Love is patient.

I, however, am not.  Not at all.  At least I feel like that tonight after walking down the stairs from putting my 2-year-old daughter to sleep.  The constant tossing and turning and refusal to just lie still so that she can fall asleep.  Aaaaahhhh!

And breath.

I try to remember this verse while I’m up there with her.

And who isn’t familiar with this I Corinthians verse?  If you’re married, this was likely read at your wedding.  I even know non-Christians that have had it read at their wedding because, well, this is what we all hope that love ends up being in our lives, and it’s hopefully what we all aspire to as humans.

You’ve probably heard the story of the mom that asked her daughter to change “love” to her boyfriend’s name to test and see if he really is showing love…or something else.  You may have also seen the challenge to replace “love” with your name:

Sarah is patient.

Sarah is kind.

Ha!  I can’t even make it first the past two.  I mean…I have my patient moments.  I have my kind moments, but mostly, I am neither.  And, is it just me, or is it often hardest to show patience to those we love the most?  It’s time to work on this.

The article “How to Become a Patient Parent” provides 10 tips to try to develop the habit of patience.  Yes, habit.  It makes sense really when you think about my article about triggering habits.  Habits, good and bad, have triggers.  If we have a bad habit, we can’t just stop it.  We have to replace it with a good habit, so if lack of patience shows itself with habits of yelling at the children, snapping at my husband, or just plain snarkiness and sarcasm, then I need to figure out what the triggers are (1st grade homework and toddler bedtime anyone?) and then replace those negative reactions with good habits.  The article has some good suggestions that I’m going to try (see the original article for the details about each one):

  1. Counting to 10
  2. Taking deep breaths
  3. Imagining that someone is watching you
  4. Teaching
  5. Laughing
  6. Loving

Let’s try, with the people that we love, to have more patience.  Love is patient.  We are patient.  We are love.  (New mantra!)  Of course, we are called to love all people, but if we can develop the habit with our families, then maybe we can apply it with strangers (like during rush hour maybe?).   Let me know how your struggle goes.  What are your triggers?  What methods do you use to help you develop a habit of patience?  What’s working?  What’s not?  Please share!

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