My next statement is not based on any sort of research, rather something I have noticed. When you ask someone what trait he or she would like to work on in his or her life, 9 out of 10 times the answer (in some form) is "patience." I absolutely find this true for myself. What is it about waiting that we hate? What is it about finding a place of peace within the waiting that is so hard?
Sometimes the waiting is a long period of time. Years, months, maybe days. We have recently made the decision to move in about year into (yet another) house. This house is located at the bottom of Garfield Community Farm and is an exciting move for our family. However, we've done the rehab thing (recall? lead poisoning? right.) We've done the "living amongst construction thing." And honestly, we were not excited about it. So with the prayer and discernment of our community and family we're not doing it that way. We're waiting until the house is mostly rehabbed (through the work of a friend from church who actually does this for a living and knows what he is doing - amazing.) But it's a whole year! It seems like forever. But it's not.
Lately my patience is tested and refined in short spurts. Yesterday after dropping Micah at preschool for the morning, Téah, Lyle and I had about an hour to kill before her homeschool co-op class she participated in on Wednesdays. We opted to get a bagel together and work on some math in the bagel shop. It started as one of those wonderful moments when I feel so glad that we homeschool. That I have the opportunity to work on math word problems in a bagel shop, instead of a classroom. It went south about halfway in though. Téah was having trouble with basic addition and subtraction. I was patient for what felt like forever (probably about 2 minutes in retrospect). Waiting for her to have her lightbulb moment. Then it started. First in my head, "Come on, Téah! This is so simple." Then out loud, "We've done this a thousand times! You need to remember these things!" I'm actually grateful we were in public setting because I was not being kind to my daughter and that kept me in check. She looked at me with a honest face and said, "Mommy, I just don't remember. I'm sorry."
Point taken. I didn't remember to be patient, either. I didn't remember that you are only 7 years old. I didn't remember to find the gentle reminders.
Romans 12:12 reminds me: "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."