1. Waiting for the Wind

Welcome to Our Boat

My husband & I have been in the mightiest struggle of our 30 + years of marriage. Our struggle is not with each other, although we’ve been at odds a time or two. This struggle is one of coming to terms with and accepting the extreme detour we never saw coming.

His Parkinson’s diagnosis combined with a sudden up-ending of his career have landed us on a path we never would have chosen. Yet, we have been taking baby steps forward to gain our footing on the slippery deck of our new normal. And as we have slowly re-gained some balance and confidence, we’re realizing there are a number of amazingly good experiences we would have missed had we not been forced in this direction.

Along this quite lengthy adjustment period, the Holy Spirit has kindly gifted us with a helpful prophetic picture of hope to steady us. The picture has become a sturdy anchor when life feels like a storm tossed sea.  What do we see in our picture, but a sailboat adrift on the sea. Perhaps Jesus will help me to use words to paint the scene.

Holy Spirit, I ask You now for help. I want to take every reader on a tour of our sailboat. Please open the imagination of each reader so that they will have the eyes of their hearts enlightened to see what You have shown us. You are so GOOD, Father. Thank You for the peace and comfort You provide each of Your children as we dream and imagine right alongside You. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayers. In Jesus’ most precious name I ask, Amen!

Aboard this boat you will find my dear man & myself. I’m seated in the back on a bench while my man with the sun-tanned feet is at the front. And next to my man stands another man looking very comfortable and in-charge. 

Who is that man?

At first glimpse, the sailboat delights me. Can you see it bright and shining as it bobs upon the glassy water? It makes me smile as feelings of peace and joy wash over me like the warmth of sunshine.

I mean who wouldn’t want to be enjoying a sailboat adventure? Wouldn’t you? I see no dark storm clouds or turbulent waves in my picture. Do you?Of course not, it’s a perfect season for a sailing upon the open sea!

As I look up to watch my dear man at the front, I wonder {out loud} why we aren’t going anywhere. Immediately, the confident boatman turns toward me and speaks simple words, “I’m teaching him how to sail.”

I recognize Him. This instructor is… Jesus! 

The picture has given us words to create our personal couple language, which helps us to process our individual thoughts and feelings. We need to sort, sift and work it all through because we’ve never lived here before. Our emotions have an outlet as we imagine what it feels like to learn to sail in real time as we also recognize the feelings of being all alone adrift on the open water. Our boat is a place of hope because we see Jesus is with us. We grasp this truth; we are not alone. We are an intimate crew of three. As we watch and wait together, we realize that we are going to do this together. Jesus is our teacher, and we can see His confidence.

Thus, the sailboat becomes a shared imagery & common language by which we share honestly before the Lord and with each other. Our sailboat inspires us to hold onto hope like an anchor, which often keeps us from drifting too far into dangerous waters of doubt.

Before you begin to feel discouraged about your own detour, let me just add that we are slow learners. Our detour onto the sailboat was more than five years ago. Along the way, we’ve each had our roller coaster moments. I think my dear man would agree we’ve each experienced the full spectrum of emotions. Gratefully, one of us is usually on the upside when the other is sliding down. We’re definitely riding the crazy learning curve.

Interestingly, when we first found ourselves detoured from the life path we had chosen, we had no idea what lay ahead in 2020. However, as we take a look back we recognize God already knew. WE feel even more sure now that He was teaching us to sail while the waters were calm knowing that 2020 would bring storms.

We see the goodness of our Teacher to take us ahead for training so that we would be prepared for such a time as this. Jesus knew that many friends and family members would find themselves detoured, feeling unstable, fearful and insecure in the unfamiliar landscape. He knew that my dear man and I would be able to call out, “Hey, sailor, we’re here! You’re not alone. It’s going to be okay.”

Some of you experienced detours way before us. You were ahead of us on the learning curve and completely understand the difficulty of gaining balance and learning to wait well. We know we’re certainly not the first or last people to pass this way. Perhaps you know from experience or you have recently realized that both waiting and learning are required for a faith journey into intimacy with Jesus.

I wonder if you’ll join me for a season of pondering the detour, the boat, the training, and the waiting. Will you look with me at Jesus and some of His friends as we seek to learn from them as they trained and became useful for service in a new normal under Jesus’ confident tutelage.

Surely there’s much we can glean from their stories. Please feel free to ponder with me, ask your own questions, tell your own stories and offer your learned Godly wisdom. So, if you’re in ~ welcome aboard!

Actively Waiting

We set our alarms for the dark, predawn hour. I slept, but he may not have slept much. Anticipation. A bit of nerves. The tummy rumbles because there’s been no food since dinner.

I had the honor of being the driver. Feeling a bit guilty, I drank my coffee anyway. My boiled eggs were eaten before the pick up. Trying to be considerate, I let the windows down, though the air was frosty; trying to remove the smell of breakfast from the car.

We finally arrived after navigating morning commuter traffic. Bags in tow we found our waiting base camp location. We had snacks and chargers, books and journals, pens and just lots of stuff. Our active waiting would be filled with productivity. Maybe.

We sat with him while he waited to go back. He was wearing the lovely paper cap and heat infused gown, all wonderfully coordinated with the hospital socks. We laughed. Waited. Offered to take his picture. He was not in favor.

And then the time came to kiss, hug and wave a “see ya after” while they wheeled him behind the doors. Nurses assured. The surgeon greeted. He smiled. He placed an assuring hand on her shoulder and promised to take good care of him.

He would wait asleep for good news upon waking.

The time had come. The wait was really on. A once empty room was now quite full. The air nippy outside was warmed by sunlight through windows. Like plants in a green house, we sat with faces turned toward the light and soaked in the sun.

Chairs were rearranged throughout the day to form huddles of loved ones waiting together. Whispering voices created a white noise symphony of various tones. The mood was positive with chuckles filling the air now and again.

Some slept. Snored. Worked puzzles. Many stared at screens. Some read books. All were actively waiting in some capacity.

Waiting. Have you ever noticed that waiting is an activity?

Psalm 37 has an overarching theme of waiting. Wait for the Lord. But in the meanwhile, do these things. Through a particularly long season of waiting, I’ve found great comfort and tons of wisdom for life just in the first 11 verses. Here’s a sample.

  • Do not fret or be envious
  • Trust in the Lord
  • Do good
  • Dwell in safe pasture
  • Delight in the Lord
  • Commit your way to the Lord
  • Trust Him
  • Be still before the Lord
  • Wait patiently for the Lord
  • Do not fret
  • Refrain from anger
  • Turn from wrath
  • Do not fret
  • Hope in the Lord
  • Patience for a little while longer
  • Be meek

Did anyone else notice that the admonition “do not fret” was included three times? Go check it for yourself. It’s in there – three times.

Fretting might be the easiest “go to” activity in a waiting room. However, God says don’t fret – don’t worry. Then He offers all of these other activities to take the place of worrying about circumstances we can’t control anyway.

In this current waiting season, I’m choosing to pursue these activities prescribed by God in Psalm 37. I sometimes forget and default to fretting. And you will too. However, the practice of actively seeking God in the waiting creates faith muscle memory. The more I practice, the more I’m likely to seek His face, to trust and wait patiently for the Lord.

Everyone around me was waiting for news. Hoping for good news. Waiting for the updates. Surgery has begun. The patient is doing well. We’re almost finished. Recovery room. All is well. We’ll come and get you when you are able to visit.

Relief began to fill faces as the waiting time was over… one by one.

I don’t know the hearts of all the people in the waiting room yesterday. There may have been some fretting. It may have been hard to be patient or to trust God. That was true for most of us, I’m sure.

Watching though, I witnessed a whole bunch of kindness, doing good, caring, and concern for other human beings. My heart was filled with hope. Love is still active in our world.

That’s how I see it. What do you think?

Eyes on Jesus and SHINE,



Today I am joining the Five Minute Friday team in a five minute writing challenge on the one word {active}. I wrote for more than five minutes. That’s fairly obvious. However, I appreciate the five minute timer because it gets me focused and sets me on a course for writing.

Thanks, Kate, for encouraging us to keep writing.