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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Breathing Patience

Ever try to teach a child the concept of "wait"?

From the sounds of laughter and heads hitting the keyboard, I gather the answer must be "yes!"

The New Living Translation had this interpretation of Proverbs 16:32:
"Better to be patient than powerful; better to have self-control than to conquer a city."
Would anyone out there agree with me to make this into sticky notes, tattoos, whatever it takes to remind us when we go out shopping that an extra five minutes really isn't an eternity? Come to think of it...this might make a great memory verse?

It never fails that this time of year, before I even have a chance to decide what type of dressing I want with my choice of five different types of cooked turkeys, time seems to just speed up rather than slow down.

October was barely over and already the stores were stocked with Christmas decorations.

The store's music loudly proclaimed the desire for snow and, as parents, we begin to hear the words that children are instinctively born with:

"I want that!"

"Can I have that?"

"I need that!"

"Really.....I NNNNNEEEEED THATTTTT,Moooooommmmmmm!" The child rolls around the ground, rolling their eyes while watching us out of the corner of one eye hoping that we would say, "Alright, lets go to the store and buy it now"!

It's sometimes hard to teach children the concept of time. For them, there is only one "right now" and each minute is a lesson in patience and why that fruit tree in the back yard really does not bear money like grandpa keeps claiming.

As difficult it is to teach our children, sometimes we tend to become like children ourselves.

That's when our Heavenly Father steps in and tries to gently guide us back into perspective, not only what the holiday season is really about but what all of our lives are really about:
Taking time and being patient.

Easier said then done.

When we are faced with a mountain of paperwork that the boss HAS to have now, or the kids are worried that if they wait five minutes it will result in instant dehydration or we're fumbling in our purses or pockets trying to figure out where those house keys could have gone, panic mode sets in.

We look up.

They were just right there when we unlocked the door and, oh, never mind, they are hanging in the door knob, it feels like we have NO time in the world.

Life does comes pretty fast, but when we are living in our Heavenly Father's time, it shouldn't.

Something I've learned to do with the kids when they are positive, is teach them that if I don't simultaneously pour juice for both of them at the same time, while stopping the dogs from stealing their lunch, and dehydration sets in, is to take a deep breath.

Just Breathe.

They soon learn that in the time it takes to take a deep breath and let it out, mommy will have time to hide.

Oh wait, different story.

Forget I said that, I mean, they soon learn that, the problem can be resolved, we get done what needs to be done and then mommy can hide.

Same with any situation, except we can't really hide.

Patience is a virtue that doesn't just happen, it's encouraged, it's developed and it needs to be nurtured.

As busy and overwhelming as life may feel, having patience with ourselves, with others and with our walk, is a fruit of the spirit that we can actively choose to participate or reject.

"Though it tarry, wait for it." Habakkuk 2:3

Oswald Chambers wrote in "My Upmost for His Highest,"
"Patience is not indifference; patience conveys the idea of an immensely strong rock withstanding all onslaughts. The vision of God is the source of patience, because it imparts a moral inspiration.

Moses endured, not because he had an ideal of right and duty, but because he had a vision of God. He "endured, as seeing Him Who is invisible." A man with the vision of God is not devoted to a cause or to any particular issue; he is devoted to God Himself.

You always know when the vision is of God because of the inspiration that comes with it; things come with largeness and tonic to the life because everything is energized by God. If God gives you a time spiritually, as He gave His Son actually, of temptation in the wilderness, with no word from Himself at all, endure, and the power to endure is there because you see God."
No one can make us have "patience". We can only make that choice, for ourselves. We have to encourage it and develop it and as this holiday season comes upon us let's strive to teach not only our little ones, but ourselves.

It's okay to just breathe and take that little extra time with ourselves, with others and in our journey with our Heavenly Father.

There maybe times we may not feel like it. For instance, while looking for a parking space, or trying to explain to the kids why they can't get the "Mega-Jumbo-Super-High Flying-Louder than an F16 flying across a chalkboard with long fingernails" noisemaker today or in the next thousand years, but a little patience goes a very long way not only for ourselves and our journey with God, but in our testament to others about Jesus Christ.

Heavenly Father, as the holiday season comes upon us, I pray in Your name that You use this time, more than ever to help us remember above the holiday rush, the shopping, the gifts and yes, even in the family gatherings, to give to You, ourselves so in us and through us, Your love and patience can and will shine through to others.

Heavenly Father, I pray that my life will bear testament to and for You and that I remember not only now, but everyday to just learn to have a little patience and things can't be accomplish in one day, though we would like to.

Lord, forgive us for times when we are un-necessarily short with others or with ourselves and help us remember of the unlimited patience You have and do show to us, each and every day. You show patience to us as sinners and You show patience to us as Your children and I pray that You will continue to refine us and help us grow in Your love and light.

Thank You Heavenly Father for all You do and I pray that I will learn to grow patiently and learn to wait and to heed when I should and not just rush headlong like a child. For the days I do, Lord, I pray that You give me discernment and wisdom to learn, to be rebuked and to grow and not continue to make mistakes that can easily be corrected.

  • With the holidays coming upon us, it's a difficult time for many and patience does become a virtue. Think about ways our Heavenly Father has been patient with us now and in the His Word and how we can use those lessons to learn and to grow.
  • There are many translations of Proverbs 16:32; When you have the time, take a look at the different translations and journal, how Probverbs 16:32 speaks to you and how it can be applied in light of the rest of the year.
  • What ways can you develop a little patience or maybe do you have tips to develop patience?
  • As a parent, how do you teach your little ones the importance of patience, particularly during the holiday season? *Disclaimer* Earplugs don't count or work.

God bless you, Gentle Readers and I look forward to hearing from you.

If you have the time, drop by Sunflower Faith, to read more of "Twinkle Mom's" life reflections and journey in her walk with our Heavenly Father.

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Blogger LauraLee Shaw said...

Great reminder and truth-filled insights. I'm breathing now...

December 3, 2008 at 12:24 AM  
Blogger Denise said...

Bless you dear one.

December 3, 2008 at 1:42 AM  
Blogger Shasta said...

Thank you for sharing! I believe this is a devotional I truly needed today! Thank you for the gentle reminder.

God Bless!

December 3, 2008 at 4:42 AM  
Blogger Betsy Markman said...

This was an excellent reminder of an area where I suspect we all could use growth!
One of my favorite preachers was the great Scotsman George Morrison (1866-1928). He said, "Work reveals character, but so does waiting. Waiting reveals the baby, or the man." So true!

Thanks for writing this.

December 3, 2008 at 8:55 AM  
Blogger Christa said...

Great post. Something we all need to remember, especially this time of year (all year really)

December 3, 2008 at 9:05 AM  
Blogger Woman on a Mission said...

As a mom to a 2 1/2 year old, this rings so true to me. We had an issue with my son last night because he wanted to open more than just one day in the Advent Calendar. He screamed about how he wanted it, needed it, threw a fit...but I hope this Advent Calendar teaches him a bit of patience.

December 3, 2008 at 11:02 AM  
Blogger Andi said...

Okay, it's a memory verse! Officially posted on all mirrors in the house! Thanks for the great word from the LORD today!

December 3, 2008 at 11:21 AM  

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It is good to hear from you... thank you so very much for leaving a note on the table. That makes us smile!

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