If you want to grow in the virtue of patience cook in the kitchen with your children. I was reminded of this just this past Christmas. One afternoon when we had started baking some cookies, my little ones had gathered around. They were adding ingredients, all complaining about whose turn it was. "She got to crack the eggs." one of them said in a whiny voice. There was flour flying everywhere. It was crazy. I had dropped the spatula while using the hand mixer. I turned the hand mixer off, put it on the counter and bent down to pick up the spatula. As I was bent down the mixer comes crashing down on my head. "That's it!" I yell, "everyone out!" the two little ones run away crying. I stay bent low. I start crying. I failed again.
Every moment we have a choice. Acting patiently is a choice. I have to choose to smile. I have to choose to soften my heart. Not always, but sometimes being patient isn't easy and natural. When people find out how many children I have, and that I homeschool, I always here the comment, "you must be so patient?" Well, I'm not. I pray for it constantly. I want to be a wonderful example for my children. They also must know I am human, that I fail, that I struggle, and that I am humbled; for someday they will have their own babies to raise.
I went and found those crying little ones, and hugged them and kissed them and apologized. I don't want their memories of baking with their Mama to be not so happy. It was humbling. Another virtue.
You know, I think about how as parents we are to teach our children to be virtuous, to know right from wrong. I then think about all they teach me. God puts us together as a family to teach each other, to help us grow virtuous. These 9 beautiful souls God blessed me with are helping me grow. I look around, the opportunities are bountiful, I am blessed. Lord, help me to make it so.