Monday, October 4, 2010

:: Patience Fruit ::

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control..." - Galatians 5:22-23

Time has gone quickly since we started learning and talking about the Fruit of the Spirit. A few months back we began this process in this post by talking about LOVE . After LOVE, we tackled JOY. From JOY we moved onto PEACE, which brings us to the next fruit - PATIENCE.

Patience is a hard thing to put into practice. Let's face it, I am almost in my mid 30's and I am still learning about patience. It seems that as *soon* as we started talking about what patience is and how we can put it into practice, any patience that any of us had in this house...went flying out the door!

You can tell by these pictures, that Analise clearly did not have the patience for posing.
The reason I post these pictures, instead of the cute smiley ones is because this was the reality of what we were walking through at the time. Learning about and teaching patience felt just like she looks in these pictures - like it was a chore, a frustration, and an inconvenience.
We actually wound up spending a few weeks learning about patience. And while I know we will be learning patience as long as we are on this earth, the few weeks we intentionally spent on patience were some of the most challenging ones we had had in quite some time. Like the flip of a switch, as soon as I started talking about what patience was, Analise and Jameson both started interrupting me relentlessly. Markus and I were losing patience with one another and the kids more than usual. I couldn't get things done fast enough...Everyone needed something NOW. I felt like a broken record:

"Please be patient"
"Are you being patient?"
"Is this what it looks like to be patient?"
"Remember what it means to be patient?"

I wondered what the heck I was doing...why I bothered trying to teach these types of things if they didn't work, etc. But we stuck with it.

After talking about it for quite some time, we wrote down some things about what we think about patience. Here is what we came up with:

I explained why it is important to be patient with one another and how God is ever so patient with us. It wasn't until I heard the following conversation between Analise and Jameson that I realized that it was working - to some degree.

A: "Jameson! I am playing with the tractor. You can't have it."
J: "NO! Yay-Yay (that is what he calls Analise)! I need it!"
A: "Jameson, You don't need anything. God gives you what you need. You have to be patient."
J: "NO Yay-Yay! I need it!"
A: "Jameson, you need to remember what being patient means. Do you know what it means?"
J: "NO Yay-Yay! I NEED IT!"
A: "Jameson. Being patient means waiting with a happy heart. Is your heart happy?"
J: "No Yay-Yay! NOT happy."
A: "Well, you need to have a happy heart while you wait. My heart is happy, so I am being patient with you and not giving you this tractor until you are patient."
J: "Yay-Yay. I need it! I happy now!"
As I said before, we will be working on this one for a lifetime. I am thankful that I have these two little people who stretch me, teach me, and are patient with me. And most importantly, I am so thankful that we have a God who is patient with us...even when we don't choose to wait with happy hearts!



Sally said...

"Well, you need to have a happy heart while you wait. My heart is happy, so I am being patient with you and not giving you this tractor until you are patient."

Is that an older sister thing to say or what?! LOL. I will force you to be patient for your own good.

I don't know how I would even begin to teach patience. It's tricky stuff, because, seriously, we need Jesus to even begin to live patiently. That stuff is supernatural. :)

Steph said...

so wonderful. I really appreciate your honesty in how the weeks went.. last week I did a learnging/Bible time and it was the same chaos! I started tearing up thinking "I can't even teach my kids about Jesus!" but just pressed on thru as best I could,so your story is a sweet encouragement. thank you for blogging about this!

Erin said...

Patience hits so close to the heart of so many struggles, especially in a home with wee ones, I think, right?
Thanks for sharing. The pictures made me laugh! But, the truth of it all is oh so real for us, too!

Stephanie said...

That conversation between Analise and Jameson is the sweetest thing. You are such a wonderful mom, Nini! That fact is so apparent in everything you write.

thecolorplaid said...

aw. i love the sibling-ness.

please have more babies!!!!! yours kids are so cute.

Stef said...

So cute!! the last picture is exactly how I felt yesterday :)