It always amazes me, how when I take even a moment to listen, God gets me. While working on the last week of Bible study homework tonight, I read: "Pray that you might be an example from which the people you care about can see God's unlimited patience." Oh, You got me, God.
Lately, I have been so impatient, annoyed, frustrated, and irritated by Marty, Layni, stupid politicians etc. Of course, the person I feel worst about is Layni. Even Jolie noted the other day, "Watch out, Layni. Janis is a hard-ass!" Is it because I'm struggling with depression and I take it out on others? Is it because my standards are too high? I get so annoyed and frustrated by laziness, for example. When Marty wants Jolie or me to do all the work for him - why can't you do it yourself? It's YOUR responsibility! We'd be happy to help, the operative word being HELP. Or Layni does the bare minimum and only with constant nagging from us... when it comes to school, Tae Kwon Do, chores - everything! Don't you care about anything? Don't you want to do well? Do you always have to talk back, whine, complain, argue about every little thing? I just want her to be a good person and do well in life. Or am I being too hard on an almost-eight year old? Too demanding? Whatever my problem is, I need to learn to relax and to be more patient and loving and gracious. Maybe I need more medication ;) I definitely need to lighten up and laugh more. I need to encourage instead of nag, to be an example of unlimited patience... and I know that's only possible by the Holy Spirit in me... and me allowing Jesus to shine through me. I want everyone, but especially the people I love and especially the little ones entrusted to my care, to see and experience the love of God in their lives through me.
If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging symbol. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends... And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.
- 1 Corinthians 13
Oh Lord, help me to love like You, especially the people I love the most! Help me to be patient when people annoy me; help me to be kind especially when I'm irritated; help me to not be arrogant, thinking I always know best; help me not to be rude even when Layni is talking back and giving attitude; help me not to always insist on my own way, even when I'm convinced my way is best; help me not to be so irritable!; help me not to be resentful; help me to believe the best about people - to see the best in them; help me to hope for the best instead of worrying and despairing about the worst case scenario; help me to endure when I'm weary and at the end of my resources. Oh Lord, give me wisdom to know when I need to push and when I need to let go, when I need to be lenient and when I need to enforce the rules, when I need to laugh at the situation or when I need to take a break and calm myself down. Give me wisdom in my words and actions, fill my find with loving thoughts... help me to love like You, because Your way is always best. Oh Lord, I want to be a blessing, an encouragement, not a discouragement. Teach me how to communicate effectively with Marty and Layni especially. Oh Lord, You know my heart, the good and the bad... I pray Psalm 51 - Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your steadfast love; according to Your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me... You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart... Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me... sustain in me a willing spirit... The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise."