Welcome to the online home of Audra Jennings, a book publicist and crafter. Here I share about both. I hope you'll find books you'll want to read and crafts you will want to order. I live a rather boring, single life. At times I would like to think I am humorous. The kids I teach in Bible class tend to think so. I also blog about current seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. I don't know why, I just do.
In today’s culture, waiting can seem like a constant
nuisance. Whether it’s waiting in line, at the doctor’s office or in traffic,
we are often presented with the struggle of not being in control of our own
time. Likewise, believing God when a promise is new is easy, but it’s hard when
the years pass and nothing changes. It’s harder still when desperation strikes,
plans backfire and God does not seem to fill the emptiness. In Waiting for Wonder: Learning to Live on
God’s Timeline (Abingdon Press), Marlo Schalesky
encourages readers to think differently about our waiting periods of life.
Q: You have
focused on writing books about the wonder of God. Describe what that means to
you remember when you were young and would climb trees and run through sprinklers?
Do you remember when a simple daisy would capture your imagination and a
butterfly would capture your heart? Those days when beauty was not so rare and
life was painted with the vivid colors of awe? Too often we lose not only our
childlike wonder of the world, but we also lose our wonder of God — that sense
of awe, beauty, and catch-your-breath, more-than-I-ever-dreamed sense of who
God is. We lose it in the waiting rooms of life.
what if God is more passionate, more wild, and more wondrous than we ever dared
to believe Him to be? What if He is calling us deeper than our dreams? What if
He’s calling us back to wonder? For me, writing about God’s wonder is about
pulling back the curtain, just a bit, during the very hardest times of life,
during those times when wonder seems the most impossible, so we might glimpse
God as we’ve never seen Him before. In that glimpse, be captured by the wonder
of this God who is more than we ever dreamed. I believe our only hope in hard
times is found not in more instructions, more rules, more getting up enough
faith, but it is found in encounters with a vivid God. It is found in wonder.
compelled you to write a book on waiting for wonder?
waiting is hard. Waiting well is harder, and God’s timing is so rarely our own. It’s
easy to believe God and walk in faith when everything is going according to
plan, but it’s hard when the years pass and nothing changes. It’s hard to keep
praying, keep hoping, keep believing when you’re stuck in the waiting place and
life isn’t turning out at all as you thought and hoped and prayed. In the long
wait, it often becomes easier to listen to our fears than to hear the promises
God still asks us to wait. I’m convinced it is precisely in the painful,
awkward, awful waiting place that God is calling us to more. He is calling us,
as He called Sarah, to wonder, to laughter in the face of the impossible, to a
blessing that’s not just for us but for the whole world.
is a book is for people who want to find God in the waiting room, find Him where
He seems most absent. It’s a book for people who hate waiting but want to find
God in all His beauty and wonder even in the waiting place.
Q: Why do you
think we need to learn to wait at all? Isn’t it better to do something instead?
I wish! As I learned through the life of Sarah, Abraham’s wife in Genesis, it’s
a long journey to the Promised Land! When God calls us, we don’t
instantaneously arrive, which is probably why the Bible mentions waiting in
many verses. James tells us, “You also must wait patiently, strengthening your
resolve” (5:8). Psalm 31:24 says, “All you who wait for the Lord,be strong and let your heart take courage.”
Of course Lamentations 3:25-26 tells us, “It is good that one should hope and
wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”
tells us to wait well, yet when we’re waiting for an opportunity, a change, a relationship
to be restored, a diagnosis, a call, good news, bad news, I-don’t-know-what’s
coming news, it is a tough thing to do that without squirming, complaining,
trying to make something — anything — happen. But what about when we can’t do
anything to bring about what we’re hoping for? That waiting place is a scary
place. It’s a frustrating and hope-threatening place.
we can learn to wait well, we can, like Sarah, bless the whole world. That’s
the promise: The world will be blessed through us, through the wait.
Q: Can you
tell us a little bit about your personal experience with waiting and why you
wrote Waiting for Wonder?
wrote Waiting for Wonder because I’m
bad at waiting, and I had to learn everything the hard way, from scratch. I
often say I should have a PhD in the art of waiting because God has given me
many long and arduous lessons in it.
like Sarah, I too had a 20-year journey through infertility. Even though Waiting for Wonder isn’t about
infertility (I already wrote a book about infertility), that journey for me
epitomized what it means to be stuck in a place where there’s nothing else you
can do to “make it happen.” I tried everything, prayed everything, hoped
everything and came to the place where there was simply nothing else to be done,
prayed, hoped or said. I was not a pretty wait-er. There was a lot of kicking,
screaming, complaining and crying. However, God changed me in the waiting
place, much like he changed Sarah. He made me into someone new. The waiting place
turned out to be a place where God was especially active. In it, I found a
place of wonder. Now all I write about is the wonder of God.
why I want to invite others to walk with me and walk with Sarah on her journey
through disappointment, doubt and detours. I want to share the God both she and
I discovered in the “not yet” places of life.
Q: You also
say our world, our culture, doesn’t help us wait well. What do you mean?
never seen a success seminar on the topic of waiting. Instead, we’re always
told we can do anything we set our minds to, reach for your dreams, get out of
that rut or, as Nike put it, “Just do it!”
culture is about frantic doing, striving, trying to fix it and solving the
problem now. Don’t wait; it’s all up to you RIGHT NOW. Not only are we not
taught how to wait well, but we’re told waiting is inherently wrong. Action
gets the job done.
are many instances in life when you have no choice but to wait. Contrary to our
culture’s mantras, much of life is not in our control. We are not God, and life
just doesn’t go according to plan.
as the world shouts that we can only make an impact if we “do do do,” God says
to bless the world we need to learn to wait, to trust, to act in His timing (which,
honestly, I usually find to be too slow!). So learning to wait well? Wow, how
do you go about doing that?