Friday, August 18, 2023

Post-it Experiment: Patience

 By: Lauren Thomas

Mondays get a bad rap. But on this particular Monday, nothing about it was manic. It was motivational.


I wrote the word “patience” on a sticky note and stuck in on the window above my kitchen sink, where I would see it while doing dishes or food prep. It was meant as a reminder, a guiding theme: “Be patient with your kids!”


Day 1. Success.


Day 2. Less success.


Day 3. Failure.


But something beyond success or failure happened. And it was more than what I was expecting.


The little blue post-it, meant as a reminder, became a searchlight exposing all the places patience was missing in my life. 


Patience with my kids.

Patience with my husband.

Patience with this season of life.

Patience with the process.

Patience with timelines.

Patience with myself.

Patience with others.

Patience for the struggles of others.


And more surprising, I recognized that I don’t feel on the receiving end of patience.


Now feelings are real, but not always true.


What was causing me to feel that I hadn’t received patience? And was this at the root of my difficulty extending it?


So I went to Scripture. I reminded myself of the truth of God’s patience extended toward me. 


“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant”

1 Corinthians 13:4 ESV


“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”

2 Peter 3:9 ESV

After aligning my mind with Scripture’s truth, I allowed my soul to soak in God’s patience toward me. I brought my mind, heart, and spirit into the experience. I felt a shift in my body. There was a relaxation, a warmth, a gentleness. I felt unhurried. I felt that I had received a gift. I felt that I was ready to give that gift to those around me.


This was weeks ago. But the post it is still hanging in the window. I’ve begun to try something new when I’m losing patience: I close my eyes. Take a deep breath. And tell my body to feel the unhurried gentle pleasure of God’s patience soaking into me. 


I want to be transparent: I continue to struggle with a lack of patience. But something is different now. And I will be patient with this process. I will be patient the fruit of patience growing in my life. 



If you tried this post-it experiment, what word would you write down? See Galatians 3:22-23 for a list of ideas. 

What does it mean for you that God is patient toward you?


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