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Embracing the Process

I recently heard someone say that God’s work in our lives is not an event, it’s a process.

Oh how I wish it were the opposite.

My nature is to flash…then burn out. I decided to make a quilt and that day went to the store, bought fabric, washed and ironed it, then began the tedious task of cutting pieces. Every night after the kids went to bed, I worked feverishly, as if threatened with the lash, cutting, pinning, sewing, cussing in my head (be honest — you think strong language too even if it doesn’t come out of your mouth… right?), ironing, more pinning, more sewing… Then one day, I didn’t get it out again. And now, years later, the quilt top languishes in a bin in a corner of the basement, semi-neatly-folded, half-assembled.

When it came time to potty-train my kids, I checked out “Potty-Training in One Day” from the library. My husband, knowing me better than anyone, sighed and tried his best to keep the other kids out of the scene as we raced to the potty every ten minutes, gulped down salty pretzels, and chugged water and juice to keep the cycle going. With one child, it worked. With two others, not so much. Jury’s still out on the fourth.

Same thing when I actually become aware of, and face honestly, a failing in my life. I want it fixed now. I want to take a class, or perform an amputation, or pop a pill, and race onward in victory with nary a sweat bead.

I am impatient. With my loved ones, with strangers, with myself. I want to dominate, triumph, complete, put behind me, whatever I take on. So doing daily battle with my desire for world domination for the rest of my life? Not my idea of a good time.

Unfortunately, God didn’t ask my opinion, nor do They give me a choice.

Instead, They placed me into a family, with other human beings also doing daily battle in their hearts with varying degrees of success, just like me. With children who don’t learn new skills the first time (or even the twenty-first time) and who sob and freeze up when faced with my demanding impatience. With a spouse who embraces a much more laid-back, savor-the-moment way of life and doesn’t enjoy my hard-driving, not-a-moment-to-spare style.

Slowly, mostly by seeing the damage and strain I cause on the ones I love the most, God is teaching me to be patient. To work diligently. To embrace the process. That sometimes the means is the goal.

I just wish They would hurry it up already.

Part of the One Word Blog Carnival. This week’s word is patience.

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