I have stopped praying for patience. For close to seven years, each time I would send that request heavenward, I would get pregnant.
I didn’t know that I didn’t know patience was a fruit of the Spirit that was learned over time. Just being honest here… I literally was hoping for a direct injection of the virtue.
So when I finally figured out that patience was developed over time and through difficult circumstances (3 children and 4 pregnancies later) I stopped asking for it. J
Years before, still naively hoping for the injected version, when the nurse handed my first-born son to me as we were leaving the hospital, I remember thinking, “I can’t believe they are just letting me go home with this baby! Doesn’t anyone know I don’t know what I’m doing?” Panic, post-partum depression, exhaustion, and perfectionism combined with lack of knowledge quickly evolved into an over-achieving, reading, and learning exhausted mother. I spent my days absorbing books on breast-feeding, parenting, toddler-hood versus newborn stages, all while neglecting the laundry, dirty dishes, and the vacuuming.
Given that newborns don’t do much besides sleep and process food in and out, it’s all a little ridiculous in retrospect. By the time my third baby showed up, God had grown me, and I was more comfortable in my own skin and with mothering in general. When baby #3 arrived, a grumpy nurse chided me, “Where’s the baby?! She should be in her bassinet!!” Explaining that I preferred to hold her while she slept, the nurse started in again, “You might fall asleep and she might suffocate. You could drop her. She should be in her bassinet unless you are feeding her.” This time, I did what my God-given instincts would have me do – I gently held my ground, unwilling to do what I sensed was incorrect. “I have two other children that have lived. It’s all good. Thank you for your concern.” She huffed, and clearly irritated with me, left. I smiled, unconcerned with her feelings towards me. Had the Lord not grown me in patience (through living life with the other two children and my husband), I can easily see how I would have been angry and acted foolishly as,
Proverbs 29:11 reads, “A fool always loses his temper, but a wise man holds it back.”
But before I start to sound as though I think I’m wise in my own eyes (that’s pride, and that’s also sin), I remember now that I am mothering teenagers.
And I love it. (Gulp! J)
But we are on new territory again. Because sometimes it seems some unseen force irregularly replaces brain cells and common sense with marshmallow fluff, and yet a few moments later, a profound, mature, deep adult thought emerges from the same brain, articulated clearly and succinctly. I marvel at the complexity of these man-boy creatures. And daily, I go where I’ve never gone before (sorry, waxing Star Trek for a moment).
God always provides opportunity for us to do one of two things: follow the path of righteousness, or to choose sin.
Right now, my two teens are working for me over the summer, doing yard work, cleaning, and painting. And I know better than to pray for patience! So I’m making decisions daily about whether or not I’m going to act like a fool and lose my temper, or be a grown up and hold it back. And, admittedly, I’m still growing in patience. There’s no arrival, is there?
So now I’m praying that He fills me with His Spirit, and I’m making time for Him and His Word each morning to create a heart where He will dwell – because without that time, I can’t hear His voice.
And because teenagers can be as scary to deal with as new babies and toddlers, yeah, I need His insight.
Like me, you are probably facing some opportunities that challenge you. I know that applying the truths found in “The Respect Dare” work as well with my sons as my husband. And it’s my prayer that you join me in searching His Word for the wisdom we both seek, starting with Proverbs 29:
Dare you to read all of it today – listening to His insight and where it applies to your life.
Double-Dog-Dare you to “Email Subscribe” (above, to right of this post) to the blog as we walk the way of wisdom together.
Glad to be on the journey with you!