Skip to main content

Test... {Everyday Beautiful}

It's Five Minute Friday! Each week a flashmob of bloggers gather, internet wide, to write for five minutes (no stopping, no editing) on a prompt provided by sweet Kate, then link up and share a little comment love. For more info, more posts, and/or to join in, head here!

I hate waiting. All of the uncertainty, all of that unclaimed time... shudder. I tend to view waiting as a sort of test - an unnamed lesson that must be learned before I can move forward. But a few weekends ago I was able to attend a silent prayer retreat that our church put on, and I learned something about waiting. 

A 15 passenger van full of ladies drove about an hour out of the city to a retreat center in the middle of the woods - we spent the evening hanging out, but the next morning from getting-up to lunchtime, we weren't allowed to speak. We were sent forth into the woods with our Bibles and journals, to meet with God.

Every path I went down was strewn with spider webs. Because God often speaks to me through animals, I got the picture on the 8th one I nearly walked through and started intentionally following the spiders. They led me to a tree that was bent into a perfect bench. I sat down, opened my journal, and asked myself, what do spiders do? The answer came almost immediately. They wait. But they don't just sit around doing nothing (which is really my flawed definition of waiting) - every morning they get up and build a new web. They stay close to see if anything gets caught. And if nothing flies into it, they rebuild in a new place the next day.

So when my waiting feels empty, maybe it's not a test that I'm failing, but simply that I'm waiting in the wrong place, whether that's geographically, spiritually, mentally, or emotionally. Am I actually rebuilding my web daily, or am I wondering why my torn and tattered prayer life isn't catching anything? And am I staying close to God, reading His Word, and listening for His voice to provide the answer I'm waiting for?

I've always thought spider webs were beautiful - but now that they remind me of a comforting lesson on The Right Way to Wait, I find them doubly so.

This post is day 7 in my 31 Days series, 31 Days of Everyday Beautiful - for an introduction and more posts, head here.


BARBIE said…
Such a creative take on the word test. I am your neighbor today at the FMF link up! Have a blessed day.
Tara Ulrich said…
I'm not a good waiter either!
Andrew said…
Great post, Sarah. Waiting is one of the few things at which I comes from long training in Soto Zen Buddhism, and further training as a long rifleman (I hate the word 'sniper').

Somewhere along the line, just waiting (in unpleasant surroundings, such as a sewage-filled ditch in a country I won't name) I realized that simply being present in the moment is all that's needed. No future, no past, just now.

(Why a sewage-filled ditch? Because that's the last place people would loo to find me!)

#2 at FMF this week.
Patricia said…
Kudos to you for learning from spiders! They creep me out so badly that I'm afraid I would've never found a lesson from them. Thanks for the new perspective!
Cheryl Simpson said…
Great lesson from a spider. I don't think I will look at a web the same again. (Although running into a web will still give me the creeps.)

I am a learning-not-to-be procrastinator and an impatient wait-er. Odd combination? Or are there others out there like me?

In learning from the spider, the reason to not procrastinate is be prepared for the moment to "catch" and, if necessary, to redirect my efforts. Putting-off makes for a poorly made web.

Waiting and unprepared is a waste.

I like your fresh look on waiting.

Popular posts from this blog

31 Days of Unraveling Designs

It's that time of year again... the 31 Days writing challenge starts today! Bloggers from all over will be writing every day of the month of October on the topic of their choosing. This will be my fourth year participating - the first year I did 7 for 31, and spent a month going through Jen Hatmaker's book 7. The second year I did 31 Days of Sustainable Dwelling, and wrote about local and fair trade living. Last year I was busy but still wanted to participate, so I went the easy route with 31 Days of Everyday Beautiful.

This year I'm diving into my greatest passion: knitting! I'll spend this month looking at past designs and talking about the inspiration behind them, so there will be plenty of regular life mixed in with the stitching - and there may be discount codes for the patterns that I write about. You'll just have to read and see!

Pattern index:

Pageturner Mitts
Hogwarts House Tie
Urban Artemis
Graffiti for Humanity
Love Out Loud
Strange Jacket


In order to change your knitting, you must first change yourself. I've lost track of how many times I've said that, or how many people I've said it to. Frustrated new knitters wondering why their work is loose or tight or uneven or really anything less than perfect. But something I love about knitting is that it's a record of your inner dialogue. That swatch knit at the yarn store table with a cozy cup of coffee and a helpful (and more experienced) knitter nearby is going to be a lot more relaxed than the sweater begun a week later while sitting next to a hospital bed - just like the knitter.

Unfortunately, this also applies to my own knitting. For years, I was apparently unaffected by the shifts and turmoils in my own life, so I assumed that I was exempt from the rule - when the reality was, in fact, that I wasn't really experiencing any of those on anything deeper than a surface level because everything was deadened by depression. When I finally started to really…


A few years ago, I was introduced to the concept of replacing the traditional list of resolutions with a single word. It appealed to me - I am not a big list person, but I love language and words and meanings and etymology and metaphor and... ahem. Ennyhoo. I liked the idea.
I've never chosen the word. It's always presented itself to me - and last year was no different. Pacific was very insistent, even though I tried to argue with it. Pacific? What does that even mean? What am I supposed to do with that?
But I accepted it, and I'm glad I did. I learned about depth and calm, about storm and nurture, about faith and adventure - and about the unstoppable ocean of God's grace, that overwhelms to fill and cleanse and bring blessings unasked.
So I'm bidding pacific a very fond farewell, and welcoming spark and whatever lessons it would like to bring. I invited it in with a copper wire punctuated with tiny lights and wrapped around my mood board, and I've got an empt…