Tag Archive Patience

ByAngie

A Grateful Heart

Last week I shared about my trip earlier this month to a children’s home. This post will continue that recap…

After visiting the school building, we all went to one of the houses where some of the children live. There was a festive, warm and welcoming spread of hot chocolate, spiced tea, and cookies. It was here that the children would all visit with us and receive their “big” gifts.

We were there for a little while before the kids were released from their classes. As they all slowly walked in the front door, they noticed the huge pile of gifts under and around the tree. The excitement could not be contained and was contagious! After everyone had a chance to get a hot drink and cookies, they all sat around the large living room and waited for their name to be called by the house parent that was handing out the gifts.

Many names were read, and the kids would walk up, get their present, get a crocheted ice skate full of candy, and then go back to where they were sitting and open their gift. Some kids received a few small gifts, some were given one large gift, but each child was so pleased with whatever it was they were given. The people who bought the gifts were given idea lists of what to purchase and there were toys galore! It was so much fun!

One girl, I would guess about the age of 11 or so, stood near the tree as she clapped and cheered for each child as they came up to get their presents. She had one of the biggest smiles I had ever seen! When the last name was read and she had not yet been given a gift, you could see the shock in her eyes. She still continued to smile though. The house parent who had been reading the names turned to her and asked, “Did you not get a present?” She shook her head no. He then said, “Well, you must have been naughty then.” She was handed a crocheted ice skate, and then he walked to the back of the house and out the back door.

She never complained. She didn’t cry. Instead, she walked over and checked out what her friends were given. She shared their excitement, and then sat down to open her candy bag to see what was in it. She smiled as she made an inventory of the candy, and acted as though it was the most wonderful thing she had ever been given. No tantrum, no jealousy, no anger. It was just what it was, and she accepted that.

A minute later, that same house parent came back in the back door with a big gorgeous pink bike. He said her name, and the smile on her face when she turned around was unforgettable. Still clutching the bag of candy, she ran and hugged the man. She then walked her bike over to where she could get a better look at it. I was unable to hold back my tears, I was so ecstatic for her!

I couldn’t help but pray at that moment, “Lord, make me like this little girl. Please. And let more of your people have a heart like hers, also.”

Sometimes God has something for everyone around us, it seems. He’s using them, blessing them, and fulfilling more than what seems to be needed. All the while, we feel forgotten. We start to say “All I have is this” instead of being grateful for what we have. Never considering that instead of whining, complaining, kicking, and screaming that He is actually preparing something beyond our wildest dreams if we just wait. Sometimes, our immaturity and lack of gratitude actually causes Him to wait longer, due to our not being ready.

I’ve been there, have you? Ugh.

If only my phone hadn’t died so that I could have snapped a photo of her walking that bike with that huge smile. It would be nice to have that reminder on my fridge next time I feel like moping instead of waiting… Lord, let me not forget!

ByAngie

Waiting (& Holding Out) For The Best

But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.

~Isaiah 40:31 NKJV

Have you ever been REALLY hungry? Starving? Could eat a horse if you had it in front of you, but you had to wait? Like when your husband is taking you out for a nice dinner and even though you’re hungry at 6:00pm you have to wait for the sitter to arrive at 7:30pm?

You’re tempted to eat. You think, “Just a snack” and so you eat a little something here, a little something there. Then when you sit down to eat, you regret every bite of that snack. Your meal doesn’t taste as good and you’re just not as hungry, leaving half of it to waste. (And it’s one of those meals where it does NOT taste good as left overs.)

Lately, my spirit has been hungry. I need something, anything, from God. He keeps telling me, “Just wait. It’s going to be so wonderful and so worth it.” Yet, I find myself saying, “Please? Can’t I just have a taste of something? Anything?” What my flesh doesn’t understand is when God is “cooking” up something, He doesn’t serve just one course. It’s a full meal. A feast! I have to tell myself to be patient and wait. God has given me all the little tastes that He’s going to give, it’s time to set the table and wait.

And wait…

And wait…

And wait some more…

Can you tell I’m not good at this? 😉 So, what am I doing while I wait? Keeping busy with prayer and reading my Bible. Doing some fasting here and there. Listening for the dinner bell. Checking in once in awhile, only to hear Him say, “Not yet, Angie. Just wait. I promise I’m not going to starve you.”

Needless to say, I’m excited.

Have you ever gone through a time that you had to wait for the best instead of settling for just the okay? Weren’t you glad you waited? I know I’ll be.

Be blessed!

ByAngie

Whatsoever State I Am In…

11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Phillippians 4:11-13 NKJV

The above has to be one of my most favorite passages of scripture. In fact, Phillippians 4:13 is my favorite scripture in the entire Bible.

I’ve been quoting these scriptures to myself a WHOLE LOT lately. I’m dieting, starting a business, maintaining relationships, homeschooling a preschooler, and due to our landlord letting our home foreclose: we have to move.

Contentment; Rather tricky, isn’t it? As mothers, we are always busy. There is always something we need. There is always something we want. A lot of the time, these things aren’t even for ourselves. Maybe they are for our family or loved ones. But regardless, there is always something.

I would love to be instantly skinny after 2 weeks of dieting, have a gorgeous home of my own, new clothes, my hair done, my family well dressed, my kids rooms full of fun toys, and my son to want to sit down and be still for 10 minutes every day during circle time. But the Bible says whatsoever state that I am to be content.

Paul was clearly never a mom. Ever. But he’s right. So I’m reminding myself: I am healthy, I have a roof over my head, I still have hair, my family & I have appropriate clothing, my kids have plenty of toys (trust me!), and my son still learns even if he is jumping up and down the entire time we discuss the day, month, weather, scripture, etc.

The rest of the stuff will come if and when it is God’s will through prayer. You know why? Because I can, in fact, do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Not some things, all things. Until then, I’ll be content.

What about you? What are you content with today, and what will God give you the strength to do?

ByAngie

A “Simple” Calling: Being A Patron

Definition of PATRON

3: one who buys the goods or uses the services offered especially by an establishment

The calling can be reversed also... How can you minister to your patrons?

Ever been in a line at the store or sitting in a restaurant when suddenly you hear a customer being down right rude and mean to the employee helping them, or worse, another customer?

What about not even really acknowledging the person helping you, but just treating them as a gateway to get the stuff you want/need NOW?

Maybe you’re on a phone call with a customer service representative and they anger you, so you rip into them?

Sadly, it happens. We’re human, so naturally we make mistakes. We get sensitive or angry about something and we want to blame someone and throw a tantrum until it is fixed. But what kind of message are we sending out as Christians when we do this?

What kind of mood would you be in if you worked here? Think about it...

Think about it, what is the person on the other side going through that day? What if it’s a new job and they are just learning? What if it’s a single Mom working 3 jobs just to support her children and ill parents? I mean, yeah, sometimes the other person is just a jerk and could care less… But shouldn’t we show even them our love? And what about those who are with us when we act this way… We are humiliating our friends, family, & setting a poor example for our children. For some, we are the only Bible they will ever read. What if their idea of a Christian is skewed because of our bad temper?

So, how exactly can we minister? How can being a patron be a calling? Well, it’s actually not difficult at all. Here are a few tips:

  • Pray: Say a quick simple prayer before you leave the house. Ask God to bless those that you come in to contact with and to let his light shine through you. Request extra patience too…
  • Smile: Do it as much as you can. You never know who will have a better day just because you smiled.
  • Take Deep Breaths: When you do encounter someone who is rude, showing poor customer service, or just seems to not know or care about anything going on around them, take a few good deep breaths before you say something and utter a prayer under said breath.
  • Be Kinder Than Necessary: Same idea as smiling…
  • Say Please & Thank You: They really are magic words that go a long way! Your 3rd grade teacher wasn’t kidding!
  • Use Names & Titles Where Applicable: Let them know you see them as an individual.
  • Show Respect & Say “God Bless You” Or Something Similar: Make it difficult for them to be rude to you. Dory (Finding Nemo) says “Just keep swimming”. I would add, once again, “Just keep smiling”.
  • Try Really Hard Not To Be A Hypocrite: Because when you act out, it really hurts the other person’s view point of Christians. Especially if you have a “Forgiven” tattoo, John 3:16 key chain, and a fish emblem on your car.
  • Never Let Them Walk All Over You Either: If the need arises, stand your ground. Just do it as nicely as possible.

I won’t lie, this was hard for me to write. I, myself, have a problem with this from time to time. I’m GUILTY! YES! I said it! And if I’m the only one that learns from this, that’s okay… Because I needed to be reminded.

Thank you for reading! God bless! 😉

ByAngie

A “Simple” Calling: The Ministry Of Motherhood

Okay, first of all: We’re all mommies here, so we all know that to call motherhood a “simple” calling is really kind of a joke. Being a mom is one of the most difficult and most rewarding jobs one can ever have. But my point can be explained here.

Some of us knew from a young age that we would one day answer the call. We played with dolls, dreamed of having a family, and played “house” every chance we got. Others? They had no idea that motherhood would be a part of their life’s journey. Either their perspective changed or it “snuck up on them”, so to speak. At the same time, some of us came about it very easily and for others it was a full on battle to acquire.

Angie with her 2 oldest children in August of 2006

Regardless, the call is still the same. In reality, it is not simple at all. We are responsible for a new generation that will take over after us. The future is literally on us. The morals that the next generation will have or not have are in our hands. Should we not do our best to bring them up right, we will be the ones who have to answer. Like I said, far from simple.

Let me stop right here and point out I am NOT an expert. I don’t even consider myself an amazing mother. I do my best from day to day, and pray that God leads me to what he wants me to do in this ministry to my children.

So while we are not leading millions to The Lord, we are making a big impression. What can we do with this ministry? Well, here are just a few things, in no particular order…

  • Pray. Without ceasing. Pray for your children when you wake up, when you make their breakfast, when you wash their clothes/dishes, when they are well, when they are sick. Pray when they go to bed, pray when you go to bed. Pray for guidance, and for their souls.
  • Study. Mostly the Bible. But also, Dr. Dobson, Dr. Kevin Leman, and many many others have written many wonderful books on the subject of Christian parenting. I don’t know how many times just studying a true experts suggestions, prayers, findings, and opinions have helped me in my own journey.
  • Teach. Read Bible stories to your children. Make sure they learn manners. Have a weekly memory verse. Give them appropriate chores. Your child learning about Jesus, morals, and character development are imperative. I’m not saying pull your kid out of school and teach them everything at home. To each their own. Do it in your daily life, read a couple picture books with your younger children. Talk about it with your older children. Refer above to “pray” & “study”.
  • Be patient. They are only children. They are still growing, learning, and are constantly adapting. Cut them a little slack. Don’t be too strict.
  • Love. Most importantly, because if you don’t show God’s love to your children, who will? They thrive on love, and as their mother, they need it from you.
  • Discipline. Don’t be afraid of it. However, keep it appropriate and within reason. Once again, I suggest “study”.
  • Make time. Quality time goes a LONG way. Little things like house work can wait. For years many told me this, only as my oldest has turned 10 this year am I realizing I missed out a lot on the first few months of his life while I obsessed over the state of my home.
  • Be an example. Don’t be a “Say as I do, not as I do” mom. Give them something to aim for, not to settle for.

Yeah, I know this all looks great in print but another story in reality. Trust me: I have 5 kids, 2 of which I do not have full time physical but only joint legal custody over. In addition, my other 3 that live with me are all ages 3 and under. I definitely know. Some of this that I’ve listed are really things I’ve only learned recently. Others, things I’m learning right now. Some, I knew from the beginning. But ALL are a challenge.

Once again, motherhood is not easy. But it is call of God. Never think otherwise. Do your best, as it’s all you can do. Before you know it, our babies will be grown and have babies of their own… and we’ll miss this. Deeply.

Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6 NKJV

 

A very special THANK YOU to Diania for her insight on this post… You’re the best!