it, they’re teenagers and it gets more serious: you wait for them to make curfew, to pull in the driveway safely when they finally get their license. Maybe you wait for college application results, (please, Lord!) or drug test or pregnancy results. (Pulleease, Lord!)
Later, you’ll wait (and wait) for a phone call and settle for a text.
I’ve waited too. I’ve waited with hope in my heart and with a pit in my stomach. Most of mothering is waiting for our prayers to be answered. I confess I didn’t always wait well. Maybe you can relate?
I wish I could tell you that one day the waiting will be over, but so far, that hasn’t been the case. My children are all adults with children of their own and I’m still waiting for some of my prayers for them to be answered, plus now there are all the prayers for my grandchildren. So many prayers. So much waiting.
It does get easier, though. I don’t get the pit in my stomach so much these days. I’ve stopped biting my nails (-ish.)
Lately, I’ve even started turning my phone off at night. You know how I learned to wait?
You’ll have to learn that way, too, I’m afraid, but hopefully it won’t take you as long as it did me. The waiting is inevitable but there’s a right way to do it. God’s way.
Here’s my Mother’s Day gift to you, whether you’re a new Mom or a Grandma:
Five ways to win the waiting game that is motherhood
We’re to wait quietly. That doesn’t mean we’re not supposed to talk about it out loud; it’s more about having a quiet spirit on the inside. Psalm 62:1 says, “I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from Him.” It’s about having peace while we wait for Him to move on our behalf. The phrase “wait quietly” means to be dumb, or astonished. Maybe because we trust that God will do something astonishing?
We’re to wait determinedly. Habakkuk was one example of this. He vowed to climb up the watch tower and station himself there until the Lord spoke to Him. And Isaiah speaks of posting watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem who pray day and night, continually, giving the Lord no rest until he completes his work. I like that! “Lord, I’m going to bombard you with prayers for my kid until you turn him around!” I think God likes it, too.
We’re to wait eagerly. This kind of waiting isn’t passive, it’s active. The implication is one of waiting spiritedly, with enthusiasm and thirst. “We have waited for you eagerly; Your name, even Your memory, is the desire of our souls.” Is 26:8 NASB
We’re to wait patiently. I think sometimes we act just like kids when on a road trip: “Are we there yet, huh, are we there yet? Are we, huh, huh; are we?!” To be patient means to bear provocation, annoyance, misfortune, delay, hardship or pain, with fortitude and calm and without complaint, anger or the like. Psalm 5:3 says, “Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait patiently.”
We’re to wait confidently. Micah 7 speaks of a son despising his father and a daughter defying her mother—enemies living in the same household! But then Micah says, “But as for me, I will look to the Lord for help. I wait confidently for God to save me and my God will certainly hear me.”
Oh, friends, if motherhood feels like a never-ending cycle of waiting, that’s because it is. There will be times when you get tired of waiting and you’ll be tempted to grab hold of the reins… to help God out just a little because it seems like he’s preoccupied (maybe with someone else’s kids?) but don’t do it. Won’t work. Know this from experience.
The past three weeks have been all about preparation. We’ve identified our mountains,gathered our provisions and scouted out some traveling companions. I don’t know about you, but I’m itching to start my climb. Now all we need is a trail guide, someone who’s walked this path and is familiar with the terrain.
I’ve asked my “sticky Velcro friend,” Lisa Morgan Moore to introduce you to our guide. Why Lisa? She’s a tough, seasoned climber who knows that without a guide, you’ll never make it to the top!
Lately, during my prayer time, I’ve had this huge ball of anxiety in the pit of my stomach. It didn’t make sense; life was good! Fall weather had finally shown up in my hometown of Wilmington, NC. Hurricane Michael (which we survived!) swept away the last of the humidity and cooler, more pleasant temperatures had arrived! I’d been relishing my coffee and prayer time on the back porch while enjoying the view of my cottage garden. So I asked God, “What’s with the anxiety?”