patience

I am finding it really hard to sit back and wait in a life situation. Several actually. I deeply desire to continue my methodical, planned life, but God has other plans. Life right now is a jumble of change and it is requiring new ways of thinking in so many ways.

Patience is not something that fits well into my Type A personality. I have struggled with patience my entire life. In my early years, it took the form of hellacious tantrums imposed upon my parents, siblings, teachers, and any other authority figures that might accidentally got stuck in my path. The tantrums have changed their implementation, but my difficulty with patience has not particularly changed. I still find it very difficult to control my impulse to need something (information, answers, love, attention), right now.

I am drawn to the character from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Veruca Salt. (The original movie or the book, not the scary Tim Burton version) While her character is more spoiled than I think I have been (though I have been blessed with amazingly generous parents), it is her impulsiveness and her inability to wait for what she wants are the traits for which I find myself relating to immensely. These, unfortunately, become her undoing.

My impatience shows itself in my huffs, in my battery of questions, in my absolute desire for immediate answers, my inability to say no when at target :-). There are few ways in which I have improved. I have improved my patience with my kids this year. I have spent a lot of time making a conscious effort to allow them to learn in their own time and to see each of their journey’s time as their own and not necessarily as a reflection of me. I have also tried to explicitly model this with my kids this year. To share with them how it is ok to take time to learn, to take their own time and not compare themselves to others in the process. Oh, that darn comparison to others, it gets us every time. This is not to say that my kids aren’t eventually expected to get it right at some point, but taking a bit more time has led to a much greater understanding for them.

But what about all the other stuff? How do I remain patient in a world of turmoil? I have been asking God to show me what I am missing. In my impatience and impulsiveness, what am I failing to see? What about me is causing this distress? But God speaks in whispers and I know that I must be patient enough to slow down and quiet my mind in order to hear.

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