Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day 2009 - Patience

Where to start? I have alluded to this but not come right out and said the situation, on the blog anyway. People who know me personally already know, I shared a brief testimony at church today. I'll get to details on that in a moment...

One of the things I haven't shared on my blog, much, is how desperately I've been praying for away to share Seth's story. I long to reach out to others in some way because I so desire to see some good come out of Seth's short time with us. I haven't shared much here because I really want it to be a work of God and I've been waiting on Him to reveal that. As of yet, one of the things I have been doing is taking Kleenex boxes up to the hospital (I don't know about all hospitals, but the Kleenex provided in our PICU is a JOKE. Sandpaper, smallish. Ridiculous, really). To date, I'm still waiting on God for some kind of "significant" (knowing my defintion and God's likely differ!) ministry. I have however been blessed with small opportunities to reach out to people and share the impact Seth has had on MY life.

We have been doing a series on "The Fruit of the Spirit: Inside Out" at the church I attend, Timberview Christian Fellowship. We started with "Learning to Love", then "Jumping into Joy", "Pursuing Peace", and today "Practicing Patience."

We began, as we often do, with an amazing time of worship. One of the songs we sang really touched my heart and I actually wrote down a couple of the lyrics to share with you!

Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades,

Neverending, Your glory goes beyond all fame,

And the cry of my heart is to bring You praise,

From the inside out, Lord, my soul cries out.

In additon to this great worship, our kids presented a beautiful rendition of Amazing Grace. Oh, and my mom and Larry were at church! I mention this here because my mom said she got teary watching my sons, her grandchildren up on stage! What a blessing, huh?

And as part of Pastor Glenn's sermon, I did stand up (in front of our church, both services!) and share some of our story and especially how God has used patience in my life recently. What I've shared is below for your reading pleasure. If you feel inclined, you CAN listen to Pastor Glenn's message and my contribution here. (I start about 15 minutes in but you'll be blessed by listening to the whole thing.)

And this morning I shared:

A few weeks ago, Glenn posted something on Facebook about the Fruit of the Spirit and how -- when you put pressure on fruit what’s on the inside comes out. I commented that I thought I’d experienced that and he asked if he could share that some Sunday, so when he called and asked me to contribute something for a sermon I wasn’t completely surprised. Until he told me it was for Mother’s Day. And the topic was patience. Patience? ME? Have you SEEN me with my kids lately? And then a funny thing happened, as I was praying about what God would have me share, I noticed myself becoming more patient with my family.

The other day, my husband Leland got up with our three kids and let me sleep in for awhile. When I finally hauled myself out of bed, I thanked him for being so patient with the kids. He said that he didn’t feel like he was being patient, he was just dealing with the situation he was being handed. How often do we do that? We think we’re just coping with the craziness of life and we fail to see that God is at work in us and so we fail to give God the credit for giving us the strength to live our lives in ways that are pleasing to Him.

In the last year, our family has had a lot of experience in dealing with difficult life situations. During Seth's 6 1/2 months with us, we spent a large amount of time waiting and trusting him to the Lord. God helped us through that time in ways I still don’t fully understand – but He did. I know I could not have done that without patience from God. Even though in the middle of it all – I didn’t always see it that way.

To say the last year has been difficult for our family would be an understatement.
I'm not proud to admit that in my longing to be alone in my grief and process the journey our family has been on, I have spent almost as much time resenting my 3 "big kids" as I have rejoicing in them. And in that, I've learned many lessons. I've learned patience with myself. It is cliche to say that "I'm a work in progress" but it IS true. As a believer, walking with the Lord, I'm still growing, and thank God for that! Maybe you too could learn that lesson in whatever you are dealing with. God is certainly patient with us.

In 1st Thessalonians 5:14, Paul urges us to "help the weak, be patient with everyone." I can think of no job description that requires that more than being a mom. As I listen to my 3 year old daughter Kayleigh ask me "why" for the thousandth time in a day, and as I ask our sons Cary and Sean to stop wrestling or playing football in the living room for the fourth time in 15 minutes, I exercise patience I didn't know I had. But it is a patience I choose by leaning into the Lord and asking for more of Him every day.

I have a painting in my living room with a quote I've grown particularly fond of. "Patience with others is Love, Patience with self is Hope, Patience with God is Faith."
I am blessed with love, hope, faith and patience. What a great God we have!


Karla said...

You know that I have told you that Seth and his story has given me the ability to appreciate. As I have mentioned, my son has obstructive sleep apnea, and can't have surgery to attempt to correct this until June. Until then, I lay awake every night, watching his struggle to pull air into his lungs. While I am very frightened, and I beg for him to find peaceful sleep, I also feel so very grateful. I know you would give anything you own to be in my place.

Thank you Seth for teaching me not to take even the struggles for granted, as they are times when our praise is needed the most.

I continue to think about you and your family as you make your journey.

Millie said...

Thank you for sharing. I have always said I have NO patience, but then again, I guess I have more than I thought. Every time I'm in the Dr.'s office with my four children, and Colin is throwing a huge fit there, the Dr. calls me a "saint". Guess I display more patience than I thought. :) I love to hear "Seth stories", and think that taking tissues to the hospital is a wonderful idea, not one I would have thought of, but is needed SO much. You are right about those rough paper tissues. God bless you for your giving heart. Happy Mothers Day!
Millie and Colin-HLHS