This time next week I will be holding my baby boy, James.
To you 7 days might not seem so very long. And you're exactly right. But something happens during Week 39 and time starts to tick for Momma in a different way.
My nursery has been ready for weeks. My hospital bag is ready to go. I finished, weeks ago, all I could do at work at both school and the studio.
And now, I'm just waiting.
Last week I talked to Vicki about the waiting. My dear friend who with two babies of her own understands completely the week that is 39. And she reminded me of something simple: use your time. Do something. Don't wait. Work.
Don't wait. Work.
And so for the past several days I have devoted myself to creating. I've used my days to create approximately 25 original prints and a slew of handmade cards for the studio. I ordered new inventory for our boutique section. I sat with the blogger of Love Gaston and she interviewed me about the studio. I lettered on a wooden cut out for Vicki. I completed the write-up for our Created to Create event in the fall. I took my boys for cheeseburgers. I TOOK THEM TO THE LEGO STORE AND THE DISNEY STORE. After typing this, I will build a robot with my boys for Bible School.
I've also binge-watched four seasons of Call the Midwife. (Does this count?)
Don't wait. Work.
And you know, what? The work has made the wait all the more bearable. In fact, the work makes the wait completely bearable.
I'm so busy working that I forget about the waiting.
There's a verse we Christians love. We say it at graduations and as encouragement to each other. A simple verse that conveys hope and inspiration to persevere.
But we use it completely out of context. And I want to tell you why.
"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 hope and a future."
Oh, how true this verse is. God speaking directly to His beloved people. And every word he breathes is true. For those he has made righteous and called according to his purpose (That's you!) he has great plans and a beautiful future. Oh, what a sweet, good, and true promise!
The same goes for the people he was speaking directly to that day: the people of Israel who were being forcibly removed from their homes and about to be taken into exile, as prisoners, to Babylon.
Well, that doesn't sound so good, does it? The words forcibly, prisoner, and exile do not sound like words filled with hope nor do they sound like words that describe a non-harmful situation.
But God would use this time in Babylon to prosper his people.
If we jump back to verse 7 it explains the Exiles should work hard for the prosperity of Babylon. In fact, they should embrace the time spent there. How much time? God tells them they will spend 70 years of waiting in Babylon before returning to Israel.
So what do they do during 70 years of waiting in exile? They work. They live. They build houses and plant gardens. They have sons and daughters.
And when the time of waiting is over, they will call out to God and he will hear them. They will look for him with all their hearts and he will be found. He will restore them and send them home to good things.
So the waiting and the work are worth it.
Here's what I want you to know today: waiting is hard, work makes it easier. The rewards are worth it.
I don't know what your wait is. I don't know how long you've been waiting. But I do know that being consumed by the wait isn't healthy nor is it productive. Work in your wait. And remember that God is watching the clock of your wait just ask much as you are, if not more. Jeremiah 29:11 says he is the one with the plans. He's the one that knows your future. We wait-ers are to be the workers. We wait-ers aren't the planners. That's God's job.
I know God has the perfect birthdate for my sweet baby James. I know his birthdate has been appointed from the beginning of time, that it is significant and purposeful. I don't want my James to be born on a misbegotten date of my choosing. I'm willing to wait for the perfect day God has planned for him.
Are you willing to wait for God's perfect plan for you? I know you are.
So use your wait and work. Build your house, plant your garden. Make your mark.
I'll be over here cheering you on from my Week 39. I hope you'll do the same for me.