Life is What Happens While You Wait

While you wait

Recently, on Instagram Lara Casey, an inspiring woman, posted, “Life is what happens while you wait”.  I totally need that on a mug, because guess what I’m doing right now?


Several weeks ago, I mentioned that we’re on the prowl for a new home again, and as Matt and I rebuild our marriage in a more healthy and solid fashion, I’m making myself take a backseat to this life decision.  I’ve realized many past disasters in our life have been because I have pushed for what I thought to be right, and I rarely trusted Matt to lead or make decisions, so I am forcing myself to sit down, shut up and let Matt do what he’s more than capable to do — lead our family.

We found a house that we thought was perfect.  It was going to be a fixer upper, something neither of us are good at or like, but if it meant we get to stay in our neighborhood, then we were willing to take the plunge.  We were excited and it looked like a done deal.  Then, it wasn’t.  Instead of pushing our way in, Matt decided to let it go, which I agreed.

Suddenly, the way he and I handle life’s uncertainties became blatant and opposite.  My little ship was tossed around in the North Atlantic, while Matt’s little ship was bobbing in the Caribbean.

Those who wait

I obsess.  Matt carries on with life.

Matt says, “Awesome, God must have an even better house waiting for us”.

Me? “THIS MEANS WE’RE GOING TO BE LIVING OUT OF OUR VAN!  And how can you be playing Wii with the kids at a time like this”?

In a complete panic, I spend all my time thinking, talking, planning, scouring websites, talking, thinking, and scouring websites.

“Matt, have you heard anything yet”?

“Not in the 30 minutes since you last asked”, with sarcasm so thick, I could cut it, and I do with my stare.

When I don’t have an immediate answer, I say I trust in God, but I don’t.  I obsess until I come up with a plausible solution.  I’ve heard so many preachers pull out the ole sermon, we live in a microwave world, so we expect microwave answers.  It’s cute and catchy and makes for a great shame blanket to lay over people, but I don’t find it entirely accurate, because Abraham was a few years before microwaves and he managed to rush God’s timing and created his son, Ishmael, his own way.  Even to this day the children of Ishmael and Isaac are creating great divide in our world.  And who was behind all that mess?  Abraham’s obsessive wife.

I called my mom to whine.  “He’s doing it all wrong.  I feel like I’m the only one who realizes we need to move soon”.

Then, with wisdom I hope to have one day, she says, “Charity, you’re learning an important life lesson.  Not only are you learning to trust and wait on God, but you’re learning to trust and wait on your husband.  Neither one are going to let you down, but you’re going to have to let them do it on their own time and in their own way.  So while you wait on them, do what you know to do — pack”.

I feel like obsessing is so much more productive.

Even still my mom’s way seems the right way, and I’m so tired of insisting we create Ishmaels in our life, so I’ve made a conscious decision to practice waiting without obsessing.

Are you waiting for something, too?  A new house?  A new car?  Job?  Husband?  Baby?

Are you like me and obsess?  Want to practice a better way to wait with me?  Here are a few things to think about while we wait.


Life Happens While You Wait.

As I learn to live life whole-hearted, I’m learning to live in the moment, to breath, feel and not let right now pass me by.  It’s not easy to do while I’m waiting for an answer to come.  I’d rather sit around and panic, but that means I’d miss out on important life moments.  This past week when I felt the pressure and anxiety squeezing tight around my chest, I packed up the kids and drove around our city looking for St. Louis birthday celebration cakes that commemorate St. Louis’s 250 years.  After about 20 minutes of driving around, hopping out of the car for group pictures, we were all laughing and I almost forgot we have no idea where we’ll be living in a month.


Do What You Know to Do.

Since my mom gave me this advice, I’ve practiced it every single day.  I’ll do my duty to check any updates on the house search, and then I made a goal to pack a certain part of the house, care for my kids and house, and before I knew it, I almost forgot we have no idea where we’ll be living in a month.


Be Grateful.

This is self-explanatory, but something that’s not always been easy for me.  Instead of obsessing with what you don’t have or don’t know, learn to make an effort to appreciate what you do have and what you do know, and before you know it, I almost — who am I kidding, I don’t almost forget anything, but it does ease the anxiety of not knowing the answers I’m waiting for.


Do Something You Love.

Every single day, not just while you’re waiting, but everyday you do something you love to renew your spirit.  Nothing makes waiting easier than some self-appreciation.

… … …

“Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself”. < Jesus
“Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid or terrified… for God goes with you”. < Bible


Well, if next month we’re living in our van, I’ll declare, Jesus is a liar and deny everything I’ve ever believed, but until then, I will test God and Matt in this and practice waiting without obsessing.


18 thoughts on “Life is What Happens While You Wait

  1. Sarah Day says:

    I think I do both things – I obsess about it for a while, but then I tend to give it up and let things happen as they will. I think underneath I have a pretty firm belief that things happen as they are meant to happen, but add a little stress to the mix and it doesn’t always translate well. Good luck!

  2. Julie Jordan Scott (@juliejordanscot) says:

    I love how you are like Cathy and Matt is like Garfield. LOLOLOLOLOL.

    There was a talk radio show when I was in my early twenties and they would say EGBOK when they got stressed out, usually needlessly, and that is “Everything is going to be ok.” It still fits, even though my twenties are way far behind me.

    I love your St. Louis birthday cake photos, by the way. They are incredible – these are the things your kids will remember. They won’t remember Mommy was flipping out and Daddy was playing “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” on the kazzoo… they’ll remember the laughter and the adventure. They trust you guys and God. Follow their lead as best as you can!

    Big hugs all around… and happy high fives on the boomerang!

  3. Jen says:

    I was wondering why you have been posing with the same cake over and over. Now I get it! We were in the same boat last fall. Everything ended up working out perfectly. I’m an obsesser like you. It’s so hard to just wait. Hang in there!

    • Charity says:

      I’ve been trying not to spam my own newsfeed with all the pictures! LOL I’m glad to hear everything worked out for you guys, and I know it will for us too, it’s just all. the. waiting. 🙂

  4. Elizabeth says:

    Isn’t this the truth? We all handle life in different ways. I am a little more like you, and my husband is more patient and peaceful. I think it is good to have the combination, It helps create balance. Thanks for sharing your journey. Good luck!!

  5. Yulunda says:

    Yeah, that is me! I obsess and my husband is looking at me like, “chill-out!” But, when he needs me to flex that muscle at times, he will certainly move me to the front. So, I have learned how and when to use the power within me.

    I have learned how to be very grateful for the things in my life, but, it came after a serious wilderness experience and I appreciate God for showing me the lesson early as I do not want to be an old fool.

    I loved how you said you were going to shut up and let Matt “Lead”


    • Charity says:

      I don’t want to be an old fool either. It’s good to know when to use your muscles (and when not too.) Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  6. Amanda Schwab says:

    Wow, can I relate! My husband tells me that I don’t let him make decisions that matter. I want what I want and it’s hard to give the control over to someone else. But God gave me the hubs as a partner, and he is the spiritual head of our family. Sometimes it’s so hard to let go of that! Thank you so much for this post and the reminder to trust God and my husband. 🙂

  7. Amy Fenner says:

    Oh Charity, I could have written this post (except we’re not house hunting). I AM an obsesser, I am a doer. Being still to wait, 100% against my natural sinful nontrusting nonsurrendering self. I’m working on it. I have to stop myself and realize I can’t always “do” something to fix (or hurry) a situation. My blood pressure still soars. But I’m getting there. And leaning on the fact that my weakness gives Him an opportunity to show His power!

  8. Life Breath Present says:

    Waiting without obsessing is so hard. I either obsess or go into anxiety-fueled-shutdown mode, which often leads to angry, frustrated outbursts, tears, or even just general malaise. Sometimes I can balance the acceptance of the unknown well, others not so well. The ideas you have are the exact things I try to do. If it’s something I’m specifically responsible for or a goal I have, interestingly enough I can relax a bit (at least lately). My struggle is not getting too lost in the living life part, which I love so much, when there’s something I could obsess or be overly-anxious about! 🙂

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