Archive for the ‘waiting’ Tag

Misery Loves Surprises   Leave a comment

The misery that you worry about is not the misery that comes.

It never is.

Most of the time, the things I worry about don’t actually happen.

Sometimes they do, but most of the time, the hard things are not the things I was expecting.  They are the things I wasn’t looking for.  I thought somebody would get injured or sick, but instead, my husband lost his job when I knew he was well liked and the economy was booming.  I thought I’d have to put out the fire, but instead I got a flood.

There will always be hard things.  They are just part of life in this world.  Others have suffered; I too will suffer.  Others have lived right on, as Wendell Berry says we do in those times; I too will live right on.

So I have decided that when I find myself worrying about the challenges ahead, and when I start feeling the dread and mess of possible outcomes, I will remind myself of this.  Yes, difficulties that make me feel miserable will come.  They always do eventually.  But I am going to chose not to imagine, in advance, what they will be.

The misery you worry about is not the misery that comes.


Posted November 15, 2017 by swanatbagend in waiting

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It’s Gonna Get Better   2 comments

I am thinking now that I have probably spent most of my forty-eight years waiting for something to get better or be fixed or come to pass, on the assumption that when it did, everything would be in place and I could go forward with my life instead of being in wait mode.

What I’m thinking today is that my mistake was thinking there would ever be a time when every aspect of my life was perfectly aligned and all working the way I desired.

I guess it’s natural to resist when things don’t go as we want, and to work to make them better, and to take action to achieve a dream or better outcomes.  There’s nothing wrong with fixing what’s wrong.

Where I get tripped up is thinking that there will be an end point I reach solely by my power, where finally, nothing is wrong.

While I devoutly wish for joy and happiness and safety for all people, and let’s face it, especially for myself and my dear people, that is not going to happen.


In the meantime, there is much happening I’m going to rejoice in.  It’s not perfect, but it is good.

I don’t have all the energy I want, but I’ve got enough to do what I need to do.

I don’t have all the success I want, but I in general, I like my life and have meaningful work to do each day.

I don’t have all the health I want, but I’m still able to go out and about, do fun things like take the family camping in Florida for spring break, as long as I pay attention and take care of myself.  I can’t do everything I’d like to or dreamed of, but there are many things I can do.

I don’t have all the money I want (amazingly–what about you?) but I have more than enough for myself and every good deed.

I don’t have the perfect life for my kids that I want, but they warm my heart with who they are, I thank God for the opportunities they have, and I thank God that they are in his loving grip.

I don’t have all the friends I want, but there are people in my life who are good, and I thank God for giving them to me.

I don’t have all the time I want, but I have–now.


It’s his job to direct circumstances and move the world forward to perfection.  It’s mine to live in the gap between the future and the current reality.

Posted April 10, 2016 by swanatbagend in waiting

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Waiting   Leave a comment

We took the kids and went to serve as a family at an urban experience workday today.  The church is partnering with a business to renovate some apartments downtown and provide affordable housing and space for city missionaries.  We had never done anything like this or rather I hadn’t, since Greg has done Habitat work in the past.

But being inexperienced, while we thought we were arriving on time for the second shift of the day, it turned out that they were serving a midday lunch to a large group of young people who had served in the morning.  Since we’d grabbed lunch before we left and we thought it would be simpler, we waited in the car.

We ended up waiting about an hour.

The really silly thing is that my ten-year-old handled this delay more gracefully than I did.  I even had a book to read, and he didn’t.  He and his sister hung out and laughed about different things in the back seat.  He was still good to go hammer nails out of old trim an hour later with no complaints whatsoever.

And me?  I didn’t complain out loud, but I was just about at the end of my rope at the end of that hour.

there are so many other things I could have been doing with this time.

I wonder if I have attention deficit disorder sometimes.  Maybe that’s why this is so hard.

why didn’t he contact someone first so we could know when we were supposed to arrive?

and what happens when we finally get in there, the kids will be tired before they start…

and more thoughts of that nature.

But I was absolutely wrong.  They were good to go.  So much for the superior patience of the 47-year-old mother.

Posted November 16, 2014 by swanatbagend in waiting

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