My kids think I’m the most amazingly efficient individual ever!!


Technically they didn’t tell me that with their words, per se… but it must be true.  Why else, when my brownie timer is going off while I load the dishwasher in between giving bites to my highchair kid would they both instantly run out to test the limits of my abilities??

“Can I have a drink?”
“Mommy, I can’t beat this guy {waving remote}.  Can you help?”

Needless to say, they did NOT also think of me as a candidate for the ‘most patient’ award right after this.

On the days when these things happen, I begin to wonder if there is any growth… is there any fruit in my life.  If I’m STILL struggling with being patient and loving… to my own children, no less…  then what, really, have I accomplished??

Then I realize something that I’m not sure I noticed before:

I argue more now.  

That may not sound like a good thing, but if you take into account that in 18 years of school and several times during college I ‘contended for truth’ in personal relationships by beating around the bush and hinting… or worse yet, the {smile, nod} “I can understand that” (without a follow up “BUT, you’re wrong/I disagree.”).

As I ask God to help me love what He loves and hate what He hates instead of obsessing over my own desires and dislikes, I expected to find love blooming within my heart and a desire to make everyone in my entire household thrilled with my sweet presence… Bambi scenes and Mary Poppins came to mind.  Instead, I find a deep and abiding dislike for falseness growing.  It doesn’t matter what it is that’s false!  I don’t like false smiles, false words, false pretenses.  Things as mundane as untrue email forwards bother me.  People who greet you because that’s their job and for no other reason bother me.  Conversations, lectures, articles, speeches, and books that aren’t true… particularly if it has ANYTHING to do with theology (show me a conversation that doesn’t in some way)… bothers me a lot.  If you speak something that is wrong, even innocently, I probably won’t just smile and nod anymore (unless you are a REALLY big, full of muscles, very angry person… then I might go back to my pacifist days – no tests so far to prove or disprove this theory).  As I noticed this trend, all I noticed was my lack of tact.  I mean, Paul’s tactlessness in his epistles bothered me too, surely I would NOT have enjoyed conversing with him.  Brilliant author, needs to work on people skills is what I had him pegged as.  But even his harshest of chapters was written in love.  Even his most scathing reviews were done because he loved the people and wanted truth for them.  As much as I disliked him, I begin to identify.  So, maybe I am growing.  Just on in the places that I’m anxious to grow in.  Nobody wants to be the tactless one.  Everybody wants to be the sweet one.  Me too. Hopefully, that is being developed as well. 

So, if you do what I used to do, quit it!  At least when you’re around me.  If I’m doing something wrong, call me on it!  If you see my husband, children and I interacting and find something we could do better at, help us out!  If I’m saying something that doesn’t jive with the truth, point it out.  No more smiling and nodding, people.

Hopefully, the patient, loving fruits follow shortly after the tactless truth telling part.  I’m terribly impatient about those particular fruits.  The absence of them causes no end of repentance in our home.