Patience. Yeah, that happened once.

When I was a brand new mom, I thought I was going to be different than other moms – I would be patient and able to reason with my children; I would be able to gently teach them in all subject matters. Oh yes, that was the plan!

Then we had four kids … and 10 years of sleep deprivation happened!

Once, a full container of apple juice fell on the floor when I was already rushed to get out the door. Another time, our 5-year-old and her best friend decided to paint their nails cherry red on my brand new WHITE bed comforter! And then there was the time when my 7-year-old firstborn, Amanda, carried her newborn baby sister down a full flight of stairs in her ROLLERBLADES. Her response when I saw her? An indignant, “Mom, I’ve got her.” Yeah, that actually happened. And those are just a few incidents that come to mind when I can recall my “perfect plan” to be patiently “different” than other moms.

Patience. We desperately need it – and each morning we have every intention of being more patient – but as normal daily life with kids happens, we struggle to muster it up, or we can’t keep it for very long.

I remember when I just had two little ones at home and some friends offered to pray with me to be filled with the fruits of the Holy Spirit. They asked me what I’d like the most of: “Oh please,” I requested, “More patience!” I didn’t recognize until years later how the Holy Spirit really did answer that prayer!

If you ask any one of my grown kids now, they have many memories of things being busy, loud, and wild at home. But then, when I was at the end of my rope, they would suddenly hear me calling out my prayers to the Lord at the top of my lungs. I wasn’t yelling at them, of course: I was calling out to Jesus to intervene, to bring peace to my chaos and bring peace to my spirit. And over and over and over again, he did. He really did! The kids would settle down and peace would come over our home.

Today I’m not sure if the peace was Jesus speaking into the hearts of everyone, or if the kids just thought they had better get their act together because mom was really going to lose it! But regardless, the Holy Spirit brought peace when I so desperately needed it, and I’m eternally grateful for that.

But what about us? Isn’t it interesting how we want everyone to be patient with us even though we can be so impatient with others at times? As I go to sleep at night and reflect on my day, I am often wanting Jesus to be patient with me. Give me another chance to do better. Give me strength to handle situations in healthier and more patient ways. We want that gift extended to us, but we need to also practice extending that gift to others.

And the good news is that PATIENCE is a free gift from the Holy Spirit, so just ask for it! Our Lord doesn’t want us to do this journey on our own. He wants to be our constant companion and helper. So call out to him like I have – he will bring you his peace and patience – and it will surprise you and bless you…because YOU have been chosen for patience.

Scripture Meditations:

Ephesians 4:1-3

Galatians 5:22-23

Journal/Reflection questions:

1. What causes you to lose your patience?

2. When situations arise that cause you to become impatient, what practical ways can you turn to Jesus so you can do things differently next time?

3. Listening prayer exercise – Ask Jesus: What are the trigger points of my days when I get overwhelmed and impatient? Then ask him to bring healing to those areas!

Kathy Morgan has been married to her best friend, Bob, for over 37 years. Together they have four grown, married children and seven grandchildren. Kathy is a Hospital Chaplain and loves mentoring women, hosting ministry events in her home, prayer, cooking, reading historical Biblical fiction, and eating all forms of potatoes.

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