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I know.  I know.  I talk about change a lot.

I’m more than willing to admit though that I’m not always a big fan.  I like to know what is, what was, what will be.  Change?  It makes that whole knowing thing pretty iffy.

Today’s quote wasn’t chosen simply because I’m more comfortable with slow gradual change.  Think about the changes in this world that our worked through persistence.  That’s how wind and water erosion work.  That’s how toddlers learn to walk, speak and eventually, as preschoolers, to read.  Persistence.

God knows that.  It is why he’s so patient with us.  Thankfully.  Because we aren’t always (ever?) quick to catch on.

It takes 6 weeks to build a new habit.  Why not pick something small that you can do that can help make a big change.  Post something positive online.  Recycle.  Walk around the block.  The possibilities for improving something in this world are endless.

–SueBE

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Take a deep breath. Let it out. Take another deep breath. Then respond.

This is something that I really need to work on lately.  I’m crabby enough at this point that I’m starting to annoy myself.  One key thing for me to remember?  I don’t need to respond at all.  Silence is, for very good reasons, golden.  Especially if I can’t come up with something kind to say.

Take a deep breath. Let it out. Take another deep breath.

–SueBE

Take a deep breath and smile.

I learned a new phrase recently — live in the pause.    At the end of each yoga practice, our instructor reads something inspirational.  Sometimes it is poetry.  Sometimes a bit of a song.  Sometimes scripture.  The other day, it was the quote in the meme.

As is so often the case when Leslie reads something, this was just what I needed to hear.  A reminder to take a deep breath and pause.  Take your time.  Think it over.  Say a little prayer.  And then if you still need to say it, go ahead.  After all, you can never take something back.  You’ll always have another chance to speak your mind.

I had just finished making up a new batch of memes, including the one above, when I got to try out that pause.  I had just posted a meme in the Inaugurate Light Project community.  I explained that I know I’ve been posting a lot of Christian quotes.  I am, after all, Christian and it is the philosophy I know best.  If someone else from another tradition wants to share quotes, I’ll gladly make up the memes if they will send me quotes.

To my surprise, someone responded almost immediately.  As I read the response my shoulders tightened.  How dare I assume everyone in the group is Christian?  Not everyone is and although this person wanted to share memes she can’t when I post something Christian.  And on and on and on.

I started to type out my response.  It was sharp.  It was a bit rude.  Okay, more than a bit.  I even worked in the new short hand my son had explained to me.  ^^ stands for “read what I wrote above.”

But then I paused.  I said a little prayer.  This was an opportunity to show someone a little tolerance which is what the group is all about.  No, I hadn’t been shown much, but that really wasn’t the point.

I deleted my original comment.  Then I carefully wrote out a new one.  Live in the pause.

It isn’t easy.  But it doesn’t wear on your all day the way that getting in an argument does.

Take a deep breath.  Pause.  Pray.  Chances are, you won’t regret it.

–SueBE

 

 

I knew not being in charge was going to be profoundly difficult.  But then again, so would being in charge.  You see we just spent a week cleaning out my Dad’s house.

Put me in charge, and I’d have a plan. And boy would it be a Plan with a Capital P.   Yep.  I’m just a bit type-A.  I’m not sure if everyone who is type-A is like me but I have a lot of type-A friends.  “This is how you should deal with it. Rent a dumpster. Put your foot down.  If you want it just show up and take it.”

Take a deep breath.  Let it out.

Four days we showed up to work.  Four days we watched sneaking and sniping and arguing.  “I made an appointment . . . there’s no other time I can do this . . .”

Take a deep breath.  Let it out.

For four days we sorted and packed and pitched.  We recycled and wondered what the heck is this?  And we shared stories.

We talked about the memories stirred by various objects.  We discussed our goof ball find of the day.  And we sat in the yard and shared lunch.  We sat in the sunshine and breathed deep.

I’m not going to lie.  It wasn’t all sunshine and happiness.  Some people live to create drama.  So we let them create it. Take a deep breath. Let it out.

Sure there were times I was tempted to speak my mind.  And I did occasionally tell people what to do when I needed help.

I still wouldn’t call myself patient, not by a long shot, but sometimes the most compassionate thing you can do is let the person who needs that sense of control be in charge.  No, they may not do it your way but be patient.  Breath in.  Let it out.

Walk gently.  Breathe deeply.

–SueBE

 

If you’ve been reading the meme’s that I’ve posted throughout the week, you’ve seen that quite a few of them have to do with patience.  When I first saw these Lenten quotes about patience I was a bit . . . what?  What does patience have to do with Lent?

The more I think about it, the more that I realize that patience is a huge part of Lent.

Lent is all about awaiting the coming dawn.  Waiting, to put it simply, is not my strong suit.  I want it now.  No really.  NOW would be better than later.

But that isn’t always the case.  Waiting and patience give us time for preparation.  Preparation can make the difference between success and a failure.  I know this, but I’m still not very good at waiting.

Lent is also a time of turning into the light.  It is a time for us to remove what stands between us and God’s light.  It is a time of helping us remove what keeps other people from seeing God’s light in us.

Quite often that requires patience.  Patience to take care of what ever it is in us that keeps us from being Christ’s hands on earth.  Patience to listen to what the other person has to say, because until we know what is in their hears and their minds, we very often have no clue what they need.

Patience.  It is a key part of empathy.

Patience.  It is most truly something that I need today.

–SueBE

 

So often when we are passionate, we rush headlong into something.  We see patience as a flaw when it is not.

nitish-meena-37745The little boy was three-years-old, and, apparently, his job was to examine all the minutiae of life very carefully, like a pint-sized forensic scientist  – gum wrapper on floor, display of succotash by the register, even his own shoelaces. It came as no surprise that he’d meander very slowly, like a sloth on a speed bump, out the door of the grocery store.

We were stacked up behind him and his adoring mother with our carts, our own kids in tow, but we were patient. He looked around, he lingered, he investigated. All the while his mother looked at him adoringly, as if he had invented time itself. “Isn’t he something?” she asked the lady waiting behind her, who nodded graciously.

When you love someone, you find a way to overlook their faults. It never occurred to this young mother that everyone else might not find her toddler’s molasses-slow stride to be endearing. Those things didn’t even register in her mind.

There’s been a lot of discord in the world lately, with those of different viewpoints finding themselves at odds. Sometimes it seems people are acting like petulant children, not hearing anyone else’s voice at all. I’ve been deep in Scripture lately, seeking some solace.

The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride. Ecclesiastes 7:8 NIV

Keeping things in perspective, thinking about compassion and mercy.

You help them stay calm when trouble comes…

Every line of this Psalm gave me peace.

The Lord will not leave his people. He will not leave them without help.

Sometimes you find comfort in passages you’ve read a thousand times. Perhaps if we all read the Good Book and pray together, wherever we are, we’ll remember we’re all family.

Justice will return and bring fairness.  And those who want to do right will be there to see it. Psalm 94:13-15 ERV

How often do we speak when we should be silent?  I had to ask myself this after an incident with my son this week.

Monday he came home from school with a major headache.  It seems that one of his classmates had dumped over a desk with him in it and he’d hit his head on the floor.  Seriously?  This is highschool?  I couldn’t believe he was still getting in these situations and I let my thoughts on the subject be known. “Be more like Michael*.  No one ever picks on him, do they?”  (*name changed so as not to embarrass the innocent)

The next morning when he was leaving for school, my son hit me with a parting shot.  “Sorry, I’m not macho enough.”

Whoa.  That wasn’t what I’d meant.  Or at least it wasn’t all that I had meant to communicate.  But he was upset and embarrrased and I hadn’t listened.  Not really.  Cause I’m sick of it.

After school, we had another talk.  This time he could tell I was listening, because I was.  Because of it, he really listened to me.

And that is why this image of the Dalai Lama really spoke to me when I saw it later in the week.  As Christians, we are called on to work with and for people who need help.  How much more effective would we be if, instead of coming in with opinions fully formed, we listened?  I have to wonder.

–SueBE

 

 

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