What I have been thinking about is patience, love, charity and humility. The love, charity (most of the time) and humility I think I am doing okay with. It is the patience that is tested way too often for my liking. Patience is the elusive element that is missing from my life.
Patience works well for a few minutes. It is one of those things. Boy, do my kids know how to push my buttons. I love those days where I am centered and they don’t have any power over me. Those days are awesome and I have them more and more frequently.
Patience takes practice. Unfortunately, to practice you have to have opportunity. (sometimes, I wish it didn’t work like that but it does). I get lots of chances to practice.
I am not ever trying to make myself sound better than others. (so please don’t think that) My family is unlike other families. Even after years with us, my kids still struggle with hoarding (food, pencils, books, paper,clothes etc…). This is a concept most of you will never deal with in your home. How do you react when your child gets up in the middle of the night and eats 2 boxes of cake mix and frosting too? Patience, yeah okay. How about when they systematically take all the food in the cupboard and hide it in their backpacks and you are left without the needed items for tonight’s dinner? Patience again, yeah I know. It is hard. Of course, I can understand the reasons behind it but when you have a backpack full of cake mix mixed with water and in no container (that’s right, just mixed in the backpack) then patience doesn’t usually come to mind.
Now, I have only briefly talked about one single instance and only one child but, there are 5 that struggle with hoarding.
Then, you have the breaking things, putting holes in walls, writing with permanent marker in public places, ripping clothes on purpose, destroying beds, rooms etc… One of these happens daily.
Don’t forget the wetting that is continual and during the day and night.
This is just a small sample.
But, I wanted to talk about patience amidst this craziness.
I struggle sometimes with finding the right words and doing the right thing. One thing i don’t struggle with is loving these children. Maybe that is where my patience will come. It will build over time. I am sure I am doing better than I was even last week.
These things come with time. We shouldn’t look at this list and say, “I need to be perfect in all of this today.” This is a process. A refinement, if you will.
We are being refined so we can become the person Heavenly Father needs us to be.
How do we become refined? Well, we have to be put in the refiner’s fire. How does that occur? We have to be tried and challenged. We have to have the opportunity to improve.
I have faith patience will come. If we hold on and continue to behave in a pleasing way (does that mean we can’t get mad? I sure hope not) No way, it means we try to do better every second. We look at the mistake we made and try to do better next time. We make small little improvements.
Change takes time. Never forget that! Change takes time.
It is a refinement process not an instantaneous one. So hang in there.
Know that you are not alone.
It is a process. Sometimes I feel like I am being refined way to fast. I am experiencing way to much practice time. But, the truth is, I am just not there yet. I am just not where I need to be (I am sure my husband wishes I would hurry up). And that is okay.
As long as I am working towards the goal.
Don’t be hard on yourself. Don’t be hard on others. We are all on this journey. We are at different levels but, we all have the same goal.
SO, patience, love, humility and charity…I say “Bring it!” I am ready to be refined and that is one of the first steps. We need to be willing to make those changes but, it takes time. Don’t give up and don’t give in. Stay the course.
Then, you too can come through the refiner’s fire perfect in all aspects of your life.