patience and perspective

Janneke enjoying (or at least tolerating) the swing before she caught her cold.

Rachel with her one of her favourites.

Sitting in a waiting room gives me time to think. Today’s “think” was about two hours at Mac. I thought about patience and perspective -two things that disappear the longer I sit and wait!

So much of my day hinges on perspective. It is amazing the range of emotions in just one day. For three hours, I can feel as though everything is manageable and almost normal. Then something happens that is beyond my control (big or small) -and my perspective shifts so quickly from managing to feeling overwhelmed.

I have been told that God never gives you more than you can handle. That phrase is a misunderstanding of a verse in the Bible, a misquote that only brings more guilt when you already feel like giving up. It frustrates me when people say that.

And there is patience. I struggle to be patient while waiting for some kind of answer from a doctor or a clinic. I have to be patient with my older daughters when sleep has deprived me of the energy required to answer numerous questions about Jupiter and Saturn, the population of South Korea, and when the trampoline will be set up.

This past week, both Rachel and Janneke have been fighting colds. When they are dealing with colds, they have trouble with breathing, swallowing, etc. It’s not as if they are in respiratory distress, but they gag on their mucous and have a lot of stomach pain. The nights are long with little sleep.

That certainly affects my perspective and my patience. Because they are already medically compromised, I become extra anxious when they are crying or uncomfortable. I pace between calling the doctor and waiting the night out.

It is crazy how quickly we can lose our perspective and patience. I think it’s a control issue. I want to control exactly how things go and where things go. There’s that old poem for parents with children of special needs - about packing and planning for a trip to Italy, but you end up in Holland instead. The parallel is obvious: a child with special needs is not what you planned, but the experience will still be a gift.

I’m Dutch. So, I should be okay with going to Holland. Most days.

The expression “to be grounded” refers to maintaining a stable perspective. Well, my perspective is best kept above the ground. For when my eyes are lifted up, I can see that the whole world is in His hands. It is His plan, not mine. In this world, there will be trouble, but it is not to last. Easter reminds us of that victory.

The patience? Well, coffee can bring me a temporary fix, but I must also remember I can’t do it on my own strength. When I get so wrapped up in myself and my troubles, I forget that it isn't about me. Life is bigger than my own four walls. Patience comes when I admit that. But it is not easy.

As for sitting in the waiting room earlier today - well, the visit to Mac resulted in a wait-and-see with Rachel’s kidneys. No cause for concern, for which we are thankful.

A blessed Easter to you all.... enjoy the spring weather and the sunshine. We certainly will; I’m counting on the sunshine to chase away the colds and flu viruses. : )


My two GEMS - we were at a girls club event through our church.