Thursday, October 22

tolerance

It's rainy here today, and will be for at least the next week. I love fall rains - fall in general, really, and I'm a little sad that probably all the trees will have shed their leaves by the time we return.

As I was driving around town this morning doing a few last minute errands like picking up cash and dropping off a Pampered Chef show order, Aaron asked about the windshield wipers, so I was explaining their function, and we talked about rainbows (he noticed the shape the wipers were making and commented on it) and Noah, and then I got to thinking about something rather odd.

I was stuck in traffic for a few minutes and I started to observe the different speeds of wiper action on the vehicles passing me and next to me. It is a light drizzly rain for today, and the speeds were quite varied, which I found oddly fascinating. Thinking further about it, Michael and I have very different levels of tolerance for droplets of rain on our windshield. I tend to want the blades to clear off the rain as quickly as they land, and Michael doesn't mind them so much. Both options are fine, as long as the driver is comfortable, and can see enough to drive safely.

It's not like we sit down and have a discussion about how fast the wipers should go before we enter our vehicle for a drive. It's so totally not a big deal. Not at all as big of a deal as oh, say, having gas in your tank or following the rules of the road.

How often do I make a big deal out of things that aren't? I'm praising God that I've seen the Holy Spirit do a work in my heart in the years that I've been a believer, slowly mellowing me and opening my eyes to a Biblical perspective on this - but I still have a looooong ways to go.

Especially, um, with my children.

Especially, um, today.

I've been getting ready for this trip with grand aspirations of leaving a clean house to come home to - and this morning, while I was packing up the last minute items, everything was going not exactly perfectly.

One thing that happened was that Aaron got ahold of a can of bug repellent that had been forgotten this summer in our backpack, which I had removed this morning, which he found lying on our bed, and sprayed it all over our bed including the comforter and pillows. And one of our duffel bags that was packed and ready to go. This happened when I went out of the room for less than one minute to grab 2 tshirts out of the dryer, and after a series of events involving a Bumbo seat, a box of Kleenex, and 3 selfish people.

The bugspray-releasing activity was The.Last.Straw.

What I should have done was not what I did, and I had to apologise to Aaron for losing my cool. My patience level was not what it ought to have been, for sure. My expectations (lofty and perhaps unreasonable) were getting in the way of my relationship with my children.

So, we're still getting ready, we might have to leave a little later than we planned (depending on how nap time goes) and my house will probably not be clean, but I just need to roll with it and chill out. I need to tolerate what doesn't matter. It's not critical for my to-do list to be accomplished - and my training and teaching of my children definitely comes before any expectations I have for "my" day.

Maybe I will eventually learn this lesson, but I'm thinking it will probably take many, many more sessions. God is gracious, to teach us through our children, and through more mundane things like windshield wipers.

7 comments:

Karis said...

Oh, Jenny... I completely identify with this post! God definitely uses my children to show me how I need to be more like Him.

I know my Mom has to bite her talk when I get flustered about being behind on my to do list because she knows that in about 20 years, I won't be cherishing memories of to do list accomplishments. And I know all of this in my head, but it's still not natural for me to "roll with it and chill out" and set aside my expectations that are not family related.

Sorry about the bugspray thing! That would have pushed me over the edge too. Sigh... How exciting that your vacation is starting so soon, though.

(And thanks for the encouragement about natural childbirth in my blog comments.)

Tracy said...

Jenny, thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to post this. I know it's not easy to admit to the world when we are not perfect parents :) But, it is such an encouragement to the rest of us who are struggling with laying aside our expectations and enjoy the time God has given us to be with our children. It is a continuous battle, and a blessing to have others encourage and share with me to help keep my focus right.

Alicia said...

You're so right on here. It's incredible how impatient I am as revealed in my day to day walk with my children. And it's so vital that we stop and repent and ask our kids for forgiveness. I do that often (too often it seems). It's painful for my pride but I know it's invaluable for Chloe to see that mommy messes up too and mommy needs to get things right before moving on with the day.

Have a super fantastic trip! We'll miss you. And I'm sure the bug spray smell will have subsided by the time you return. :)

Heather said...

Thank you for being so honest!! Daily I find myself having to double check my actions and words towards my children. I love and they learn so much from me, but boy oh boy, do I learn so much from them!!!

Praise the Lord for our children!!!

Doesn't love a wall said...

Suuuuuuuuch a good post. I know, I wish sometimes that someonewould walk around me all day and put me in time out and lecture me for every little thing I do wrong. I HATE losing my cool with my babies. It's the worst - good for you for apologizing and making it right!!!

Tim and Richelle said...

so true... such a great reminder for me today!

blessings - hope you are enjoying your time with family!

James, Erica, Eliana and Landon said...

Though I am just now reading this post, it was exactly what I needed today. Thank you, God.