He shows me his toy plane, “broken,” he says, also for the millionth time.
He raises his arms up and instinctively I lift him to me, kissing his head. He arches back “NO Mommia!” and I nearly drop him, stumbling sideways stepping on his, also broken, toy car and cracking my knee into the corner of the wall. Tears sting the backs of my eyes with the dull throb arching up my leg.
I let him down. I rub my heal and knee and I breath.
“Mom, where’s my towel?” “Mom, I can’t find my swimsuit!” “Mom, where’s my hairbrush?” “Mom, haven’t you made breakfast yet?” “Where is my swimsuit?!” “Potty! Potty!” I swing around to cheer my toddler on as he heads to the bathroom. “Mom? Mom?!” “Potty!” “MOM!”
Patience, the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset…
I am potty training my youngest child and patience training myself. I am learning the inherent meaning of motherhood in these long hours.
As I bite my tongue and turn to get breakfast started. As I let the yells for towels, swim suites and hairbrushes fly over me I think on the word, patience. I think about what it means to be filled with grace, the grace that God generously extends to me in my most undeserving moments… Grace.
My nose picks up a scent. The littlest one made it to the potty without incident. Or, so I thought… I bend over to check… and… there it is! The large wet spot on my shirt. I check his underpants and sure enough, they are damp… not soaked, but damp… my shirt took the soaking.
I feel this life testing my walls, pushing at my seams, threatening to break out… I take a deep breath. The second word describing patience is accept, and this hits me now.Accept consent to receive agree to undertake give an affirmative answer to receive as adequate, valid, or suitable regard favorably or with approval; welcome believe or come to recognize as valid or correct to subscribe to (a belief or philosophy) take upon oneself (a responsibility or liability) tolerate or submit to (something unpleasant or undesired)
I remember words:
“From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another.”~ John 1:16
Clean shirt, swim suites on, towels packed, breakfast fed, we head to swim lessons and I try to remember if I ever consented to this life? If I agreed to take on the dirt, grim, groaning and tongue biting? Did I affirm that I wanted the bickering in the seats behind me? Are these blessings graciously given?
More words hit me;
“Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory.” ~Romans 15:7
Around and around these thoughts wrestle in my mind as the littlest child and I snuggle on the bleacher bench, watching the middle and oldest children learn breathing techniques in the water below.
Patience, the capacity of Grace, generously pouring over, accepting the blessings graciously given, accepting each other…
To be Patient is to accept. Out of my capacity of the grace God has generously poured over me, I consent to receive…Patience: consent to receive these people in my life. Patience: agree to undertake this life I am offered, the people that are in it. Patience: nodding yes, I will receive them as adequate, valid and suitable. Patience: favorably approving, welcoming them in the state they are in. Patience: recognizing this life, these people, are the gift God chose for me to receive. Patience: taking in, tolerating, submitting to whatever comes of life with those I am surrounded by.
I accept as I have been accepted, receive as blessings from His abundance, one graciously after another – The capacity to accept, to view each moment favorably, submitting to whatever gift is offered, out of the overflowing of grace He has so generously poured into me.
“And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life—this is indeed a gift from God.” ~ Ecclesiastes 5:19
My youngest snuggles in closer, hugging his snack cup, waving to his siblings every time one of their heads pops up out of the water. I lean in and kiss the top of his head, take in his sweet baby scent. He looks up at me, smiles with his eyes slanted nearly closed and whispers, “ta Mommia.” Ta. Our word for “thank you” so sweetly and undeservingly spoken. So full of meaning.
As soggy children pile in behind the still dry one, and buckles are clicked, as happy chatter fills the air and the bickering soon follows, and as the youngest adds his best ear-piercing screams to the mix, I silently mouth the words, “thank you.”
“He will sit like a refiner of silver, burning away the dross. He will purify the Levites, refining them like gold and silver, so that they may once again offer acceptable sacrifices to the Lord.” ~ Malachi 3:3