the tearful, messy, magnificent now

Full disclosure?

I’m sitting down to write this because it’s hard to focus on the research I’m doing for my new book.

It’s hard to focus because I feel like I’m perpetually waiting on something.

And, sorta, I am.

I shouldn’t feel that way (because it’s totally unproductive), but I’m honest to a fault. So I’ll be honest: right now I check my email more times a day than should be socially acceptable.

A great literary agent has my full manuscript. I started the initial process with her in October, and in the publishing world, October to February is basically a blink of an eye. Really. It’s hardly any time at all.

And she’s been awesome this whole time.

Yet, still…I find myself wandering through the desert of doubtful waiting just like the Israelites did. You know, the people who doubted God after like a day or two of not knowing what’s ahead? The people who were given a dry path clear across a huge sea and a few days later decided the same God who’d parted the waters must have forgotten them?

Yeah. I’m like them.

I’ll own it.

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Stephanie Leight

And it was in this moment of owning it, of telling God that He’s taking too long and I wouldn’t do it this way…in this raw pouring out to God that I felt the gentle tug at my heart to look around.

So I did.

I saw two cats sleeping, a drippy sink, a warm lamp, well-lived-on couches, chocolate for days, a knee bandaged with physical therapy tape, silence and a ticking clock, and still the dream of sharing my words beat deep inside.

But I closed my eyes and simply stilled in the faith that my God is here.

Right now. Right now is a gift.

Right now – when I don’t have everything I want – is a gift.

The sink is dripping and I love its familiar rhythm. I won’t always have this cozy starter home, I found myself realizing.

Thank You God, for right now.

Bandaged though I am, I won’t always have my health.

Thank You God, for right now.

I won’t always have this glorious silence which lends itself perfectly to writing.

Thank You God, for right now.

I don’t have a published book yet. I don’t even have my agent yet.

Maybe the best things take time.

Thank You God, for right now.

The dishes are messy and the washer is full and the day might come when I’m older and brittle and can’t unload it by myself.

Thank You God, for right now.

And yet…tears well up in my eyes as I write this because…publishing my stories is such a desire. And it hasn’t happened in my timing.

And like the Israelites, when things didn’t go just as they wanted…

…I find myself doubting in a puddle of honest tearsdoes God really have the best plans for me?

You do, don’t You? I ask.

I look around again.

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Stephanie Leight

And I soak it in. The sunlight through the windowpane and the dust on the floor and the coffee in the pot.

The magnificent now. The messy, beautiful, wildly merciful gift of right now.

Gratefulness to God is a balm to my doubting soul.

And the desire of my heart still beats strong…yet through the tears, through the fear of the unknown, through the impatience, I know Who holds my heartbeat.

I know Who holds my now.

And there is this:

“This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the LORD’s Passover.” Exodus 12:11

Here, the Israelites hadn’t been freed from the Egyptians yet. But they were instructed to eat this meal in haste, which demonstrated faith and readiness for the deliverance the Lord had promised but had not yet been seen.

Amazing.

So I’ll write my books and wait hopefully for that email, all the while with my cloak tucked in and with my sandals on my feet.

And if I don’t get the email I want?

Mmm. That will hurt. More than I’d care to admit. But I pray to let gratefulness be a balm to my soul, music to my heart, and a fragrant offering to Perfect Love Himself.

And I pray for the faith to keep going.

Blessings to you and peace to your own precious heart,

 Robyn

Peace in the Waiting

I suppose when I’d set out to publish my children’s book, I expected it to get picked up over night.

It didn’t.

It’s actually only been 2 months. In robyn-is-waiting-for-something-time, that’s like the equivalent of about 100 million years. In getting-a-book-published-time, that’s like, half a second.

And just because my book hasn’t been picked up in my timing, I subconsciously started questioning, “Well, but, didn’t God lead me here? Isn’t this the desire of my heart? Didn’t I follow Him into a risk and didn’t He promise to provide? Wait…did I hear Him correctly when I decided to make this my career? Was this a bad idea?”

And the questions continued until this weekend when they finally came to a head and exploded in a volcano of ALL THE FEELINGS. (Plus, you know, being in the middle of a move takes emotions like 10 notches higher than normal anyway).

Tears streamed down my face and my sweet husband pulled over and gently asked me what was wrong.

“Um.”

I furrowed my brow and honestly couldn’t name it because there were lots of trivial SUPER important things wrong. You know, like, the armoir that’s been sitting in our new living room, will someone PLEASE take it so I can paint the walls and I haven’t had chocolate cookie quarry ice cream in like two weeks and and Tucker doesn’t like the new spot of his cat tree but my coffee bar has to go SOMEwhere and which moving box are my t-shirts in, again?

But, no. Those weren’t what was really bothering me.

“I just….sniff…I just want….”

I felt myself pout a little. Because I knew what was really bothering me.

(And I thought I was going to be mature about this whole waiting-for-my-book-to-be-picked-up thing).

Alas.

So I let it out.

I just WANT my book published! Like, NOW! I mean, I thought it would have been picked up already!!! I thought since God lead me here that He would do it super fast, and did I do something wrong? Did I make a mistake and that’s why this is taking longer than I thought it would?

Michael’s gentle voice brought me back from the rabbit trail of questions. “I don’t think God works that way.”

Of course, he’s right.

But I wanted to keep pouting. Because, you know, that’s very mature of me.

So I did.

And Michael continued. “You know, do you think this is the best time for your book to be picked up? I mean, we don’t even have our office set up because we’re in the middle of a move. Do you think maybe God knows better than you when it’s the right time?”

Well, the man had a point.

“And don’t you ever have to say ‘not yet’ or ‘no’ to your kids when they want something, because you know what’s best? Even if they don’t understand?”

I nodded.

Oh.

And then I sat back in that passenger seat and thought about my nanny littles.

I say ‘no’ to them lots of times; when my adventurers want to be more adventurous than I think is good or safe, I have to say no. Or if they want dessert before lunch, I have to say “not yet. Just wait a little longer for it.”

And they don’t always understand or agree, but I do what’s best for them.

Because I love them.

So I sat and thought about just how much I care about those littles, and how I say ‘no’ or ‘not yet’ because I love them and want the best for them…and then I thought….

how much more does God, our Father, love us? Love me?

“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith” Galatians 3:26.

And since He’s our perfectly loving Father, He has to say ‘no’ or ‘not yet,’ to us, too.

Because He loves us.

And all of a sudden I became His little, wanting what I want right now, wanting that publishing deal, and begging for it with tears.

And I know He doesn’t mind my contending with Him.

I also know He knows what’s best.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future” Jeremiah 29:11.

“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” Isaiah 55:9.

You know what’s hard? Worshiping a God whom you’re afraid has forgotten you.

But you know what’s strengthening? Trusting that God is who He says He is. Taking His Word for truth.

And living it.

Even in the waiting.

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He bends down to paint His love for us each day

Blessings to you,

Robyn