Oh dear patience, how I long to know you


Oh dear patience.jpg

Yet another post about patience. Do you think it’s been on my mind?

Oh dear patience, how I long to know you.  And bit by bit, thanks to circumstances and life in general, you are becoming a better friend.

I don’t like to admit it much, but yes, I am an extremely impatient person.  I have never liked standing in line, waiting for a bus, putting up with phlegmatic individuals that like to take their own sweet time – and of recent years, waiting for my children to get dressed, brush their teeth and get into bed, finish their lunch before school starts, and the list goes on.

I have, however, throughout the past number of years, asked God to give me patience.  You know, the type of prayer that goes something like this: “Oh God, please give me patience and give it to me NOW.” As my mom said to me once, “Staci, you want it and you want it NOW.”

Now when one asks for patience, one must not think that it will come to them in the wink of  an eye.  It just doesn’t happen that way.  Patience is something that comes, well, patiently.  It is a virtue to be acquired.  It is something that takes time and diligence.  It is a choice. You choose to pursue it because it doesn’t come naturally.

There are consequences that come with acting out of impatience.  I have experienced them one too many times. Being a strong feeler and highly impulsive has led me down some very potentially destructive roads.

I’ve had my hair cut by an unexperienced barber because of my impatience with the salon next door that was taking too long to get to me. I ended up with a horrible haircut that was uneven and a lot shorter than I wanted.

Being a mother of a child with Asperger’s Syndrome, my patience has been tested time and again.  I am a Canadian and my first language is English.  However, I live in Brazil and have acquired a second language – Portuguese.  My children are being raised bilingual and study at a Portuguese-speaking school.  Brazil is about 40 years behind in understanding and dealing with the issue of autism and those who are on the autism spectrum.  I chose not to home school, but to put Cauê in a school that is eager to include those with learning disabilities and those that aren’t ‘neuro-typical’.  He desperately needs the social interaction and I recognize my limitations and lack of – yup, you guessed it – patience.  Even though the school accepts my son and tries to adapt lessons for him and his learning style, I have to invest a great amount of time and energy into helping him understand what is being taught. Apart from his regular homework, I am also teaching him to read in English.  This has added to my stress and tested my patience many times over.

I had a dream recently where I was with my children and we were walking along a quiet residential street.  All of a sudden, Cauê ran ahead, where at the intersection was a busy street.  I called and yelled out to him, STOP Cauê! I tried running after him, but couldn’t catch up on time.  I never saw him get hit by a car or anything like that, but all of a sudden I was aware that I was trying to rush him along and get him to read in English at the same level as a neuro-typical child that lives in an English-only environment.  I knew that if I continued in my impatience and forcing him to get to a place that he wasn’t ready to be, I would end up traumatizing him and killing any desire to read with me.

I am determined to master the art of patience.  And with any art, practice makes perfect. It is something you have to work at.  It is like a talent to be honed.  I read a story once about a great painter that painted a beautiful masterpiece in 10 minutes.  When asked how long it took him to paint it, he replied, “20 years”.

Patience is also a BI-product of wisdom.  Wisdom is a BI-product of life experience.  Life experience will produce wisdom and teach patience as we approach our experiences with teachable hearts.

Do you struggle with being patient?  What have your life experiences taught you?

Interesting read: http://messageinabottleblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/04/more-than-a-bushel-of-brains/

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16 thoughts on “Oh dear patience, how I long to know you

  1. I struggle with patience. Having 3 boys, two of which are twins, tries my limits on a daily basis. I have to do a much better job of limiting any emotional outburst and be a better parent. Thank you for your post, it opened my eyes and made me ask questions about myself.

    Rob

  2. funny – Patience is the word I chose for this year (I may have mentioned that to you). Patience is a tough one for me too. For years I thought I was that laid back, super-patient. good Canadian dude. But no. Far from it. Once I opened my eyes, I saw that I wanted everything and wanted it yesterday. I had no patience with others, and more importantly (and damaging) I had no patience with myself. I want to be the master of everything right now, and if I don’t have perfection right away, I walk away from everything. In the end I have nothing…except resentments.

    I am learning (through stillness, applying some tools, etc) to just be still and be with myself. Realize that I am not the center of the universe. And to be gentle with myself. Because when I have patience for my own foibles and challenges, I am able to carry that over to others. See them all as children of God, and realize that I am not God. They have their challenges as well. But it’s not easy to be so philosophical when you’re in a rush!!

    the haircut example is a good one…that would be me too!

    Wonderful post – thank you for sharing 🙂

    Blessings,
    Paul

  3. I join in your confession of impatience! I now care for my elderly mother with Alzheimer’s. I never knew the kind of patience it takes. I pray for loads of it…buckets more than I have. I’m getting “deliveries,” but in small amounts. Guess one must have patience while developing patience!

    Best of luck to you and your beloved son.

    “EE”

    • Wow! That must be really difficult – Alzheimer’s. I’m sure that would take ‘buckets’ of patience.
      I love how you put it, “I’m getting “deliveries,” but in small amounts”. Bit by bit it will come eh.

      Thanks for kind words. And best of luck to you and your mother.

      Blessings =)
      Staci
      P.S. I will pray for you after my evening run (i like to walk and pray for about 15-20 minutes post run).

  4. I think patience is something that all of us struggle with – even the most patient and laid-back of people. The main reason we lose patience – especially with those we love – is because we care and want to see them do well or be happy. We often become frustrated when we do not see that happening (usually because we are holding them to our schedule or timescale and not one that is suited to them as an individual).

    I would encourage you not to get downhearted, we lose patience because we care. I think we should be more worried when we become indifferent to that which makes us impatient.

    Heather xxx

    • Very well said.
      The main reason we lose patience – especially with those we love – is because we care and want to see them do well or be happy.
      -That is so true.
      Thank you for sharing your insight and understanding on this. Wow, my eyes have been opened.
      Blessings=)
      Staci

      • Hi Staci,

        I’m glad that my words have helped you. I do feel strongly that we get impatient with those we love because we care about them, otherwise we would not be bothered by their progress or lack thereof. As I say, I believe that when we become indifferent to the things that make us impatient that we are losing the ability to care. Impatience is a very human trait and one that I think is linked closely with love. To get frustrated by something or someone, you have to care about it or them in the first place.

        We all lose patience or our temper from time to time and that is perfectly natural. Sometimes it is best to take a deep breath, count to ten and realise why we are getting impatient in the first place and then think of ways to resolve the problem instead of getting mad about it.

        Stay strong, you are a courageous woman.

        Heather xxx

  5. patience! what a wonderful post about…
    We must learn patience, we must be patient because God is Himself PATIENCE, boundless patience, just another name of love… thank yoy for sharing your light!

    • Thank you so much F.G.M. What an encouragement. Yes, I agree. God is extremely patient. Woe is me if He wasn’t (hehehe). I am an extremely impatient person by nature. I believe that God blessed me with an Autistic son in order to help develop patience in me. And guess what? It’s working. Yeah!
      Thanks again.
      🙂

      • I am impatient too, and touched by your answer: I think you are SO right, “ordeals” we have in our lifes are a way to learn, and, it may sound strange, they help us. You consider that having a autistic son is a blessing, and you’re right, it’s the way to learn, to improve, to get closer to the Lord! I’m glad we’re “connected” – much love to you 🙂

  6. I too have struggled with patience, but over time, I noticed that my patience has improved as I saw the consequences of not being patience. I agree, patience is wisdom because through patience, one is able to make sound decisions and maybe even come to realize things that may have been overlooked or forgotten if time was not given to think things through.

    • Hi Crystal, thank you so much for sharing and relating to this post. I am normally a very impatient person. Having a son with Asperger’s Sydrome and living in a non-English country has really tested my patience levels. Now that I have pulled him from school and am homeschooling, it tests me even further. It has really helped me to grow though. I believe that I am much more patient now than even last year.
      Have a great day.
      🙂

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