Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Cultivating the virtue of patience

Like every human being, I'm full of imperfections, but if you asked me to name my most serious flaw, I'd say it is impatience. It doesn't take much to make my blood boil and I lose my temper pretty quickly.

And you know what, I've reached a resolution. I decided this is going to change. Most of you probably know that during this period of my life, I need so much patience. I need the ability to wait without whining, to follow without frustration. But it's not something seasonal, of course. I definitely feel improving myself in this area will help me become a better person.

Every day brings trials – from a line at the supermarket to a conversation with someone I don't find agreeable. The temptation is always there – to mumble and grumble, to say I just can't take this anymore, to let my anger overflow and say something nasty. I always feel so bad afterwards.

So I decided that from now on, whenever I feel I'm approaching the point where I'm about to lose control, I will close my eyes, breathe deeply and make myself slow down. And I will ask myself the following questions:

Do I have a good reason to be impatient, angry, frustrated? Probably not. Most likely what makes me annoyed is just a normal, average everyday thing.
Even if I have real trials, it was all determined by God. Why can't I accept it with love and a patient smile?
If I let myself go now, will I regret it in an hour? Probably.
Do you think it is fun to live with someone so impatient? How can you ever become a good wife without cultivating the virtue of patience?
I'm thinking that this period of my life can become a blessing after all. I have so much to learn, so much to work on as I prepare to become a wife.

12 comments:

Tracy said...

If you find some extra patience, I could use some too!

In all reality, I'm glad that you are seeing this "waiting" time as a blessing. Yes, there is much to prepare for!

Anna S said...

I want to use this time well! God is so good!

Buffy said...

I think taking a few deep breaths is an excellent idea.

It is often our thoughts about something that has happened rather than the thing itself that makes us angry. Sometimes you just need to say 'stop' to the negative/resentful thoughts and think about something good. The idea that God makes sure everything works out for the best for us, if we trust in Him, is always helpful.

I know you will probably think this is trivial, but I found out yesterday that the seating plan at our wedding reception will not be as we hoped and were lead to expect. (We wanted everyone round one big table but we have to have four round tables instead.) I was really upset and even felt this might ruin our lovely meal with our families and best friends.

But then I thought maybe it was meant to be this way because in fact the feeling of intimacy that we wanted could work better with 4 tables where we could move people round regularly and get them to mix properly. I really just made a decision to Trust that this is going to be the best thing for us.

After I made that decision I felt peaceful, which is much nicer than feeling upset and angry.

Ways of Zion said...

Most people think that they have patience and THEN they have kids.....

I KNEW I didn't have any patience and THEN I had kids......oiy!

Bethanie said...

This post came at the right time for me. This morning I came into work with a not-so-nice note on my desk and the fumeing had begun. But, as long as I'm at this I must have patients-with all of the idiots. Oops just had to get that out of my system.

Anna S said...

Buffy,

I have lost my patience because of less serious things than what you described :)

So I'm definitely in need of patience, patience and more patience.

Pam said...

This is a wonderful, insightful post full of godly advice. I have some young women, teens in fact, who read my blog. Would you mind if I put this on my post including a link to you of course?

Anna S said...

Pam,

You can link to this post on your blog, of course. I will be delighted. :)

Emily said...

Well, Anna, it looks like you will certainly be learning patience during your engagement if nothing else ;). I really pray that God will help you in this area - Lord knows I need it too, very much! Thanks for sharing with us what you are looking to prepare in for becoming a wife. It's great to be apart of your journey.

PandaBean said...

When I'm in need of patience, I "chant" my mantra of "Time Passes". This started back in my "black" days of depression as a teen. I would be feeling really nasty low and start thinking the darkest thoughts, then I would remind myself, "Time Passes".
Even now when I get frustrated about being at work when all I really want to do is be home and care for my family, I remind myself "Time Passes" and I break my day up into 5 minute segments and celebrate the passing of each segment. This is a bit extreme for 2 years of waiting, but the principle is the same.
So the next time you feel so totally frustrated rmemeber, "Time Passes".
(Tho' my mom told me "Time passes in many ways, except in pregnancy's last seven days!" LOL)

Sarah said...

Hi Anna,

As a fellow single gal, I was encouraged by your quest for patience. I think all of us struggle with this in some way or form. I recently posted some tips that others have given me for using my singleness to honor the Lord if you want to check them out. . .

I appreciate your willingness to fight for patience, and godliness, in preparation for marriage. I would also challenge you to practice patience for an even higher goal- for your Savior. While we cannot see him and touch him as we hope to do one day with a mate, Our loving God has called us to patience in demonstration of his spirit within us. When we cultivate the fruits of his spirit such as patience, others will see us and recognize a difference. This is the true goal of our faith- the salvation of our souls and witness to others.

Thanks again for your encouragement!

Kathleen said...

I should do that too :)