Teachable Moments – Patience

These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Deuteronomy 6:6-7

I took two of my three the kids to the store with me today. I had bought some shoes for my daughter that were a size too big so we took them back. First stop is always the bathroom of any store because I have a 3 year old who thinks bathrooms are the bomb. Next, we stood in a very long line to exchange the shoes.

My daughter was bouncing up and down in the big SUV cart with the extra two seats. This was good for her. She wasn’t running and jumping off the cart or screaming and throwing a fit (that came later in the Little Debbie isle). She wasn’t trying to randomly put things we don’t need in the cart or randomly take things that we do need out. Just jumping in place happily.

chickenpatienceI calmly said, “Thanks for waiting so patiently, girls.”  The lady behind me chuckled. I turned and said, “Trust me, this is patient.” This was also a teachable moment. I seized the opportunity to use Deuteronomy 6. We talk about how waiting our turn is important. We talk about how we can’t always have what we want right away. Sometimes we have to wait. It is what God wants us to do. We sing the patience song (get it here).

We finally got through the line and exchanged the shoes. Then we went and bought groceries and I bought a new analog converter box because ours finally gave out on us. Yes, folks, we don’t have cable. But I do still like having the regular channels. After shopping, we came home and I started to hook up the new converter. Step 1: plug in adaptor to converter box and outlet. I look around. No cord anywhere. I frantically search thinking it must be somewhere. Nope, no cord. Big sigh….back to the store. I don’t take the girls with me this time (for my own sanity).

I go right to the electronics section with the original box and wait for a sales associate to help me. I am slightly agitated at this point. “Could you open this box for me and make sure all the parts are here? I don’t want it to look like I am stealing.” I let him know what has happened and he looks in the box. Everything is there. I go stand at customer service again in another very long line. I am a bit irritated that I have had to come back to the store and do this again.

Then a mom with her daughter steps in line behind me. She is patiently telling her young daughter why they must return one toy and get a new one. The young girl says, “So we get two toys?” The mom calmly explains again. She is patient and loving the whole time. I chuckle, but this time it is because I get what God is saying to me. God always gives me many teachable moments in the day (usually in patience), but then he whispers, “It’s not to teach them, it’s to teach YOU, Laura!”

So I wait patiently in the long line, I wait patiently while it takes 20 minutes to do the exchange because the girl does not quite know how to exchange an electronic. I drive home happy, patient, calm, and loving. I get home and find, while I was gone, my 3 year old decided to spread oatmeal on one of the kitchen chairs. I smile. I say a prayer: Thanks God. I start singing the patience song and cleaning it up.

Have patience
Have patience
Don’t be in such a hurry
When you get inpatient
You only start to worry
Remember, remember
That God has patience too
Think of all the times that others
Have to wait for you!


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