As you come to him, the living Stone--rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him--you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2: 4-5

Saturday, January 23, 2010

"Patience Prudence"

I don't know which one of my parents said this to me, but I remember being told this...a lot. This doesn't surprise me in the least. I struggle with patience now, so I am sure that I did as a child.

Now don't get me wrong. There are certain situations in which I have incredible patience. In my classroom, for example. I have great patience with those little ones, realizing that in many ways, they are indeed, despite my urging, "acting like a first grader." Five and six year olds wiggle, they talk, the live life out loud and therefore have a problem with impulse control when they are excited. They live for their "snack" and can't help but focus on the fly in the room, despite the thrilling and compelling science lesson going on in the front of the room. It is just the way that they are and I know this and because of this, I am patient.

I am patient with my children (except when I am pregnant. HA!) I do not get uptight waiting for them to reach some milestone, for I know from experience that they will, regardless of how much I push or worry. I rarely get impatient with their behavior, because I believe every behavior is motivated by emotion, and I've been said to have "too much compassion" for them. I want to understand them, make them feel secure, encourage them.

In other areas, I have zero patience. I hate traffic. I repeat. HATE IT. Same with standing in line, waiting at the doctor (except the pediatrician, for some reason), sitting in pointless meetings.

I have a hard time waiting on God. After I got divorced, I wanted my happily ever after...and as soon as it was official. I took matters into my own hands, thinking that I could find the one that God had designed for me. This led to a few years worth of disastrous dates (think toe licking dentist) and bad relationships (think "Chip the Street Fighter"--nicknamed by Josh--who actually sprayed my feet with Windex when he felt them too dirty), and many more--which were good for some good giggles now, but little else. Once I found Daryl, I got impatient waiting on him too. Yes, it is true that I had booked the church before he even proposed. And once we got married, good grief did I get impatient waiting on a child. I wanted to take that into my own hands as well, but my wise husband convinced me to wait on the Lord, and looking back I see His perfect timing in it all.

But perhaps I have the least amount of patience with myself. Take this diet, for example. Excuse change. I've written very little about it lately, because really, very little has been happening. I'm stuck. An infamous plateau. For.a.month. And each day I get on the scale and it reads JUST THE SAME, I struggle with giving up, or going to extremes, both choices unhealthy ones. I don't understand it, frankly. Scientifically, it's easy. Take in fewer calories than you burn. I've done not only that but more! I've cut out most processed foods, aside from whole wheat bread and pasta. I've cut wayyyy back on the carbs. I've limited my diet coke. I've upped my water. I try to stay moving during the day. I eat lean protein for breakfast, all fruits and veggies for lunch, thanks to a great lunch program at school, and lean protein and veggies for dinner. I have my two servings of fat free dairy daily--yogurt and skim milk. I even get in my healthy oils. And here I am stuck. Doing all the right things for the right reason this time--to become healthier. Not for a dress size. Not for a trip to the beach. Not to look better. To live longer. To have more energy. To lower my blood pressure.

And what do I get? A scale that won't move. Blood pressure that is pretty much the same--low when controlled by medicine, high without. Little change in energy. Stuck at 15 pounds gone. Which, really, I do realize is better than a gain. Because if I ate whatever I want, whenever I wanted? I would easily be a TLC special.

In the dictionary, one of the definitions of patience is "being steadfast despite opposition or adversity" and in the Bible, patience is often mentioned in the same passage with perseverance. And with it often comes mention of a promise. A promise that perseverance and patience will result in honor from God, a leading in His will, an answer from Him. And while I realize that my struggles with my weight may seem insignificant to some, it has become HUGE for me over the years, and something that I have brought to the Lord over and over.

So I will persevere. Be patient. And wait. Knowing that God will honor my efforts. Or not. But if not, that there is a reason.

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