I talk about waiting a lot. Waiting is part of being human; it’s not something we only do while single or in college. We’ll always be waiting for something.
But a season of waiting doesn’t mean sitting still. To the contrary, our waiting seasons can be a time of great productivity! Whether the season lasts a few weeks or a few years, here are ten ways to steward this time well.
Cultivate Your Gifts
Even if you’re waiting on a college decision or a job interview, now is the time to cultivate your gifts. I frequently discussed this in my college counseling sessions. God has given you innate talents and skills that need to be invested. You can invest in those many ways: by reading more, taking a class, being mentored, or volunteering somewhere. Like the parable of the talents, God has given you a talent “for such a time as this” – to ignore it until “real life happens” doesn’t provide a worthy return on His investment.
Connect with Your Community
No matter where you live, you can connect with your community. Take time to attend your local events. Go to the farm market instead of the grocery store. Become a regular at a coffee shop and learn the owner’s name. Gather friends and acquaintances together for parties and casual get togethers (like the Roundtable!). By plugging into your community you will feel far more fulfilled in your waiting season.
Visit the Place You’ve Been Putting Off
Though finances may at times be prohibitive, travel is a great way to spend a waiting season. Lose the idea that you need a certain person or time in order to enjoy seeing the world. You can always go back! Want to visit California? Price it out. Talk to a friend. Start saving! Waiting doesn’t mean your life is on hold.
Take a Class
Classes are an excellent way to spend your waiting season. Your local library, arts center, and community college all offer classes on specific subjects and disciplines. Try something new – a cooking class, dance group, or writing class. Some classes are short intensives that only last a few weeks. This will also help connect you to your community, where you can meet more people who share your interests.
Disciple Another Believer
I often discuss the importance of discipleship, both being discipled and doing the discipling. During your waiting season you can pour into the lives of others by leading a small Bible study, meeting one-on-one with another woman, or even starting a Roundtable group! Discipleship is a great way to connect with other believers and cultivate accountability in your walk with God.
Set a Reading Goal
I recently shared a video on my Facebook page sharing my favorite titles and my current reading list. Setting a reading goal for the next few months or year is a great way to expose yourself to new books and authors! I suggest picking up titles you aren’t necessarily drawn to, and balancing fiction with nonfiction. Goodreads has great recommendations, as does my personal favorite, Modern Mrs. Darcy.
Join a Club
Another part of connecting to your community – and a great way to cultivate a skill! – is to join a club. Clubs exist for almost every interest: bird watching, hiking, running, kayaking, horseback riding, writing, reading, or cooking. If you can’t find one that fits your interests – start one!
Delete Social Media
If you’re in a waiting season, social media can be the greatest enemy to contentment. With people moving to awesome places, planning gorgeous weddings, and having multiple babies, it may be time to take a Facebook break. If you think it will help you focus, set a time frame (longer than a few weeks) to remove social media from your life and focus on a few of the other suggestions listed here.
Face a Fear
I am personally terrified of two things: heights and spiders. So while I am suggesting that you use your waiting season to face a fear, I’m not sure I’ll be practicing what I preach! But instead of bungee jumping from the Mackinac Bridge or visiting a tarantula exhibit, I’ve had to face a different kind of fear in my current waiting season. Whatever fear has been plaguing your wait – whether a fear of singleness or of motherhood or a fear of the next step – use this time to let God conquer it in you.
Host a Roundtable
Finally, use your waiting season to host one of my Roundtable groups! The first of these groups started when I moved back to Michigan. I found myself craving deeper discussion with my girlfriends; something beyond the “hi how are you” cycle. I suggested the idea of a group meeting to discuss cultural issues in light of God’s word – skipping the small talk and getting right to the “deep stuff”. So far we’ve had Roundtable meetings on:
- Birth Control
- Environmental responsibility
- Discipleship in the church
- Modern women’s ministry
- World religions
Every woman brings a unique story and thought process to the group. It grew from an original five girls to as many 17 in a matter of months! Current Roundtable locations can be found in Cincinnati, OH, Dayton, OH, and Fargo, ND, with potential for another in Tracy, CA. If you’d like to join an existing group I can put you in contact with the leader, or you can start one! You can learn more about the Roundtable by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your waiting season doesn’t have to be stagnant, but how it looks is up to you! Steward this time so you can return it to the Lord well invested. You’ll find the wait more enjoyable in the process!