This was a weird weekend. First of all it rained and that never happens and it was cold which is also so rare and just felt in the air kind of a heaviness thinking about topics that can be messy. For me those were friendships and mental health…not related but both important and vital really. I am not going to touch those because to be frank I feel a bit drained, but that I am grateful that I have not been dealt the sometimes immobilizing blow of depression. That isn't to say I haven't been depressed before or unhappy or had a really hard time but I haven't had real depression and when some of my good friends and people I admire have struggled with it. See…heavy stuff?
What I really wanted to write was an experience I had last week that was actually happy. Okay, so it made me cry but the good kind of cry. Something that hit me on the head so hard that I wanted to hurry and write it on here but then worried maybe it was too personal? But after thinking on it a few days it still hasn't shook so I'm going to write it down and hope I can recapture the freshness of what it was in the profound moment to me.
Okay, so the thing that I struggle with that I try the hardest to change about myself is definitely wanting to have more patience with my kids. It has sent me on my knees more than any other thing. Wait, not true. Joblessness and my marriage are probably the winners and not even in that order, but really, it drives me nuts when I lose my cool and get upset with these five darling kids that I am a steward over. From homework to fighting to messes to not listening or defiance or whatever …definitely pushes my buttons and sometimes I am actually good at reacting the way I would like to, but other times I am not. And when I do not react like I the mother I want to be…I beat myself up about it.
So the other night had ended poorly, Jason wasn't home, and I was frustrated and mad about one kid not being nice to another and then I got mad and then I was mad at myself.
Why cannot I have more patience? What can I do to get more patience? What should I do?
So I prayed and prayed and cried and then went to bed.
The next morning bright and early it was still weighing on me so started my prayers with the same question. What do you want me to do? How can I get more patience?
And I then I tried to listen.
Or I couldn't hear it. Just felt like crickets. and I was kinda down. Oh great, now what?
So I started my morning reading, which has been through the Preach My Gospel manual since the beginning of the summer which cross references the Bible and the Book of Mormon (its blow your mind amazing actually). I had gotten to the section finally everyone raves about How Do I Develop Christlike Attributes? And then each day you go over one, look up the references and learn about them and even better how to incorporate them in your life. So like there is Faith in Jesus Christ, Hope, Charity and Love, Virtue, Knowledge, …and wouldn't you know it on that morning I was feeling crummy I finally got to Patience.
Oh good, I thought, this is perfect, now I can learn how to get it. And so I read this:
"Patience is the capacity to endure delay, trouble, opposition, or suffering without becoming angry, frustrated, or anxious. It is the ability to do God's will and accept His timing. When you are patient, you hold up under pressure and are able to face adversity calmly and hopefully. Patience is related to hope and faith--you must wait for the Lord's promised blessings to be fulfilled.
"You need patience in your everyday experiences and relationships, especially with your companion. (remember this is a missionary manual, but thought it was even neater because still applies with my own companion, my spouse!) You must be patient will all people, yourself included, as you work to overcome faults and weakness."
And then I just bawled. Because then I knew the Lord was telling me I have a whole whole lot of patience. I have done that. I am that kind of patient. It is not the patience that I want, not to be always peaceful with my kids, but I have lots of patience. How did I not realize this????
and then the scripture references where some of my favorite and ones that I really identify with.
First in the Book of Mormon Mosiah 24:9 -16 when the Nephites are in bondage and they aren't allowed to pray. (remember the Book of Mormon is the account of people in ancient America who were also foretold of Christ)
10. And it came to pass that so great were their afficlications that they began to cry mightily to God.
11. And Amulon commanded them that they should stop their cries; and he put guards over them to watch them, that whosoever should be found calling upon God should be put to death
12. And Alma and his people did not raise their voices to the Lord their God, but did pour out their hearts to him; and he did know the thoughts of their hearts.
13.And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage.
14. And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.
15. And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did stregthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.
16. And it came to pass that so great was their faith and their patience that the voice of the Lord came unto them again, saying: Be of good comfort, for on the morrow I will deliver you out of bondage.
there were 9 other scripture references but wont' list them all. The one that spoke to me in the Bible was in James 5:10-11
10 Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.
11. Behold, we count them happy who endure. ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful , and of tender mercy.
This is what I scribbled down in the little margin in my tiny Preach My Gospel Manual.
I never have thought I had patience or was good with patience, I have always thought it was my greatest flaw. But after reading the scriptures and in here, I realize patience is one of my greatest strengths and has helped me all these years to remain firm and positive in my outlook on life.
God speaks to us in many ways and we don't always get our answers when we are on our knees. So grateful for the reassurance He gave me on a tearful morning when I thought I was not good enough. Still always going to have more patience with my children but maybe I need to word it better…that I need to have less anger or show more love or temper the situation not escalate it.
And this is why I need the gospel of Jesus Christ in my life. There is nothing naysayers can tell me that would make a dent in my testimony because I know it is real. I need it every day. In my parenting, in myself, and that morning it felt like a hug. #sharegoodness