Thursdays are a weekly highlight. I get together with a group of really wonderful women from our church here. We go over whatever Bible study we are doing together (currently a Beth Moore study on the Fruits of the Spirit), pray for each others' concerns and - of course - eat some wonderful baked good someone made and drink coffee/tea/whatever. Most of these women are long term missionaries here. Their perspective is humbling, invaluable and any doctrinal differences are parked at the door. It is an oasis from diurnal frustrations. There are a few in particular who are the people I feel closest to in Kathmandu and I am so so grateful for their friendship.
This week we have been studying patience. I just overflow with the stuff. A paragon of virtue I am. Calm in the storm. I am lying like a rug.
I always say nothing has exposed me for a fraud and showed me my need for Christ more than parenthood. And patience in particular is probably the quality I pray for in myself more often than any other. (Actually I usually pray an acronym - FLOWCH - may God make me a woman of faith, love, openness, wisdom, compassion, courage, hope, humor and humility). Hmmm, patience is missing from this list. So that's the problem. Actually, it is such a big one that it stands in its own category:)! Why humor on that list? My real life motto (not that anyone is asking) is "take Jesus seriously, just don't take yourself seriously." Life is just way too short.
Anyway ... back to patience. (apparently one must be patient to wade through one of my posts!). The study this week looked at two uses of the translated word 'patience' in scripture. One has to do with endurance and holding up under trying circumstances - a la the "patience of Job". The other is used exclusively in our dealings with people and the word for patience is always paired with mercy. I love this thought. It helps me tremendously. God is patient with me because he is merciful. I, in turn, out of mercy, need to be patient with a certain unnamed four year old. We all need mercy. I am praying that when I am tempted to get angry and impatient with my kids that I will remember how I have been viewed by God ... and give the poor kids a break:).
Oh, this also goes with a few cross cultural interactions we have on a daily basis.
Speaking of which - the hoodlums want Mommy - gotta go.
Peace ... and patience,