I am so, so happy to be hosting Mary Geisen today. Some of you know her as the #TellHisStory hostess with the ‘mostess’ up until last month. I know her as a deep-thinker, deep-feeler, pursuer of God, and a friend. Many of her blog posts have inspired me, challenged me, and encouraged me. I am excited to share her words and thoughts on this, her book-release day for The Advent Narrative. You can find purchasing information at the bottom of this post. And I’ll tell you now, this book is really opening up my understanding of Advent. Please help me welcome, Mary Geisen!
By Mary Geisen
Standing in line at the grocery store recently I found myself wondering how it’s even possible in our hurry-up world to stand in line for anything. I’m the first person to claim the desires of my heart as soon as they come available. The thought is that we “deserve” whatever it is we are claiming, and we shouldn’t have to wait for it. So, what does waiting well in any season look like?
If you are even somewhat aware of what is happening in our world, you must feel the tension that results from each person striving for what they want. Many times, this happens at the expense of others. We have lost the fine art of waiting well in any season. We hang our hope on the latest and greatest. When things don’t go our way, we fight back. We lack the hope and peace that should accompany any season of waiting. It doesn’t have to look like this. God is willing to show us in the middle seasons of challenge and waiting how to hold onto Him for all we need.
Waiting in the Wilderness
There is a both/and feeling when living in a season of waiting. There is the thought that you just want the wait to be over quickly. As hard as it is to walk through the wilderness, these are the times I have learned the most and grown deeper in my faith.Waiting Well in any Season … and Book Release Day!—As hard as it is to walk through the wilderness, these are the times I have learned the most and grown deeper in my faith @JeanneTakenaka @MaryGeisen #waiting #trusting Click To Tweet
If I had to describe wilderness living, this is what I would say:
“You are HERE, wherever HERE is. You see days stretching out before you and the days that are long gone, but you find that something is missing in your here and now. Today looks like yesterday and will probably look just like tomorrow. Routine becomes the norm but somehow a piece of you tries to grab onto the elusive thing that is just out of reach. Daily thoughts hover on the edge of believing there is more, but life weighs you down with the thought of trying to make it through. This is the wilderness. The place where we have the chance to leave the biggest footprint in our lives and the lives of others. This is where we meet God and find out He has been with us all along. This is wilderness living. And this is our Advent life.”
The Advent Narrative
How do you wait well when every day looks like the one before in the wilderness? What do you do to maintain a forward motion when the end seems so far away?
What Does It Mean to Wait Well?
Maybe you believe that if you answer the question above about waiting well, you have hit the million-dollar jackpot. It has taken me years of walking through my own wilderness seasons to gain a framework for walking through this season with some semblance of peace. Think of the Israelites and their forty years of wandering in the desert. The one component that was always available was the presence of God. Every. Single. Day!
What if, like the Israelites, our circumstances never get better. It’s easy to grumble when things don’t go as planned. But grumbling about your circumstances will not help you get to the other side of the wilderness.It’s knowing that the Advent life is not a dead-end but a journey with God toward deeper knowledge and relationship with Him. @JeanneTakenaka @MaryGeisen #waiting #TellHisStory Click To Tweet
I complained, pushed back, and stayed stuck more times than I care to remember. Thankfully, God has more patience and more strength to pull me through when I try to dig in my heels. He taught me that:
He is unshakable, unstoppable, always forgiving, full of grace, prepared to invite us to kingdom living even when we think we are not good enough.
The way out of the desert is the “yes” we proclaim to God in answer to the hardships we face along the way.
It’s knowing that the Advent life is not a dead-end but a journey with God toward deeper knowledge and relationship with Him.
It’s believing that God is working behind the scenes in our hearts, minds, and souls even when we feel caught in a holding pattern. And, God glorifies the journey when we remain open to receiving His grace and love.
What about you? What defines “waiting well” to you? What is one thing you learned about God in a wilderness season?
Join the Journey!
Today you can accept the invitation to discover the Advent life for yourself. The journey of how your story began, the times of wilderness living, and the arrival when Jesus comes again. All are wrapped up in the Hope of Jesus.
Buy your copy of The Advent Narrative: The Life You Didn’t Know You Were Already Living today on Amazon. Click HERE.
Mary Geisen is the author of Brave Faith: A 31 Day Devotional Journey. She is a blogger, a speaker, a lover of coffee and deep, soul-filled conversations. Her greatest joys are her roles as a mom, mother-in-love, and Mimi. As a writer and follower of Jesus, God has led her through wilderness seasons, taught her how to walk in brave faith, and has drawn her into closer relationship with Him. Mary wants to live in a way that others are empowered to walk in brave faith through their own in-between, middle seasons of life.
This week, I’m linking up with Grace and Truth, #RaRaLinkup, and #Instaencouragements. Come join and read more encouraging posts!
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!Click here to enter
Sign up for monthly notes filled with encouragement, updates, and glimpses of how God shows up in each day. Receive free encouragement resources!
Congratulations on your new book, Mary! I know it will be a beautiful gift to the deep places of our soul. Now as much as ever we need to be all HERE, and Advent is a great season to focus intently on that lesson.
Ladies … I love how the 2 of you team up to celebrate each other’s victories! Praise God for yet another milestone.
Linda, thank you, friend. Mary’s book is beautiful and contemplative . . . a great read going into this time of year. 🙂
Jeanne and Mary, for me, waiting well in this uncertain season means focusing on today and trying to let tomorrow worry about itself. The more I say it, the more I think about it, the deeper it soaks in to my heart and life. Congrats on your book release, Mary. I need to add it to my Amazon cart so I can include it with my next order! 🙂
Lois, that’s a great way to practice waiting well. Sometimes, I find that challenging, but there’s always more breathing space when I do this. Thanks so much for stopping by!
Really looking forward to digging into Advent this year.
Lauren, how do you normally settle into Advent? I have a feeling it’s going to be pretty different for me this year. 🙂 A much more intentional focusing on the anticipation of Jesus’ coming and remembering what He’s done for us.
Learning to navigate the wilderness period is a growing that deepens our faith, isn’t? It is a time of not pushing our own agenda, yet still being faithful to living fully in the present. I think the core is Hope, which is what was also found in the birth of Jesus. Beautiful post, Mary and thanks for having Mary here, Jeanne!
Lynn, I like how you worded that. Wilderness seasons are times where we can grow and God can deepen our faith. And living fully in the present? Yes. It is a continuing to make the choice to do that in the waiting, isn’t it? Thanks for sharing your insights, Lynn!
Hi Lynn! There is so much dichotomy that comes in the waiting-striving for hope but being pulled back into uncertaintty is just one example. Hope is the core and His name is Jesus.
I’m bloody sick of waiting
for what’s supposed to be,
so I’ll go, anticipating
my destined victory
over all that’s got me down,
this cancer and its friends;
I will earn a bold renown
ere this s***storm ends,
and I am setting forward now
(God can wait for better time!),
and I’ll show the whole world how
patience is a crime
when you have a job to do
and it’s worth death to see it through.
Andrew, when waiting is coupled with the kind of pain you’re enduring it must be so difficult. I like your outlook and the way you choose not to get stuck in the present pain, but you look to the victory God is bringing on your behalf. Thank you for sharing your words and thoughts here, my friend.
I’m praying for you and Barb.
I love how you tie your thoughts of waiting, the in-between, to the upcoming season of Advent. Patience is not an easy practice to cultivate, but God does some of his best work while we wait.
Congratulations on your new book, Mary. Such an exciting time!
Laurie, patience is definitely not easy to cultivate. :). But I agree, God does some of His best work while we wait.
Thank you so much, Laurie!
Congratulations Mary! How wonderful! There’s definitely an art to waiting especially waiting on God… One that we can only learn through Him. Remember you’re always welcome to join me in a cuppa Mary.
My post this week is; ‘What does Gratitude actually do for Us?
Thank you Jeanne,
Jennifer, I like how you say there’s an art to waiting on on God. We only learn it in the school of waiting, don’t we? Thanks so much for visiting!
I would absolutely love to sit down and have a cuppa with you. Many blessings to you, my friend!
Congratulations on your book, Mary, ad thanks for sharing, Jeanne! Waiting is definitely not easy, but God can teach us a lot through it. This description particularly spoke to me today: “believing that God is working behind the scenes in our hearts, minds, and souls even when we feel caught in a holding pattern.”
Lesley, I’m enjoying this book. It’s really making me think and try to view waiting and God’s purposes through a different lens. I like that quote too.
Lesley-Thank you for cheering me on. It is reassuring to me to know that God is always nearby and working hard for us.
Mary, the narrative is lovely – just like you. Will be doing a give-away on Friday of your book!
Thanks for visiting, Susan!
That means so much, Susan! Thank you for doing a giveaway of my book.
Waiting can be hard. But, waiting can also teach us wonderful lessons. God’s timing is always best.
Melissa, yes! God’s timing is always best . . . and it’s rarely aligned with our timing. 🙂
Congratulations Mary! I’m excited to read your book, it arrives tomorrow. Waiting almost seems a “bad” word among Christians. But it’s in the waiting we learn so much, and our faith is strengthened. Thank you for your wise words.
Donna, you’re right. Christians seem to view waiting as a bad thing, but God so often uses it to mold us more into His likeness, doesn’t He? Thanks for stopping by!
Thank you, Donna! This means so much. I pray the book blesses you.
Congrats on the book release. Mary, that is awesome!
Jeanne, thank you for hosting another great link-up.
Thanks for stopping by, Jed!
Thank you, Jed!!
I’m so excited about your book baby, Mary :). The wilderness has always produced great growth in me, too. And it’s because at some point, I always startle awake and realize that I don’t wander alone–and, in fact, I’m not actually wandering. My pain, frustrations, and disappointments have a purpose.
Anita, God does have a way of using the wilderness seasons in our lives to grow us more into the image of Jesus, doesn’t He? I like how you described startling awake. That seems to be how I do it too. When I become too weary in the wilderness, I finally remember I’m not alone. I’m thankful God uses the pain in our lives.
Thank you, Anita! I love how you described the wilderness-we are never alone and there is purpose. That is all God!
Congratulations on you new book, Mary! Waiting well is truly an act of faith and a place that can press us close to God’s heart if we will let it.
Deb, you’re right. Waiting is an act of faith. I like how you describe it!
Thank you, Deb! You know what it feels like to walk through the process of birthing a book.
Thank you, Jeanne and Mary. Waiting is a topic in Christiandom often discussed. But sometimes the conversation lacks depth to speak to our hearts. And the heart is where those deep faith lessons hit home and grow our intimacy with God. During my waiting season earlier this year, I walked (sometimes crawled) through the darkest and longest valley I’d been in to date. My faith became stronger and I placed my trust in the Lord who walked alongside me the entire way. That’s the best part of waiting.
So excited for your book launch, Mary, such a needed message. Ordering my copy.
Karen, you’re right. Sometimes conversations about waiting do lack depth. Thank goodness God is willing to teach us and draw us closer to Himself in our waiting seasons. I imagine He drew you very close this year in your valley. Thank goodness He also walks with us through the dark times. Thank you for sharing a bit of your testimony here today. I hope you enjoy the book as much as I am. 🙂
Thank you for your kind words, Karen! There is so much to learn during any waiting season but there is the call to do the heart work and grow in our relationship with God.
Mary & Jeanne,
Waiting well on God and with God is perhaps one of the hardest things to do in life. We want to race ahead to what’s next, but Advent is a process and God wants us to live each day with peace, waiting expectantly on Him. So excited about your book launch, Mary! I know your book is blessing me and I plan to read it again, slow and purposefully, starting in the beginning of Dec. so that I can calm my heart and take in God’s message through your beautiful words.
Bev, when we wait on God rather than with a focus of waiting for things (events, something to come to pass, a change of another’s heart), that’s when I believe waiting becomes less stressful. Isn’t Mary’s book just beautiful?!
I’ve been so incredibly blessed to have you and Jeanne and so many others helping to spread the word about my book. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
There are so many instances in the Bible of waiting for God’s answer or provision. I struggle with waiting, but shouldn’t in light of that. His timing is perfect for His purposes. Best wishes for your book, Mary!
The beautiful HERE and NOW is often wasted on me as my eyes scan the horizon for NEXT. Let’s learn a new way of being thus December!
Michele, God has really challenged me to live in the here and now this year with my One Word being Present. I like your idea of learning “a new way of being” this December. 🙂
Barbara, you’re so right. We can learn many lessons on how to wait well from people in the Bible. I struggle with it at times, too. 🙂
Thank you for your well wishes, Barbara! Waiting is not easy for me either. I’m thankful fir a patient and grace-filled God who knows my ins and outs.