As we open yet another month, and talk about patience this time, I must make a confession to you ladies, and admit this is something I constantly struggle with. I'm terribly quick-tempered and easily annoyed when something doesn't go the way I want to. What a terrible character trait for anyone, especially for a woman who sees marriage and family as her goal!
In different points of our lives, we might need patience for various things, but it will still be very much needed nevertheless. Right now it might be in waiting for marriage, for our Prince Charming. Later on it will be needed for being considerate and gentle with out husbands and children, not losing patience after the umpteenth diaper or load of laundry. And there are of course many other things that have the potential to test our patience; every relationship we have, be it with a relative or friend; habits we are doing our best to cultivate – generosity, hospitality, neatness, orderliness – all of these require a great deal of patience.
So I decided that from now on, whenever I feel I'm approaching the point where I'm about to lose control, I will close my eyes, breathe deeply and make myself slow down. And I will ask myself the following questions:
* Do I have a good reason to be impatient, angry, frustrated? Probably not. Most likely what makes me annoyed is just a normal, average everyday thing.
* Even if I have real trials, it was all determined by God. Why can't I accept it with love and a patient smile?
* If I let myself go now, will I regret it in an hour? Probably.
* Do you think it is fun to live with someone so impatient? How can you ever become a good wife without cultivating the virtue of patience?
And here are a few practical methods I've been using lately myself, to train myself in patience and pleasantness. They have been helpful to me, and I would love to hear more suggestions from you, dear maidens!
* When I feel I'm going to lose my temper, I'm going to remain silent. If I can't say anything nice and peaceful, better say nothing. Even if it looks foolish or unfriendly, it's preferable to scathing remarks.
* I'm going to practice doing things that frustrate me; and I'm going to try to do them with a smile on my face! Examples: washing dishes, standing in a line in the supermarket, waiting for the bus.
* I'll do my best to be pleasant to others, even if they are unpleasant to me, and even if I'm tired, nervous or busy.
I'm wishing you a month - and a lifetime - of growing in this incredibly important virtue of patience, which comes hand in hand with maturity and controlling your whims, and which, if you invest in it now, will bless you and your loved ones beyond measure in the future, near and far, as daughters, sisters, wives, mothers, aunts, cousins and friends.