What fruit of the Spirit do I lack most in my life?
You guessed it. Patience.
I used to think I was a fairly patient person. I was never a big road-rager. I could wait in long lines without feeling too frustrated. I rarely was annoyed when something didn't start on time.
Really, must you take 10 minutes to put on your shoes?
What do you mean, you "forgot" that you shouldn't yell at the top of your lungs in the car? I just told you 2 minutes ago.
You peed in your pants again? This is the fourth time today. And I just asked you 5 minutes ago if you needed to go to the bathroom.
Please do not hit your sister.
Please do not push your brother.
Your sister does not like to be pinched, remember?
You must sleep everyday. There's nothing you can do to get around this. Sleeping is so good for your little body.
Sure, I have nothing else better to do than spend 20 minutes putting you back into your bed every 30 seconds.
Ya'll, and this all just took place in a couple hours! Needless to say, patience is my teacher these days.
On days when my patience is especially sparse, I try to remember the Lord's patience with me. Scripture reminds me many times over...
But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. (Psalm 86.15)Compassionate. Gracious. Slow to Anger. Abounding in love. Faithful. He is so good, isn't He? I then think- I can be that for my kids too. And I pray- Lord, give me patience. Help me to be slow to anger. Give me perspective. Give me a sense of humor!
My life could also use a little more patience outside of interacting my children. I'm reminded of the Israelites, wandering in the desert, so impatient with God, even though they knew He would take care of them, and in fact, was taking care of them. He gave them daily manna and gave them rest every week. He led them in a way that they could physically see. But yet they were impatient while they waited. When reading this story, I felt a little press on my heart, as if God were gently saying, "You understand, right?" I do. I understand the impatience of not knowing when a season of uncomfortableness is going to end. Praying, longing for it to end, whatever "it" may be, but ultimately waiting on the Lord.
God give me (us!) grace to do that well.
Developing Patience in Kids
I have been wracking my brain- how can I help my kids be more patient? What kind of activity can I do that will help? But honestly, real life gives them a million opportunities to practice patience. I don't need to conjure up an inauthentic one. But oh the joy if there WERE an activity that would infuse patience into them. Or a pill? Hmmmm... ;)
I can honestly say that my hope is in the Lord in this one- His Spirit working in their hearts to create a desire for patience. So, I keep on planting those little seeds- through kind words, through my gentle correction, through modeling, through singing and talking through Scripture. When I lose my cool or am harsh with them, I typically remind myself that we're all a work in progress. I'm not always patient and I've had a lot more practice than they have in their short little lives. How can I expect perfect patience out of them? I can't, really, and I remember grace. Giving myself grace. Giving others grace.
If you and your littles have been doing the Scripture memory along with us, here are our next set of printable memory verses in case you want them!
Be sure to check back on Monday for some toys, games and other activities that will require patience from our children as well as equip them for school!