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Monday, July 20, 2015

What I Learned This Week: Something About Tolerance


It is a crazy change of character. It's a morphing of who I was into a wiser version of myself; someone who has a longer fuse and takes the time to ponder before speaking. Not that I have become less "assertive" but I have learned to add the dimension of strategic thought process to my assertiveness. I measure things now with a large, clear measuring cup. It has a handle so that my hands don't get in the way of the numbers. I look through the glass and gauge the level. Sometimes I pour into the glass with myself already occupying the space, watching the addition of any other substance spilling over the sides. Other times I pour freely from a large pitcher until I reach the top, holding steady, as not to spill even a drop. I believe this has been interpreted to be tolerance. Tight lipped I don't speak right away giving people pause to believe that I am in agreement with whatever silly nonsense has been breathed into the atmosphere. Nothing could be farther from the truth. My reality is that this "tolerance" is actually the time that I take, and the resulting less-reactive me.

There are so many things that, once I stopped running my mouth, with both fists in the air, and anti-whatever shirt on my back, I realized are better dealt with, with all the facts in tact. It is only then that I am able to surmise those things that are truly worth the rise in blood pressure and the impending migraine. It is then that I can form words and sentences that matter, encourage thought and provoke change and that I can keep my focus on what's truly important without the distraction of my own breathing.

I do know, however, that there is some danger in the assumptions about my tolerance. The silence you want to share with me invites you to come close where you might find that I whisper things to myself and my thoughts are loud. It is the place where my opinions dwell and my beliefs wriggle between my fingers and toes. When you come close you may find that I'm much more opinionated than you imagined. You will also learn that you are much more important to me than the tolerance that you think I exhibit.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

What I Learned This Week: Something About The God in My Kids

I learned that VBS is fun for my kids no matter how many times they go and that my children are learning much more from God than seems evident most of the time.

This week I packed the kids in the car at 8:30 every morning to take them to a local church for their Vacation Bible School program. Even though it wasn't our church and even though they walked into the sanctuary on Monday knowing no one but each other, they had fun. On Friday, we pulled out of the parking lot, children waving from every open window in the car screaming at newfound friends and VBS leaders that they may not see until next July.

Chattering from the time I picked them up at noon until we arrived back home, lunches eaten and bicycles pulled out of the garage they told me every single detail even rattling off scriptures and new songs. Then, as if the entirety of this scene weren't enough when the house was quiet and I thought that the lessons from the week had started to wane one or the other started humming a song about the Jesus who saves and restores.

Days after VBS is over, as I experienced one of the many minor irritations of being an adult, one of my kids told me, "Mom, it's okay, God knows what He's doing." And that was when I had my aha moment and my eyes were opened a little wider and the fussing and fighting of everyday with them got a little quieter and I could see His face in my rearview mirror singing a song about the Fruit of the Spirit.