Wednesday, September 17, 2008


This week the new chapter of my bible study book (Love as a Way of Life by Gary Chapman) is Patience. As anyone who knows me can attest, this is definitely an area that I need to work on. I say that I am a planner, that I am OCD - really, I am just not very patient. Granted, there are times when this is a benefit, for example - getting packed/unpacked, organizing events, getting "stuff" done. However, as Chapman notes, when you are running around in a rush with a hurried attitude, your relationships suffer. You have a spirit of impatience around you and it is difficult to shift gears and be patient with the person you are on the phone with, the store clerk, your family.
I can personally testify to how being patient can ruin or enhance an encounter. When I get stressed, I tend to get (more) emotional. My feelings get hurt and I feel very "woe is me" and am apt to throw myself a pity party. However, being patient can make even a frustrating situation much more pleasant. I tend to have very unrealistic expectations of myself - I try to be the best at whatever I do and expect more than is humanly possible from myself. I need to realize that it is okay, good even, to not be perfect and I don't need to try to be. I need to just be Lucia.
It is so true that making the choice to be patient can make an enormous difference. Chip is one of the most patient people I know. Being married to him has helped me to realize that, truly, it is good to just lay back and relax. To just be. He reminds me so much of my Dad - they both have this ability to stay cool under any situation and never raise their voices. Seeing the two of them with their dogs or with kids proves this even more. They both has this ability to be kind and so patient - even when the dog wants to go out for the 10th time in an hour or a little cousin is endlessly giving wet willies.
My challenge to myself this week is to put patience into action. I will strive to be both kind and patience. This means to not worry if I get stuck in traffic - it happens. To not be in a rush. To just enjoy and truly enjoy being in the moment. To not hurry. Patience is allowing someone to be imperfect and I am far from perfect. All I can do is try.

The points that Chapman challenges us to look at this week are to realize:
  • People are not machines. They have ideas, emotions, desires, and perceptions that are different than mine.
  • People don't work according to my priorities. Their agendas may be different from my own. I choose to respect the choices of others.
  • People are always in process. I choose to give them time for growth. (including giving myself time for growth and not having to be valedictorian of everything)
  • My patience creates a more productive atmosphere for helping others.

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