The blessing of waiting

Bruce fire

This moment caught my eye today. It represents eight months of waiting.

Bruce’s layoff was part of a company downsizing in May. Since then, he’s been working so hard building NEED POINT, Inc. while looking for work. He’s also been resting.


After 34 years of working tirelessly. Working three jobs as a teenager. Joining the Air Force at 18 so he could pay for his college education while serving his country. Working day shift, mid-shift and night shift until he couldn’t see straight.

For 25 years he’s never taken his role as leader and husband carelessly. It’s always been his first priority.

We’ve seen companies come and go. We’ve experienced promotions, layoffs and a relocation.

He’s traveled to work by car, bike, plane, bus, carpool, trolley, taxi and on foot. He’s gone to work healthy and sick. He’s worked when there were celebrations and when there was sadness.

He received calls when I went into labor and when his dad passed away while he was at work.

He’s always put family first, which meant passing up promotions, travel opportunities and jobs themselves if it would be a determent to our family.

He is brilliantly genius. The best in his field. Technology courses his veins and there is no one better.

So these eight months have been a blessing and a burden. He has felt discouraged, down-trodden and depressed. A man of his talent and energy, and humility, can start believing the lies about who he is after this long.

Recently, when we turned the page of a new year, I had a moment. It was a gut-wrenching moment of realizing we were dragging the dreaded unemployment into a new year. The weight was crushing.

But then, something happened. God flipped a switch in my heart. I watched Bruce as he slept and prayed, “Lord, if you are not going to change his circumstance, change his perspective on it. Change my perspective on it.”

From that day forward, everything changed. We have found peace in the waiting. We know that God is working around the clock to bring everything together in His way, His time, for His glory.

We know for certain there is purpose in the waiting.

As my husband hammers out countless resumes, holds numerous phone and video interviews, and reaches out to every contact we know – all while still working on our non-profit – there is a new perspective which gives us the strength, peace and joy to meet each day while we wait.

We are living Isaiah 40:28-31 –
“Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.”

So when I saw Bruce resting on the couch as our city is shut down with winter weather, I smiled as I looked at living, breathing Scripture. God is giving him a much needed, long overdue, season of rest both as a respite from decades without a break and to rejuvenate him for the days to come.

I thank God for this gift, as the hope for our future blooms a new bud in my heart. It is well with my soul. ❤




Sand and Water #1 Rest

Stand at the crossroads and lookask for the ancient paths,

ask where the good way is, and walk in it,

and you will find rest for your souls.

~ Jeremiah 6:16

I am sitting in what feels like a painting.  We’re at the beach, and it is lightly raining.  I’ve perched myself on the balcony of our rental, and as I write it’s hard to imagine this is real.  Quite comfortable on the large, swinging bench, my dog leans against me – head up, ears cocked, eyes alert – she is protecting the alpha female…me.  On the swing, I’ve got with me my Bible, my camera bag, a devotional, this blog and black raspberry sparkling ice.  The only thing missing from the big rocks in my jar is my family who are delightfully playing in the ocean – despite the rain.

Not a sound.  Just rain falling softly on tin roofs and palm fronds sleepily swaying in the wind.  A beach vacation certainly assumes time in the sun, but as much as we anticipate that, we need rest.  I’ve learned that in life, sometimes the rain has to fall to make us stop and rest.

We’ve vacationed so hard sometimes that we were exhausted when we returned home.  That was more of a trip than vacation.  This time is intended as a respite.  A reconnect.  A refreshing as we gear up for a busy school year.  Let the rain fall if it means I don’t feel the pressure to plan activities or bring out the exasperating person in me who feels the endless need to be everything to everyone.

The breeze is beautiful.  The scenery divine.  It’s all good.

Reminding myself it’s all good is why I am writing today.  I have said goodbye to one season of life and am anticipating a new one.  It brings a lot of change with it, and although no life is perfect, this new season has perfect timing.

I take yet another lesson from my dog.  She drove with us many hours and miles, never having a clue where we were going.  She was patient in the car though she didn’t understand the GPS or our may stops.  Once here, she just wanted to know where her food, water and bed were.  After that, she is content just to be with us no matter what we do.

We are each on a journey of our own.  Only God knows where we are going – and He controls the GPS.  Are we patient traveling along the long roads, in traffic, in rain, at night, when we’re tired, when we take an unexpected trip to urgent care en route, when we are bored and are really done with this part of the journey?

When God leads us to our appointed destination, are we content with the basics of trusting Him to provide for our needs – or do we automatically begin foraging for ourselves?  Do we have and exercise faith that He knows what we need and will help us?

Once we are convinced He has our best at heart, are we content to simply be with Him throughout the days, following Him without complaint regardless of where, when or for how long He walks the sandy shore?

Is His presence enough to satisfy us without asking, “Yeah, I know God, but what else are we going to do?”

Lots to think about as I look down at my dog who involuntarily sways back and forth to the rhythm of the swing.  She’s just happy to be with me.  I want that blissfulness with God rain or shine, beach or home, good days or bad, rough waters or smooth sailing.  That is the desire of my heart.

Don’t Forget to Breathe!

This morning, I followed my little ritual as I added chlorine to our pool –  bring bucket of chlorine to the skimmer.  Take off the lid to the skimmer of the pool, and set it aside.  Lean over and slightly unlatch the childproof locks on the canister.  Stop.  Close my eyes.  Take in one, deep breath very slowly.  Release.  Take a second breath in deeply, slowly.  Trying not to get dizzy, I take a third, very deep breath and hold it.  Frantically, all in one movement, I open my eyes, throw off the cover to the canister, scramble for the scoop, measure the scoops of chlorine into the skimmer, throw the skimmer lid back on, snap the canister lid back on, and take off running as fast as I can across the yard away from the whole thing.  When the air finally settled, I returned for the canister and carried it back to its place, walking calmly as if nothing ever happened.

Yes, I am sure I look ridiculous.  But, 100% chlorine is miserable to breathe in as its fumes sting my eyes, nose and throat.   I got a big dose once that taught me never to do it slowly again.  So, that’s my theatrical performance in the backyard when the pool needs chlorine.

However, I feel that is also my reaction to life when it spins faster than a toy top.  Ramping up for a new school year, with many changes happening for our family, I find myself neglecting to breathe.  Literally.  It seems when I get stressed, I shallow-breathe.  I went to the doctor once about tingling hands and feet.  She said it was caused from hyperventilating.

But, I’m not heaving deep breaths, nor am I all upset and worked up like some I’ve seen hyperventilate! I replied.

She explained that not breathing deep enough can cause the same malfunctioning circulation.  I had no idea.

Ever since she taught me this, I am intentional about breathing when currents pick up and waves rise.  Like adding chlorine to the pool, I try to remember to stop.  Close my eyes.  Breathe deeply.

Sometimes I forget.  That’s been the case the past couple of weeks.  It’s very easy to slowly let life control the ship, and the next thing I know my world is being rocked like a toy boat spinning in a bathtub drain.

God is the one who needs to remain in control of life.  He is, after all, the one with all the answers, the patience, the knowledge and time at His disposal; crafted by His hand for our good.  Even when life seems like it doesn’t make sense, He is good and sovereign.  When bad things happen in this fallen world, I have faith He is the God of redemption and NOTHING is beyond His reach of grace and glory.

But, some days I still forget to breathe.  I let the endless list of things to do, people to please, and pressuring priorities determine my day.  That’s so backwards.  Being intentional about breathing means:

1. Give the day to God first and let Him be captain and I be the skipper – not the other way around.

2. Pace myself and not get in a flurry and do too many things at once.  I’m going to buffer time into the day for the unexpected things – of which I’ve already encountered three times this morning!

3. Realize the day’s expectations are more than I can meet.  Some things must simply wait until tomorrow.

4. Move my body.  Too often, my brain muscle gets all the exercise while my body lies dormant. Balance is a good thing.

5. Understand I am NOT responsible for other people’s happiness.  They are.

6. Appreciate the small treasures buried along the journey’s path.  Stolen moments with my kids.  The smell of gardenias in the backyard.  Pondering the blessings God has given me by way of family, friends, a new day to discover, and a healing back. 🙂

7. Work hard.  There is no guilt when I fully know I’ve done the best job I can do.

8. Put my feet up – if only for a little while.  Physically, it’s good for the heart.  Mentally, it’s a priceless break from everything.

9. Use the Holy Spirit as my filter for my attitude and my answers.  When seeking God’s perspective on things, His response is usually different than my own.

10. Breathe.  Literally and metaphorically.  Whatever helps decompress.  I do intentionally take deep breaths throughout the day (my kids think it’s a sign of exasperation, but it’s not – it’s preservation!).  I also breathe in ways that give me the same rejuvenating benefit like writing this blog 🙂 playing with my dog, a conversation with my husband or friend, doing something for someone else and doing something for myself – be it work or play (because sometimes tackling a long-dreaded project feels as good as taking a walk or watching a favorite show on tv).

Fall hasn’t begun yet, so I refuse to let its pressures and strain begin now.  There are precious days of summer left, and perhaps by keeping these days in check it will help me do the same when new routines begin.  It’s all good stuff, and it should be acknowledged as such.  If I don’t want to hear my kids complain, then I shouldn’t either.  This was a nice, deep breathe.  I’m ready to tackle embrace the day.  Are you?

May today be a great day…and don’t forget to breathe!

Selah come quickly

I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me. ~ Psalm 3:5

Today is the Sabbath, and I am soooo ready to rest.  A wonderful mission trip overseas, a huge party at our house three days after returning, a 3-hour bike ride (a promise to my children), and life’s pace picking back up with commitments and responsibilities – all make me well aware of the need for rest.

Join me today in stopping.  Listening.  Resting.  Ceasing.  Just being.

Our bodies need it.  Our souls need it.  Rest is our gas, ironically enough.  Take today to fuel up for the week.

Be back tomorrow for a true story I hope I won’t regret posting.  🙂

Happy Selah Day,


That’s Not Me This Time

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.  Psalm 62:5

Yeah!  It’s Sunday!  So happy to rest today.  Right now, there are birds outside my window jockeying for the best position on the bird feeder.  They are fluttering, singing and racing to see who gets what.  I say, Go for it.  I’m too tired to be that today in my life.

What a week.  A good week, but an exhausting one.  Thanking God for the Sabbath.

Hope to see you back here tomorrow for more real…deep…stuff!

Enjoy this selah day,


Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!

So glad to cross the finish line of this week’s amazing race!  How about you?

Our family accomplished some tough goals this week and are stronger for it. Praise God!  Now we’re ready to simply enjoy the Sabbath – the day of rest blessed by God.

Here is Scripture to help all of us embrace the fullness of what we at RealDeepStuff like to call “Selah Day,”

Psalm 46:10 – Be still and know that I am God…

Can’t wait to meet back here tomorrow.  Now go rest! 🙂

~ Kristi