about our elephant

Tuesday, September 1

the virtue of patience

today i realized just how little patience i actually have. the phrase "patience is a virtue" is not just a simple phrase to be thrown around! a virtue is a serious thing. here's the actual definition:


1.moral excellence; goodness; righteousness.
2.conformity of one's life and conduct to moral and ethical principles; uprightness; rectitude.
3.chastity; virginity: to lose one's virtue.
4.a particular moral excellence. Compare cardinal virtues,natural virtue, theological virtue.
5.a good or admirable quality or property: the virtue of knowing one's weaknesses.
6.effective force; power or potency

what in the world!? morals! ethics!? force/power!?!? all contained in a virtue - ie having patience. whew. a little deeper than i expected to go.

one of my favorite quotes from one of my not-so-favorite, cheesy movies, gets my attention every time i think about it!

"If someone prays for patience, do you think God gives them patience? Or does He give them the opportunity to be patient? If they pray for courage, does God give them courage or does He give them the opportunity to be courageous? If someone prayed for their family to be closer, do you think God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings? Or does He give them opportunities to love each other?"
— Morgan Freeman in Evan Almighty

so in praying for God to show me how to be a great mom (and specifically for patience), He's giving me MULTIPLE opportunities to learn how to be patient. let's start with sleep.

we recently moved Pirate out of our bed, into his own bed, and into his own room. now we're working on him being able to go to sleep without us cuddling him into his slumbers. this is by far the hardest part! not only do i really want to cuddle him, he really, really wants me to lay on "mom piddow" in his bed and snuggle, scratch his back, tickle his face, and "hold you". so sweet. the only problems with me doing those things are:
1) i don't like laying there for an hour when it's not my bedtime while he wiggles, rolls, tries to play, etc.
2) i'm the size of a minivan and it is increasingly hard for me to get up on my own, muchless in a twin sized mattress
3) Pirate's mattress is a normal, springy mattress so when we do shift or attempt to exit he feels us and immediately knows what we're doing... thus we have to start the sleep process all over again

as i attempt to do the "sleep lady shuffle" and work our way to Pirate being able to snooze on his own and stay that way through the night - you can bet your buttons it's a process that requires a literal ton of patience.

we started this day with Pirate (accidently or purposely? who knows.) spilling a bowl of dry cheerios all over the floor. my first patience hurdle to jump was the immediate desire to want to be frustrated with having to pick-up yet another tedious mess off of the floor. the second patience hurdle to jump was explaining to Pirate that he must now pick up his mess and put it back in the bowl... or eat it. i believe i had to explain this about 35 times. the third patience hurdle to jump was to resist the urge to spank his hiney(!!) when after 2 hours, two cheerios were back in the bowl... only one had been eaten... 20 were still on the floor - some, now crunched under his little feet. the same goes for his toys that i have to pick up - to put in a pile - to explain to Pirate - to pick them up (one by one, no less) - to take to his room - so he can throw them in - and i get to go in there, pick them up again, and put them away. patience, anyone?

we are to the point where we were before with hubby's fire department application. after waiting for so long on a response (for the second time around), we now simply try not to think about it, are no longer excited about it, and have moved on. i'm sure we'll get a call or a letter in the next couple of weeks and hubby will go for stage 3 of the application... then, we will do it all over again. yes, i'd like an order of patience with a side of fries please.

but then i stop. and think. about how patient hubby has been with ME as i learn the in's and out's of being a mommy full-time... how to orchestrate the laundry, dishes, sweeping, scrubbing, play time, nap time, lunch time, dinner, hobbies, blogging, playdates, and the million projects i try and pick up here and there (organic eating, gardening, cooking, sewing, cloth diapering, etc.). really. he's amazing. and though he sometimes voices his frustrations with me, he usually chooses to see passed the pile of dirty clothes, million toys on the floor, Pirate still in his jammies while i fiddle with the sewing machine at 6pm with no dinner on the stove... and goes right on to kiss me "hello" and wrestle with Pirate on the floor. the man has some serious patience. "Patience is the companion of wisdom." St. Augustine

then there's this whole cooking up a baby inside my tummy thing. yes, it goes so much faster the second time around... but there's a whole new excitement involved! i get to have another baby! as a friend says "another person in my life to fall madly in love with." i can feel (oh! can i feel!) the wiggles, jolts and jives within my growing belly. i can make out the position - head down, bottom up, feet kicking my rib cage, arms punching up my torso. i want this baby out! yes for the freedom from having to share my internals (thank you heartburn, no sleep, aching back, sore feet) but MOSTLY so i can love on and learn my little one! hurry! hurry!! no... slow down. patience. patience.

mostly, i realize how absolutely perfect God is in all this. He knows EVERYTHING. before. after. how it happens. how it works. and yet He still has a relationship with me... puts up with me... works with me... grows me... teaches me - patience. haha. it's hard to even fathom how or why He brings Himself to our level. but He does. with perfect patience.


  1. I so know what you mean about the FD application process. It was so hard to be excited and then lose it because it was so long before phases. So I just kept it at a distance in my mind.

    Hope your feeling well and that baby isn't using your kidleys as a punching bag too much:-)

  2. This post is sooo true of my life too! Just know each time you pick up a bzillion toys, try to teach the little man that picking up toys is HIS job, fail to have dinner on the table, and watch the laundry pile up ... there is another mom not far away doing the SAME thing everyday!!! and probably without as much patience .... :)

  3. Congratulations on your pregnancy! How close together will your babies be once this one arrives? How far along are you now?

    I am a firewife. I remember being where you are now. Waiting patiently, or at least trying, as my husband went through First Responder, EMT, Fire 1 & 2, then the application, test, board interview, chief interview, then waiting to get a call. Then, when we were told we would be finding out whether he got the job or not, we were told we'd have to wait longer.

    Finally, the call came. It was only a couple days before I gave birth to my first son. What a relief it was. All the prayers, all the stress...

    One thing that I am so glad we did, was we printed out all our prayer e-mails (that we sent to friends and church) and put them in a scrapbook. I added in other papers and things from when my husband started his job. I will use this book as a way to share with my children how God answers prayer, even in times when it seems there is no way things will work out.

    I hope you receive your call soon. :)