Monday, June 28, 2010

Patience is a Dirty Word?

It has been for me lately. It seems as if someone is always telling me to "just be patient" or asking me why I'm "in such a hurry" to do this, that or the other. This generally results in me being speechless out of sheer anger because heaven knows they have no idea what they're talking about. Unfortunately, when someone directly tells you to be patient, it's hard for it not to come off terribly self-righteous.  And so, I approach this topic with a lot of caution.

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Patience has been something I've struggled with for almost my entire life. I am a goal oriented person. I like setting and achieving goals. I loved taking tests in high school and college because it gave me a chance to prove myself and measure my progress. [weird, yes. I'm OK with that.] The problem comes when I'm constantly refusing to find the joy in the every day because I'm looking forward to next summer, Christmas, when we have a house, when we have a baby, when we're pregnant, when I don't have to work anymore, when C graduates from chiropractic school, etc. The list goes on and on.

I can't tell you how many times me and C have discussed how we need to slow down and enjoy this time of life. The conversation always ended with a "ok. let's do it!" Exactly how to do it wasn't very clear until yesterday.

Yesterday, at church, a certain high-councilman spoke to us. He had a way of explaining things through metaphors that was completely captivating. I don't think I looked away from the podium once [and with a man as attractive as C sitting next to you, that's a pretty rare occurrence.]

The speaker started talking about time and how it relates to God. If you think about the creation story found in the Bible, it talks about 6 creative periods and a day of rest. Each day in God's time is equivalent to 1,000 years in ours. Knowing that, think about the following:

  • 1 year is the equivalent of 1 minute and 18 seconds.

  • I am only 28 minutes old.

  • C is 30 minutes old.

  • My beautiful niece Lillie is 32.5 seconds old.

  • My twin nephews are 52 seconds old.

  • Women, you're only pregnant for 1 minute with each of your children.

  • As parents, we spend 39 minutes raising our children and then we'll have an empty nest again.

  • 1 month is the equivalent of 6.5 seconds.

  • We're in school for about 23 minutes and 25 seconds.

  • As humans, we live for an hour and 50 minutes on average.

  • We're asked to remain faithful for that hour and 50 minutes.

  • Those of you who are waiting to be able to add another little one to your family, every time you're asked to wait, it's only another 6.5 seconds in the grand scheme of things.

  • Those of you waiting to find your beloved husband, the time is soon. We're talking minutes and seconds here.

  • Mothers of children who aren't sleeping, or have hit the terrible twos with gusto, or aren't quite grasping the whole idea of potty-training, this phase is only a few seconds long.

When I think about this, I can't help but feel an overwhelming sense of comfort. It's completely changed my outlook. I can do anything for an hour and 50 minutes. I can, and will, wait an extra 6.5 seconds to bring a child into our family, if it means they will join this world at the time they are being saved for. [And I can, and will, do it again and again.] I can, and will, happily support my husband for the last 6 minutes and 50 seconds of his schooling. I can, and will, be a faithful daughter of my Heavenly Father for the entire 1 hour and 50 minutes I am away from Him.

I know hard times will come, but "[my] adversity and [my] afflictions shall be but a small moment;" {D&C 121:7} literally.

When things get tough, does it makes sense to rely on your 28 minutes worth of experience? Thinking about it that way sure makes it easy to turn to your Heavenly Father and trust in his endless knowledge.

Suddenly, patience isn't such a dirty word.

So, what will you do with the time that's left?


  1. Thank you for this. I really appreciate it. :)

  2. 6.5 seconds. What a game changing idea :)

  3. Lela Wilkins DandoyJune 28, 2010 at 9:16 AM

    Kristin, I absolutely loved this! It really did just change my whole way of thinking. Thank you so much for sharing!

  4. wow, good point! be patient ok kristin! jk! i hate being patient, i struggle too!

  5. Huh. Interesting!! Only 39 minutes to raise my baby-I want more time...that is such a good way to think of it and recognize that each moment is precious. Brilliant post, Kristin.

  6. I'm with ya... I have a hard time not hinking everything will be great when _____. Truth is I'm in the middle of that hour and fifty minutes right now and it's a great time!

  7. LOVE this. And that talk was awesome. My whole life I have had an issue with patience when it comes to time and waiting for things to happen.. I need to be a little better at remembering this.

  8. I love those moments when you can step back and see the Lord's hand in your life. Thanks for a fresh perspective on a very difficult attribute.

  9. How insightful. Thanks so much for sharing! When you think about life in that perspective, it really makes you not want to waste a single moment. Time is just to precious to not live intentionally.

  10. I used to be very impatient and in recent years have swung the other way. It is definitely nicer in the overly patient camp. Enjoy it.

    (from the creme)

  11. Reminds me that "time flies...and we are the pilot".

    You have a great way of putting it in perspective. Visiting from Creme de la Creme and I'll be here often. :)

  12. It speaks of life being but a moment in time. Nice way to look at all the waiting we have to do. I love the look of your from Creme

  13. That is a different way to look at life and the stages we go through. I too am an impatient person and I have turned to Buddhism to help me live in and appreciate the present moment instead of dwelling in a past I cannot change and hoping for a future that has not yet happened. It is hard to live in the present moment and just accept life for what it is, instead of constantly planning for what will be. But if you live in the present moment you don't have to worry about the future or mourn the past. You can just be. When you look at time in the way that you have presented it makes that even more attainable. Thank you.

    Creme de la Creme #125
    Creme de la Creme Iron Clad Commenter Attempt 2010

  14. WOW! Thank you for sharing such an inspirational blog on the Creme list! I don't think I will look at time the same way ever again.