When we pour pancake batter into a griddle, they shape up like battered, misshapen hearts that sizzle and pop.

A little one looms dangerously close to heat.

A boy anxiously slops more batter. A lanky one flips prematurely, batter oozing, dripping. The sensitive child bursts into tears that the hearts are all smeared, the rings mashed. Oldest, with egg poised to crack, asks if I want more?

More? More? It’s all a bit too much. I sense a loudness, akin to a pleading howl, surging close to my lips.

The Spirit soothes, strokes the frayed edges: “Love is patient.

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Love is patient?

Why is patience the first qualifier in the biblical “love chapter” describing the characteristics of love?

I mean, why not first, “Love is gentle,” or “Love is tender?” Or, better yet (to my feeble mind), “Love is a flash of divine revelation, a supernatural infusing of the spirit of God.” Yes, all that.

But the inspired Words says that the foundation of love is first this: patience.

How can I be patient in the tipsiness of this domestic chaos?

How can I be patient in the pain of now?

When vocal cords pitch screams, when tears brim and fall, when the clock keeps ticking steadily ahead and we just keep sputtering, stumbling along?

Deep breathe.

And it strikes me, an epiphany over the fry of bubbling pancakes, “Love is only patient if it’s first grateful for what is.

When I am not patient? My failure to love is first a failure to be grateful for who people are right now.

And my impatience is a result of my unthankfulness – I’m impatient for the children to be someone different, for the cashier to hurry up, for this to get done right now.

The more dissatisfied I am in this moment, the more discontented I am with who they are, with what is happening — the harder it becomes to be patient, to be loving.

Patient people dare to gratefully accept people where they are. Grateful for who they are now, appreciative of works of art not yet finished, but still deeply loved.

Patient people dare to receive the present always as a present — grace.

Patient people dare to live only in the present. Because they know that is where God is.

Lack gratitude — then lack patience — then, ultimately, lack love. To be love-full, I’ll first need to be grateful.

It is true: I can love only when I am thankful for the now.

Henri Nouwen suggests that “[t]he word patience means willingness to stay where we are and live out the situation out to the full in the belief that something hidden there will manifest itself to us.”

In every moment I want to escape, some hidden gift hides, if I will wait patiently and dare to live to fully into that moment.

Deep breathe. Love is patient.

I can smile here — because really — there are no emergencies.

Emergencies are wildfires, screeching sirens, and gaping wounds. In everyday life, we rarely experience emergencies.

As Simone Weil writes, “Waiting patiently…is the foundation of the spiritual life.”

Really, what catastrophe will befall if we’re late? Or dinner is on the table 15 minutes after six? Or we have to look another 10 minutes for junior’s shoe?

No emergencies. Now is good.

Now is not an emergency to rip through, but a moment to embrace with gratitude.

Standing in the kitchen, I turn my head, and when I see the world slant, hidden gift reveals themselves.

The kid leaning over the griddle? That curiosity endears, lights, impassions. Here, let’s lift you away from that heat and let you see these frying cakes.

The sensitive child wailing? That tender heart is a unique gift. Why don’t we pour another batter heart again and mend yours too?

And there’s the way

the light shaft pools on the floor at child’s feet

little one’s nose curls up when she laughs

the nape of his neck when he bends to see

When the gifts are patiently unearthed from the day’s rubble, we build love. Love is what stabilizes chaos.

The kids crush in and I grin.

I think I get it, the order of love, the preeminence of patience — love is patient first. Because it first is grateful for what is.

The oldest flips pancakes, and a boy pours more batter, and the youngest pushes her chair in close to see –

how everything milky and buttery loops patient on the pan, all in these slow, interconnected rings.

 

 

~ Written for you with love, by Ann Voskamp

Q4U: ‘To be love-full I’ll first need to be grateful’.  Have you connected impatience with ungratefulness before? How has love stabilized your chaos recently? Can we begin to do this together, friends…unearth the daily gifts? Let’s be real and encourage each other in the comments…

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  1. 1

    Wow, this is hard. Let me just say, I was grocery shopping with all 4 of my children yesterday and I definitely failed at patient love…and completely missed my chance to give thanks…for the swerving cart and the hopscotch game on the linoleum tiles…for their pleading for items and loud silly laughs. In these moments of chaos to give thanks for what is…that really IS the challenge. Here’s to new starts and fresh beginnings to begin to give thanks anew in these most chaotic mama moments. Thank you Ann, for your words and for your encouragement to walk in patient love by naming each one of them as gifts! Gifts from His heart to mine…may I SEE them is my prayer :)

    • 2

      Ah, Jacque — I’ve been failing this week with you. I’ve been thinking much about the the why behind the impatience: lack of gratitude for the moment… a pressing agenda (life is not an emergency!)…. my. own. selfishness.

      I’ve actually been saying it to myself: Patience is a willingness to suffer.

      I’m eager to listen and learn — what do you think is behind the impatient mama moments?

      Love you, friend…

      • 3

        Ann, I think my favorite line from this article is what you just said: “Patience is a willingness to suffer.” Thank you for sharing some very encouraging and challenging words.

      • 4

        Ann, you asked what is behind the impatient mama moment? As a Momma to four – I humbly confess, I am often impatient because I fear…fear I am being judged for my children’s loud behaviour, their fighting, their assertiveness….not just in public but also with extended family. I confess I relish the times people comment on their cuteness or loveliness, but it is so much harder when they are not conforming to my expectations (oft seasoned by the rolling eyes or “my goodness 4 – don’t you know what causes this???”)
        Yet they are awesome kids who daily draw me closer to God….

        I need to be more rooted firmly in Him in order to let my kids be….I need to love God more, be thankful more – precisely so I can be joyful in this amazing but messy ‘tribe.’ Does that make any sense?

        • 5
          TN Lizzie says:

          “my goodness 4 – don’t you know what causes this???”

          I’ve always thought it would be great fun to wink and grin back as I said, “Yes, and it’s a lot of fun!”

        • 6
          Anonymous says:

          I definately agree with this answer to the question. It is the comments by others and them looking on that make me self conscience of my responsibilty to teach my four little children. I pleaded with God last night to help me to not care what others think and to be patient with my 6 year old who considers each and every candy choice at the variety store and the 5 year old who only wants what the six year old wants, and the 4 year old who has made his choice and is losing his patience of waiting to eat his and then the 2 year old who has walked off, already opened her candy and is banging a door or something (which is annoying the variety store owner). A moment that was supposed to be a treat, a fun choice the end to the T-ball season turned more sour thanthe sour candy on the shelf when the owner said “Are you ready yet Ma’m?” in that impatient tone. It was then that I lost patience….because I cared what the owner thought.
          This post is very timely and very painful because love was lost last night as we travelled home and Mommy’s patience was out the window! Thankfully these precious hearts do forgive but I feel that the damage is done, the hurts may not be forgotten and now what do I do?

          • 7

            “the damage is done…now what do I do?”
            As a fellow struggler in the patience arena, I wanted to share some words that our counselor shared with my husband and I recently. Our job is not to impersonate God so our kids can learn who he is (whew!). We need to use our own humanness to point them to their heavenly Father who will NEVER disappoint them. As I do my best to exemplify life lived in the Spirit and show my kids how to live in Jesus’ strength, I also have the opportunity to show them how to confess my sin to others and to God so that things can be made right again. Hurts will happen and humans will always “damage” each other, but God also is the great Redeemer of sin, and uses every sour family opportunity for good if we repent and surrender those moments to him.

          • 8
            Anonymous says:

            Aww! The answer to “…the damage is done… now what do I do?” is that you get up and get going again! It’s Satan’s trap to get us focused on failures. Take God’s hand and let Him help you do better next time… and don’t worry! God is kind; childhood lasts years rather than months… It’s the collective experiences of the years that count. My children are grown. I failed many times as they were growing up. But I loved them and I loved God (and so do you!) and HE was faithful. He’ll give you what you need too!

      • 9

        Behind the impatient mama moments…for me, I think it is my need for order, and ultimately my fear of losing control, of not being valued, of failure. It’s my sin, my self-righteousness. I believe the only way to overcome these “impatient mama moments” is the willingness to see myself as the Father does…oh how I myself must make the God of Order want to shake His head at ME when I throw my (grown up) tantrums, when I ask Him the SAME thing over and over, when I don’t listen to Him, when I run instead of walking, when I do things MY way…BUT He doesn’t shake His (holy:) head at me. He just keeps rejoicing (gratitude in its perfection) over me with His song, seeing me for who I am in Christ, PATIENTLY loving me because He knows just how much I need His Present Grace. And so, this is how we must strive to see our children, in those impatient mama moments. My children are a reflection of what I am to my Father…in need of lavish grace, now. {Breathe}

    • 10
      Anonymous says:

      I applaud you, mother of 4! I am a new mother of 2, a 2 year old and a 8 mo old and am adjusting to having more than 1! I had a horrible day with patience and was feeling rather ashamed of, nit only my 2 year olds behavior (who through a screaming tantrum in the store) but of my own, who did not handle it with an ounce of patience. I so believe fear is the underlying factor of what others will think, can I really handle this on my own and what if I can’t, so instead of being grateful for my sons patience with me from dragging the 2 of them on endless errands, I took my fear out on him and them spent all of afternoon naptime wallowing in the fact that I had hurt his feelings and embarrassed myself when a little thankfulness and love the whole scenario could of gnu very differently! I am encouraged by reading your comments and others and learning I am not the only mother who needs to grow in this area. Lord help me to be grateful for these moments with my beautiful children, even the ones that are hard to love…

  2. 11
    Amber Kemp says:

    Loved this perspective. It rings so true, that when I lack patience, I am definitely giving thanks. I too often get caught up in the little things that don’t matter, and I let them upset me so that it sometimes affects those around me. I love how you draw attention to the simplest of things. I pray that I would live each day with a grateful heart, a patient heart, finding time to focus on the little beautiful moments each day brings. Thank you for your heart Ann. I am so encouraged.

    • 12

      That’s it, isn’t it, Amber? Everyone remembers how we are in the little moments of life — if we accepted each moment with grace. Oh Lord — only by yours.

      Right there with you, sister — purposing, by His grace, to give thanks for the moment — so I can be patient in the moment.

      I’ve been singing “our” song all week: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWUKVjOqeVc

      :)

      • 13

        Ann,
        School will be starting up again. I will need lots of patience and gratitude. You see, I teach language arts to high school students, and we’ve been told that this year our classes will be over flowing with 30 -35 students. Summer is ending for me. I will begin my 25th year as a high school English teacher, but the last few years of my career have witnessed the “beating up” of teachers, at least here in the USA. When I started teaching, and for the majority of my career, teachers were respected as qualified, caring professionals, but now we are looked at with scorn and suspicion. I dedicated my life to helping students learn how to think, read, and write with clarity and sophistication, but now I grow anxious as the school year approaches, as I wonder what new stress it will bring. I will close my door and teach with my heart and with my mind as I also work on the best way to deal with the students and parents who do not value what I have to give. I must find ways to keep the love and the passion that I used to have for teaching.

        • 14

          Lori,
          May the Lord bless you with a wonderful school year! I appreciate what you do and applaud you for going back each year! What on earth would we do without great teachers?

          • 15

            Thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words. You touched my heart.
            Lori

        • 16
          RubberChickenGirl says:

          Lori,

          My Dad was a public school french and spanish teacher for 20 some years. He watched the decline of respect from the early 70′s to the late 80′s. I cannot even imagine what you face today. My Dad like you so *so* loved teaching (and foreign language). It was very difficult to teach kids who couldn’t care less about the subject. The Lord bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you in what feels like an impossible place.

          RCG

        • 18

          Lori, I share the same thoughts and concerns you’ve expressed. I, too, am a teacher in middle school. With all the budget cuts and changes in testing, the attitudes of entitlement and the lack of respect for not just the profession but for the person, it makes one wonder why we stay. But I think you said it best about it being a dedicated decision . . . one I would not want to do without my God! So, with summer coming to a end, I will give thanks for the opportunity to touch even just one life —– and with patience be able to love!

          Thank you for the reminder to lay those anxieties aside.

          • 19

            Bev,
            I can tell that you are a very fine and genuine person and teacher. You will touch and change many lives, even when you don’t even realize it. Remind yourself every day of your power and beauty. Remind yourself how fortunate your students are to receive the many gifts you bring to them. May your faith in God and in your calling to teach keep you strong and positive. Continue to believe in yourself and in your students, no matter what.
            Lori

  3. 20

    oh patience. not my strongest quality. but something the lord *patiently* loves me toward.

    perhaps it’s the now-ness of everything these days? this is so so trivial – but probably the character of most of my impatient behaviour – i so want to finish (start) getting our guest room sorted so that guests (good friends & my former prayer partner coming over for the olympics) have a comfortable place to sleep. i’m forgetting that good friends don’t care, that the time we’ll get to spend together will be a great gift, that i’m so blessed to have the space in our house to host them and the space our budget to prepare a room…

    thanks ann, for reminding me to focus on these blessings.

    • 21

      Oh, YES, Brie! How the Lord is so patient with us, slow to anger and abounding in love. It’s so striking — that the first thing about love is patience.
      Life is *not* an emergency.

      {Enjoy the Olympics, Brie! And you are right — friends are just going to be so happy to be *together*!}

      All’s grace,
      Ann

  4. 22

    And perhaps patience is also listed first because it is contrary to our natural inclination? I’ve often said I don’t pray for patience because I’m scared what will be required to learn it!! :)

    But, no ma’am, I don’t think I’ve ever attached it to a spirit of ungratefulness; entitlement, maybe, but not lack of thanks.

    My children are likely the greatest vessel God has used to change me since their birth; when a *mother* is born, the test of patience, a thousand lessons, REALLY begins….

    xo

    • 23

      I think you nailed it, Robin — maybe patience is listed as the first attribute of love because it is so counter to our natural fallen person.

      So grateful for another day of new mercies: Lord, make me grateful —- that I might be LOVE-FULL.

      So grateful for you, Robin Dance!

    • 24

      Robin, I love what you said about a Mother being born! A thousand lessons await us for sure!

  5. 25

    Impatience has been uncovered to be one of my greatest character flaws. My children (of course, we are led by our children!) teach me daily about what it is to be patient. And I don’t know if I ever strung it up along side ungraetfullness but you make the connection so well.
    Praying today that we would be both grateful and patient and long-suffering, with joy, as we learn to Love like He loves.

    Thanks for this graceious word, Ann. Today I needed it the most….

    • 26

      Ah, Kris…. Doesn’t the Lord so tenderly peel back bits of our lives and being this gentle, fiercely beautiful work of making us more like Christ?

      Why do you think motherhood brings out our impatience more than other aspects of our lives?

      • 27
        RubberChickenGirl says:

        I think it is the relentlessness of mothering. For me, my reprieves in 21 years of mothering and five children have been few & far between. No grandmother, no sister, no babysitter help virtually ever. And then homeschooling. Ugh. Can you say Cabin Fever?! Kids are just are so varied (wonderfully or horribly depending on your attitude/gratitude) that you have seemingly endless ways of getting your buttons pushed in a 14 hour day. And if you are selfish (who isn’t?) and tired (what mother isn’t?) it gets really hard to see the forest for the trees in the middle of it all. Add to that what my friend once said to me (who at the time did not have children) , “I have not met ONE mother who feels good about her mothering….who feels successful at it. Mothers beat themselves up way too much. ” She felt that the one gift she wanted to give her kids was to be kind to herself and feel okay and content with her mothering. She felt kids need the security of trusting and feeling that, “Mom is okay. Mom is not falling apart.” I think if we can be content and even grateful for our own strengths and patient with our own failings we may be kinder and more loving and more grateful for our kids. Just rambling and thinking about this as I write.

        RCG

        • 28

          Thank you for this — It is so hard to not beat myself up over and over for letting the “howl” escape as I try to cope with my six little ones (with another on the way). Being “content and grateful for (my) own strengths and patient with (my) own failings” I think may be a *huge* key to unlocking the true, patient, GOD-size love for these little people I’m constantly surrounded with. Also what another post said about seeing ourselves as our Father sees us — and what a wonderful view that is, however hard to accept.

  6. 29

    Love is patient…looking at this verse with new eyes this morning. It is easier to be patient with some people in my life (the grandchidlren who always put a smile on my face) but sometimes very difficult to have patience with my 92 year-old mother who has never wanted to be my mother…it’s then a struggle and I see it…my impatience =lack of a loving heart towards her.

    • 30

      Heavenly Father…. Thank you for Cindie loving the generations behind her and the generations before her. Thank you that You’ve had a plan for her, that You are her tender loving Father who has parented her all these years. Thank you for giving her grace with her own mama in these twilight years — thank You for giving her joy in serving, as all the serving is for You alone.

      Please kindle in each of us, Lord — a thankfulness for *Your* creation of each person — Your work of *art* in this person. And in our gratefulness for Your handiwork in this person — cause us to be LOVE-FULL toward all. Thank you for Christ who shows us the Way….
      In Jesus name.

      Reaching over and squeezing your hand, beautiful Cindie…

      • 31

        Oh Cindie,
        Is this you? If so, I think I need you tonight. I leave for Kansas tomorrow. I am alone. They are off. I remember now you spelled your name this way. OH! How I was so blind! I thought I saw…but I just saw a symbol…how dare an artist not see the details, enough to draw…oh this so my fault!
        I am going to need a big hug…really…and a lot of crying…oh this is so crazy…so like God.

        Oh you are soo sooo sooo silly. Both of you. Haa Haa And Cindi, your last name…oh, how I always doubted, but I needed your love. Your last name, the photograph, I just thought…hmmm, whatever will be, will be.

        Your beta reader!

        • 32

          They are driving. I am flying tomorrow. Oh damn this world! I am going to be late to work. And I was so distracted yesterday! Ahhh! Is the cancer real? Is that part real!?! Oh I feel so vulnerable. But if this is you, I always knew. All those vivid dreams. Oh my word! Why did you never stop pursuing me! All these years! In high school you knew! Oh how God destined that day! Oh that day! Oh how I hated the world! Oh how I just felt so alone and so mature and so wise and my soul so old! I was in high school! Oh boy! Oh boy!
          You said I could call you.
          I will need you tonight! Can we meet at the ocean? Would you be okay with that? Would you meet me at the ocean? Can we walk on the beach together? I can pay for your gas to compensate once you get there. Oh please?!? I just think better when I am walking. I probably have ADHD :) Ha! Oh my word! Oh His! Word! I really have to go to work!

  7. 35
    Kari Benton says:

    Wow- I so often wish my children would act less…. childish. I need to remember that my 7yo and 4yo will act… 7 and 4. May I accept and love them for who they are right now- a work in progress- just like me.
    My heart has been turned towards the poor and least of these lately. God is stirring a passion in me to act. But also God has been teaching me that He will prepare me for that in my own home- every day I have opportunity for training in selfless love, and loving service. Will I love and serve my own?- I feel He is calling me to that before He will lead me outside these 4 walls.

    Thank you Ann- your words are life giving

    • 36

      Kari, I so hear your heart…

      So often I think of Dag Hammarskjold’s quote: “It is more noble to give yourself completely to one individual than to labor diligently for the salvation of the masses.”

      So like Jesus, yes? Who left the ninety-nine for the one. And oh, to think He’s called us first to the privilege to love at home, the little and least right here — because this changes the world.

      With you, friend… loving in the secret of this place here. Your life is a ministry to us all, Kari…

  8. 37
    Candace says:

    Im like this this morning… A three yr old who cant make up his mind, two others fighting for attention, ants in the kitchen, me due to have a baby any day and im a big huge exhausted hormonal mess. I opened up my facebook angry, no paitience and exhausted. this post was on the top of my news feed. Thankyou for your words, even if I am being stubborn still not to fully let them sink in just yet. They will.

    • 38

      Heavenly Father — thank You for loving Your Candace today — and wrapping love around her this morning. And just letting that soak in. And in gratitude for Your love — may her love for You spill over on to everyone else today….

      In Jesus’ name…
      Amen.

      ((((GROUP HUG!)))))
      :)

  9. 39

    I had to stop and tell you, Ann, that my verse that the Lord laid on my heart this morning was Psalm 27:14 about waiting PATIENTLY on Him. Your post is a bit more light shining in the path where I need to step that I might turn to look Him fully in the face with a grateful heart. SO many times in the day’s time I have been finding myself impatient with things that don’t work, but even more so with people…with the ones He’s put in my path that He might work out this very thing of patience in me. Now I understand more completely of how when I see it from that perspective that I can be grateful for each incident. He’s using it all to conform me more to His likeness.

    • 40

      Dianna, you’ve just beautifully encapsulated it all : “He’s using it all to conform me more to His likeness.”

      Just that.

      And who can’t be unspeakably grateful for that?

      More love than thin letters can hold, Dianna…

  10. 42

    Patience is so hard for me, and it is so discouraging when I am impatient (crabby, sometimes even mean-spirited). I think I just feel so much pressure: the expectations of others; the pressures of mothering and homeschooling while working nearly full-time; the incredible sadness I feel when I’ve messed up again, and I realize how fleeting this time with these little people really is; the fact that the house is always a mess … modern life is a pressure cooker. And without a faith life, I don’t know how I could handle it. I am thankful every day for the couple of Christian bloggers I follow, for quiet time before the kids get up, and for a chance to do it all over again. Wish I would see more growth in myself though; it must be there, right? :)

    • 43

      Dearest Sara — oh Sister! It is there! He is growing you more into the exquisite image of His Son — and we can see it right here: in how you long to be more like Him.

      I think you are so right, Sara: ” I just feel so much pressure:”

      I’ve been *right* there….

      And this is what He’s showing me — maybe it’s for you too, sister:

      When You’re Really Feeling the Pressure: http://www.aholyexperience.com/?p=5237

      Praying with you right now, Sara….

  11. 45

    Thank you, Ann. Just the reminder I need today, right now. Serious health issues are looming for one I love so dearly. God is making his presence known in mighty and awesome ways. In the midst of crisis, He is tuning my heart to see His mighty hand in so many – too many to count – little and big things. Even things that I see were put into motion generations ago, for me in this moment! Totally awesome, and they bring joy. And peace that truly passes understanding. All are gifts, laid out to reassure me that He is in total control.

    • 46

      Heavenly Father…. thank You for comforting and drawing near to Linda as she loves a dear one through this health issue. Thank You for the ways You generously pour out grace upon grace upon grace and assure them of Your unwavering presence and unshakeable love. Thank You for enveloping Linda in Your love.

      In Jesus’ name…
      Amen.

      You are so loved, Linda…

  12. 47

    Ann, Ann, Ann… you always say just the right thing. I had noticed last week the thing about patience being listed first. And then I moved on because I didn’t want to think about it! I “only” have two children, but it really only takes one to turn us inside-out, doesn’t it?

    I daily find myself on that cusp – “I sense a loudness, akin to a pleading howl, surging close to my lips.” But God is doing a work in me (thanks in part to you teaching me to be grateful each day), reminding me to take that breath and just see my children. Just see them for who they are, not what they are doing at any given moment. See them as son and daughter, the same way He sees me.

    • 48

      Oh Jenn— this: ” See them as son and daughter, the same way He sees me.”

      And you are His precious daughter — He is the Master Creator and you are His *art*.

      How can we not be grateful for God’s art in all these people all around us?

      I wonder — what would happen today if everyone we ran into — we intentionally saw them as masterpieces?

      With you, Jenn… so with you.

  13. 49

    “Now is not an emergency to rip through, but a moment to embrace with gratitude.” The Lord has been teaching me this (or trying to) for a while. That traffic light will change, dripping stickiness will not ruin the new floor, God will work in the hearts of my children.
    As I watch those who came before me be totally impatient, I FEAR becoming that. Your encouragement helps add to the truth that I don’t have to. Thank you.

    • 50

      Exactly, Sara.

      Not to rip through this moment as an emergency — because that tears us apart from God and people.

      But to embrace the moment with gratitude — that I may embrace the Giver Who gave it — and the people He gave here in this moment.

      Praying with you, Sara… grateful to walk this way with you, sister.

  14. 51
    Michele Hendrix says:

    I just love what you said about patient people live in the present because that’s where they know God is. We are constantly bombarded by hurry. . . hurry here, hurry there, hurry, hurry, hurry and we are missing Him and apart from Him there is no good thing (Psalm 16:2). Oh if we could just grasp this and grasp it fiercely!!!!!!!!!!

    Thank you for pointing out that patience is first in that list of defining love. It is possible that all the other attributes of love stem from patience? When I am patient, I am automatically kind. When I am patient I don’t keep a record of wrongs . . . for I don’t see the wrongs. When I am patient I don’t boast. . . for if it is a thankful heart that is a patient heart, then there is no room for boasting in myself.. . . it is all of Him, for Him, and through Him.

    Learning, struggling, grasping, leaning, and thanking with you all.

    Ann, I’m so thankful for how God has used “1000 Gifts” to change me. Thank you for being used by Him. I could never express enough gratitude. As my friends and I share what the Lord has taught us through your book we say, “My friend, Ann says. . .” Thankful for you!!!

    • 52

      Michele!

      Yes! When we are grateful — we are patient-full — and then when we are patient — we are kind. We don’t keep a record of wrongs, we don’t boast — because everything is a gift from Him — about Him, through Him, for Him.

      I am right beside you, friend — “learning, struggling, grasping, leaning, and thanking with you all.”

      Isn’t it a gift to be in community, the Body of Christ together?

      Thank you, Lord, right now — for the gift of our sister, Michele!

  15. 53
    Barb S. says:

    I am often impatient…impatient for them to learn to put their clothes in the hamper, impatient for them to learn to pick up after themselves, impatient for them to remember to throw their candy wrappers in the garbage…and in that sense, I confess to being ungrateful for who they are now. But like so many things, we become impatient for the finished product and miss the beauty in the process. Do you think a potter or a glassblower or an artist never takes joy in the half-finished product? I think they do. I think they enjoy the process as much as the completion. Thankfully, The Potter, The Creator looks at our partially-finished selves with much more patience and joy than we tend to look at ourselves or others. Thanks for these thoughts, Ann.

  16. 55

    Ann, your obedience in sharing what God has revealed to your heart is changing my heart! I had an UGLY, impatient day where I sat in the yuck, brooding on all that is not the way that I think it should be. THANK you for the gratitude refresher. Today, I am praying for eyes to see, and a heart to slow down and thank Him for all the gifts that surround me. Blessings on you, dear heart.

  17. 56
    Virginia Havens says:

    Ann, well said.
    I have connected my impatience with a lack of gratefulness or failure to realize the beautiful blessing of my daughter’s doe eyes gleaming in the light as she stares up at me behind a thin veil of tears not yet fallen.
    I get caught up in my work… and she just needs me. Not able to talk yet, she expresses her growing person through sounds, and babble and the occassional whine as her little fingers reach to cling to any part of me her little hands can gather in.
    The demands of baby, work and home can be overwhelming for a work-from-home Mommy. Everything needing your attention is challenging you to a staring contest and often times, I don’t know which challenge to take up first.
    But, my beautiful daughter, just needs me. She just wants me. She desires the security of my arms around her, or the playfulness of my tickle-kisses on her neck. At first sign of interruption to my work, I find myself wanting to ignore her attempts to get my attention. And she patiently persists. She desires my presence, like I should desire His. She is still and knows her little heart is weary and knows where to go for comfort. I am caught up in frenetic madness and miss it at first.
    Then I look down at her eyes that light up when I acknowledge her. I am struck by her beauty and purity and find myself convicted of my selfishness, because of her love.
    May I be still that I would recognize my treasures, daily. In my daughter’s eyes and my husband’s gaze.

  18. 57

    I can only be patient when I am utterly convinced that God is at work and He is good. Then I can dare to believe all things, hope all things, endure all things.

    And the only way I am convinced God is good when I am tempted to think otherwise, is to look for the evidence of his goodness. Which, as you keep reminding me, is all around.

    Thank you, dear Ann, for continuing to remind me.

  19. 58

    So convicting…this past year the LORD has been teaching me about living in the present. While I am thankful for what I have learned and applied, so much more to learn. So thankful for your writings. Blessings.

  20. 59

    I just came from visiting Beautifully Rooted – blog. The writer there was talking about “happy messy”… as in our homes and then our hearts. I really was blessed to read that (needed to hear and take heed to it, this morning) and grateful that this post was very similar in it’s words.

    Being grateful first – will allow patience to billow out and over…especially in our “messy” homes. Allowing us to be happy in our messy.
    I know how I struggle to keep pespective… and I’m praying for change (of heart) in this, today.

    Thank you, Ann…for your gracious words (as well) here this morning.

  21. 60

    “Patient people dare to gratefully accept people where they are. Grateful for who they are now, appreciative of works of art not yet finished, but still deeply loved.” Wow, this really hit home for me this morning. The very thing that I long to receive from others (acceptance) is the thing that I struggle to give, right in my own home. Your writing challenged me and encouraged me this morning. It was a gentle reminder that thanksgiving helps me see straight again, clearly, through God’s reality. I lift my heart in gratitude and the joy seeps through again – maybe that mortar holding the stones together around my heart really is beginning to crumble as I give thanks time after time after time. Thanks for the gentle nudge!

  22. 61

    Henri Nouwen suggests that “[t]he word patience means willingness to stay where we are and live out the situation out to the full in the belief that something hidden there will manifest itself to us.”

    “Now is not an emergency to rip through, ”

    I see my five year old…I see her shoulders weigh down with despair…her head drop…her eyes glaze over in disbelief..and often drop to the floor in painful body trembling wails moaning about mommy not loving her.
    And I know. I know I broke something inside her little heart and sometimes I am so angry that she is sensitive…smothered under her need for love…I ask forgiveness and she pours it out but has questions why would I treat her this way if I love her…..

    “The sensitive child wailing? That tender heart is a unique gift. Why don’t we pour another batter heart again and mend yours too?”

    “but a moment to embrace with gratitude.”

    Now you have me crying…another day and I see my Pippi turn with an innocent face in hope and look me in the eyes searching for love and dreading an overwhelmed sigh or love repelling remark .. I take the moment to see the the blessings…I choose her and not my exhaustion…..I nurture her and the moment and her little face is fresh with joy….her hug is spontaneous and strong and kisses land on my face repeatedly…..I feel a new ache in my heart as is lights on fire…about to explode with love that is bigger than me…and it does explode on my face…from my eyes, in my arms as I hug, may hands as I caress…my voice as I soothe and edify…
    patience is required to see the moment… I knew I was impatient and have worked on it..but never realized it was first…so with out patience love is hard to see.

  23. 62

    Oh my, how my eyes are opening this morning on my business trip. When I lose my cool, my patience I am focusing on me not HIM. If my focus is on HIM the patience the love and the peace will follow! I will stumble, I will fail but the fight for patience is worth it especially when I see my beautiful girlie’s smile in a couple of days. Oh how I will relish the struggle!

  24. 63

    Peter Pan, “Oh, the cleverness of me!” With his two hands in his hips.

    Me, “Oh, the cleverness of you! girl!” With one hand on a hip and one pointing straight to your heart and tapping it there.

    Pray for me. I can’t bear this insight and understanding right now. This is awful timing. But I caught you! Oh I may not fully understand…but I think I get it. For those with eyes to see, SEE! I was just having an entire conversation with Lori last night that something was fishy with this.

    Oh no, the tears can’t come yet. I have work. Ahhh! But I have an hour and a half drive. Not the safest thing to do…drive and cry…but I have done it before and lived.

    Oh, timing is everything.

    Gosh, obviously you know I love you. More than you can comprehend or imagine. Yes, more than that.

    With all my love,
    Tracy May

    • 64

      Seriously…pray. You don’t know the flood that has been blocked by my own wall! When it lets loose…when it breaks…it is going to flood. My throat is so sore holding it back. Oh my word! Oh my word! Oh His Word!

  25. 65

    I struggle with this most at night during the bedtime routine. When we’re all tired and not at our best. Thank you for the reminder to add gratefulness back into the routine.

  26. 66

    Thank you for this. Too often my goal is to ‘get things done’ and with three little ones, it usually doesn’t go as planned. I’m having trouble these days just being in the moment and seeing the gifts. Learning slowly, but thankful to be learning.

  27. 67
    Stacey Booth says:

    Thank you for leading me to truth and conviction this morning. My husband has an incurable cancer. He is currently tumor free… A miracle blessing from the Lord. Every 12 weeks we go for scans to make sure there is no new growth. This time next week we will know the results that push us into more chemo or greater bliss. I get impatient, sad, often short tempered. I miss the moment of time and pure joy I have now with my husband because I’m FEARING tomorrow. How can a distracted impatient heart with a one track mind truly love and serve. Thank you thank you lord for your heavy pursuit of me! Your truths are my delight.

  28. 68

    I OFTEN struggle with impatience, which causes me to lash out and raise my voice at my kids. I also sigh a lot… to the point where my daughter looks at me and asks what is wrong every time she hears me sigh… (I just sighed reading that ;) It’s a mild irritation escaping when I do that. The Lord revealed to me that when I am constantly irritated and impatient there’s pride in there of course, but more at the root is a control issue. In that moment when I’m irritated and impatient, I’m feeling out of control. I want things to be different and they are not. Then I believe the Lord used your writings to connect that if I am thankful in the moment instead of wanting to change it, the irritation, fear at a loss of control, pride, will fizzle away. Now, as we all know, this “transaction” happens in all of seconds. I guess you have to get so saturated in gratittude that in those split seconds, your reflex is to breath it in, keep your cool, be thankful and move on! It protects our own heart as well as our children.

  29. 69

    I so needed this today. I struggle daily with patience – when I mop up the orange juice spilled just after I washed the floor, when I have asked a child to pick something up for seemingly the 10th time in an hour, when a child whines “but it’s not FAIR!” for also the 10th time in an hour. Those days seem to come so often these days. I know that if I just take a step back and let the Lord help, I will have the patience and those days won’t come so often. That first step towards asking the Lord for help – that step is the hardest.

  30. 70

    What a beautiful picture of patience. I have never heard patience described this way. I cried when I read this, as impatience is an ugly trait that I deal with everyday. It has caused me to turn a lot situations such as one of my kids spilling milk on the floor into an emergency. When impatience rears it’s head, anger is not far behind. I find myself saying a lot “I wish the kids were past this stage”, and I never just take time to appreciate the present. I know one day I’m going to get my wish and then wish I had that time back. Thank you so much for this post. I pray everyday that God will let me see past my impatience.

  31. 71
    Tara C. says:

    Incredibly written as always Ann. I so needed this post today. I have printed it to remind and renew my effort toward this virtue. Thank you!

  32. 72
    Anonymous says:

    i believe patience is in me ….His finished work….now ….walking truth out…for me i’ve had to learn rest…trust…that this is true…it’s there …given to me ….a gift….grateful…a chain that connects me to the Truth…gets stronger ….

  33. 73
    Paula Palermo says:

    Thank you, Father for sending Ann’s words.\ and her faithfulness to write such love encouragement,
    You know that this morning I am so ready to throw in the towel with the book you’ve given me to write. After five years of work and a very ,Very slow editor, You know that I’m ready to get on with the work, not stay in the waiting. I knew You would send me a word. I knew You saw my heart breaking as I read the severe revisions to something I loved (just this morning). Now help me once again to sit down with patience and rewrite the rewrites. Thank You again for our Ann and her ample example of love.
    Jesus, in Your precious, patient name, Amen.

  34. 74
    ro elliott says:

    oh Ann…what of your comments…patient people are willing to suffer…there is so much to explore there…in every relaltionship…in eveyday life. And being impatient because I want others to be the finished work of Christ..and am I willing to suffer along side my children…others while Christ love them whole. and how much I need the longsuffering of Christ and othesr…God have mercy on us and transform our hearts to love like you. as always…thank you sweet Ann

  35. 75
    Lauren D. says:

    Wellll… I guess I can pick up when God is saying something to me… I have been struggling so much with this very thing this week. And just feeling so MAD at my children (3, 2, 5 months…)

    So this morning, my son’s 2-year birthday, I sit them at the table, ready to Skype grandparents overseas… Not on Skype yet. So I start the pancakes. And it starts “I want juice…. I want cakes…. I want milk……” and I hang in there. Finish some pancakes, put a candle in one… sing to my sweet boy… Baby starts crying… Must cook rest of pancakes. “I need fruit!….. I need more pancake….” Baby crying. Still ok. I am calm and thank the Lord for helping me… I feel him close and I know I am on the edge of losing it. Clean them up and pick baby up – then they start yelling about a balloon and “It’s mine!!! Stop!!!” And then I yell and put them on the couches and stomp into the next room.

    Only to pick up my phone as I nurse the baby and read this article.

    So I am going back at it, knowing that over and over as I choose what is right and what pleases the Lord, being thankful for what my children are now, and remembering that life is a long and molding journey… He will make me like Him.

    Thanks :)

    P.S. As the rain clouds gathered over Northern Michigan yesterday I was thinking of you and praying fervently that the Lord would send some of this your way…
    Love from your sister in the Lord -

  36. 76

    What a beautiful and inspiring post. I am so grateful that these delightful dollops of Holy Spirit infused wisdom pop into my overcrowded email to remind me of the important things in life. For me, this reminds to me patient with those who discourage and upset me at work, so that through the love of Christ I can be a light in their life. How much easier it is to just whine and complain about the people who make us angry. To be filled with love is to show them the grace and mercy and, yes, patience, God shows us every day. What a blessing you are, Ann.

  37. 77

    I am ill with Lyme disease, and often it has been very hard to be patient for the Lord to change my situation. I am so impatient so move on from all of THIS. But, there are blessings in this time, just as in any time at all…and I must learn to love God in this time, and to be patient, and to be thankful for what is…the people who are NOW, the things that are NOW, the blessings that are NOW. After all, God works together all things for good for those who love Him…

  38. 78

    Ann….your words “Have you connected impatience with ungratefulness before?” No. I never have. But I can now. I do right now. Thank you for this today Ann. All of a sudden I “get” it. Today I get it. Through you and your words I get what it means to be grateful for love and patience. I see it as a gift today. Your gift to me. Love, patience, gratefulness.

  39. 79

    Thank you for posting this today…it is exactly what I needed to hear at a time I needed to hear it most.

  40. 80
    Kara Snider says:

    Oh patience… not my strong suit at all. And like me, not the strong suit of my children either! Makes me wonder if it really is anyone’s strongest characteristic, and so listed first because it needs our first attention. Funny, though, that so often I can read through a list so impatiently that I miss the hidden gifts lying there for me to receive. I can read about being patient, can tie it into the idea that I truly am most IMpatient when I am not continually giving thanks for all the “small” gifts I fleetingly recognize, but doing something about it takes strength that I can only get from God. Only He can provide the patience that I so need in order to love like He loves. My prayer is that God grants me the patience to live out His love in even the smallest of things. He knows me and how I can best receive His gift of patience. Oh that my eyes will be open! Thank you so much for your thoughts on patience… a perfect post before my kids are up!!! May God bless us all with His perfect patience today and may His love shine from each of us! tic, and so listed first because it needs our first attention. Funny, though, that so often I can read through a list so impatiently that I miss the hidden gifts lying there for me to receive. I can read about being patient, can tie it into the idea.that I truly am most IMpatient wwhen I am not continually giving thanks for all the “small” gifts I fleetingly recognizek

  41. 81

    Oh, I think patience is one of the hardest. It means our acknowledging that there will be tests and trials. We are reminded that our dependence on Him is huge and necessary. A fear thing for us too often, but His love endures forever!

  42. 82

    Thank you! I am new to this blog and am hoping to borrow your book soon ( am #12 on the library waitlist) from someone! I really needed this today- I find that I wish away the days- I have a 15 month old and a 2.5 year old and I am overwhelmed- somedays I feel that if I worked full time it would be better- but I think I just want to escape the day to day struggles. I need to be more grateful for the gifts I am blessed with. I am frustrated with myself that I take this life for granted- thank you for grounding me. I really appreciate you.

    • 83

      Dear Lisa —

      Welcome to (in)courage! {All your sisters scoot over and wave you on in! Smiles and big waves all around!}

      Oh sisters — Jesus died to be enough for us and He is all your grace so please don’t be frustrated with yourself? Abandon all those frustrations and abide in Your Father (how He LOVES you!) — begin counting all the ways He loves you! Those wondrous little ones of yours? DRINK them in — every second of them… It’s all crazy grace! And keep breathing, sister — just keep taking a deep breath and smiling.

      We’re all right here with you, leaning into Jesus. (((Lisa))))

  43. 84

    My heart woke today with a fierce, strong ache for my son, now gone fifteen months. My dreams often wreak havoc on the morning, but today I knew Ann had something to say to my broken heart. This line was perfection: “And patience is first a willingness to say thanks in suffering. Patience in the moment only comes from gratefulness for the moment.” Never until the birth of my son and the 24 days we held him, did I understand this type of gratitude. The only route that leads to patience in suffer-full grief, after his death, is through eyes of thankfulness. Thankful we held him, we loved him, we took him for walks in the Colorado air, we experienced a beautiful life. When I check off the “thousands” (upon thousands!) of gifts I have from my sweet boy, patience for a life of waiting to hold him again becomes graceful, loving, full.

    Thank you for shedding this comfort on my heart today Ann. Its beautiful how God speaks through us, perfect strangers in His world. EM

    • 85

      emily,

      your comment caught me and pulled me to a hard stop. i am *so* sorry for your loss – i can’t even imagine what you are going through. i can’t. and so i won’t even try. i just want you to know that there is someone who saw the pain in your words and who is lifting you up to Jesus. may He hold you close and may you feel Him so very near as you walk through this valley of missing your sweet son…

      praying for you and for His strength each morning.

      in Him,
      kimberley

  44. 86

    Sweet Ann,

    This was the first post I ever read at aholyexperience.com on a drizzly, cold November morning almost 4 years ago. I was forever changed. Thank you for sharing again these beautiful words.

    With Love,
    Kate Weaver

  45. 87

    For some reason, I thought this was written by a different (in)courage writer and found myself thinking, “she must read Ann Voskamp because it sounds just like her.” Then I got to the bottom of the page and there’s your gravatar! Anyway, God has been speaking these very words to me as I care for my mom who has Alzheimer’s and is perpetually messing with my schedule and way of doing things. Being grateful for who she is right now is absolutely essential to the development of patience in me as I care for her. Thanks for a writing words that really help. God bless you.

    • 88
      Beth Williams says:

      Diane,

      Praying for oodles of patience as you care for your mother. For 1.5 years my dad & I cared for my mother with dementia & sundowner’s. She was bedridden & had other health issues. Assisting him with her took patience on my part as I am working full-time.

      God Bless you for caring for her!

      • 89

        Thank you, Beth! I need all the prayer I can get. I stay home with her full-time. I can’t imagine how hard it was for you to work full-time AND help care for your mother. Bless you.

  46. 90
    Tara Chatham says:

    I needed to hear this today. I have become so impatient with myself lately. Not so much with my family, but the waiting for another child. Struggling with infertility is not a path that I thought my life would be on. I have a beautiful almost 6 year old boy who lights my day and is a true reflection of God’s greace to me….but the devil constatnly reminds me of all that I don’t have. The longing for another sweet munchkin to love on. I am growing impatient with God at times…finding the reason for all this longing in my heart and not seeing the result right away. I was reminded through your words here that ” i can lover only when I am thankful for the now”. I can love so much more…..

  47. 91

    Oh how I struggle with this at times. Patience. Why do I want it to hurry up and be when my heart is crying out for the slowing down? Crying out to preserve the moment in time and experience the beauty in it. To learn everything, see everything, feel everything that He has for me in that moment. So thankful that I can call on Him for the patience I need and for His grace when I fail at it. First it begins with being thankful for the gift of that moment. To truly thank Him for ALL.

  48. 92

    Printing this because I need to read it over and over…slowly, and let it sink in. I am in the midst of something I want to HURRY UP…been begging God for a resolution…NOW. And, this is truly what I needed today…to be grateful for who and what that certain someone is, to be patient and give it God’s time…thank you for this gentle reminder of how to love the way God does…with patience, knowing God is at work.

  49. 93

    As a newlywed learning to love my man, and myself for who I am, who we are… it’s gratitude for who we are today that makes this love so perfect. It’s the patience and gratitude that unite us, that complete us.. It’s not an easy task, this being patient, this being grateful that our failures also make us who we are… It’s much easier to desire a “Perfected love”, a love that travels to the grave holding hands… but to realize that 90 years of love started with the simple step of patience, allows me to squeeze my mans hands tighter, and whisper praises and prayers to my savior for the “love that is being Perfected in us.” “My failure to love is first a failure to be grateful for who
    ‘We’ are right now”

    Ann, this post was a divine appointment awaiting me today. Thank you for allowing God to use you

  50. 94

    impatience, resentment, bitterness, and ingratitude all seem like fruit from the same root…in my adoption journey, it helps me when I remember the sovereignty of God, that nothing comes into my life that is not filtered through God’s hands of love. I believe there are no “accidents.” I believe God planned who my birth parents would be and who my Mom and Dad would be, and both influences, plus His, are needed to help me become all that He created me to be. I believe that God sees the end from the beginning. He knows me intimately, He knit me together in my mother’s womb, one day I will see Him face-to-face and I will know as I am known…until then, I will expect a mystery… I wrote a blog post about it here: http://bethwillismiller.blogspot.com/2009/10/conceived-on-memorial-day-almost.html

  51. 95

    And in my impatience, the lessons that I teach and reinforce….The older I get, the more I know I have everything about this life all wrong. And how our modern society feeds this monster of impatience and how our children are nearly denied learning patience with everything instant. Where is love? Where is patience? There is even impatience at not finding the right verse fast enought: How incredibly ridiculous, all of it. Where to begin? Gratitude, once again, really? This is the starting point? It sounds too easy.

    • 96

      Ah, MJ… It does sound easy. And that is the paradox of it, isn’t it? So easy — and yet, in the moment — it can feel so hard.

      Maybe the day just starts like this: Saying it aloud all day long:
      Thank you, Lord. Thank you, Lord. Thank you, Lord.

      And being in His presence begins to change everything…

      We are all right here with you, MJ… All your sisters leaning with you into Christ.

  52. 97
    Lynn Warren says:

    Amen, sister! The scary part, and lesson to learn real quick, is that until you overcome something (impatience), things are never going to get good, better, best! lol

    Love and prayers to you and yours,
    Lynn

  53. 98

    Wow. So timely especially for me right now.
    Thanks Ann. Really enjoy your writing. It’s refreshing and inspiring always. :)

  54. 99

    Ann, I am thanking God right now for speaking through you. I needed to hear these words in the midst of summer break with kids home 24/7. I see my impatient.ungrateful.loveless attitude swelling due to a sacrifice that I chose to make in being a mom, but dishonor that sacrifice as I contend with my selfish thoughts.wants.desires of my children on a daily basis and there by fail.

    I’m confessing my sin out loud to the Kingdom. I’m renouncing the enemies hold on me, asking God for forgiveness and His power made perfect in my weakness. To help me give my children the same patience that He gives and shows me every minute of the day. The same love despite my own failures that He shows me every minute of the day. The same GRACE that He shows me every minute of the day.

    Thank you Jesus and thank you Ann for being God’s words today. May He greatly bless you and your family!

  55. 100

    I absolutely love this thought:
    “Now is not an emergency to rip through, but a moment to embrace with gratitude.”
    With life’s pace picking up, adding responsibility after responsibility, it is much easier to rush through each moment rather than embrace it. When I run passed, through or over, frustration increases and gratitude decreases. It certainly takes a purposed heart to pause, focus and voice gratitude.
    Thank you for continually living in the cloud of gratitude.

    • 101

      Ah, Stehanie — friend! You’ve just got to know: I *don’t* live in a cloud of gratitude. How I do. not. I am chief among sinners. I keep writing about it — because it’s where God has to keep doing real deep work in me! Thank you for letting me keep processing here with you. I’m with you — longing to be more like Jesus.

      And so grateful that the work HE began — He is faithful to carry it through to completion!

      So. much. love, Stefanie….

      All’s grace,
      Ann

  56. 102
    Beth Williams says:

    I never ever thought about impatience with ungratefulness. My hubby has been my rock during a chaotic & complete change of work duties, less & not what I went to school for, beginning last fall. He has supported me & loved me through it all!

    I have been trying lately to pray about everyone & everything–to be thanful for the smallest of things–a job-one I don’t like, a monthly paycheck, good health, etc. I even go so far as to have a Thankful journal on my computer that I write in each day.

    Praying for patience for everyone here!

  57. 103
    Jole' Matthews says:

    I see the consequences of my lack of patience played out in the behavior of my children. This is when it truly breaks my heart the most. Knowing the “lack” that could have been “full” and what the fruit would have been.
    Press on forward– this I know–leaving what’s behind and striving for the attitude of Christ.

  58. 104

    I wonder…is patience about being thankful for the hear and now…or is it the certainty that there is good in the future? We patiently endure because of the hope of something good…and grand…and beautiful in the future. A good reminder that patience is the foundation for love. Thank you

  59. 105

    The chaos of domestic life, really of any life, can just stop us in our tracks and we do forget, don’t we, to first be grateful.

    I love this quote from William Barclay: “It is a thing never to be forgotten that in the everyday duties of life we make or mar a destiny…” It just puts things right into perspective for me. Am I making or marring a destiny?

    ~Peace,
    LuAnne

  60. 106

    Thank you so very much for sharing your words this morning! Patience is something that has been a hot topic around here as of late. Praying and waiting, praying and waiting for God to do a “mighty work” and Lord we want it right now…. oh, how HIS heart must grieve when I act like this.

    ” Patient people dare to gratefully accept people where they are. Grateful for who they are now, appreciative of works of art not yet finished, but still deeply loved.” Woah!!!!!!! My Abba Father is whispering loud and clear into my ear and my heart. I needed those words today and this very moment as I struggled with the “temper tantrum” that was raging in my head, trying to take hold of my heart as I try to understand why a son has chosen to listen to the lies and deceit of the Enemy, choosing to turn his back on the Word that has been etched on his heart from a very early age.

    So I will give thanks in ALL things because I know that GOD is in control and the glory is HIS!

  61. 114
    Melanie M says:

    After eight weeks of constant mothering (aka summer break), I had reached a point earlier this week when I thought I was either going to walk away for a reeeeeally long time or i was going to lose it completely. His gracious Spirit sent me to the Scrips looking for words on patience…slow to anger…love. Did you know that just about every time the Bible says God is slow to anger it is immediately followed by abounding in love? Our God is slow to anger, abounding in love. I think that is so beautiful. And your words complete the circle for me. Gratitude–Love–Patience–Gratitude–Love–Patience. Oh, He is so kind to reveal Himself this way.

  62. 115

    God’s timing….
    Just before reading this I was having my own thoughts about patience with my kids inside with messes that need cleaning up…and OUTSIDE where a neighbor was again throwing branches in my compost. Your words of “My failure to love is first a failure to be grateful for who people are right now.” ring true. Here I am wanting to change them all and it’s ungratefulness. I stepped outside and finally met the neighbor and expressed gratefulness (THAT was God for sure!!) and what do you know!…the walls came down, we made a plan together for the branches hanging over his fence, we exchanged brief stories…eucharisteo always proceeds the miracle right? The miracles never end. And so I am inside now with my children watching more miracles as God changes my ungrateful to thanks.
    Thanks again for sharing Ann! Keep it up!

  63. 116

    Dear Ann (no e)
    Just a few days ago I finished reading 1000 gifts for the second time. I’m certain of very few things in my life but I can tell you, beyond a shadow of a doubt that I know in Whom I believe, and I am persuaded that nothing can separate me from the life of God. I am also certain that from now until forever I will refer to 1000 gifts for encouragement and smiles!
    I felt close to you as you shared your thoughts about the children and was so thankful and relieved to read that I’m not the only mother who almost daily talks myself back from cliffs daily!
    My life has been a rewarding struggle. Two years ago after a life time of trying to figure out what my “problem” was I was diagnosed with Bi-Polar Disorder. Finally, some relief!
    Life is full of challenges and although I know that there is no “emergency” I still struggle with what I know and what I feel.
    Last week there was an incident in which a road worker got annoyed by two vehicles passing his stopped truck. He got angry, jumped out of his vehicle and approached my vehicle.. He was big, and he was angry. I did not want to be confronted by him because I could see that I had annoyed him and I was so afraid that he might hurt me. Why else was he walking towards me and yelling? So I drove my vehicle around….Its a complicated story. He did hit the window of my car with his hand and then I was really scared. I left. I just wanted to get back to my husband and my kids. We were on vacation up north and I just wanted to get back to my time on the lake! Bottom line: I was showing the true signs of the amateur of whom you speak in your book, 1000 Gifts. I wish that I hadn’t tried to get past that truck. The man who jumped out of his truck is the reason why I have been charged with two offences, both of them serious. Strangely, I am not afraid. I was afraid when he came charging at me and struck my window! I was a bit worried when I was taken to the police station because I had never experienced anything like that. I’ve never been “in trouble”. I’m a 47 year old mom who, on a daily basis, cooks, cleans, transports children, referees, gives hugs and does LAUNDRY!!
    But as I sat there that night, waiting to be released from jail, I thought of Paul and Silas. I sang in my head the words of hymns that I have sang since I was a small child.
    Those four hours of waiting proved to be a huge victory for me. I knew, that God was with me but more importantly I allowed myself to feel Him with me. I allowed myself to accept His comfort and to take calm from His love.
    We do not know what a day brings. But when it brings difficulties we have to take a moment to allow ourselves to be weak so that His strength can register in our hearts and in our minds.
    We never KNOW what we think we know until we are TESTED!!
    Thank you for 1000 gifts. Thank you sharing yourself! I love it that you are so normal! I appreciate that you don’t try to make motherhood look fun! I so appreciate that you are thankful for cheese and cameras and dirty feet!
    Forever blessed,
    Wanda

  64. 117
    Bernice Shupe says:

    Well girls, I have been there! Patience will come if you are grateful and wait. Having reared 7 sons, that is a needed virtue and God has blessed me with an abundant amount of patience! As our sixth son just became engaged to a beautiful Canadian (they are both missionaries, 27 and 28 and have never dated anyone before), I am so excited!!!!! Want to share my joy, but my godly husband won’t let me talk about it! As October 6th comes near, all will be well! How did I learn this gift of patience? Waited 16 years for our lawn to be put it! My only plea was to have it in by the time our first son graduated. And it happened!!!!!!!!!!! :) We must pray for one another! God is so faithful! :)

  65. 119

    Thanks for this Anne…I really needed it today. It was a much-needed reminder that patience is part of trusting, and that trusting is part of faith. I’ve just spent a couple of sleepless nights worrying and trying to take the place of God. I should know by now that that isn’t productive! Thanks again for teaching it to me again.

  66. 120

    Yes, patience does come in response to a grateful heart. After 35 years of caregiving for my husband (closed head injury in car accident after just 8 years of marriage), I have found that so true. Eighteen months after the accident, God gave me a poem at Thanksgiving “Thank you God, for teaching me to be thankful.” Without my realizing it, he gave me that to enable me to care for my husband, and three children (6,3 and 1).
    Now, 35 years later, as I find myself losing patience with him as we deal with the whole getting older part of life and worsening thinking skills, God has once again proved faithful in using you to help me concentrate on being grateful, on giving thanks, on being aware of HIS presence 24/7.
    Indeed, God is good…all the time…as He continues to prepare me for eternity with Him…as He prepares both Larry and I to stand before me when He will see Jesus in us.
    Thank you, Ann. God is using you to bring glory to His name more than you will ever know.

    • 121
      Beth Williams says:

      Lord,

      Please surround Darnly & hubby. Give her peace & patience as she deals with the daily struggles aging & caregiving for her hubby. Provide her with the strength she needs to continue daily!

      AMEN :)

  67. 123

    Thanks a lot. This article is timely for me. I have a tendency to be so impatient and irritable. I always expect others to be fast, fast, fast like myself and when they go at their pace I just can’t bear it. I am trying to work on that aspect of my life though it is not easy. This article is going to help me a lot

  68. 124

    Is there such a thing as too much patient…to the point of not acting? Struggling with this everyday, what to do?

  69. 126

    I have never ever thought about the fact that patience was the first descriptor of love listed. So so true. We were 15 minutes late this morning for dentist appointments for the kids and my heart was ready to race. But the Spirit, too, is teaching me that when He is in charge-there are no emergencies. I kept praying for more faith-to believe He was ordering the stop lights, the construction truck, the little one crying in the back, the clock ticking away.

    And all I could do when we showed up 15 minutes late was ask them for grace. For me, the gratefulness has to be preceded by trust—trusting that He is sovereign over all these messes.

    Love your words and encouraged as always, Ann.
    Thank you for grace!

  70. 127
    Suzanne says:

    Oh how my heart needed this today. Counting the gifts with you Ann. #49…little chubby fingers of my sweet girl curled around mine. God is so close in those moments when we take the time to slow down and ask for patience. Thank you for being so real.

  71. 128
    Beth Williams says:

    Never have connected impatience with ungratefulness. My hubby has been my rock & stronghold these past 6-10 months with work duties changing-for the worse–not doing anything I trained to do. Some days feel useless at the office.

    I try my hardest to be grateful/thankful for even the smallest things–sunrise/set, nice weather, loving hubby. I have a thankful journal on computer that I input items into daily–thinking of all that I’m grateful for that day!

    Praying for blessings & patience for everyone here! God Bless you all!

  72. 129

    I never really thought of it this way. Gives me a lot to think about. My patience IS directly related to my gratitude and so many times I am committed to my own agenda and not to the gifts present in EVERY moment…even the moments I did not want to happen. Thax so much for sharing.

  73. 130

    I want to be made complete in His love so there’s no need to rush or push or clamOr around just to look like I have it all together..may it be so, and I feel I’m more equipped to head toward that after this post. Thanks Ann (counting you today on my 1000 Gifts)!

  74. 131

    You’re going to laugh — I’m laughing ;-) God’s timing is so perfect to sit down and read this blog post today. As I sit here, there are workers out in my yard trying to unearth our plumbing problem . We thought a root in the pipes had clogged us over and over — turns out it was a huge GAS line that had accidentally been put right through our sewer line. I have dishes pilled up and I can’t flush the toilet etc. and I was feeling a little edgy, to say the least. Of course, I’ve wanted the problem fixed “NOW” for some time “now” ;-) … After seeing what actually was the “root” of the problem, I am now sitting here grateful for the gift that no one was hurt as that was uncovered and we are ultimately getting it all fixed properly now. This has all come after a huge move and transition and “unearthing” of life for us as well — Thanks so much for the reminder to see the gift in it all … it’s really NOT an emergency and there are many people out there working who need some encouragement on this very hot southern day. Ahh…peace comes with the patience and love too doesn’t it ! THANK YOU !

  75. 132

    I feel impatient w/ my husband’s depression and my newly adopted daughter’s neediness. That sounds so bad. U said B honest Ann! If I was an empathetic, intuitive soul, it would be easy to be patient but I am a choleric type A….and I know God is making me through this. The heroic women who have commented inspire me, as well as the truth you have shared. Thank you Ann V.

    • 133

      Praying for you Holly! I have 3 at home through adoption and the road is challenging, but where God wants us. I pray you hang in there and have a good friend to fellowship with as God uses this to His glory.

      • 134

        thx for praying. i realized after that my impatience stemmed from feeling depleted and unloved. thankfully God recharged me and my husband took initiative to encourage me too….

  76. 135

    Dealing with this as I get to the end of myself every day with my children. My great blessings are also what bring out my great weaknesses. How can I try to teach my children gentleness and kind words if I so easily get to the end of my own?

    Thank you for this today.

    Megan @ wwwsunshinethroughthewindows.blogspot.com

  77. 136
    Stephanie says:

    Oh the grace I need for each day… how amazing to think that there is enough grace… more than enough for each day. How I am the chief among sinners. Saved from a life of running away from My Savior you would think gratitude would fill my days, patience would over flow out of me like a raging river. But I feel to often I suffocate the room with my impatience, my ingratitude, my selfishness. I am so grateful that little hearts love big and forgive even bigger. If only it were so easy for me to forgive self and let go. This sin I know is as far as the east is from the west, but I wrestle with the fear of tomorrow. Will I raise my voice tomorrow, will I hurt heart tomorrow? Praying and trying to be Patient with self along with the dear ones I am blessed with. Praise that He can use my weakness to show me how strong He is. Praise that your words come from miles and miles away to encourage me, all of us…. Thank you.

  78. 137

    “Patience is a willingness to suffer.” Much, much needed. 5 yrs this month that my Dad has been with Jesus. Car troubles, husband dancing with the bottle more then with us, new church, asking for His grace, missing comfortable places as we are UNcomfortable in our new place. The “suffer” list goes on and on…. but I take out the “thankful” list and continue counting… today… was #1800. This month reading your Daybrightner “God in the Moment,” July 13th “Eucharisteo is how Jesus, at the last supper, showed us to transfigure all things- taking the pain that is given, giving thanks for it, and transforming it into a joy that fulfills all emptiness.” Again… much, much, needed. I love you, Ann.

  79. 138
    Kelly Schmidt says:

    This message arrived in my inbox just as I am stretched so thin, staying in a hotel room in Washington DC with 2 lively boys (10 and 6) one of whom has had a fever for 2 days :( Their dad is working in a building across the street so I am alone with the both of them all day trying to keep them happy and occupied until he comes back to give me some relief. Daily it is a struggle, not just in these circumstances. Oldest boy has behavioral and psychiatric disorders which test me every day, youngest boy is an exuberant ball of energy. Lately I have been trying to live out “love keeps no record of wrongs” but clearly I need to start at the beginning – “love is patient”. Thank you for the blessings of your writings, they touch my deeply. God’s peace to you always, Ann.

  80. 139

    I need to remember this more often. I’m a big schedule/routine person, and especially when we’re trying to get out of the house, I’m all “Go! Go! Go!” and I tend to bulldoze right over my husband and kids. Diaper bag isn’t packed yet??? Toddler is wailing because he doesn’t want to put his pants on??? Baby just spit up all over himself??? Mom goes psycho!

    But y’know, all those things are going to be gone before long. Because my babies are going to grow up. So I think I can make the effort to slow down and savor the baby-ness, even if it means we’re a little late getting out the door sometimes. :-)

    Thanks for the reminder today.

  81. 140
    Betty Worden Frisbie says:

    As I ponder these words, I am reminded that living a 1 Cor. 13 way is difficult: my flesh rears back but the Holy Spirit touches that place in me that longs to live fully, knowing,”This is the way, walk ye in it…
    I am waiting on a Judge’s ruling regarding custody of my 3 year old grandson- while both parents are currently unavailable, I have petitioned for him. At present, the judge wanted more time to ponder before ruling. Knowing how serious this matter, and it feels like emergency… I have to make a choice…
    I choose in this moment, this eternal moment, to live in the now; to live as a patient person; to live as a grateful person. This life, this gift of now, this learning to unwrap the present only leads me to the Presence! Isn’t that what I long for? Isn’t this very thing the essence of living in Christ?

  82. 141

    I sit down for a minute to read… something… that will keep me from pulling my hair out. My fingers and hair entangled. I always say that my 6 children are my greatest exercise in patience. I am exercise fatigued! His beautiful grace. A reminder right here that patience is gratefulness first. Love is patience first. I take a deep breath… thank you, Ann, for the “perfectly timed” reminder… (cue… background crashing sound… baby on the loose)… Love is patient…
    Blessings to you

  83. 142

    God is so good to give us exactly what we need…a gentle reminder and rebuke. That’s what this lesson on patient love was for me. I have been struggling with that so much this week, particularly with my oldest. Thank you Lord for your tender mercy and grace, and the chance to always start fresh….and for the many, many blessings. Thank you, Ann for allowing God to use you as He has, and for letting everyone join you on this journey of learning to being thankful FOR ALL things, IN ALL things.

  84. 143

    I’m an older parent of 5 adopted children…2 grown. I struggle the most with looking at the “good” side and needing to focus less on the “down” side. Like another poster said, “It is hard to sink in sometimes”. My heart sometimes grows so cold, I don’t even like myself. Isn’t that such a lie, yet by my actions I buy it many days a week.
    God help us all to keep our eyes and our thoughts fully fixed on Him, the author and perfector of our faith. When I breathe and step back, I know our children are here for a reason…God wouldn’t have plucked them out of 50 million, had he not had good plans for them. Seeing those things as though they were instead of how they are is such a battle. I need to rely on the one who has already won the battle versus trying to do battle on my own. It is exhausting and silly. rambling here…but thanks for the word today…I am blessed and I know it!

  85. 145

    Though my girls are no longer small, my battle with patience isn’t over, just manifested in different “cracks” in my earthen vessel. My thought is that patience is first because it assumes trust and often that isn’t the foundation of my responses. Ah, the humility that requires…as well as that willingness not to be selfish but to suffer. A day to day journey that in all areas of my life keeps me close to His presence if I’ll let Him, to breathe that mist of grace He rains down, if only I choose to be aware. Thank you for the reminder of the firmly banked embers of patient love :-)

  86. 146

    Sitting here sighing heavy. I am impatient about everything in my life right now. Impatient to hear from God who feels silent to me right now. And I realize how true it is that my impatience is a lack of thankfulness – just as you say. Unthankful for who I am and where I find myself now. The nest is empty so we down size to a “fixer-upper”. Months drag by. What gifts have I missed because I have grown so impatient with the skeleton walls and rough sub flooring snagging my socks? All I have ended up with is staring out the window angry, sad, feeling lost and deaf and blind to gratitude. I’m ashamed and long to be out of this pit and in the fresh air of gratitude and seeing God.

  87. 147
    Tiffany C. says:

    Tears of conviction and regret. If love is patient, then I have not loved well this week. Dear Jesus, help my love to be a reflection of you!

    • 148

      I feel the same way, Tiffany, and pray that prayer with you, dear one. Because my dear, sweet, hard-working husband did not get his bonus this week (delayed by upper management who don’t realize that those ‘in the trenches’ are counting on those bonuses!) I ranted and raved and cried like the big baby I am. Then my oldest 25yo dd called and told me she is pregnant…not married. I just gave it all up to HIM and huddled on my closet floor and cried out in heart pain. God is so good, just sitting here counting all my joys over the years, months, days. I’m going to be a grandma!

  88. 149
    Celeste says:

    If love stabilizes the chaos then I should be even more thankful because I have failed at being stable and patiently loving!! I praise His blessings, Celeste

  89. 150

    “How can I be patient in the tipsiness of this domestic chaos?

    How can I be patient in the pain of now?

    When vocal cords pitch screams, when tears brim and fall, when the clock keeps ticking steadily ahead and we just keep sputtering, stumbling along?

    Deep breathe.”

    THESE! My questions today (as well as “How can I EVER be qualified for this job of mother!?”, as a 2.5 year old laid on the floor screaming and refusing to get dressed for far, far too long. I confess thinking many times today “I can’t WAIT to be done with toddler years.” Convicted by this “…my impatience is a result of my unthankfulness – I’m impatient for the children to be someone different…”

  90. 151

    Oh, Ann, how I needed this today (needed it since yesterday). I spent a harrowing mid-morning to mid-afternoon at the free medical clinic where people all around me were in such great, great need. I know you know what I mean (just coming from Haiti and all). I wanted “the system” to shape up NOW. I couldn’t bear it to go on like this. Then you post this today. Ah, that I would have the “willingness to stay where [I am] and live out the situation out to the full in the belief that something hidden there will manifest itself to [me].” When you included these words of Henri Nouwen, it all became clear to me. I stopped and retraced yesterday and could list a long, long list of things for which to be thankful in that clinic day. What a lesson to me. Thank you, Ann (again you have been light and I’ve felt grace being here).

    Much love,
    Dawn

  91. 152

    Thanks for your God-inspired words.

  92. 153

    Hi Ann,
    Beautifully written! Life can be so hectic at times, that we find ourselves im-patiently going through our day. But, when we focus on Jesus, and love, we will be more gracious. As your family example displays, patience, then love, can turn impatient moments into a wondeful, time of togetherness. Just like the saying,”choose your battles wisely.” When we still ourselves, and focus on Jesus, we can choose wisely!! Great reminder Ann.

    Shalom, Sandy

  93. 154
    Christina says:

    Patience is selflessness. Boy, do I cling to “my” time, “my” agenda for “my” day and “my” priorities, etc.

  94. 155

    I’ve known her anxiety my whole life. It has shaped some of my own fears, many that were learned, others that have accumulated as a result of continued close contact- Thankfully, as the Lord has changed my heart, as trust has grown and grace better understood, my fears have become minimal. Hers have not… Traffic scares her. Storms scare her. People scare her. Fear reigns and joy depletes. I do not remember her, I have never known her, to not be afraid. It makes me sad… Sadly, it also makes her hard to love…

    Or should I say it makes me impatient.

    This mother the Lord chose for me is unable to stay at any place too long. We have never got our hair or nails done together. For my wedding she was unable to shop with me at malls, there were too many people there. It was hard for her to support me in decisions she thought her friends would frown upon, like not having liquor at the wedding, the fear of what people think debilitates her- fear controls and she misses out on joy. :(
    My baby shower is Sunday. She heard there were going to be storms today. She heard the elongated interruption on the TV screen as we folded diapers for the diaper cake, and punched holes in the favor bags. She knew that, that sound meant severe weather. We left within fifteen minutes. The time I was cherishing, the memory I was cataloging, was once again interrupted- her fear.

    I was frustrated. Again. With her. With her antics.

    I told her she was selfish. I told her she is a grown woman yet she continues to give in to her fears. To the lies satan loves to whisper to her. I told her she needs to trust and believe that the Lord loves her, and will hold true to His promise to protect her. Then I told her she has choices to make and that there is help she can get for these fears. What I was saying, and how I was behaving, conflicted.

    I did not tell her how thankful I was, for the 2 1/2 hours prior today she had given me, for putting crafts together for our baby shower. I did not tell her how thankful and proud I was of her for giving of her Thursday afternoon to do the things that make her uncomfortable. I did not tell her thank you for calling me three times after we were home, still without storms, to apologize to me for not being able to sit through the fear. She also called to tell me that she found more candy for a shower game, money for a glider, and tissue to finish making the bags she put together for those that win at the games. In her limited ability- she did a lot today.

    My impatience cost me a valuable opportunity to really love… like Him.
    Love is patient and I was not. He is patience and able and in me. He led me to read this today, when I came home. He led me to write this. And when I am finished He will lead me in conversation on the phone with my mom, to tell her all that I could not tell her earlier in my impatience, my ungratefulness. Thanks Ann. You are always a vessel I count on to help bring me close to Him, humbled at His feet.

  95. 156

    It’s funny. I never thought of patience in this way before – being part of love.

    I suppose I am different than a lot of the other commenters here – it isn’t children or family I am impatient with, but the lack of. And now I hear the Father’s voice saying that the life I live now isn’t second best. It isn’t an emergency to be gotten through. It is a time to exercise patience. To be THANKFUL. For isn’t that the only way I will learn to love, to give, to say as you did above,

    “Patient people dare to live only in the present. Because they know that is where God is.”

    May I be more patient, grateful, accepting. I want to learn to live TODAY. To accept the place where I am NOW. And perhaps, one day I will be blessed with the opportunity to practice patience in a different way.

  96. 157

    I love the perspective and want to have more of it in my life! Patience requires a great amount of self-control…of which I seem to be lacking a lot of these days. I love how reframing the situation can change how the “chaos” seems-so beautiful.

  97. 158
    Susan Baldi says:

    Oh Ann, thank you for the searing, yet soothing conviction. PATIENCE! Such a precious gift of love and selflessness that will give back to me in more ways than I could dream. The Lord has been showing me that the root of my impatience is pride. I look forward to growing the fruit of patience, even if God has to prune me painfully. Thank you friend in Christ.

  98. 159

    “patience is a virtue” I can hear my dad saying this to me like it was on repeat as I grew up. I need patience, not just with those around me but with myself and with God. I read your book 1000 gifts and am preparing to read it again. I am doing the joy dare. I am searching and looking and trying to be more patient. I found that I am doing so much better with my kids an husband. But those that have or are hurting me I have no patience, or tolerance. I am almost hateful. And reading what you wrote today is so hitting home. I feel like I just ran into a brick wall and had an ah ha moment. I need to find grace and joy and thankfulness in the hurt and I am gonna have to spend a lot of time with God to do that.
    Thank you Ann for your willingness to share your thoughts as you go through this crazy life with us.

  99. 160

    “patience is a virtue” I can hear my dad saying this to me like it was on repeat as I grew up.
    I need patience, not just with those around me but with myself and with God.
    I read your book 1000 gifts and am preparing to read it again. I am doing the joy dare. I am searching and looking and trying to be more patient.
    I found that I am doing so much better with my kids an husband. But those that have or are hurting me I have no patience, or tolerance. I am almost hateful.
    And reading what you wrote today is so hitting home. I feel like I just ran into a brick wall and had an ah ha moment. I need to find grace and joy and thankfulness in the hurt and I am gonna have to spend a lot of time with God to do that.
    Thank you Ann for your willingness to share your thoughts as you go through this crazy life with us.

  100. 161

    I just stopped by to say thank you for your kind, encouraging words. I just finished your book and have turned around to start reading it again! Thank you for sharing your time and many talents with your readers. I had a brief thought about this the other day… thinking about how Love is Patient first… but didn’t stop to mull it over. I believe it was in the midst of a melt-down from me or my 18-month-old, hard to say who. :) I was so glad to see you unpack it , and so beautifully. It was certainly a timely message for me! I see impatience at the root of so much of what I struggle with lately… especially with my family… giving way to anger, harsh words, hasty actions. You asked another reader why motherhood especially seems to bring out impatience… I think for me at least, it boils down to selfishness and short-sightedness. Such a contrast to this quote that I have been mulling over from another favorite book, Hind’s Feet on High Places…
    “Don’t you know by now that I never think of you as you are now but as you will be when I have brought you to the Kingdom of Love and washed you from all the stains and defilements of the journey? If I come along behind you and notice that you are finding the way especially difficult, and are suffering from slips and falls, it only makes me think of what you will be like when you are with me, leaping and skipping on the High Places.”
    So gratitude for the works-in-progress, gratitude for the slips and falls from my little ones as opportunities to build strong muscles and strong feet, and gratitude for God’s redeeming love and the work He will carry on to completion…
    Thanks, Ann :)

  101. 162

    I so needed this today. Thank you. One of our five children is trying to do things her own way without Jesus. It breaks our hearts. We know the way where she will find peace and she knows it, too, but will not take it. And yet, through all our tears, God is working in the rest of our lives so that we will rest in Him for her good. God is good. I don’t like to wait, but He gives peace.

  102. 163
    Barb Spencer says:

    I so needed this today. We have a just barely adult daughter–she is second of our five children–who has chosen that her way is better than God’s. It is breaking our hearts as we see her stumbling. We have the answer for her to find hope and freedom, but she will not take it. It is hard to wait as we pray daily, moment by moment for this precious daughter. We wonder how low she will have to sink before she drinks from the well of grace. And yet, God is doing a work in our lives. I don’t like the process, but I do like what it is doing in us. Thank you, Ann, so very much for this reminder.

  103. 164

    Needing these words yet not realizing it until they are read. Ungratefulness connected to impatience. Slowing down and pondering. Wondering at the timing of the Lord. Only this morning I was in full blown “mama” mode verbally vomitting anger all over. Thankful for mercies always new.

  104. 165

    I have been reciting 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 for the last few weeks. It is such a great reminder of what we are called to be. Thank you for such a beautiful post for us moms.

  105. 166
    Kalynn Ritchie says:

    perfect thing to read right before I make banana muffins with my 5 and 6 year old. Thank you Lord! Your grace is will suffice!

  106. 167

    I woke up during the middle of the night last night talking to father God and I was agreeing to be patient. Patience in suffering, in the present situation we are in is so vital to peace and the ability to be grateful. My long term illness has taught me that in many ways and on many occasions. Lately to I have been struggling with a friend who is unique in her ways and I require a lot of patience to cope with her view of life at times. Your post very much resonates with this struggle for me because I realised the other day that if I am grateful for who she is and the small ways she shows care such as bringing me home made soup out the blue etc Then I cope better, I have more patience for her eccentricity and her own ways. I am better able to see past what I find hard to cope with about her personality and love her with God’s love. If we are grateful we are more patient, if we are thankful we are more patient and love grows.

  107. 168

    WOW. Thank you so much for writing and sharing this post. I have been struggling to understand and surrender my impatience lately, and mostly failing. At the same time I’ve been fixating on my eldest child’s displays of ungratefulness. Time to remove the plank from my own eye…

  108. 169

    I have a refugee foster child who has been here 6 weeks. God continues to draw me back to “Love is patient and kind.” I have yet to progress past these 2 words. Patient. Kind. (repeat).

    I wrote the following this morning, after a difficult (beautiful?) night. Your post was yet another confirmation of what God is teaching me.

    “A card, written specifically for me, just because “you sounded like you needed some encouragement.” That card, handed to me yesterday. The card holding words of truth and love from a dear friend: “Do not grow weary in doing good.”

    Fast forward to bedtime. Great attempts at communication in two languages, google translate failing repeatedly. Frustration, anger, irritation. I sit on the bedroom floor, attempting to communicate with words. It’s late; I’m tired. We’re tired. I want to give up and try again tomorrow. Sweet words are whispered to my soul, flooding my mind as a gentle reminder- ”Do not grow weary in doing good”. “Love is patient.” So I sit. He puts his head down and the tears start falling. I move beside him, one hand on his back. The tears turn to sobbing. His body, wracked with emotion, heaves with memories and longings of home.

    Tears stream down my face. Do not grow weary, because this moment is sacred. Do not grow impatient, because this is love. Do good. Be kind. Be present. But most of all, love. Love when there are no words. In fact, love because there are no words. Love when you are exhausted. Love bears all things. Love endures all things. Love is the greatest of all. And now, in this moment, love is the only thing to do. “

  109. 170

    I work on this patience daily. It is an acquired thing, patience. I’m trying to pass this to my 16 year old daughter who felt deeply wounded by a friend this week. It would be easier to lash out and expose the hurt. I reminded her “Love (Meg) is patient, Love (Meg) is kind…” We could put “God” in place of “love”; they are the same afterall. By encouraging her to think of herself as having God’s attributes, I hope she will long for them…to be like Him. And I continually need to do the same!

  110. 171

    Ann,

    I wish that this message had been around when my boys (now men!) were young. Patience was not always my first virtue with them and I so now regret that I let other more “important” things come before their beautiful little faces. My greatest joy, though, is that as men, they are my friends and my chances to be patient with them has not been lost.

    Your story reminded me of Mother’s Day this year and those two grown men, (26 and 28) in the kitchen at the beach house they took me to for my birthday and Mother’s Day, attempting to make heart shaped pancakes with only the most basic of kitchen utensils. I knew I could do it quicker and with less mess, but I sat and watched and enjoyed the laughter, the jokes and the love that enveloped that room.

    Love is patient. Thank you God! Thank you that He is patient with me, and that those boys, now men, were patient and that love endures.

    In Him,

    Lynn

    PS – There’s a picture of those pancakes and those boys/men on my facebook page. I’d be honored if you took a look.

  111. 172

    Giving thanks for a grateful heart Ann, I reallly am.

  112. 173

    Patience is my #1 petition, every day, every week, every month, every year. And yet it eludes me. I know I have the capacity for it because I’ve asked for it, but using it, opening it, having it pour out of me is still so hard. So I keep praying.

  113. 174
    Mary Ann E says:

    Dearest Ann, God never fails to speak to me through your writings – I have been begging for patience and gentleness in recent days. After a day of pampering at a spa, God revealed to me what a gift of His spirit gentleness is. The massage, facial, manicure and hair styling, steam shower touched me with the meaning of His gentleness (I know it sounds so worldly and materialistic but our God will get to us no matter which way!) I usually relax myself (reading, writing or crocheting) but in this, I was taken to another level, relaxing by the gentleness of the girls was done to me! I beg God to remember being “gentled”, let me be a channel of His gentleness for others through this experience. Let me learn Your Gentleness o God, You are a Great God.
    And Patience, patience can be practiced being behind a tow truck pulling a NYC transit bus for two miles on these city streets (very slowly in a fast town!). Afterwards pulling into a gas station and having the attendant tell you how much he looks forward to seeing your smile, it makes his day. Crying alone, the emotion of being a bearer of God’s gifts to other people, His Gifts are there for us to use – “In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”!

  114. 175

    Ann,

    I just had an argument over the phone with my sister – my only sister… my only sibling. Our brother died in February at age 31 of a drug overdose. There were 3 of us & now there are only 2. She lives only an hour away from my husband & I. I felt like pulling my hair out after arguing on the phone. I still feel like that right now!!! How to love someone & be patient with them when they take you for granted, but expect the world from you?!?! When they want you to be there for every moment of their life, but never take a moment to share your in your life? Looking for something to be thankful for in this moment and it’s your words – so timely & so full of grace. Thank you.

  115. 176

    “Love is what stabilizes chaos. ” <3
    His perfect love….His perfect patience….His perfect love…
    oh to patiently wait on Him and His timing…
    Thank you Ann for you thoughts and words….a much needed reminder.

  116. 177

    Oh Ann this was so very thought provoking….as most of your blogs are. Thank you for sharing! I have four children that I homeschool too. And patience is certainly hard when you must share all your moments…the beautiful and sometimes painful chaos is certainly a gift and embracing it can be so hard the days you just want to hide….the Lord has showed me so many things in my life thru your book and your blog. Thank you for teaching of his grace…. It has spoken to my heart so much and brought so much peace in my life. Ive always enjoyed the small moments but never realized that they were precious gifts until you showed me….so from the bottom of my heart, thank you! Erica

  117. 178

    Thanks Ann, you have no idea how much I needed that! I it is exacly like you say, I am impatient for the kids to be someone different, someone grownup who doesn’t make messes, doesn’t ask questions every two seconds, etc. I feel like I am in the trenches with four kids ages eight and under and I feel like I am failing fast especially in the area of patience! And then I step back and ask myself, how can I be in Brazil as a missionary when I can’t even show Christ’s love to my children! Yesterday I was hit between the eyes with what my impatience is doing, so reading this article today just confirms that I need more patience in my life and I need to quit treating life like an emergency! I was given your book One Thousand Gifts a few months ago and though you literally have no idea who I am, I feel like you understand my life. I can feel you on the sidelines cheering me on as I read your blog posts, so honest about living out the Christian life in the daily stuff! Please don’t quit, your book was one of the things that kept from quitting this mission thing and going home to comfortable, family, friends, my own language. Thank you for helping me see the bigger picture.

  118. 179

    Love is patient first, and patience found in gratitude? How did I miss this? It’s so obvious now.

    And yes, children try us and train us in this Holy work – hundreds of comments above make that obvious. What I needed to hear was the Spirit’s whisper for my marriage. I have been stewing over insensitive remarks and unmet needs. I felt us distancing from each other – it seemed easier than arguing. I prayed, poured out my hurt to the Lord. Over the course of a week he showed me the little ways my husband shows he cares, even if its not everything I desire. Now I see what Jesus was really doing, coming alongside, reminding me to be grateful, birthing patience and nurturing the love I felt slipping away from me.

    Thank you Ann.

  119. 180

    Feeling the guilt of coming up short again and not wanting to waste the precious moments of these people gifts the Lord granted me to raise. For whoever may read this comment please just say a prayer for me-the mom in Alabama -who has been suffering severe depression for the past 4 months and so afraid of wasting each day not edifying my children by loving them “patiently”. Please pray that as I bathe in the Grace of my Savior that the outpouring will fall upon my family in the ways of patient love and that I will be able to stop and savor the moment He has gifted me. Thank you. ~Kerry

  120. 181

    I seem to have lots of patience for my children, family, friends, and students. However, I just don’t have much patience for myself. I’m an expert in losing my patience with my myself when I don’t live up to “my standard.”

  121. 182
    Laura in Montana says:

    Ann,

    Your post opened my eyes to what my lack of patience really is… refusing to gracefully accept my present circumstances and wanting change NOW. How ungrateful. When will I realize that everything comes from Him and even though it may not look or feel the way I want, it’s still being allowed by Him. Because nothing happens in my life that doesn’t first pass before His eyes.

    Recently circumstances I never wanted have been forced upon me. The prism of my thinking has shifted a bit after reading your post. These circumstances that I really, really want to change immediately? I can see them now as opportunites to choose to practice patience (love) or not.

    A change of perspective doesn’t make those cirucmstances easier, but it helps me make sense of them.

    Thank you, Ann.

    Love,
    Laura

  122. 183

    Ooops. Here I am. Hit “send” too quickly – my impatience. :)

  123. 184
    dana pate says:

    Ann, your book and blog have changed my life. I look at raising my five children completely different than ever before. You have touched millions of people. Your words are truly His words spoken….full of His spirit! I am sure others have and will continue to attest to the life changing power in your writing that is so God driven. This post hit home for me because I have lived the impatient life for so long. Power and control over my day and schedule and kids, their behaviors and successes and failures have always been “on my watch”….therefore I over react too easily when “my way” is not achieved WHEN I demand! Five children under 10 is exhausting but you have shown me how to count those gifts. I have passed that discipline on to my daughters and they help remind me to count the 3yr old meltdown as a gift ….an ugly beautiful one! I just won’t be able to thank you ever enough for the life change my heart has felt reading your work. I agree with some of the other posts that we as mothers are very hard on ourselves and I have always expected perfection at all costs….I continually refer to His word at times to remind me of my most important job on earth, and thus is raise them to know, love and serve Him. So when my patience begins to thin, we all stop, gather together in the floor and sing scripture verses we have memorized to tunes. Amazing how calming it is in the moment of chaos. Thank you again for your relentless work in speaking such beautiful words of truth for women like is to follow and grow from in our relationships with.Christ.

  124. 185

    Gratitude works. I’m learning it in those moments. To speak the gratitude, to claim God’s presence. It is transforming. It is working in these new moments of dealing with cancer. God’s grace is sufficient—really. Those are not empty promises that He makes to us. This time I’m the one with the cancer–and I can see that this situation has a greater purpose. If the only good thing that comes out of my cancer story is that I learn to be thankful in all things–what a gift I will have received. It’s surrender; I have tried it my way. Yes, Lord. I will seek you and strive to be thankful in all things. Thanks, Ann, for putting a frame around the concept of gratitude. I can see it so clearly now. God is using you to help me focus on what really matters. To God be the glory.

  125. 186

    I’m learning to be patient and grateful for the time I am spending researching my purpose-driven life. Without purpose there is no meaning, without meaning there is no hope. It’s frustrating to not be sure of the driving force in your life, but to know that God knows, is enough for me to ask, seek and knock just a little bit more. Each day is an opportunity to discover…me! Blessings.

  126. 187
    Deborah says:

    Ann,
    I love your blogs. They speak to me every time I read them. I’ve read your book over and over and recommended it to so many people I can’t even count. Thank you for taking a chance on us.

    I know there is really something to this whole patience business but I stumbled over the idea of being grateful with a child who is not behaving up to my expectations. I thought to myself “why would I be grateful for this naughtiness?” But as I processed this idea, it struck me that I don’t have to be grateful for the BEHAVIOR, but instead, choose to be grateful for the PERSON that God has entrusted to me to love and teach. If I can switch my focus off of how they are acting, see past the behavior and see instead, who they are and who they are becoming, I realize that responding to their bad behavior with PATIENCE (because I love them), can actually unlock the power to change that behavior (sometimes immediately, sometimes its a process). On the other hand (which is too often the case for me) if I respond in anger, impatience really, then MY behavior becomes the problem and I lose a powerful moment of teaching.

    Its often hard to see this clearly in the middle of an escalating “emergency.” I love how you reminded us though, that there really aren’t that many emergencies. Thanks for that.

  127. 188

    You’ve given me much to soak in today, Ann, with your beautiful words. So much I’m walking away with but especially these, “Love is only patient if it’s first grateful for what is.” and “Patience is a willingness to suffer.” Thank you : )

  128. 189

    Thank you so much for this article. As mommie to 4 boys, (10, 5, 4, 7 weeks) and wife of an alcoholic husband (which just makes him not present for the nightly circus ) i find my patience a fleeting thought. Learning to be grateful ,in the midst of seeming chaos, to gain patience I think will most definitely change the tone of our days here. And I think also the nights. :) Thank you for the insight.

  129. 190

    Ann,
    Any chance you can come over and remind me of this first thing in the morning? And then a couple more times before the kids get up (if I beat them awake, that is) and then every so often throughout the day? That would be great! I’m a BIG messy failure at patience lately. And gratitude. And unselfishness. And a bunch of other stuff. I’m a pretty huge mess in general and aren’t doing too good. Thanks for the reminder today. I needed it!
    You are such a blessing!
    Shana

  130. 191

    It’s been a 6 months since I lost my work to stay home with our very sick daughter. Seems every appliance or electrical item we own has broken. I sit painfully on the phone for 45 minutes with a bill collector trying to make payment arrangements only to have my battery die and disconnect the call. Cries of children for snacks or drinks or attention. And I sit trying to find not only an answer to the Whys, but to calm the angst and anxiety growing in my heart. This came at all to perfect of time. Thank you.

  131. 192
    Melissa says:

    Oh, Ann. Why couldn’t I have read this at 8:00 this morning, instead of 6:00 PM, after a day full of older siblings interrupting the naps of younger siblings, directions that have gone unacknowledged and unheeded, babies wanting to be cuddled right up against my 38 week pregnant belly, and a husband out of town for some much needed R & R with his friends. How often during this hard day have I wished for my children to be someone different than they are, instead of giving thanks for the beautiful children that God has given to me, even during the times when they have been unbeautiful. And how many times during this hardest of days have I been unbeautiful toward these precious little ones…too many to count. Thanking God for standing in the (oh so wide) gaps in my parenting…and thanking God for your sweet words of encouragement. Bless you, Ann.

  132. 193

    God is so good! He knows I lack patience (as many know). I just did a whole post on how I failed this week. Thanks, Ann for sharing encouragement!

  133. 194

    Ann, your words always spark something in my soul that nothing else touches. I know that those words come straight from my Creator, reaching out to me. Thank you for holding the wick and offering so much of yourself in the process!

    I read your story today (SO timely…as usual) then read this date’s devo in Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for His Highest. Think God is trying to tell me/us something?? http://www.heartlight.org/cgi-shl/my_utmost/utm.cgi?0728

    NO coincidences! God is ALWAYS on time! <3

  134. 195

    This was revelation. And so very timely. Than you, Ann.

  135. 196
    Gini Lin says:

    Dear Ann,
    This has been one of those weeks…..y’know what I mean? :)
    I am the oldest of four and only girl, it always hurt to have no sister, but now God has blessed me with two very wonderful sisters-in-law, even if it seemed “late” by my timing:). They are at very different stages than me, both with lots of precious little ones running around at their feet while my only child is nearly fifteen. I’ve raised her on my own (except her first year and tenth year), and worked full time. So when one of my sisters in law introduced our family to your book 1000 gifts, I stuck it in the pile of all the other books, keeping that wall up, thinking to myself that their lives aren’t like mine, what helps them wont help me, what I’ve been through they will never understand, and just deciding to stay “alone”, not part of the group, because it’s easier – its comfortable, it’s all I know….But they keep loving me anyway, along with my mom, and they send email forwards ALL the time, and I even get mad about that because it just crowds my inbox in a world where I never stop because of my daughter, the HUGE new management job, the second job, the house, the errands, the new adventure of homeschooling a teen for the first time ever, church, small group, and on and on…..and then God steps in, through those emails they send, and i actially stop to open just this one, and I read this post and ALL the comments and I cry and cry and cry and cry – over the pain of not knowing this when my ONLY child was small, over SEEING how Father God has made her into a beautiful young lady IN SPITE of me, over knowing the healing that will come when she and I read this blog TOGETHER, over knowing even more clearly now why I was promoted at work to LOVE even the unloveliest of people on staff who work under my leadership, over the fact I’ve been CRYING out to see clearly thru the chaotic past few months and this one simple truth sets me FREE that I don’t have to RUSH to please HIM and I don’t have to KEEP TRYING TO GET IT RIGHT AND GET IT UNDER CONTROL, over knowing that HE is still HEALING me from the impatience and intolerance I endured as a child and in my second marriage, and over KNOWING that ALL I really want anymore is to KNOW HIM and to FINISH WELL this journey of raising my daughter…
    Anyone that knows me would agree that I suffered more from late 2007 until this year more than any other time in my life and I thought it would never end, but I wouldnt trade it for every single dollar on the face of this earth because that same period of time is where I truly learned of His sustaining and abundant love for me, where I truly transformed (by the renewing of my mind) into a new woman, and where I began to understand patience (long-”suffering”:) ……COUNT IT ALL JOY, beautiful sisters, for it is ALL worth it!
    This is the closing thought that came to me…..
    Patience requires first gratitude….how do I get gratitude? He says, “BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD!”
    Thank you Ann, and thank you Mom and sisters, and thank you bloggers!
    In Him,
    GL

  136. 197
    Deborah says:

    I have also found that being judgmental gets in the way of being grateful. Lose the judgement of others and then you can be grateful for who they are and accepting of their life circumstances and patient for where they are and then love them – unconditionally.

  137. 198
    Marinalva Sickler says:

    The endurance of three years of my deceased husband’s illness combined with a financial meltdown are not compared with the pain of his departure to the other side. My 7 yr old grandson from his wiseness tells me “it was time for him to go, Grandma.” I feel embarassed and ashamed of my own weakness that hits me from time to time. Coping with loss is waiting patiently for a healing of a heart that pounds in. I have found comfort with the Word and your blog, as I ask God, “Keep me as an apple of your eye; Hide me in the shadow of your wings.”

  138. 199

    Impatience?!! Yes, that’s me and I now see the link to ungratefulness. HOW, HOW can I be grateful when I feel like giving up?? I know it’s wrong, and I don’t plan on it, but I’ve tried being grateful for so long and now I feel SPENT… And so discouraged to go on. You see, I struggle with multiple health problems that constrain me with so many do’s and don’ts, but I’m just so tired of the pain. And I’m only 18… I know God’s purposes are so higher than my own, but right now, making that rubber meet the road is HARD. Where is the place of patiently taking whatever He gives…not grieving at the future, but excited for whatever it brings (and that is a mouthful right now)?!

  139. 200

    I’m late to the party as usual; but I think , no, I know God meant for me to read this today- His gentle reminder that He knew that the place of patience was not where I was yesterday with a very curious crawling 8month old grandson (the greased up bowling ball with a thousand limbs- he weighs 25 pounds!) and the very (every day is a party waiting to happen, and limits, what limits?) 6year old granddaughter. Convicted by your statement: {Now is not an emergency to rip through, but a moment to embrace with gratitude.} I think I’ve spent most every waking moment of my almost 60 years living like it WAS an emergency to rip through.
    Yesterday was tough, not enough sleep for several days, an unpleasant road trip in the days leading up to yesterday, physical exhaustion limited my ability to be kind when it was most needed, and I was counting the hours til i could collapse.
    God has used your words to truly point out, in the kindest fashion, what the problem is- I gave up praying for patience years ago, decided that the only way I was going to get through the tough stuff was endurance- just get me through it, I don’t care how. Now, ouch, that velvet hammer on the head hurts, Lord! I realize that is exactly why I need to pray for patience in the here and now! Yes, I feel like dirt, had NO patience with the darling granddaughter (duh, of course, if you don’t ask for it….). So, I pick myself up off the disastered floor from yesterday and move forward and press on. Toward Patience which is really Love by another name! N

  140. 201
    Stephanie O. says:

    Thank you for this. I’ve never thought of it in this way before, but it makes so much sense! During those frantic school mornings when I’m coming unglued because my girls aren’t doing what they need to do so we aren’t late (being kids!), I certainly forget to be grateful for the gift that is being their mom, for their unique temperaments, gifts, etc.. Maybe that’s what I need to pray for instead of patience…if I’m more grateful for them (and all that comes with them), then maybe patience will naturally follow? It’s certainly given me something to ponder!

  141. 202

    I know many others have said this, but this post was SO timely! As an only child growing up, my world was very structured and orderly and predictable. Now I have 7 kids. :) . Gotta love God’s sense of humor. Thank you for reminding me to ENJOY the moment I’m in with them. Embracing the chaos seems near impossible on most days, but God reminded me through your words to slow down and just BE in the moment WITH my precious gifts from heaven. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Ready to stop talking/acting like I’m a victim of my life that is one big emergency! It’s NOT!! Woohoo!

  142. 203
    Jennie says:

    Oh Ann, that was complete life spoken to me. I have been laying it all out before God and so hungry to grow, to see, and this was a hugh piece of the puzzle in why… why I can’t seem to enjoy my kids, my husband.. my life. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am so very blessed to have been introduced to your book and all of this. You are such a blessing to me and so many many others. xxoo

  143. 204

    This is such a beautiful post and a great reminder to be more patient. God has been slowly teaching me patience, especially in my marriage. I’ve discovered when I have an attitude of gratitude, my love for my husband flows over the cup, as does my love for other people. It starts in the home. If you aren’t grateful for your spouse, children, family…whoever you live with and see most, you can’t genuinely love them. Great thoughts, Ann! I especially liked the part about “patient people dare to gratefully accept people for who they are. ” God dares us to be different, to set the bar high, and to go the extra mile. It makes sense that the extra mile starts with a heart of gratitude and a high dose of patience.

  144. 205

    Tears are falling…this is what I needed today… now…I am just speachless because God cares sooo much for me that he made me find this older post.. its just weird that I even found it and read it this is what I hoped to read this is the kind of guidance I needed and no one was there to help me through today . I struggled to show patient love. love is Patient…and I have failed

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  1. [...] Patience in the moment only comes from gratefulness for the moment. …. ”  continue reading  [...]

  2. [...] excerpted from http://www.incourage.me/2012/07/when-youre-finding-it-hard-to-be-patient.html [...]

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