About the Author

Robin is the author of For All Who Wander, her relatable memoir about wrestling with doubt that reads much like a conversation with a friend. She's as Southern as sugar-shocked tea, married to her college sweetheart, and has three children. An empty nester with a full life, she's determined to...

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  1. This chapter!!! At one point, I had tears streaming down my face… (and that never happens when I read) … it hit so close to home. I’ve learned through these last five years or so, that the wait has been where the magic happens. Be it a long-term health struggle or the wait involved in adoption, etc. I know better than to want to rush it. But as we all know, it can be extremely difficult too. I find myself in a waiting season right now. But it’s not a grueling, laborious wait, it’s one of great anticipation and excitement (though long).

    But there have been hard moments too, ones where God is chiseling away at some long-standing traits and behaviors of mine. And when He finishes with one behavior, we move on to another. I’m learning not to push against a wait, but rather to settle in and see what He has for me. Because more often than not, the fruit produced out of the wait is better than what we think we’re waiting for.

    This beautiful Savior is so, so good. And so, so wise and exact. He’s never ever been late.

    So, I guess I answered all three questions in one big jumble! 🙂

    • Amanda,

      I always liked a good jumble ;).

      It seems like you could have written this chapter! But for you and your experience and the wisdom you’ve seemed to gain from a lot of waiting, these words must have been validating. It’s easy to think waiting is passive, but it’s challengingly active, isn’t it? Blessings this morning as you endure yet another season…

  2. It’s like I always say …
    The wait is a necessary passage … and
    that something GOOD always remains.

    Inspired & Blessed by Emily & this book.

    PTIT (praise time in Tennessee)

  3. Waiting has been mostly desperate. Like running- late- and kids- aren’t-ready yet! But after reading the beginning of the chapter waiting is no longer a reason for me to scream out of desperation. I want to bang on some things that don’t belong and watch them fall to the floor while “my” David takes form.

    And when it’s complete I will smile at The Artist and thank him for keeping me in the waiting.

    • Celeste,

      Maybe this chapter is like a cool glass of water splashed in readers’ faces–it wakes us up to a truthful reality we had been asleep to before. Maybe the gift of hindsight is one of God’s sweetest gifts… 🙂

  4. I have felt for a while i am in a season of Waiting’. Emily quotes Rainer Maria Rilke ‘I am the rest between two notes’ this is how i feel right now, but for a long while i couldn’t accept this ‘wait’ i wanted to get on and do. Over time i have come to accept that it is a season of waiting but now my critics, family and friends, want me to girder my loins and jump back into the fight. I do see the world moving around me, seasons come and seasons go, but i know God has not left me in my season of wait, he is always with me. Although for a while i thought maybe he wasn’t there either.
    My niece Danielle died in a head on collision with another car four Christmases ago, she will be forever 21, and yes i know in my heart i will see her again one day but it has been a very long season of wait. There are no words to describe how i feel, i cannot say that today or tomorrow my wait will end, it may take a life time, but i do know that although i am in a waiting season i have also moved forward. Though the world moves at speed i saunter tentatively wondering what else will come at me and from where. I don’t know i cannot say and yet i still feel like i am waiting. Healing takes time and as i cannot heal my sister is her loss, she cannot heal me either.

    On a different note and in a different tone over the weekend i could not wait to read the rest of the book, the words just poured into me and have become me and i am changed. I am a believer that words have power and can change who you are and where you are and can maybe move me forward out of my waiting season. Thank you Emily x

    • Beverly,

      The kind of loss you, your sister and family experienced is nightmare. My daughter is 21 and reading that made me grieve with you. I can imagine how HARD it would be to see the world continuing to spin as your own life seemed to stop! Yours is one of the most painful seasons of wait, and while you *have* to move forward, your heart will bear that for always. Love like that can never be forgotten, and the loss is monumental.

      And yet.

      LIfe in Christ demands a response that honors him; your honesty blesses him, and he can take your anger and sadness. He loves you in a way we’ll never understand (and your niece, sister, etc.), and I’m thankful Emily’s book has helped you in this extended season of wait. Grace and peace be yours this morning, for always.

    • Beverly,

      I have been in your shoes, friend. My nephew was murdered at the age of 16. The years following were so hard to watch as my sister grieved this loss. All I could do was stand by, watch, hold her, and tell her to breath.

      She is doing better today but she is a different person. This kind of thing changes you no matter how it happens. I’m praying for you and your sister today.

      PS. I. LOVE. This. BOOK! I can’t put it down.

  5. Yes-waiting. I’m diving deeper into it right now, it’s a little jig I’m calling the Stand and Wait. I signed up for this book club but haven’t joined in yet. Suppose I should quit waiting for that-huh!?!

    • Marcy,

      You just DID join!! All joining is is reading the book (at your convenience), reading the posts/watching the videos (at your convenience), and hopefully joining in comments here or on our Facebook page!! Also, uploading pictures of you living/making art (to twitter/instagram) so we can use them on our Friday collage!! 🙂

      There ya go! This wait is over, sister! 🙂

  6. This book just keeps getting better!

    I’ve heard many stories about single mothers who work two or three jobs to support their families with little or no help from the children’s father. Their selfless ways indeed make them heroes. But since I’ve made the transition over the past four years from stay-at-home-mom to mom with a husband and a job to single mom, one huge question has loomed over me for months: Is this the only way??? Now that my daughters have lost their family, do they have to finish growing up without their mother’s presence after school and on weekends? It seems to me that if we ever needed to connect over a family dinner at the end of the day, this is the time. And what about introverted me? Am I selfish to ask for regular prayer, thinking, and dreaming time? Do I get to refresh my own spirit in the midst of the stressful process of divorcing and its accompanying spiritual, emotional and financial poverty? Then again, how do I get all the bills paid??

    My vocation as a mother requires me to provide for my children’s spiritual and emotional well being, whether or not their dad is around to help. I don’t take this lightly, but I’ve also spent many brain cells trying to figure out how to earn more money only to come up frustrated and anxious, and always distracted. I know there must be women reading this thinking I’m some kind of emotional lightweight, that there is is something wimpy about me for not being able to just get out there and work. And then there is my own inner critic. Nonetheless, I’m grateful for Emily and this book because in it she has confirmed what I’ve known for a long time but have denied for the sake of fitting in: my natural way is a softer, deeper, slower way. It’s not the way of the world but it’s the way I have to go if I want peace. And I want peace. It certainly isn’t necessarily easy, but it feels right all the time.

    Since I’ve picked up AMLW, I’ve put down the burden of scrambling for another job. The one I have is enough to pay for rent and health insurance and it leaves me with time and energy to listen to my girls around a home cooked meal at dinner time. I count toilet paper squares and I’ve had to use olive oil as makeup remover but somehow, there is food enough for today every day. The kids don’t like being told “not now” when they ask for something, but I don’t think that’s a terrible thing. God has offered me an invitation to follow Him and thus, given me hope. He’s placed in my heart some ideas of what the future could hold, but nothing is definite right now except that He wants me close to Him and my children. He wants me to always consider what I’m called to do in this moment. He wants me to wait.

    One week from today, November 18, I will be in court. On that day my 21-year-long roller coaster of a marriage will officially end, at least that is the plan. Please pray for us. <3

      • You’re making me cry!! If I am courage, then the girls on the couch are right; it certainly doesn’t feel like it looks. Thank you for the encouragement, Tori!

    • I certainly don’t read your words and consider you an “emotional lightweight!” I don’t know all the circumstances surrounding what you’re going through but it is unimaginable to me. I know pain in marriage, and it is one of the most excruciating pains I have known. You are under so much! Hang in there, and yes, praying for you now.

      • “I know pain in marriage, and it is one of the most excruciating pains I have known.”

        Amen, Martha! Thank you for your prayers!

    • {{{Maria}}} wrapping you in love and prayer, dear one. No, yours has not been an easy wait; it’s complicated and discouraging and heartbreaking all in one. Oh, how I’m praying for you to draw close to the Lord during this season; may he grant you the peace, hope and healing your soul so desperately calls for.

      • Maria

        You are facing some very difficult circumstances with courage and grace. Your girls are right and I think that makes you stronger than most!

    • Maria, today Nov. 18th — my prayers for you & Your children . I have been where you are & struggled as a single Mom for years. I pray that you will wait … not rush ahead….. trust in God to provide. And in the waiting May you have Peace , Strength , Hope . As I look back , I chose not to wait – and got lost along the way. But God — made a way where there seemed to be no way ! He was & is so faithful.
      Blessings today and everyday .

  7. My husband and I are church planters in a small town near where we grew up. Like Emily and her husband, we were in youth ministry for a long time before that. The process of God leading us into church planting was a long, and sometimes painful one as we waited and waited to hear from the Lord and felt like he remained silent. But looking back, if he had told us from the beginning what he was calling us to do, we wouldn’t have been ready to hear it. During the waiting time, God was changing our hearts, planting new desires within us, and opening our eyes to the need before us. We never planned to plant a church, and that waiting season was necessary to prepare us for what God intended to do through us.

  8. I was not a fan of waiting. I was raised to “get things done”…you know, to-do lists, goals, weekly calendar- all lined up and ready for action…

    It has taken me years to get comfortable just being comfortable. I know God has been using the “rests” to build patience in me. I have been seeking major change as my kiddos will soon be graduating from homeschool and I will be able to earn the extra $ needed in a new way…this book was such good timing. I am enjoying finding my art and praying He will allow me to use it also for helping my family and others.

    It seems like He’s using all these areas, and new ones, to grow a new season for me. It’s like I had a secret garden all these years, and He’s slowly opening the gate- He is so Awesome!

  9. Thank you for sharing. Yes, I too am in a place of waiting. For what once to die away, and what has already been established by God to begin. I stand and wait there seems to be no urgency, actually I am very content and some how feel complete. Perhaps it is because I finally I understand the waiting periods all have there reasons, as God prepares us for His will yet to come. I stand trusting God in away I could have never imagined, and I know He has a hope and a future for me that is good. How do I know this, words, your words, His word and yes the Holy Spirit too does speak and if we are quiet in the waiting we can hear Him, as Gods words that come in many forms, move into our hearts. May the blessings of your waiting period be ALL God desires it to be as you trust Him in the wait. Shalom, Shalom.

  10. Definitely feel like we’re in a season of waiting, although my husband still runs his business and I still homeschool our 4 kids. It just feels like there’s something being stirred up in us, and we wonder what it means and what is next.

    A couple years ago, we put our house up for sale, thinking maybe God was calling us out of it. We didn’t know what it meant, but wondered if we were to go somewhere, or just downsize and give the money away. But what He showed us was different–it was stay there, for now, be faithful in everything you are already doing, and know me.

    Looking back, I realize for the 9 mos this house was on the market, God was helping me let it go…we’d spent a year building it and making it “the perfect dream house” a few years before. I was holding too tightly, and though He didn’t sell it, He did help me let go of it in ways I needed to.

    We still wait, though we aren’t so afraid that we might miss His call this time. This has been a season of deep learning, and great chiseling, and of moving step after step closer to the Lord.

    • Angela,

      “…and know me.”

      THAT is something so basic yet something so many of us resist. I can almost **feel** the weight of these years of shaping; but mostly I sense you’re listening :).

  11. I used to run ahead of God, preparing, planning, I was raised also to get things done. The waiting now has brought me blessings, it’s a discipline sometimes I wonder if we wait too long when difficult.
    I’m retired, single, waiting for a call that i’v
    been hired, watiing and reading these posts brings reality. We compare circumstances. Each day I find God first
    Each day I am getting excited that the waiting is coming to a temporary close
    so I can close that chapter. Reading earlier about the grocery budget a
    and paying the mortgage. Right now I
    no longer have my own home. I just last night wrote out a grocery budget as I
    wait for good news. Each day I see more
    tiny blessings I never saw before. It’s the hardest discipline to wait as I use early morning hours to edit my thoughts, read his word that’s my new springboard! Then
    I have another cup of coffee and my world
    takes on a peaceful view, head out the door knowing He really does have a better plan.

  12. This chapter was pure gold for me! I have to say again how much I LOVE this book and how thankful I am that God gave Emily this message to share. I was greatly encouraged after rereading this chapter on waiting and watching the discussion between the “Sofa Girls” :)

    I am currently in a season of waiting. This chapter and hearing Emily’s testimony of where she and her husband currently find themselves resonated with me deeply. I resigned from my steady, full-time, salaried job of eight years (12 years including my time as a student there) a little over four months ago. This was a HUGE leap of faith for me; even though I knew for some time God was nudging me to take this step. I just thought it would look a little different-like I would have the next job BEFORE stepping down from the current one. I’m also single (which is a waiting story in and of itself) and made this step seem scarier because my security blanket (in the form of a job) was being removed. But God has provided every step of the way! This has indeed been a sacred time with Him-a deep pruning, which can be painful but beautiful all at the same time.

    I turned 30 in August, and I know this new decade of my life is going to be different and exciting and GOOD! I loved the quote Emily gave on page 155, “Jesus waited thirty years to begin what we call His earthly ministry. But really, wasn’t He always being God in the world, from His first breath to His last? He was crucified and waited until day three to resurrect. Don’t lose hope on day two. Waiting paves the way for the art.”

    W.O.W. I love that – don’t lose hope on day two…His resurrection power is coming! I thought it was so profound how Emily connected that “He built waiting into creation. From the incarnation to the resurrection, divine creativity begins and ends with waiting.”

    I am ready for the waiting to be “over” and for the next season to begin. But I’m encouraged that there is still movement even while I wait. Thank you so much for opening up this discussion and definitely for your prayers!!

  13. Emily, thank you for writing this book. I have so enjoyed reading it with you and all the In-Bloom friends. God, through you, has inspired me to continually seek Him, to know that Art is happening every day and not just with the “paint brush.” Art is love and grace, kindness and forgiveness. As much as I desire for God to work through the skills He has given me, I am aware that He desires to work through all of me … What does Art in the everyday look like? Maybe it’s not so much in the card I create, but in the note of encouragement within … in the smaller everyday moments that all add up to beautiful if I allow God and I listen to His promptings. … These words stood out for me … “Fear says I’m going the wrong way. Doubt says I won’t find it at all. But hope? Hope says, Wait. It’s just a little farther. You are not alone and this is not just your idea.” : ) … also, “Don’t lose hope on day two.” : ) … Blessings!

  14. Maria S. – I agree with Tori, your priorities in life speak of your courage. I am praying for you as well.

    The concept of moving while waiting is so true and profound! I’m right there. In the past in my life, as well as now (thanks again Maria S.) “My natural way is a softer, deeper, slower way. It’s not the way of the world but it’s the way I have to go if I want peace…It isn’t necessarily easy, but it feels right all the time.” The waiting times are times that God has called and drawn me closer to Him and closer to my husband (& now my grown up children as well). I love as Emily says at the end of “A Million Little Ways”, “Sacred and secret things happen in the waiting. Moments of heaven touch earth, breathe life into babies insides their mamas and bread sitting on the counter. The work is invisible, but the result is not.” May our lives give Him glory in a million little ways that are not apparent now but are seeded during the waiting and flourish generations from now!

  15. I recently lost my job of almost 9 years. So in the weeks, months of waiting and looking for a new job I asked God to show me each day what to do, how to serve and asked Him to teach me in the days of waiting. During this time I ended up doing 4 part time jobs that I had never done before. And the blessings were amazing. I had to turn inward and see what it was God was trying to grow in me-contentment, dependence on Him and the community of Christ. I learned that I have gifts in sales that I never knew I had. And all of this just led me to a new job in sales. Scary-you bet. Faithbuilding- no doubt. What I have learned is that my FAITH has to be bigger than my fears. Gonna be a wild ride next week when my job starts. But the good news is, I am not driving the train, The Lord is. So I shall take my seat, hold onto the strap of the subway car and watch The Lord drive, guide, direct. We can always trust Him for the ride, that He will safely lead us to the destination and the place that He long called us too! He is able, stable and truatworthy!

    • Wow, Page, I know how you feel going through “job transition” after being in one place for so long! It has been scary at times, but also exciting when I sit back and enjoy the journey the Lord has me on 🙂 You’re so right – faith must conquer fear! I’m learning to do it afraid-I often feel fear, but it will not win out. He has a great plan for you-congrats on your new job!

      Blessings,
      Ashley

  16. I started the study a couple of days behind the rest of you and today I finally caught up! This book and the study have been a huge blessing to me. Thank you! I am in a period of waiting right now. I have been blessed to be a stay at home mom since my 3 kids were born. My youngest, twin boys, are seniors in high school this year. My husband’s income has been decreasing even though he is doing the same work as before. I realize now that I will need to go back to work in order for my twins to attend college and for their older brother to get his graduate degree. I am waiting for God to lead me into what He has in mind for me. My deepest desire is to write. AMLW has helped me to realize that writing is what God has put inside me heart all my life. I have been volunteering as the community services leader at our church. I have a graduate degree and license to work in a professional capacity. I will need to earn a significant amount of money to keep up with the tuition payments. I have been asking God to lead me into the right path where I can serve & glorify Him, continue to serve the people He loves, take care of my family, and satisfy this longing in my heart to write. I am waiting on Him and trusting that He will guide me in this. Thank you for sharing your journeys with me. I look forward to the rest of the book, videos, and blog entries.

  17. This chapter was dear to me because we have just experienced the end of a seven year wait. When my husband and I got married 8 1/2 years ago, we always knew we’d move back to where he was from (we were living in Lincoln, NE; he was born and raised in Langley, British Columbia) and we never thought it was take as long as it did–in so many ways.

    We waited for our house to sell for three long years. We weren’t in a financial place to leave before it sold, and although we bought it when it was a seller’s market, with our intention to fix and flip it, we put it up for market 1 month before the housing collapse. Every other house on every other block was put up for sale for a time. We had two young children, a baby and a toddler, and two large dogs, and we had 3-4 showings a WEEK for months and no bites. The cleaning and stress was crazy. It was so discouraging.

    Finally, after a number of people approached us to do a rent-to-own, a woman appeared at our door for the second time asking about this, and we noticed her driving around the house and through the back alley every so often, so we knew she wanted the house. WIth the housing collapse she needed to prove averaged income (she was self-employeed) for two years before being able to qualify for a loan. She knew the ins and outs of renting-to-own (her parents had done that) and we found out she was a Christian. She stayed in our house, we downsized and saved money in a rental, and 2.5 years later we all signed the papers!

    We were free to leave, we had a little bit more financial stability, but we still didn’t get the green light to move across the country. My husband applied for jobs, sent resumes, etc. for over a year before–out of the blue–we got a phone call near Christmas time, saying they wanted him to fly up for an interview that weekend. He got the job. We had thirty days to pack and say goodbye. That month was bittersweet, as we’d grown to love our church of 7 years, had been very involved with community (leading 2 small groups weekly), our neighbors, and our families. We knew God would show us how to ‘do this thing’ in His timing and in His way. We have *so* many things we see in hindsight as perfectly ordained and working out for our favor, and for the favor of those in community around us. My husband and I knew we’d get up there, we both felt a sense of peace and ‘yes’ about it, but the waiting (we were at the tail-end of 7), at times, was overwhelming and heavy. We look back on that-in simple terms-knowing we gained or grew in maturity, contentment, faith, stewardship, and peace. It has been worth the wait. It happened at the right time.
    Sarah M

    • Your testimony encouraged me, Sarah, thank you for sharing this! It’s amazing what God will do in His way and timing! Blessings to you and your family and this new season 🙂

      Ashley

  18. Wow! That video really made the chapter come to life for me. I am totally in a season of waiting. I have 3 kids and from 9 to 13 and I thought it might be a good time to go back to work. I was a teacher, that is what I know, that is what I do well, that is what makes me feel big (ouch). Those doors have closed on me over and over in the last few months and I have battled serious discouragement and the pain of being small. I keep waiting for the doors to be open but God is not opening those doors that I thought made sense. Instead I have been led to a place of accepting what I know to be true. I am a mom and a wife, a friend and a minister of the gospel through my written and spoken word. Although it is not making me any money, God is moving me to extravagantly exist in those roles. I have found such a peace, I think it is a peace very closely related to the peace the Emily and John have found in their waiting. “Maybe the art isn’t about me.” pg. 158. I have that statement circled! My heart’s cry is for God to be big in my life even if that means accepting the pain of being made small…for His glory! The courage to rest in that really is a courage so different than how I have always perceived courage to be. I read Is. 45:13 this week, “I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways; He shall build My city and let My exiles go free, not for price nor reward,” says the Lord of hosts. But for His glory!

  19. I am new to the book club and am so very grateful to have found you! I came across A Million Little Ways last week and have not been able to put it down. I feel so connected to Emily’s story and the Spirit that flows through her work. My favorite part of ch. 9 is this: “As I write, I have the sense that this book exists but I haven’t found it yet. I work, pray, labor, and squeeze out words…Somehow, the whole process is art but it doesn’t come from me…I am uncovering it, a piece at a time. The work is finished somewhere invisible. My task is to uncover it, to find it…fear says I’m going the wrong way. Doubt says I won’t find it at all. But hope? Hope says, Wait. It’s just a little farther. You are not alone and this is not just your idea.” That is exactly how I feel. I explained to my husband recently that writing, for me, is like giving birth. It is passionate, joyful, painful, and driven by a desire to bring into life that which God desires. I write at http://www.wonderfully-made.net and cannot emphasize enough how much this book has done for me. I am so looking forward to joining the group for the remaining chapter discussions! Thank you so much for hosting this, Robin!

  20. I think a lot of life is about waiting. As Christians we are waiting for the second coming of Christ and his Kingdom. I have been single my whole life, and still pray and hope for a husband. Not to complete me, Christ does that, but to share my life with. So far that has been a 30 years wait. But in that waiting time has come moving. You keep moving and living. I have done so many amazing things in my life. A lot of it because I had the freedom to do that because I am a single adult. My most recent “waiting” time was through the loss of a job.

    This was my dream job. I even told people that God had prepared me for this position for 20 years. It was my passions, my joy, my reason for getting dressed and going to work and I was good at it. Then my company made the decision to get rid of my dream job and bam, I was unemployed. I applied for over 500 jobs in a 5 year time period. I did work part-time and did an apartment ministry for a free place to live. Must my heart and spirit were crushed. However during that time, I got the chance to do some amazing things through my true calling. I am a Christian Comedian. During those five years, while looking for gainful employment, I got to do comedy “full-time”. It was a very meager living and the I had to have the part-time job to make it, but I got to do some amazing things. One of which was to do a nation DVD projects with some other Christian Comic, do a cruise for a major Christian market and flyer all over the country making people laugh and sharing Jesus. If the economy hadn’t taken a nose dive I would still be doing that now.

    I am still doing comedy, but have been in a full-time position for almost three years. What I learned is that, sometimes, during the waiting, you get to do things that your never imagined. You might even have a dream or two come true.

  21. This chapter! So good!!
    I’ve had several seasons of waiting in my life. My husband and I are in one now. Sometimes it is so difficult, but good always come from it if we can learn to wait well. I share so many of the feeling Emily wrote and spoke about. I am a planner. I like to know details and how things are going to work out. However, God doesn’t always send me a detailed email on what’s next for me. :D. I have learned that waiting well is very intentional and I don’t always do that well. I so agree with the “moving” in the waiting. I try to focus on doing the next right thing God asks me to do in this moment, whether it’s dishes, encouraging a friend, leading worship, making a meal for someone, etc. I don’t have to have all the answers. He does. I don’t have to know how everything will work out. He does. I know that sometimes the waiting can wear on a person. But such sweet times with my Jesus and my family have come during the waiting. My husband told me yesterday that he feels God is calling him to full time ministry. We’re not sure what that will look like for us yet, but we know we want God’s best. And so we continue to try and wait well and be faithful in the “next right thing” he gives us each moment.

  22. I will never think of a “waiting season” in the same way. Waiting has always equalled inactivity, in a way, to me. But it’s so true.. so much movement is happening in that time of apparent inactivity. In a way, it’s being hidden in the secret place with God.

    What Emily described in trying to put words to the way of the creative process, the way something exists and you are trying to reach out and grab it and unveil it, in a sense.. I was just describing this to my husband about photography, about writing. I so resonate with this.

    “My goal is a finished book–I call that my art. Yet there is a deeper work happening. I chase what I think is the art, but really that’s just the evidence. Like when I heard Sarah Masen sing that cold night in Michigan, her song was the evidence of a deeper work in her heart. The real art is the invisible work happening in the depths of my soul as I uncover, sink, see, listen, and wait. The book is just the souvenir.” (p.152)

  23. A season of waiting…
    I have spent my life kicking against the ‘wait’ word. Hurry. Worry. Rush. Run. Anxious. Fretting. To do lists. Accomplish this. Overcome that. Learn. Grow. Change. Action = self-worth.
    But God says…
    Be Still and know that I am God
    Be anxious for nothing…
    In a quick word search on biblegateway.com there are 142 references with wait or waiting in them from Genesis to Jude. That’s a lot of emphasis.
    I am beginning to see ‘wait’ as a gift. Emily phrased it so beautifully: “A time to wait while moving toward God and toward each other.”
    Reading this book is a slow exhale after holding my breath. Not a whoosh, a release, a sigh.
    Learning to trust God with the waiting has been the greatest journey going inward. Now His movement outward is stirring in me a newness of life.
    Thank you for this venue. Thank you for inviting response.
    Thank you for sharing A Million Little Ways with the world through this online community.

    • Lisa, I can totally relate with what you said. You put words to what I was thinking.

      This is a whole new perspective on waiting. It challenges and stretches me. You can’t check it off a list. But it is a gift too. A hard and a good thing all wrapped together. I ask God to make me more content. To teach me to slow down. To teach me to just recognize him in the moments. To just be for His glory and not my own. BUT then I despise the waiting. Emily has given me a whole new what to live in a time of waiting. And I am in one now. We are waiting for our house to sell so we can pursue our dream (moving out of the city, land, raising food and animals, more self sufficiency, a community of people worshiping God together, a generational focus). So this was a good word in season.

      I was struck by her assessment of the mystery. The tendency to figure it out and make it make sense. But it is better to just live in the mystery. So I am going to try and do that more.

      When I am peaceful, I can look back and see how God used periods of change and of waiting to grow my character, to prepare me for something coming, or even to protect me from something. But when I am anxious, how quickly I forget how necessary and beneficial those times were. I realized after reading this that I need to recount the blessings of God in past seasons of waiting to help me through my current season of waiting.

  24. I am in a period of waiting and resting in the Lord. My homeschooled son started his second year at college this fall and my husband retired about two years ago. Either one of these would have meant big changes for me, but both happening at the same time kind of overwhelmed me. During my son’s senior year, we did a video/Bible study by Andy Stanley called “The Greatest Question.” In it, he told of advising a man who had just gotten divorced not to make any major decisions or commitments for at least one year. I felt God telling me that I should follow that same advice when my son graduated.

    Waiting, for me, was a lot about cleaning and organizing–both my physical home and my spiritual life. So much had been neglected and set aside during those busy, busy, busy high school homeschooling years. The first year after I did a lot of basic clearing out and ordering of stuff and learning how to love my husband better now that he is home and (maybe naively?) expecting to get my leading from God at the end of that year. That didn’t happen. I am into year two now and have started really deep cleaning–clearing out all those things I thought I had to keep, opening every box and cleaning out even the far backs of all the cupboards. My art room is finally starting to look like an art room with actual space to work in–not the catch-all place of our home. God has been showing me many areas in my heart and thought life that need cleansing too. I started reading Ann Voskamp and have learned the art of thanksgiving and how to really slow down and live in the moment. Through her website I learned about (in)courage and now Emily’s book. What a blessing!

  25. I am a lady in waiting, waiting expectantly on the Lord. I am divorced 5 years now and there has been movement in the waiting and fruit bearing in serving the kingdom of God. He showed me right away that He had a plan for me in ministry and I have been doing ever since. My heart is for those who are broken hearted, to lead them to Jesus Who is the healer of all things, the Lover of our souls. Finishing another session of Divorcecare tonight with moving closer to God. He planted in my heart that people where watching me and I can make a impact on a generation. I had been a prodigal, do life my way, now I am home with my heavenly Father and know He knows best!

  26. just got the book the other day…andof course now it got lost in the shuffle of the mess of my art supplies and al;l the books I just ordered! I am looking forward to reading it…and the comment on todays post about waiting so resonates with what I am going through in my life, with my health and with my art. But…as we all know…God is in control and His timing is perfect.

  27. Oh, I am so encouraged by everyone’s stories, thank-you so much ladies for sharing!

    This chapter has been the one that I have identified with the most, only because I have a loooot of experience of waiting with God. When I came to know Jesus personally nearly 8 years ago, I was freshly divorced with 3 young kids, having been separated from my husband for 2 years. I desperately wanted to be in a new relationship, and I thought that would happen with a wonderful Christian man in my new faith community etc, etc.

    But as so often happens, God had other ideas.

    A few months after coming to faith, God spoke very clearly to me and told me to pray for our marriage to be restored. My marriage with my ex-husband, from whom I was divorced. And not talking to directly, because we couldn’t, and the hurt and wounds were still fresh and raw. I couldn’t believe what God was asking me, and immediately said to Him ‘no, I don’t want that’. But you know how God is, and I grudgingly prayed something like ‘Ok, God, if you want me to, I pray for our marriage to be restored’. I promptly filed away that prayer in the back of my mind and went on with planning my life how I intended it to go.

    Yep. You know what’s coming next.

    Nearly 7 years of waiting, of being stretched completely out of shape and re-formed, of doing things I didn’t want to (like talking to God about the ‘what if?’ of reconciling with my husband), of daring to believe His promise could actually be the best thing for us, of the breaking down of my heart when I realised I had to let go and go with God, of the reluctance to believe that by trusting God, I started to fall in love with my husband again. 7 years of trying to control things to make them go my way, and having that control pretty much wrenched away from me (I’m a slow learner), and of the pain of believing that God’s promise musn’t be real, because it wasn’t coming true.

    Only God’s promises are real and true, and they are fulfilled, in His timing, even if that means we have to wait. For me, that was nearly 7 years, and in March this year my husband and I started over again, 9 years after we first separated.

    The story isn’t over yet, and I’m in a ‘new’ time of waiting, as we’re not yet married again, and we’re navigating our way through re-forming our family in this new relationship. My husband isn’t a believer, but one of the things I’ve seen in hindsight is how God has been working in his life over this time. How God has been working in not just our lives, but the lives of our family and friends, where relationships have been healed and restored, and strengthened, and where by standing in the faith of God’s promise, I’ve been able to share Jesus in opportunities that may not have arisen otherwise.

    This and other long-term waiting experiences of my life have shaped me around Christ, even if it was reluctantly at times. I struggle to let go of control and to trust God with His plans, especially when I can’t see the outcome. I’ve discovered I can wait patiently if I know what’s going to happen, but when there’s mystery, when the path forward is vague and fuzzy (which is pretty much all the time), I feel unsettled, like I can’t find my footing, and I sink, rather than walking on water. But I’m learning, without the mystery, where is the need for faith? If I know what’s going to happen, why do I need to trust God, with whatever the outcome? Like I said, I’m a slow learner 🙂

    A few months ago, God spoke quietly into my soul ‘let your heart lie fallow’. I’ve been through a lot of changes in life this year, and it’s turned me inside out and upside down. I’m now waiting to see what happens with my job (as in if I have one in a few months’ time, a job that was once-upon-a-time secure forever), waiting to see changes in my health, what happens in our relationship, what will happen with my finances, what I will do with my desire to write. Waiting for so much, it gets so overwhelming at times. it should be no surprise then that I believe God is giving me a time to rest, to let go of the ‘doing’ and to lean on Him in just ‘being’. Only I haven’t done this, I haven’t explored this tugging in my heart, because it means more waiting, and I can’t see the ending. Reading this chapter, and your ladies’ comments, has really made it so clear how I need to embrace this call from God, to rest and literally live one day at a time, to let the fields of my life repair and lie quiet so they can be nourished by Him.

    Thank-you, Emily, thank-you sofa Girls and thank-you Bloom ladies for your words xx

  28. Sometimes, I feel like I’m in one big season of waiting but I know that is not true. There are many smaller seasons of waiting that have made up a big chunk of my adult life for sure. One to mention has to do with being a stepmom (hence my blog name). I know God has called me to be a stepmom and I am but there have been times when waiting for confirmation on the direction of our little blended family seemed so overwhelming. What helped me most of all was to remember that God’s timing is not my timing and he has a plan for good. Remembering that helps me through most days!

    Right now I’m in season of waiting and I worry that I’m not actually supposed to be waiting but am missing my time, my calling. Does that even make sense? I could use some prayer on that.

    Thank you and blessing to you all.

    xoxo

  29. Q1: I have felt for a couple years now as if I am stuck in one big, long, waiting period. I’m wanting to embrace the changes & quit waiting for different things in life to ‘go back to the way they were’.

    Q2: It doesn’t seem as if there has been an end to the waiting, so I don’t have any ‘hindsight’ – only sight from a different vantage point along the path. However, I can say there definitely is shaping & growth in the waiting.

    Q3: I’m not convinced any more I should be waiting – I’m wondering if maybe I’ve been afraid of failure and calling it waiting? I would appreciate prayer for wisdom in sorting this out, because I also don’t want to give up the waiting on ‘day two’.

    Thank you for this opportunity to think and answer specific questions/read others’ responses – the discussion. This helps me learn even more from this book, more than just what I think, about something I’ve read.