Patience is a Virtue…or so I Thought.

I’m sure you’ve heard it a thousand times “patience is a virtue”. I have almost no patience and I would pray for God to bless me with patience on a daily basis. 

Ephesians 4:2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

Not too long ago I read an article by a fellow mom blogger. I wish I would have saved it because I can’t remember her name or the blog to save my life. Anyway, she said that we should stop praying for patience but instead pray for understanding. Wow! This hit me hard. The whole concept made complete sense to me. Praying for understanding of a situation will help you to learn, process, and handle the situation properly. I would also like to add that you should pray for the ability to give and receive grace. 

Having a baby has changed my life in so many ways. One way is that I see how selfish I was in my previous life and how I was not flexible. I was set in my ways, I wanted to do my things my way in my timing. Do you see a pattern? My, my, my (me, me, me). Now almost everything revolves around little mans world. I still get to do things but not the way that I was so accustomed to. 

For instance… I love to cook from scratch. Little man doesn’t like it when I stand at the counter and do things that he can’t see. So, when I’m mixing, stirring, cutting, pouring, etc. he needs to see it or he will push me away from the counter. This drives me nuts. But I’ve learned that he just wants to see what’s going on. I’ll pick him up, show him what I’m doing, let him touch something or taste it and then he’s fine and on his merry way. I can’t tell you though how many times I’ve started making homemade pasta and ended up running dough through the pasta cutter with one hand. I’ve gotten good at it. 

Colossians 3:12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

Another instance where my life has changed and I need to offer grace and understanding is going to the beach. In the days before little man I would go to the beach on any random day and spend my time lounging, tanning, reading and snacking. Now, it is a serious chore getting this child ready to go, get the car packed up, haul all our stuff to beach, set it up and start “relaxing”. Ha! What a fantasy that is.

I always had these glamorous images of me laying in the sun, reading a book and enjoying my time at the beach while my child plays quietly in the sand. I was out of my mind thinking this! When we go to the beach I have to be in the water keeping a strict eye on my little water lover who will be in over his head in 2.3 seconds. As soon as I get him rinsed off, free of all sand and placed on a towel he immediately reaches for the sand. Lord help me! 

The other day when we went to the beach little man started to have a melt down. He wasn’t hungry, or hot. I’m sure he was tired. He was inconsolable and it came on out of nowhere. I packed us up as quickly as I could. I didn’t bother drying myself off or changing him out of his wet clothes and swim diaper. We got in the car and drove home as quickly as the speed limit would allow. He screamed the entire time. I had to have my hand on his head the whole ride home. He almost never acts like that. I had to give him some grace for “ruining” my “relaxing” beach day. I had to give myself grace for overreacting and being upset the rest of the day. 

Yes, patience would have been helpful but understanding the situation and meeting my child’s needs was more important. He was tired and needed a nap…at home apparently. That’s okay! There are other days to go to the beach. 

Having a baby has taught me to be flexible and to not get my hopes up of having a “perfect” day. There is no such thing. I do my best to enjoy the little moments…no matter how short they are. 

“I will hold myself to a standard of grace not perfection” -Emily Ley

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