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How to Embrace the Delay of Your Dreams

Yes, waiting is hard. But the fulfillment of our dreams in God’s time is sweet.



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By Melinda Means and Kathy Helgemo

Have you noticed that our society has turned instant gratification from a luxury into a right?

After all, we should have what we want, when we want it. Period. Right?

We deserve it!

But for moms, now isn’t always in our — or our families’ — best interests. When we have a dream in our heart and ambitions that we want to pursue, we often gain so much insight, growth, and character when we surrender to God’s timing and embrace the delay.

Embrace the delay?

Ugh. Those are not easy words to hear. Believe us, we know. We’ve both experienced long gaps between the time God put a dream in our hearts and the time He (finally!) fulfilled it. However, we have also found that the rewards are also probably more sweet than if we had pursued them in our own timing.

Take heart … waiting doesn’t mean doing nothing.

We can be active as we wait for God to fulfill His future plans and purposes for us.

Here’s a few ways we can put the waiting to work:

1. Be faithful as we wait.

God is paying close attention to how we’re handling the wait: “Whoever can be trusted with very little, can also be trusted with much” (Luke 16:10). While there are many reasons why God may delay a dream, one reason He may make us wait is because we’re not making good use of the opportunities and responsibilities He’s already given us. Those experiences are the “training ground” for more challenging blessings He wants to give us.

How to Embrace the Delay of Your DreamsAs a young mom, I (Kathy) didn’t feel like diapering and laundering for four small children was doing anything “significant.” It certainly didn’t feel like I was moving closer to my dream of writing one day. But with every pile of towels and soccer clothes, I was being faithful and investing in my children.

I now use that same discipline in the opportunities that God has placed before me now that my kids are older. (I’m still doing laundry, although my piles are smaller than they used to be!)

2. Learn as much as possible while you wait.

When I (Melinda) was a mom to little ones, I couldn’t stop everything and write a book and launch a speaking tour. But I could write a magazine article or a church newsletter. I could lead a small Bible Study.

My skills and knowledge grew with these small steps. They also helped to keep alive my dream of one day being an author and speaker. Attending writing conferences — both online and in person — were another way I kept learning and growing in my craft.

3. Realize that you don’t own the watch … God does.

Over the years, we’ve both tried to speed up God’s clock. We went chasing opportunities even though the time wasn’t right. We knew better, but we were tired of waiting for “someday.” Without fail, these ventures “fizzled,” but usually not before our families paid a price.

Years after God placed within our hearts the desire to be authors, He brought us together. We both shared the dream of mentoring and encouraging struggling moms like us. His timing was so much more enriching to us and our families that our own.

Yes, waiting is hard. But the fulfillment of our dreams in God’s time is sweet.

God’s plan, purpose and timing of your dream will be perfect. We promise. We’re living proof.

What are the “little” ways God is calling you to be faithful?

How can you learn and prepare for your dream in small ways?

Win a Copy of Mothering From Scratch


This article is based on Melinda and Kathy’s new book Mothering From Scratch: Finding the Best Parenting Style that Works for You and Your Family. It is available on from Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Christian Book Distributors, as well as bookstores nationwide. We have one copy to giveaway here. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for your chance to win this helpful, encouraging read!

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About Melinda and Kathy

motheringfromscratchbiopicMelinda Means and Kathy Helgemo blog together over at Mothering From Scratch where their mission is to encourage and support mothers to find their unique mothering style. They both live in Southwest Florida with their husbands and kids. Melinda’s two and Kathy’s four have provided much humility in motherhood for both of them. Thankfully, they both depend on Jesus to carry them through the journey.

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  • Mary

    Sometimes, anticipation is a lot of fun. We rob ourselves of joy when everything comes immediately. Plan. Anticipate. Dream. That’s what I tell my children (and myself)
    . Enjoy the wait.

  • I really liked this blog post.It spoke to my heart,as I am waiting.I have completed my medical studies but haven’t done my residency.Every time I try to piece my dream together it crumbles,embarrassing and disheartening my timid soul .Mothering two children with the embers still glowing in my heart,dying now lighting up again… has been a challenge.I’m happy to be full time mom,but the dream seems impossible as time passes… nobody wants too much of a gap on a candidate’s application for residency.Any help on being a better mother and wife is appealing to me,that’s why I thought I’d like to read this book.Thanks for writing this blog post! God bless you!

  • Becky Gregg Gunsolus

    I’d really love to go deeper into this as it is a concept I want my girls to all develop this instead of today’s ideas. And I want to also make sure I’m a example of it to them! :)

  • kimberly

    I am not a patient person. And I’m glad to see I’m not alone.

  • Asheritah Ciuciu

    Waiting is hard, but I like Mary’s comment that it can also be a lot of fun! I think it’s mostly in our perspective of the reason we’re waiting. I’ve experienced both anxious waiting (like for my husband’s visa) and fun waiting (like for our wedding day). God has a way of working in our hearts when we give our waiting to Him.

    And I’m always looking for books to read, so I can live and love more like Jesus, and this selection looks like a great one!

  • Tammi

    I came across this article about waiting on Pinterest. It was intriguing as I felt like I’ve waited my whole life for every dream I’ve ever had. And I still wait. But I’ve became impatient in my wait. I became ungrateful, resentful and full of
    rage. I wanted to quit. I wanted to say “Forget it God. I give up on you.” In fact, I did say it! A Christian my whole life and I quit on Him. But the moment I was honest with Him, His presence consumed me! He showed me love when I vocalized my anger and hurt. He loved me when I was unlovable. He wrapped His arms around me when I was pushed Him away as hard as I could. In my brokenness, He revealed that some of my dreams had indeed been granted… I just didn’t delight in them as He had hoped. But He didn’t give up on me!

    I would love to read this book “Mothering from Scratch” as being a mom of two precious gifts, my adopted daughters, I need to start from scratch and take advantage of the love the God of second chances offers to me. Thank you for writing on this topic and sharing your heart with other women and moms. We’re not alone and that brings so much encouragement


When Doing Justly, Loving Mercy, and Walking Humbly Stand at Odds

If your compassion far exceeds your capacity, here’s one way you can be sure to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly.



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One of my life verses is Micah 6:8, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

It is one of my favorite verses because my heart has been so moved by the love Jesus has for me and the sacrifice He made for me that I am grateful to have a way to express my gratitude through acts of justice and mercy while walking humbly with God.

I have found at times, however, the call to do justice and love mercy come in conflict with the call to walk humbly with God. For me, one of the ways to walk humbly with God is to recognize my limitations. I have to put skin to the fact that I am not God which means saying, “no” to ministry requests. It means going to sleep when I could be spending time advocating for the harrowed and helpless in the world. It means limited seats at my table, limited funds in my bank account, and limited energy in my body cannot be ignored but respected and adhered to.

This is hard for me at times, especially when I scroll my Facebook feed and see friends who are caring for their really sick children, spouse, or other family member all while millions of refugees flee war torn countries and babies are slaughtered by the hundreds each day in our country through the abortion industry.

As I scroll, I receive texts about one family member’s surgery gone wrong and another family member announcing a new baby is on the way. I have in mind my neighbor who has inpatient surgery scheduled this week and another neighbor who is trying to hold down a full-time job, care for twins all while battling profound “morning” sickness.

Folks at church are fighting for their lives in physical and spiritual ways, and strangers who pass me on the road are clearly battling something as demonstrated by their impatient honking because I won’t take a right turn on red. I want to meet the needs of all; I want to do justice and love mercy, but I’m daily confronted by the fact that I am so limited.

What am I to do when doing justly and/or loving mercy seem to come in conflict with walking humbly with my God?

God keeps bringing me to this answer: prayer.

God invites us to cast our cares before Him because He cares for us.
God tells us to be anxious for nothing BUT WITH PRAYER present our requests before Him.
God commands us to pray without ceasing.

And, when I walk humbly with God, I see the immense kindness in His command.
He gives us a way to do justly, love mercy WHILE walking humbly with Him.
It is by praying without ceasing.

I cannot take a meal or give money to every sick person or family I know. I cannot extend kindness to all my neighbors all at the same time they’re in need nor conjure up sustainable solutions for the refugee crisis and contact all the necessary world powers to make it happen.

I cannot heal all, but I know the Healer.

I cannot provide for all the needs, but I know the Provider.

I cannot rescue everyone in need, but I know the Rescuer.

I cannot comfort all the broken, but I know the Comforter.

I cannot speak peace over every situation, but I know the Prince of Peace.

I cannot be all to all, but I can go to the Great I Am through prayer, lay all the people, problems and pleas for help before the Omniscient and Omnipresent God of all Creation.

I can do this through prayer.

Recently, via an Instagram contest of all things, I came upon A–Z prayer cards designed by blogger/author/speaker, Amelia Rhodes. It is a simple concept packed with a powerful prayer punch. It has served me personally in this tension of wanting to do far more than I practically can do. It provides prayer prompts starting with each letter of the alphabet along with a scripture that coincides with the prayer focus. It ranges from Adoption to a creative “Zero Prejudice” for the letter “Z.”

The cards are well thought out, color printed on sturdy cardstock with blank lines for the user to write in the names of people and/or organizations that are personal to them.

If, like me, your compassion far exceeds your capacity, pick up a set of these prayer cards and unload your burdens onto a God whose competence matches His kindness, both boundless.

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Facing Our Fears in Motherhood

Do you have fears tied to motherhood? If so, here’s encouragement for you.



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“Are you scared?”

I was taken aback by his question. Scared? Of what?

“Of anything,” he answered.

I had just shared my due date with a new class of trainees.

“He has three boys,” another new hire volunteered. So fear is to be expected, I reasoned. I’m just about to face the most frightening experience in my life.

Of course I was scared.

I was scared…

  • I’ll lose my temper.
  • I’ll whine about sleepless nights.
  • I’ll breastfeed too often or not often enough.
  • I’ll leave piles of unfolded onesies in the middle of the nursery floor because I’m too tired (or lazy?) to fold teeny-tiny baby clothes for the upteenth time.
  • I’ll go with disposable diapers when the better choice would be cloth.
  • I’ll work too many long hours at the office and miss precious moments with her.
  • I’ll sign her up for too many activities and push her to become Miss Achieve-It-All.
  • I’ll pass on to her my ugly pride, self-righteousness, and perfectionism like a dreadful contagious disease.
  • I’ll miss countless little joys in life while pursuing worthless dreams.

Facing Our Fears in MotherhoodIn short… I was afraid I was going to fail miserably as a parent.

And now, holding my second-born daughter in my arms, thinking back on that brief exchange just a few years ago, I realize those fears were well-founded. I’ve failed many times. I’ve lost my temper. I’ve raised my voice. I’ve worked too much and played too little. I’ve seen my own sinfulness reflected in my daughter.

Yes, I’ve failed, but over and above it all, God’s grace has covered my parenting imperfections and made me run to the cross day after day. The writer of Proverbs puts it this way:

Whoever fears the LORD has a secure fortress, and for their children it will be a refuge.
Proverbs 14:26

When it comes to fears, we have two choices: Will we fear the unknown or will we fear the Lord? Will we allow the uncertain to grip us in its clutch or will we turn to God’s Truth to set us free?

Scared? Oh yeah. There was so much to be scared of that day. And even now, if I’m completely honest, there are still fears nibbling at the edges of my consciousness. Fear that we won’t outgrow the temper tantrums. Fear that the two girls won’t get along. Fear that I’ll mess them up and cause them interminable hours on a psychologist’s couch.

I’m sure you have fears, too.

But rather than allow those fears to consume and paralyze us, we can take them to the Lord, acknowledging His sovereignty over our parenting, pleading His grace over our mistakes, and entrusting His provision over their futures. He is not only able to handle it all — He is far more capable to be trusted with it all.

If I say one thing to that frightened 9-month-pregnant me standing in that room years ago, I would say this: Don’t let fear rob today’s joy with tomorrow’s unknowns. Each day has enough worries of its own (Matthew 6:34).

Instead, let us keep seeking God, running to Him as our secure fortress and resting in the knowledge that He will care for us and our children one day at a time.

What are you scared of today? Name your fears and bring them to the Lord, allowing Him to replace them with His peace that passes all understanding.

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He Gives Shade To The Weary

If anxiety is a struggle for you right now, remember that He gives shade to the weary.



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Do you ever have those moments of fear because you don’t know what lies ahead? When do those thoughts tend to happen to you?

For me, most of those thoughts happen when I lay my head down to sleep at night. The vulnerability comes forth every time. That’s what happened the other night to me. I shut my eyes and immediately anxiety welled up inside me.

What if we don’t succeed in this new venture? What if we have to move? What if we can’t pay our bills?

I laid there with the covers drawn tight over my head (I still think that I am safer if the covers are over my head), praying scripture over my anxious heart. Assuring myself that God sees me and that He cares.

In the morning, I turned to Isaiah 41, specifically verses 10-20.

“Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10, NASB)

Yesterday, the “what if’s” piled up as I anxiously looked about me. My daughter needs tutoring, however at this point in life, tutoring feels like a luxury we can’t afford. So I listed some items online to sell hoping to make just enough to cover the tutoring. I’m buying groceries on a Visa reward card. I’m holding my breath until the next paycheck comes. But what did God speak over me: Do not fear. Do not look anxiously about you.

“For I am the Lord your God, who upholds your right hand, Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.’ Do not fear, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel; I will help you,” declares the Lord, “and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.” (Isaiah 41:13-14 NASB)

Why shouldn’t I be anxious? Because God will hold me up. God will help me. When I first read the word “worm” as a description, I took it as a slam against Israel. Like, gesh, God. What animal does He relate me to? But through further study, He calls them a worm because worms are helpless. They are viewed as insignificant, despised and weak. God will help me — seemingly insignificant, helpless me — because He is my Redeemer. He is my go’el — my next of kin. The Redeemer is the one who provides for all my needs. Rent. Car payment. Credit card bill. Gas. Food. Clothes. Debt. God will redeem.

He Gives Shade to the Weary

“Behold, I have made you a new, sharp threshing sledge with double edges; You will thresh the mountains and pulverize them, And will make the hills like chaff. You will winnow them, and the wind will carry them away, And the storm will scatter them; But you will rejoice in the Lord, You will glory in the Holy One of Israel.” (Isaiah 41:15-16 NASB).

God is transforming me from a helpless one to a powerful one. The description of that type of threshing sledge is like a modern day earth mover. Powerful. Strong. Immovable.

“The afflicted and needy are seeking water, but there is none, And their tongue is parched with thirst; I, the Lord, will answer them Myself, As the God of Israel I will not forsake them.” (Isaiah 41:17, NASB)

He will come to our rescue. God, Himself, will answer you and me. Can you hear how personal that sounds? Have you ever pleaded with someone important whether your boss, public figure, or even a parent, and they responded to the need themselves? You expected for them to send their assistant, but instead they — the most important one — responded to you.

“I will open rivers on the bare heights And springs in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water And the dry land fountains of water. I will put the cedar in the wilderness, The acacia and the myrtle and the olive tree; I will place the juniper in the desert Together with the box tree and the cypress.” (Isaiah 41:18-19, NASB)

This passage describes the wilderness-like times in life. You are barren. You are thirsty. You are hot. You are in need. God will provide what you need. God will quench your thirst. He will provide shade when you are weary. During those times, God can provide in creative, innovative ways. He can provide something out of nothing. Doesn’t that give you great hope? Even when you can’t answer how He will do it, He is creative enough to figure it out even when the odds are stacked against you.

“That they may see and recognize, And consider and gain insight as well, That the hand of the Lord has done this, And the Holy One of Israel has created it.” (Isaiah 41:20 NASB).

God will do all of this so that His glory will be put on display. People — including yourself — will see that He is powerful.

So you can see how after a night of wrestling with fear and anxiety, reading this was like shade and water for my soul. God is a god who sees. And God is a god who acts on your behalf.

What do you need His help with today? What are you fearful about today? What keeps you awake at night? Where do you need some shade?

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Hi, I'm Ashleigh Slater, founder and editor of Ungrind. Here at Ungrind, it’s our goal to churn out biblically-based encouragement for women. We strive to be honest and transparent about our struggles in a way that inspires hope, faith, and perseverance.

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How to Embrace the Delay of Your Dreams

by Guest time to read: 3 min