Our family is waiting on two future events: the arrival of my daughter’s mission call and the arrival of our baby. It’s a race with both expected in the new week or so. These dramatic events will be with us for the rest of our lives. My daughter’s mission call will determine where she will serve for the next 18 months; and when she starts her service. Having served a mission myself, I know that where she serves and who she meets will affect her for the rest of her life. The arrival of our baby will affect us profoundly as well. Nothing will be the same. In my daughter’s situation we can’t force the call to come any faster. Nothing can be done. With pregnancy, I do have options, but it’s best for the baby and I that we wait. My daughter and I are both waiting for a beginning. This has given me a unique opportunity to consider patience.

1- Perspective

missionary-work-182997-galleryThese weeks will pass. I know that the all knowing, all powerful, creator of the universe; who knows the end from the beginning, has a better concept of timing than I do. Clearly that’s true.  A few weeks is so short. It’s just that, I struggle…even though I know God is all knowing, I look at my calendar, and consider the days and I think I know what would be best. I want to make plans. I want to be prepared and help my daughter prepare. I cannot do my laundry ahead of time. She cannot choose what clothes she will need without knowing where she will be. We have to be hesitant in making commitments, knowing we may well be committing someone else to take our place. Patience in this situation forces us to focus not on preparing things but preparing ourselves-what a gift that is. For me, patience is not a one time admitting that God knows what He’s doing, but a daily, and sometimes moment by moment reminder to myself that His timing is right.

2-Joy

sister-missionary-reading-scriptures-506240-galleryI clearly can’t plan when her mission call will come-or where she will go, or when she will leave, but I plan anyways. I plan fun. I teach my children from a young age that the best way to wait is to have fun. For both of us that means filling the days with things we can look forward to so that the day will be meaningful and joyful even when “it” doesn’t happen. For me, this can be awkward when I don’t know if I will make it to my great events. My daughter can plan the next few weeks and know she can make most of it. I don’t have that same luxury. My children have a play the day before my due date. If I get to see the play-HOORAY! If I don’t, I will be holding my darling little baby-HOORAY!  It’s win win. I get to talk about something other than if I’ve had that baby yet and focus my energy on what is happening instead of what is not happening. Time passes more quickly when we are having fun. God wants us to feel joy now. I find that refusing joy until something happens is my way of clinging to my timing instead of God’s.

3-Work

080720-2859kbhs-copyMy mother in law taught me the joys of accomplishing while you wait. When she was going through chemotherapy, she wanted to feel like she could still do something. She started crocheting baby blankets and dish towels. They were small and simple, so she could finish it even with her limited energy. It brought her joy to see them stack up and be able to give something to other people. She had a determination to give even during such a long, hard time. When I had my twins, she gave me two baby blankets she had edged during that time. Her perseverance and thoughtfulness and willingness to work through her waiting and healing is a beautiful legacy to me. I may not crochet, but it is a wonderful feeling to be able to accomplish something, even something simple, while we wait.

4 Love now

When I find myself focusing too much on the future, I remind myself that I am missing out on opportunities to feel God’s love now. God’s not waiting to love me, so why should I wait to feel it? When I focus on the future, am I missing out on feeling God’s grace now? I’m missing out on the people with me. I can only act right where I am. Now will never come again. I can’t love someone in the future until I get there. the best way to prepare to love someone in the future is to be loving now…where you are. Loving the people you are with is the best preparation for anything God wants you to do. There will always be something to look forward to..both my daughter and I will be beginning our adventures. There will be other milestones to wait for and look forward to, when would the waiting to love stop? When will it be enough? God is not putting something off to keep us from progressing, no matter how much it feels that way. We have everything we need right now to progress-the opportunity to love.

To read all of Britt Kelly's articles, please click here.

To read all of Britt Kelly’s articles, please click here.

Soon we will have happy news to report. We won’t have to begin every phone call with a caveat that it’s just us and normal, or answer questions with “we still don’t know when”. In the mean time, we will continue to live in patience with faith and joy and work and love.

About Britt Kelly
Britt grew up in a family of six brothers and one sister and gained a bonus sister later. She camped in the High Sierras, canoed down the Colorado, and played volleyball at Brigham Young University. She then served a mission to South Africa. With all of her time in the gym and the mountains and South Africa, she was totally prepared to become the mother of 2 sons and soon to be 9 daughters. By totally prepared she means willing to love them and muddle through everything else in a partially sleepless state. She is mostly successful at figuring out how to keep the baby clothed, or at least diapered, though her current toddler is challenging this skill. She feels children naturally love to learn and didn’t want to disrupt childhood curiosity with worksheets and school bells. She loves to play in the dirt, read books, go on adventures, watch her children discover new things, and mentor her children. Her oldest child is currently at a community college and her oldest son is going to high school at a public school. She loves to follow her children in their unique paths and interests. She loves to write because, unlike the laundry and the dishes, writing stays done. Whenever someone asks her how she does it all she wonders what in the world they think she’s doing.

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