Before the Door Shuts

I love to travel! I love to see new places, experience different cultures, and unplug with my family. But, as much as I love to get away, I really dislike the “travel” portion of the trip. It is so exhausting! So, I make every effort to shorten it. I try to only book direct flights, I check as few bags as I can, and I arrive at the airport as late as possible, while still getting through security and to my gate on time. In fact, if I do it right, I will arrive at the gate just in time to board. But, you have to be careful. Once the aircraft door is closed, it will not be reopened, no matter how much you beg and plead.

This reminds me of the Parable of the Ten Bridesmaids that Jesus speaks of in the book of Matthew.

At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. At midnight the cry rang out: “Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!” . . .

But while [the five virgins without enough oil] were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. Later the others also came. “Lord, Lord,” they said, “open the door for us!”

– Matthew 25:1-6, 10-11

All ten bridesmaids thought that they would be welcomed into the wedding feast. All ten bridesmaids had their lamps in hand and were waiting. Unfortunately, five of the bridesmaids let their lamps die out. They did not anticipate how long it would take the groom to return. They were not prepared and ran out of oil. They missed their opportunity to enter in. The door was closed, and no matter how much they begged or pleaded, it was too late.

But he replied, “Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.” Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour. – Matthew 25:12-13

This really is a scary parable. No one knows the hour of Christ’s return. And, no one is guaranteed tomorrow. We need to prepare ourselves for that day by keeping our flame burning strong for God. We do this by meditating on the Word of God, by spending time with Him alone in prayer, and by asking the Holy Spirit to reveal areas in our lives that compromise who we are as children of God.

Ladies, we must not grow complacent as we wait, nor let justification and rationalization of sinful behavior snuff out our flames. Make every effort to be prepared for your final moments here on earth before the door shuts. Because once it does, it will not be reopened.

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While She's Waiting


I woke up this morning praying for a friend of mine who has been waiting on the Lord for a while over a situation in her life. After some time praying, I felt that breakthrough was coming soon and decided to send her a quick text to give her some encouragement while she’s waiting. This task seemed simple enough, but I really struggled with what I should write. You see, it is much easier to be the encourager than it is to be the one waiting. I’ve been in both seats and know this truth all too well. But this morning, I really wanted to reassure my friend of God’s promises, as she likely is growing weary. I wanted her to know that she wasn’t alone in this, and that I was standing in agreement with her over this situation. I wanted to let her know that God was in the midst of this battle, and she needs to just trust him completely.

This all sounds wonderful, except that words can seem empty, and possibly condescending. It is extremely difficult to be in the middle of a waiting period and not lose faith. But, this is precisely the kind of faith that God wants to generate in each of us. He wants faith that does not demand timetables. He wants faith that doesn’t focus on the impossibility of a situation. He wants faith that may seem crazy to everyone else. And, He wants faith that does not lose heart.

Ladies, I want to encourage each of you today with this truth – God has not forgotten you. He has not abandoned you in the midst of your battle. You are not alone in this. Although you can’t see it, your breakthrough is coming. Don’t lose faith!

So, my sweet friend, stop listening to the lies of discouragement telling you that it is never going to happen. Instead, take a moment today to marvel in God’s great love for you and His infinite power to do the miraculous.

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. – Isaiah 40:31


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Are We There Yet?


As I have confessed in previous blogs, I am a planner. So it was a complete shock to my husband and kids when I suggested blowing off perfectly good airline tickets to instead embark on a road trip. We were hours away from flying home from Florida when I suggested this spontaneous detour. My husband’s grandfather lives in Alabama, so it seemed like a perfect time to visit with him. From there, we would drive back home to Connecticut in our rental car. Although my kids thought their mother had temporarily lost it, they were genuinely excited that we were extending our vacation with an extra adventure. But, after several hours in the car, the all too familiar “are we there yet?” started to resound from the backseat. To be completely honest, it started to come from the front seat too.

The first leg of the trip wasn’t so bad. It was short. We were comfortable. However, after the first stop in Alabama, the trip started to drag on, and we began to get a little impatient.

Interestingly, I find myself on a little “road trip” of my own right now. I’ve been waiting on the Lord for almost a year for a specific situation in my life. I have complete confidence that the Lord will fulfill His promises to me, but I too am getting a little impatient. Lately, I find myself asking God, “are we there yet?” Today is one of those days.

With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. – 2 Peter 3:8-9

Although the Lord’s timetable is slower than I would like, I have come to recognize that the Christian life is made up of a lot of “road trips.” All too often, our sole focus is to get to the destination rather than growing during the journey. Not to sound cliché, but the journey is as valuable as the destination.

Yes, the journey may be filled with moments of pain, disappointment, and uncertainty, but God allows us to go through it with a purpose in mind. You see, during these moments of waiting, God is calling us to draw closer to Him like never before. It’s during these times that we learn to trust the Lord in a new, deeper way. We must trust Him even if the journey we are on doesn’t seem fair or beneficial.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. – Proverbs 3:5

If you are on one these trips, ask yourself these questions. Why did God put me on this path? What area of my life is He trying to stretch or grow? Who else can I bless along this journey? Do I trust Him completely even though I can’t see the final destination?

Ladies, it is important to make sure that we take our foot off the gas from time to time and stare out the window for a few minutes to truly see what God has in mind for us. Once you start to see His purpose, you may actually begin to enjoy the ride.

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The Waiting Games

My mother has a knack for making things special, and holidays are no exception. My parents host Christmas Eve every year. When I was growing up, my entire family joined in on the festivities. If you are from an Italian family, you understand just how many people that actually is. The house was decorated beautifully in true Christmas spirit. Luminaras lined the driveway. The food was plentiful. Christmas carols echoed throughout the entire house, and laughter could be heard everywhere. I still remember the excitement I felt each Christmas Eve. The anticipation of what was to come overwhelmed me.

That night, we exchanged gifts with the extended family. But there was a catch. We had to wait until the grandfather clock in the foyer struck nine o’clock before we could open the gifts. Guests arrived at six, so you can imagine how long that wait seemed to a child.

To make the wait seem even more unbearable, my mother would line all the cousins up in a row with their presents in their laps about ten minutes before nine. Our little eyes were fixed on the big hand on the clock as the time ticked away. With ten seconds to go, my mother would begin the countdown:

10 – 9 – 8 – 7 – 6 – 5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1

You can imagine the scene that followed. Wrapping paper began to fly everywhere. It was a frenzy of tissue paper and bows. We were all so excited and thankful to open the long-awaited gift.

I know many of you are waiting patiently for the Lord to answer your prayers, and it seems like an eternity. Maybe you are asking God to restore your marriage or a broken relationship. Or perhaps you are waiting for a healing touch in your body or a financial breakthrough. I can assure you that God sees the situation you are in and hears your prayers.

“Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.” - Psalm 27:14 

I recognize that nobody likes to wait. I certainly don’t. We live in a culture of instant gratification. Fast food . . . instant downloads . . . FastPass . . . to name just a few. But God often has a different plan in mind.

We look at the life of Abraham and see a man that received a tremendous promise from God. The Lord vowed to make Abraham the father of a great nation. He was 75 years old at the time he received this promise and yet, as of then, he didn’t have any children. It took 25 more years for Abraham to see the fulfillment of this promise through the birth of his son Isaac. Although Abraham went through seasons of doubt, God never changed His promise.

But why did God make Abraham wait? The character that is developed in God’s waiting room is significant: faith that can’t be shaken, awareness of God’s promises, the ability to hear God’s voice clearly, a dedicated prayer life, and, most importantly, an appreciation of His faithfulness.

Just like our waiting on Christmas Eve was never easy, waiting on God can be difficult. We need to recognize that the waiting can be a time of great growth and the development of a heart of appreciation for the answered prayer.

Ladies, we need to trust that God will do what His word says He will do. His timing is perfect. Don’t lose hope . . . the clock is just about to strike nine!

“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." - Isaiah 40:31