I am learning to practice patience.
I used to think I was already a pretty patient person, but in the past year or so, the Lord has been stretching and deepening me in so many ways in this one area that I know now it must be an area that needed lots more work than I thought.
Having a daughter who struggles with OCD and high anxiety levels, I’ve had to learn new levels of calm and patience. There are days I fail miserably, but there are other days, with God’s help, that I am discovering new levels of peace.
It’s hard, sometimes, to know what’s best in a given situation. On the one hand, the sweet girl needs to lean to deal with ordinary stress and brokenness in healthy ways – the things that cause her to bolt into worry-land. On the other hand, there are days when my own heart just can’t take any more of the worrying and anxiety and explosiveness (her struggling reactions in some moments). Keeping my own fretting levels to a minimum – and even finding laughter in a situation – helps to defuse the situation and keep the peace.
This is hard on days when I am just plain tired, and when life seems filled with little things that make me want to – well, be frustrated. But my seemingly normal levels of frustration, my “oh shoot, I dropped that!” or “arrrgh! This isn’t working!” can sometimes be enough to push her into more stress. She has a hard time discerning small, normal, ordinary, every-day stress from the bigger kinds. I am learning saying less often leads to more household peace. And discovering, as I learn the self-control of swallowing those exclamations, just how much of my speech could be taken as whining, complaining, or weariness by those around me.
I am a woman who has many blessings, and who likes to count them (in fact, I’m overdue for a blessings-counting post here) but I confess that occasionally I just need a safe place to whine a little bit, and sometimes that complaining makes its way to the blog. So in the interest of helping me say none of this aloud today, could I just say that both my small, falling-apart, duct-taped together fridge and my so-slow-it-may-as-well-be-working-backwards computer are driving me crazy? Thanks so much for listening.
I return now to my regularly scheduled bout of patience.