I’m just going to come right out and say it, guys. I’m impatient. My kids simultaneously jump in and finish my sentence when I say, “I needed this room picked up yesterday”. It’s seriously a daily struggle. I think every ounce of patience I had simultaneously flew out of my body along with my fourth child. Yes, I traded my patience in for my children.
Mucking through the process of anything is tough-whether it’s getting that promotion, cleaning up the house, writing my first book, or walking out the process of healing, I want it done, and I want it done NOW.
Not sure if this is something you struggle with? Let me help! Do you ever get easily frustrated or angry when something you intended finish required more time? Are you anxious or discouraged when you think about tasks necessary to accomplish a goal? Is your mind a hamster wheel of to-do lists and negative self-talk? Or maybe you just can’t seem to figure out how other people are capable of accomplishing what you’re trying to do with ease?
If you’ve answered “yes” to any of the questions above, well take a seat my friend, cause you need to hear this. Getting ahead of ourselves is an innate, human response. You’re not alone in this struggle. I’m riding that struggle bus hard most days.
Here are the things that help me settle my mind, find some peace, and keep from getting to that ugly “boiling point” that I unfortunately get to more often than I like to admit.
1.There is preparation in the waiting.
Have you ever seen what overnight success does to people? It’s toxic. The growth curve for someone to go from nothing to stardom tends to send people spiraling into some kind of rehab facility, divorce settlement, bankruptcy, or emotional breakdown (i.e. Britney Spears anyone? Poor girl lost all her hair, on purpose. Very unfortunate, but luckily it grew back, and she regained some of what she lost in the process). There are some exceptions to this, but they are very few and far between.
The truth is, we learn a lot on our way to success, whether it is personal or professional. Rushing through the pivotal steps of growth robs us of learning how to mature into the person who’ll be responsible enough for the goal we wish to achieve.
“What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction” Romans 9:22 ESV.
Our God is sovereign. Therefore, He makes sovereign choices. Patience is learned through the process of following Him. When we pursue Him, we learn that He is the one calling the shots, not us. Therefore, everything has a purpose, whether we see it or not. Walking through life with the understanding that the journey is more pivotal than the outcome has given me so much peace when I would’ve otherwise succumbed to frustration and anxiety.
2.Staaaaaaahp, already. Pump the breaks, girl. It’s time for a break.
Oh my gosh- I’m the pot callin’ the kettle black on this one, girl. There’s a time to reap and there’s a time to sow. In other words, it all doesn’t have to get done right now. Take it one step at a time. Focus on one task, finish it, and then move on to the next. The days I do fifty thousand things half-way compared to the days I do two and complete them aren’t even comparable.
Don’t do the laundry, pick up the play room, cook dinner, bath the kids, and talk on the phone all at the same time. Not only will you be exhausted, but you’ll feel unaccomplished and beat yourself up for not “finishing” something at the end of the day. Or, at least that’s what I do. It really helps me to section things out. I’ve learned to let go of having my whole house tidy for now and get done what’s stressing me out the most and then leaving the rest for later.
For instance, I’ll leave the playroom a wreck and finish three loads of laundry, fold, and put it away on Monday. Yes, the playroom will still be a wreck at the end of the day but the laundry is finished. But here’s my rationale, the kids are going to destroy it tomorrow anyways, so why not wait and do it later? Maybe you’re the opposite. The laundry doesn’t stress you as much as that nasty playroom, you do you girl! Get after that playroom but leave the laundry for later!
Getting one thing finished instead of multiple things started help you feel accomplished instead of defeated at the end of the day. I understand this isn’t always feasible, but if we try and make it apart of our normal routine the rhythms of life seem to pivot towards peace and joy rather than stress and anxiety.
“so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises” Hebrews 6:12 ESV.
You aren’t lazy for sectioning out your responsibilities. God clearly states that the promises He has for you comes through faith and patience. I’ve learned that making mistakes along the way teach me how to better prioritize my time and therefore result in less anxiety and frustration. It’s all a learning process. Take one baby step at a time.
3.It’s not always about me.
Did that hurt you as much as it did me? Goodness, y’all, I even had a hard time typing it. There are so many times throughout my day I catch myself having a pity-party. It’s hard to admit.
There’s a billion reasons and excuses I can use to justify why I should be pitied (in my own mind). But the reality is, I’m selfish. It’s a daily struggle to catch those negative thoughts and throw ‘em off the hamster wheel that’s spinning ninety miles an hour in my mind.
“with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” Ephesians 4:12 ESV.
The work it requires to become patient yields some pretty awesome Jesus fruit, my friend. He trades our pride in for humility, our anger for gentleness, and our loneliness with unity. He begins to show us how to live out our lives exuding love, accepting love, and receiving it in return.
When I stop and think about what truly matters, the things I get upset about don’t really matter as much as I allow them to. The days I’m crawling to bed without a single second to sit? They’re the ones I fall victim to those pity-parties the most. I want to be angry or upset I didn’t get any “me time” or tell myself I’m not enough when “everything didn’t get done that needed to”.
But here’s the truth. The more I walk out the work I’m called to do in Him? The less those days hold on grip on me. My work isn’t in vein. My babies are cared for, my friendships are growing, my marriage is getting stronger, and my relationship with the Lord is getting deeper.
I’m learning to hover in the process a little longer. The more patient I become the less restless, anxious, or stressed life seems. It isn’t easy, but it’s worth the work.
If this helps you, would you mind sharing it with others? I’d also love to hear how this moved you. Share with me so I can get to know you better! We’re in this together, and we glean from those around us who openly share their stories. Thanks, friend!