Thursday, February 27, 2014

Waiting On The Lord...How and Why?

Hey Friend,

I know that I will date myself with this story, but some of you may remember this.  Others will get a glimpse into a different place and time.  I remember, as a kid, studying the back of cereal boxes.  Why?  Often they had a special, must- have kind of toy advertised that you could send away for.  All you needed to do to get the prize, was send in three or four cereal box tops plus a nominal amount of money ($1) and in 6-8 weeks it would arrive in your mailbox.

Now think about that for a moment.  In order to collect three or four box tops, that was a lot of bowls of Wheaties or Cheerios that you had to gobble through.  Then came earning the money to send away for said toy.  THEN to top it off you had to wait 6-8 weeks for it to arrive.  That, my friends, is a lot of waiting!!  Children in this day and age would never wait that long for gratification or satisfaction.  It would be unheard of. 

What children (and adults) are missing out on these days is the joy and hope found in expectancy.

Because we live in a "gotta have it right now" world, we miss out on the gifts found in waiting.

God asks us over and over again, in the Bible, to wait.  Not so that He can frustrate us, but for a cause much greater - to build our character and to bestow His gifts upon us.

I would like to share some of my favorite scriptures on waiting and what gifts the discipline of waiting brings.  God offers the gift of:

Strength:  (Isaiah 40:31)  But they who wait for the Lord will renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not be faint.

Hope:  (Psalm 130:5)  I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.

Blessings:  (Isaiah 30:18)  Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you.  For the Lord is a God of justice;  blessed are all those who wait for him.

Goodness:  (Lamentations 3:25)  The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.

God's blessings, for those who wait upon Him, are endless.  But, when you are in a painful place, waiting is one of the hardest things you can do.  Let's face it, it is often nearly impossible to wait.  The world tells us that having to wait is bad.  Actually, the opposite is true.  Learning to wait and learning how to wait is, in fact, good for us. 

I can look back over my life and I can clearly see that is was in the times of waiting that God drew close to me.  When we can't "work" the problem and simply have to be still and wait, God comes and abides with us and pours out His gentle love upon us.  I love the following quote:

"Teach us, O Lord, the discipline of patience, for to wait is often harder than to work."  (P. Marshall)

Furthermore, God not only tells us to wait, but He tells us How to wait.  Okay, God, now you're really asking us a lot...He says to wait patiently.  Patiently meaning free from anxiety and worrying.  Patiently?  Really?

Psalm 27:14:  Wait patiently for the Lord.  Be brave and courageous.  Yes wait patiently for the Lord.

Psalm 37:7:  Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act.  Don't worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.

The last verse I will reference is my "Life Scripture" which you can find under headings.  There was a time that I had to wait through excruciating depression and anxiety (we're talking years) until I was able to be restored to find joy in living.  I Know, full well, how difficult waiting can be especially when you don't see anything (seemingly) changing.  Take heart, God is always behind the scenes working.  That's why He calls us to be still and let Him do His work in us.

Psalm 40:1-3:  I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry...(I'll let you look up the rest)

Three things I have learned in my waiting:

He (God) is worth waiting for.

Waiting is good for us.

God blesses those that wait.

Sometimes the blessing is not realized in this earthly realm, but if we are believers, we can know that we will be blessed beyond belief in eternity.

My prayer is that I would become better at waiting patiently.  Patience is not my middle name.  I also pray that my children will grow in the discipline of waiting patiently.  Last of all, I would pray that you would find love, joy and hope in the expectancy of waiting.  God makes good on His promises because He is good and He loves you!

In His love,


ps. If you need prayers in your season of waiting, feel free to leave a prayer request in the "Comments" or email me with your request.

Friday, February 21, 2014

When The Answer Is, "I Don't Know."

Hey Friend,

I was recently wed on January 18, 2014.  It was a day full of joy and life and hope.  Right after the ceremony an impromptu receiving line of sorts formed.  Not surprisingly among the first to greet me, to greet us, was my best friend, Cindy, from high school.  She had traveled from New York City to little Cary, NC to share in my special day.

Squeals of joy erupted as Cindy grabbed my two hands and held them over my head as if I had just won the gold medal in finding love.  "Can you believe it?  You're married," she beamed.  Her beautiful eyes danced with joy as she enveloped me in a big bear hug.  This was Cindy - always bubbly and effervescent in her view of life.

This was my friend with whom I had shared my deepest secrets, heart throbs and heart breaks, hi jinx and escapades...Life.  It was no accident that Cindy and I would have several opportunities to interact that evening.  It was almost like God kept drawing us together. Not, unlike how He had drawn us together so many years ago.

That's why my heart ripped in two and I fell to my knees when I got the phone call that eleven days after my wedding, Cindy had collapsed due to cardiac arrest while attending a charitable fundraiser.  She went into a coma and had passed away less than a week later.  "O God, NO!" was all I could manage to say over and over.  Only weeks ago she had been fully alive and exuberant at my wedding.  This couldn't be.  It didn't make sense.

Cindy had her first cardiac arrest at the age of 27.  Three more defibrillator surgeries later, she was still seizing life and fighting for the underdog.  I remember emails from Cindy as she and her husband spent eight weeks in Xi'an China volunteering at the Starfish Foster Home.  Starfish's goal is saving lives of Chinese orphans with special medical needs. See

I could tell from her writing that they were falling in love with one particular little girl who lay there in her lonely crib with a large sac on her head and spina bifida.  This little angel was undernourished and under loved. There were only so many arms to go around.  It came as no surprise to me that Cindy and Pat decided to adopt this little girl and provide her with the life saving surgery that she so desperately needed.  This was so in keeping with Cindy's golden and loving heart.

Cindy lived the scriptures and mirrored the heart of God, who holds dear, orphans and widows.

Defend the cause of the weak and the fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed.  (Psalm 82:3)

"I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."  (Matthew 25:40)

Surely the life of this woman who looked after orphans in their distress was one to be saved?!

So, Why? Why did my dear friend pass away when her daughter was only six and she was doing such wonderful works to champion the cause of these little helpless ones?  My mind searched and I couldn't find an answer that made sense.  For days I've alternated between spells of crying and prayers of seeking and searching for answers.

I wish that I could offer you some definitive answer, but honestly the real answer is simply, "I don't know."  I can't pretend to know the vast mind of God.  His ways are so much bigger than our ways.  The one thing that came to mind when I prayed was Proverbs 3:5:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.

When I don't understand the ways of God, I need to know the heart of God.

God is good all of the time and all of the time, God is good.

Above all...God is Love!

This is what I cling to when life doesn't make sense.  God is Sovereign.  God is in control.  God is good.

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face.  Now I know in part, then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.  (1 Corinthians 13:12)

On this side of Heaven's gates we only see in part.  One day we will have the answers to all our questions, but for now, we must trust.  I must trust.  I will have to sit with the not knowing.

This I do know...when I reach Heaven, Cindy will be among the first to greet me.  She'll grab my arms and hold them victoriously in the air and she'll beam as she always does.  Then she'll squeal with joy, "Can you believe it...we made it?"

Not goodbye...but till we see each other again.  I love you and miss you my dear friend...

In His love,


ps. Just a reminder that if you read my blog, know that I pray for you every morning and every evening.  May you be blessed...

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Divorce is Brutiful

Hey Friend,

For those of you who follow my blog, you know that I was married on January 18th to wonderful and godly man who truly cherishes me.  This has been a dream come true.  God truly blessed the broken road that brought me to this point!  In our darkest times...He is faithful.  He promises to bring us through our trials and not leave us stuck in them.

This week I offer you a special view into my wedding through the writings of my daughter, Nicole Duncan.  Like her momma, she finds power and comfort from putting her thoughts into words.  I hope you will click on this link to read Nicole's thoughts on divorce and hope.  She also shares her maid of honor speech she gave at the wedding which brought me, not surprisingly, to tears.

I give you Nicole:

In His love,

Thursday, February 6, 2014

When You Are Chosen

Hey Friend,

At some time we probably have all experienced what it is like not to be chosen.  For me, it was often in gym class when pick up teams were being chosen for dodge ball or softball.  I knew all too well the dejected feeling of being the consolation pick at the end.  I knew I didn't have a very good throwing arm and so did the athletically inclined girls in class.

But, what about the thrill of being chosen?  I get super excited if my name is drawn out of the hat for the door prize because I rarely win those types of things.  Maybe you know the thrill of being chosen for a team? a date? an award? a job? 

I went to a high school with over 3,000 students.  I thought, at the time, that the pinnacle of being chosen was to be selected all four years for the cheerleading squad.  I practiced hard for those tryouts and I endured the looks (you know the kind) and the catty comments.  This was surely what being "chosen" was all about...

That was until I caught on to what being "chosen" was all about in God's vernacular.  Worldly choosing is about luck or looks or athletic prowess.  God's choosing is based on love.  Worldly choosing is based upon competition.  God's choosing is based upon being called.

You are chosen by God:  "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, (Hebrew translation for the word knew is chosen) before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." (Jeremiah 1:5).  God was speaking to Jeremiah.  He also is speaking to you and me.

God set His people Israel apart to be His own: But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. (1 Peter 2:9).

The Bible says that God's choosing is not based on anything we do to earn or deserve His love.  He loves us and chooses us to be His own because the very definition of God is love.  It's really pure and simple.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28).

Know that the Lord as set apart the godly for himself; the Lord will hear when I call to him.  (Psalm 4:3).

God chooses you simply because He IS love and you are the object of His affection.  He chooses you to be in relationship with be the beneficiary of His great love.  He chose to send His son to die for you.

The emphasis here is not on the one being chosen, but rather on the One doing the choosing. 

In worldly choosing it is the survival of the fittest.  In God's economy it is being chosen because the creator of the universe loves YOU that much!  He loves you just for being YOU!

While we were yet sinners, God chose to love us.  He sets us apart and draws us into Himself and wants to wrap us in His love and whisper to us, "I choose you."  I pray that you will welcome being chosen and that you will accept God's gift of unfailing love.

In His love,