Waiting is painful, yet fruitful

On Tuesday afternoon, my husband and I took the kids to the lake to swim. While I was taking a dip myself, I got water in my right ear that still has not come out. I’ve shaken my head sideways so much I now have neck pain. I’ve tried every home remedy and over-the-counter product you can get your hands on. No luck. My right ear is still frustratingly clogged.

I’ll probably need to see a doctor to fix the problem, which won’t happen until Monday at the earliest. So until then, I’m stuck with a water-logged ear and jacked-up hearing.

If you’re anything like me, you despise those times when life is difficult and nothing you can do at the moment will change your circumstances.

Yet these are also the times when I’m reminded how desperately the fruit of the Spirit needs cultivated in my weak, earthly self.

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Source

Patience and self-control seem to need the Master Gardener’s care most often in my life, it seems. 😉

Our culture is not one that teaches patience, is it? The frustration of drivers behind the wheel or the troubling amount of debt the average consumer now carries are everyday reminders of how difficult it has become for us to wait … for anything.

Many times, I have been impatient and frustrated with the Lord when He hasn’t answered a prayer immediately or operated according to my schedule. I’m ashamed to admit I’ve even tried to manipulate situations or circumstances and “fix things on my own” in an effort to get my way.

Will I ever truly grasp that an omniscient (all-knowing) God who created and rules over time can never be late?

Waiting requires patience along with a good measure of faith, doesn’t it? Ironically, it’s typically the difficult, need-to-wait circumstances I face that truly grow – and display – patience and faith in my life.

Obviously, a little water in my ear is not the most difficult, patience-producing event I’ve ever experienced. But it’s one more, small reminder that God’s work is like a seed planted deep in the soil. I can’t see the underground process. But just as a budding tree eventually appears, in time, the Lord’s ordained outcome will become evident.

What difficult circumstance have you faced that required you to develop patience and faith?

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. – Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV)

Dirty secrets of DIY bloggers

Last week, I had the privilege of attending another Atlanta-based Haven Conference for DIY bloggers.

There’s so much I love about this conference: rubbing elbows with famous DIYers and thought leaders; connecting with my favorite brands; gathering information from other bloggers to help me grow my business; and making new friends in the process of it all.

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Chatting it up with HGTV star Kelly Edwards

Jon-Acuff

Enjoying an inspiring keynote speech from Jon Acuff

LaZBoy

Taking a break with LaZBoy (Yes. They’re wearing upholstery-fabric suits.)

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Enjoying a balmy Altanta evening with fellow author (and Pa. gal) Darla DeMorrow

But there’s something way more special to me about Haven than all these amazing opportunities. And it wasn’t until this year’s conference that I actually realized what it was …

It’s the dirty-secret sharing.

Let me explain.

We DIY bloggers work very hard – as in blood, sweat and tears hard – to bring our readers the very best we have to offer.

We try to produce clear, concise and professional-looking tutorials like what you might expect to see on TV or in magazines. And we painstakingly stage our photographs the same way.

We do all this because we know you’re looking for attainable inspiration that you want to replicate in your own homes. Plus we know we’re in competition with a lot of other media for your attention. So we’ve got to bring our “A” game, all the time.

But the reality is that, even as hard as we try, the life of a DIYer is fraught with unpredictable insanity. And that’s why I love Haven so much … because I love other DIY bloggers so much! These folks embrace the crazy with me. 

They refresh me and reassure me that I’m not alone. They empathize with me when I’m in my backyard with gnats stuck to my sweaty face, crying as my vision of a spray-painted work of art turns into a dumpster-bound nightmare.

Not only do we DIY bloggers share similar stories of heartbreaking, tragic project fails, but we also find ourselves in synonymous, somewhat scary (yet later hilarious) situations while picking up Craigslist furniture or chasing down deals.

When these other bloggers share their crazy DIY moments with me, I feel connected to them. (Plus I enjoy the fact that they make me laugh so hard I almost pee my pants.)

So my big take away from Haven this year is that I want you to experience this connection, too. In short, I want you to read a post of mine and feel like you might pee your pants. 😉

Historically, in my rush to get a blog post out with its pretty pictures and meticulous how-to details, I’ve often left out the “good stuff.” I’ve been guilty of omitting the crazy moments that weren’t pretty – or may have even been interpreted as downright insane. Next time, I’m going to include those moments.

Why? Because I think it makes us feel good when we realize we’re not the only crazy people out there. 😉

This post is dedicated to my Haven roommate, Shanna, who’s got the juiciest Craiglist stories I’ve ever been told. 

Blogging-buddies

From left to right, Shanna, Christy, me, Ashlynn (Christy’s daughter), and Debbie

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