Tag Archives: patience

….I mean really, all we asked him to do was drop by and assess the property for some landscaping ideas.

Returning from our week out of town, he had cut ALL of them. Every last solitary rose bud on every bush cut right off the top.  I had already pruned them way back in the spring, so to come in our yard like this now and cut back every colorful bloom?  The nerve.

He assured me via text that he didn’t touch our bushes.  WHAT?  Must’ve been our other friend who watered the plants for the week.  I bet she needed a bouquet.

Then 24 hours later SHE showed up.  Snacking on my hydrangeas like she owned the restaurant.  Along with her two adorable babies.  DEER me, DEER MEAT stealing all my goodies!!


There she is, two feet from our front door, maybe eating for two?

I honestly felt bad, reminded I’m too quick to assume the worst, that someone must’ve taken this or done that or flubbed up.  I don’t want to be negative and am honestly working on this critical thing, literally.

Even if someone does flub up, what about grace, grace and mercy and room to fail?  Ron offered venison stew but I said cuteness wins this time. Cuteness, grace, and patience.  Patience til they grow again…people and roses.

Lately I’m realizing how prone to being judgmental I am.  I size up many situations and jump to conclusions with a bent toward criticism.

Young man at health club lets water fountain run all over the floor“Didn’t his mother train him how to clean up after himself?”

Older man does the same a week later“How rude of him to leave such a mess.”

Young woman not very friendly when I say hello“Wonder what her deal is? She should be much nicer, especially given her leadership role.”

Disheveled gal on stage speaking“Why can’t she seem to get it together, we’re professionals here, and I’m bored.”

Granted, having opinions and convictions can serve one well, especially as a leader.  But without a big dose of patience and grace to go with them, we divide and distance, more than heal and bring near.

My husband inspires me to be a more compassionate fellow human being.  I see him face even the most rude, inconsiderate people with a warm smile and kindness.  Time and again their faces soften and tones change, sometimes tears even come to their eyes, reminding us that people have a lot of pain, and everyone needs grace. 

When the older man (mentioned above) spilled the water a week after the first guy, recognizing my jump to judgment I wiped up his spill, attempting to train myself to lay aside criticism and serve.  In just a few moments he returned with a rag in hand, awkwardly surprised to see someone had cleaned his mess.  As our eyes met and he knew it was me, I was humbled and grateful I’d changed my pattern this time. The dear man clearly deserved some grace.  Don’t we all.

The gal on the stage (mentioned above) is me, many times while speaking, when technology doesn’t cooperate or a driver gets me there late.  I sure hope the audience listens anyway, and cheers me on vs. zoning out and wondering what my problem is. Those who want grace ought to give it (hmm, isn’t that deep.)

So here’s to working on no judgment, praying too, and practicing a new reflex muscle through more acts of kindness, committed to assuming the best vs. believing the worst.

James 2:12-13 “Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful.  Mercy triumphs over judgment!”

Oh so grateful it does.

Does anyone else resonate?  How are YOU practicing patience and grace?

So often things in life feel so random. Desires not yet realized appear crazy and seemingly impossible. Hopes are deferred and doors we knock on slam shut or never even budge.

The older I get the more I’m convinced when we’re living for God, surrendered to His purposes, nothing is random.  Proverbs 16:9 says, “In his heart a man plans his course but the LORD determines his steps.” So true and so encouraging.

Relationships in particular, may start out small but lead to strategic possibilities.  Three in my life come to mind. Two were bright young students I hired as Alumni Director at Oral Roberts University. Both went on to become CFOs and invited me into business opportunities I’ve loved (John Maxwell’s Speakers Bureau thanks Reggie, and Solavei thanks Nathan!)

Five years ago at a small book signing in D.C. I met Charity Wallace who worked for Laura Bush.  She took a signed copy of my book to Mrs. Bush and I got a beautiful thank you letter back. No further contact but five years later Charity thought of me for the George and Laura Bush Women’s Initiative which I’m loving being part of as a mentor and workshop leader.  We’re heading to Egypt for a week in September, thanks Charity!

What all this means in my opinion, is the need to dream on all cylinders, and experiment in the direction of even random desires.  As my dear mentor Carole Hyatt puts it, “Knock on all doors and see which ones open.”

We can hold onto these promises… “The desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.” Prov.13:4.  “Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.”  I believe this means “give” as in grant, but also “give” as in putting the desire there in the first place.

Life is such an exciting adventure.  And nothing is random.

This song from our MSNY service last night inspires me in this direction

Patience….so many things in life require it, but at times it feels like it’s running out, not a drop left and still no breakthrough.

What’s a person to do when, like that last little bit of toothpaste, you’ve pushed, squeezed, twisted, and forced every last ounce of patience, yet still need more?

Patience is a virtue, but unlike the latest gadget I find on the internet, patience is much more elusive and often hard to come by.

One simple strategy does seem to help however…..having a clear, definitive picture of exactly what it is I’m waiting for — the PRIZE.

When I take my eyes off the angst of the wait and set them on the prize, I get a forward-looking, future-hoping, fulfillment-planning view on what is yet to come.  At times this exercise feels a bit fake or unrealistic, when contrary facts seem to be screaming all around.  Still, deciding to trust, believe, and watch for the things I desire, fixing them clearly in my mind, does deposit patience, much like a marathon pushes a training routine forward.

Patience in many respects, is the art of hoping.  And hope is a choice, not a feeling.  I choose to be a woman of hope because it’s better than being a hopeless woman full of despair.  Fortunately, I don’t have to be patient for everything all at once.  While waiting for one thing I can achieve another:

  • Waiting for a promotion I pursued outside-of-work volunteering where I was promoted quickly
  • Waiting to get a raise I learned the art of feeling rich on a dime, an art I’ve never lost
  • Waiting for a husband I traveled the world, pursued my career, discovered surprise gifts I didn’t know I’d love
  • Waiting for children I mentored others, and the skills of motherhood grew in my own life

In short, I may be stopped at a red light but I can put on lipstick.

Knowing I need patience, I agree to let it work into my being as I hold to the prize yet to come.  I will wait.  I will not compromise.  I cannot control timing but I can position myself to be ready, poised, and positioned to receive in God’s perfect time.

“Toned and buff” by patience, a lovely aspiration indeed.