The Land of Boys

Learning to live in a house full of testosterone

Archive for the tag “patience”

Who Me, Patient? You Really Don’t Me Very Well.

I met a new hairdresser this week. She was really fabulous! We chatted a bit about families. She got married at the same age as me and has two boys. The subject of schooling came up. Ugh. I braced myself for the usual onslaught of, “Why on Earth would you want to do that?” when I told her I homeschool. I didn’t get that. She said, “Wow. That is really great. You must be so patient!”

(I can hear people who know me in real life laughing all the way through their computers.) Ah, no. That is something I really have to work on.  Every. single. day.  Schooling, not schooling-it doesn’t matter. I have to really try not to lose it on people, electronics, inanimate objects- you name it.  I realized the depths of my impatience one day as I was loading some books into Library Thing.  It took a whole 1.3 seconds to find a book on there. I was in the process of telling Mark how I was getting frustrated with this thing taking “forever” and I looked at the result time. Ouch. (maybe that is why I never actually finished cataloging our books.)

While it may sometimes add some comedy to our day when I am getting impatient with stuff-the boys remind sometimes that yelling at the computer will not make it load any faster- it is not so good with people. I sometimes run out of patience by telling a certain son a million gazillion kabillion times that putting his clean clothes in the closet floor is NOT putting them away.  I get impatient when I say bring me the sheets off your bed and am asked, “Does that mean the pillowcase, too?” (((slaps forehead and replies YES)))

Do you know how many times patience is referred to in the Bible? I don’t know an exact amount, but let me just say its a lot. Some of the most toe-stomping ones to me are:

Ecclesiastes 7:8
Better is the end of a thing than its beginning,and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. (Hmm…. makes me feel self conscience about not finishing cataloging books…. and not finishing so many books I start)

Romans 12:12
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. (really toe-stomping because I tend to be more of the “why me wahhh” type than patient in tough stuff)

1 Corinthians 13:4
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant (Wow, Christians are told that we will be known by our love.  {see John 13:34-35}Love is patient. That is a hard pill to swallow)

2 Timothy 2:24
And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, (Yes, I know that this directed to pastors, but aren’t all Christians called servants of the Lord?)

1 Thessalonians 5:14
And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. (This is probably where I have personally dropped the ball the most. I have high standards and somehow expect others to follow my rules. I would never make a good therapist. I tend to want to tell people to stop their sniveling and get a life.)

The verse about patience that stands out to me the most is this one:

2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

God is patient with us. Even me and my rudeness. It is through His power that I am often able not to stick my foot in my mouth. It is His Spirit that keeps me from saying things that I know I am going to regret later. When I am talking to someone who has bad theology He reminds me that I have sometimes believed things that are not doctrinally sound. (My husband would tell you that I still cling a bit too close to Rome on something, but that is a whole ‘nother can of worms) When teaching my children God reminds that there once was a time where I did not know my multiplication tables or the differences in declarative and imperative sentences.

I often hear people saying not to pray for patience because it will result in God sending things, people, and situations into your life that make you exercise patience.  I think  that is ridiculous reasoning. If we want to improve something, we HAVE to exercise it more.  If you want to improve your strength on bench-pressing what do you do? You do bench presses. You add more weight on your bar so that you get more strength in your arms. So, shouldn’t we pray for patience if we truly want to be a patient person striving to be more like God? There are going to be things in life that stink, whether you pray for patience or not. I feel that by praying for patience, God is faithful to answer that prayer so that when difficult or whiny people (other than myself 🙂 ) are in my life I have the grace to be patient with them, rather than telling them off.

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