What do you do when you’re running out of patience? When you’re at the end of your rope…pulling out your hair…when you feel like screaming or punching a pillow?
I felt like that earlier. It was lunch time and Elias and I were at the table eating. Meal times have been tricky lately for many reasons (that is a long story for another post) but for some reason today my patience was just wearing so thin. Yogurt can get very messy…and it is so sticky that it is not fun to have all over your hands and arms. Unfortunately, this was the case at lunch. There was yogurt everywhere. At one point a spoonful of yogurt flew to the floor and I almost reached my boiling point.
What do you do when you’re running out of patience?
I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. I felt the air entering my nostrils, and expanding my chest. Exhaling, I said, “Jesus, please give me patience.”
I opened my eyes and saw my son looking at me. I felt the tension leave my body, stood up to get some napkins, and wiped up (most of) the mess.
As lunch proceeded I started wondering…what was Jesus like as a baby? We don’t know much about his infancy other than the time in the stable. Did Jesus throw food? Did he have tantrums? I wondered and wondered about Jesus, and smiled to myself as I thought of him as a child. I wondered about him as a toddler taking his first steps. What was his first word? What were his favorite songs? Oh, what a joy he must have been. What a miracle. Jesus’ birth was a miracle just as every birth is a miracle.
Thinking about the miracle of Jesus then made me think of Elias again. What a miracle and a gift to me my son is. Rather than being frustrated with lunch time I was filled with flashes of memories from just this morning. I remembered when he woke up this morning and saw me looking at him. He smiled so big and said, “hi.” I remembered when we were playing on the floor, my hands occupied with the toys. He deliberately took the toys out of my hands and spread my arms wide so he could crawl into them for a hug. I remembered the way he danced to “Manheim Steamroller” Christmas music, and the proud look on his face when he stacked his blocks four high. I remembered what a blessing it is that he is healthy and that he has food to eat. I remembered that this is just a phase and two months from now there will be something new to worry about, but this lunch time will be old news.
“Thank you, Jesus, for giving me perspective. For helping me to remember how precious each moment is…even these tough ones.”