Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year, Patience!

It's hard to believe that 2009 is here, isn't it? It seems like just yesterday I was making my New Year's Resolutions. Somehow, every year, I allow things to get in the way of completing my goals, but that is not going to stop me from trying yet again. In fact, I have a new tactic. Instead of just yearly goals, my goals are weekly, even daily. Each Sunday is a fresh start to renew my resolutions. Each morning is a new day to try again. If I can train my mind to think differently, then I think I can get much further in accomplishing my goals. In other words, instead of saying, "Well, it's January 4th, and I failed to read my Bible, so I might as well wait until next year to try again," I should say, "Well, I failed today, but tomorrow is a new day." Or, even better, "The day's not over yet, I'm going to read my Bible right NOW!"

Amy, over at Daily Pleasures, challenged us through her own practices to find a word for the year. After reading her post, I set about diligently to think and pray about what that word should be. I was leaning toward simplicity or growth. Then I began praying about it! ;) Through my praying, the Lord led me to ask my husband what he thought my word should be. If I were going to have one word guide me for the year, what should it be? Before I had even finished, he knew what my word should be. So that's what it is! My word is patience.

PATIENCE, n. pa'shens. [L. patientia, from patior, to suffer.]

1. The suffering of afflictions, pain, toil, calamity, provocation or other evil, with a calm, unruffled temper; endurance without murmuring or fretfulness. Patience may spring from constitutional fortitude, from a kind of heroic pride, or from Christian submission to the divine will.
2. A calm temper which bears evils without murmuring or discontent.
3. The quality of bearing offenses and injuries without anger or revenge.
His rage was kindled and his patience gone.

These definitions came from the Webster's 1828 dictionary, a dictionary based on the Word of God. Probably the biggest obstacle to patience in my life is my lack of "Christian submission to the divine will." As problems daily arise in my life, I "buck my authority," so to speak. I think that I have rights. A right for my children to behave properly, a right to be able to find my potato peeler when I need it, a right to clean a room and have it stay that way, a right to go to the store to buy an article of clothing when I ne(want)ed it. As an only child who lived only with her dad, I have had struggles growing into a large family. In many ways, I am still a child emotionally. I never learned to deal with constant frustrations because there just weren't any to deal with. This year, I am going to study patience. I have chosen several verses to begin the year:

Romans 12:12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;

1Thessalonians 5:14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

Luke 21:19 In your patience possess ye your souls. Our pastor recently did a short series of sermons about Possessing Your Vessel. It was a great sermon series - one I plan to implement this year.

James 1:3-4 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

Patience (ˈpā-shənz) is the state of endurance under difficult circumstances, which can mean persevering in the face of delay or provocation without becoming annoyed or upset; or exhibiting forbearance when under strain, especially when faced with longer-term difficulties. It is also used to refer to the character trait of being steadfast. Antonyms include hasty and impetuous. How often am I hasty with my words and actions? How often do I "fly off the handle" in the face of adversity, opposition and frustration? More often than I care to admit, I'm afraid. This year, I am praying that God will change me. That He will remind me to walk circumspectly.

Watch yourself, be the first to ask pardon if you both err, and guard against the little piques, misunderstandings, and hasty words that often pave the way for bitter sorrow and regret. ~1868, Louisa May Alcott

Patience is the companion of wisdom. ~St. Augustine

We could never learn to be brave and patient, if there were only joy in the world.
~Helen Keller (1880 - 1968)

Our patience will achieve more than our force.
~Edmund Burke (1729 - 1797)


  1. Happy New Year Amanda. Am praying for the little ones to feel better.
    Hope you have a great year with patience.;) Jennifer S.

  2. And how are the children feeling?


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