I have a real problem with patience.
It's probably the one greatest (non-physical) thing I would change about myself. It's the biggest fault that ties all my other foibles together.
And, while I know my impatience stains and strains nearly every aspect of my life (my faith, my parenting, my marriage, friendships, self-concept, etc.) I was pulled up short last week by a blog post by Ann Voskamp, author of "One Thousand Gifts."
As described in 1 Corinthians, Ann posited that while love is kind, not jealous, does not brag, not arrogant - it is first patient!
We know that the greatest of faith, hope, and love is LOVE. And, the greatest trait of love is PATIENCE.
Ann goes on further to say love walks with patience when it is first GRATEFUL for what is present in each moment.
"Lack gratitude - then lack patience - then, ultimately, lack love."
I love my kids. I love my hubby. So why are they most often the target for my impatience?
And, instead of working on my faith, my parenting, my marriage, and my friendships like they are all separate balls to be anxiously juggling, I could just work on being grateful.
No, REALLY grateful. Even for the tough stuff.
Even if it means being grateful for the kids challenging my authority - I want independent, curious, thoughtful thinkers, right?
Or, for my husband to challenge my decisions, question my motives, ask me to explain (again) my thinking because iron sharpens iron and he is looking out for me.
Or, for a pastor who asks me to really think about what I believe about God, the Bible, and what a fellowship of believers really looks like.
Gratitude about the muddy feet, broken toys, and spilled juice.
Thankfulness for temper tantrums, sassy children, and sibling bickering.
Appreciate disruptions, interruptions, and unending questions.
Gratitude brings patience. And, patience begets true love. And, ultimately, I want a house filled with True Love.