What makes you go all the way to 30?
–Babies fill freshly changed diapers with a whole new kind of freshness the minute you snap up their onesies.
–Children ask the same question 10 times expecting 10 different explanations none of which completely satisfy their curiosity.
–Oh. And teenagers. Teenagers. Teenagers. Teenagers.
They can walk into a room, say nothing and send our patience out the door.
It’s such a holy virtue, patience.
St. Monica prayed for her son for years–for his conversion, for his soul, for her soul in dealing with him. That’s why she is the patron saint of mothers!
He turned out to be ok, really, despite the torture he seemed to put his mother through.
The Holy Spirit shows up in the patience that we extend with our children in all these circumstances.
He invites us in every time we go all the way to 10….or 20….or 30 in our heads.
Now, that’s comforting.
What does the enemy do?
That dear infant that can’t seem to stop crying, or won’t go to sleep?????
–Somehow becomes the reason we don’t feel “fulfilled” in our role as a mom. Can’t we ever get a break?
We get overwhelmed and lose patience with OURSELVES.
When our 4-year-old asks why they can’t have soda,
then asks why they can’t have three more hours of TV,
then asks why they have to eat breakfast in the morning,
then why they can’t have soda for breakfast or why……..( for my dear nephew, Oliver)
–If we were better moms, we would just smile and give gorgeous answers to each inquiry with a June Cleaver grin.
We lose patience with OURSELVES that we don’t necessarily want to answer every “adorable” question.
Oh, yes, and let’s not forget teenagers. With each little mood swing of adolescence, they require us to play the guessing game of which kid is going to walk into the room.
Are they going to be the “OK” teenager who is willing to engage in a normal level of communication? Or are they going to be the “eye-rolling” teenager or the “giddy” teenager…Who knows? When (for reasons we will never know) they are one of the above, we should have the patient response.
—Love them where they are. No matter what. Except sometimes, we don’t get the GPS location of where the heck they are on the adolescent roller coaster. Jeez.
We lose patience with OURSELVES for somehow not being able to read their minds, interpret their moods and “roll with the punches” of this tenuous time.
What does the Bible have to say about losing patience with ourselves?
Paul warns us early in Galatians 5 about sins of the flesh:
“For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.”
When we let our minds go to those places of self-defeat, or “You are a not good enough because you lost your patience with your children” that is not of the Holy Spirit.
It keeps us from doing the “things we want to do.”
We are wasting time. We are wasting our precious patience.
The Holy Spirit promises us freedom back in Galations 5:1
“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”
The slavery that our mind creates comes with a humongous yoke. We choose to put it on everytime we “lose it” with ourselves.
When have you lost patience with yourself as a mom?
How can you stop coming down too hard on yourself for loosing patience with your children?
What strategies have helped you stay focused on God’s fruit of patience when you are mothering?
This post is part of our eight-week series, “Spirited Mom: A Fruity Look at Mothering.” We’re focusing on a different Fruit of the Spirit each week, as it applies to mothering.