I hate airport days!
This is my husband faking how great it is to stand and wait in long security lines with wiggly children while carrying 3 backpacks. He’s a trooper!
I hate airport days mostly because I loathe waiting for things, especially waiting in lines. I wait for the shuttle at the parking lot to take me to the airport, sometimes anxiously, as if it wont show up, even though it always has. I haul all our bags and car seats and backpacks to the ticket counter to wait in line to check our bags, hoping we do not go over the weight limit. This takes a little skill and craftiness to maneuver with four people. I wait in line again to go through security. While there a bit of panic creeps in me, What if I have something in my bag I’m not supposed to have? What will they do? The level of panic would be more appropriate if I was carrying a gun or illegal drugs, when in reality my offense would probably be a bottle of contact solution. It’s an irrational fear but it’s there.
I try to do this all before the 90 minute mark, so I can just sit at my gate and wait. That is the worst part. I just hurried up and stressed, so I can wait. Obviously, I do not want to miss my flight. But deep in my soul I detest waiting, because to me, waiting means wasting.
Waiting means wasting… or at least that is how I act.
If nothing is happening, and I am not working, then my time is wasted. And I have too much to do to waste time. I’m so much a slave to the constant movement that American culture’s metronome has beaten into me that I have begun to think that my down time must also be productive.
The very worst is that I have taken all this ‘waiting means wasting’ and put it squarely on God’s shoulders. If I pray to God for something, and I have to wait… Well, that means God is wasting time.
When in reality, waiting does not equal wasting. And waiting certainly does not mean God is not working.
It’s really all a timing thing for God, and change in expectations for me.
But I do not like waiting! I want my butt to look great, now! I want my kitchen cleaned, now! I want my son to read, now! And I really, really, want to fully understand that mysterious world of horses and barn culture, now! (Because it’s my daughters great love and it’s currently a constant thorn in my side figuring out how to help her accomplish her dreams. Why couldn’t she love gymnastics?!)
That’s not the end of the things I want now…. Oh no! I want healing and reconciliation from a wounded relationship, now! I want my knee better, now! I want to know what God’s doing in my heart, when I keep being broken for mothers who can’t feed their babies… and I want to know now!
No more waiting! I want to get to work! I’m so impatient!
I need realistic expectations. I need lowered standards. I need to KNOW, in that gut level, that I can not accomplish everything now. And I need to KNOW, and not just think, that I was not meant to accomplish everything ever. Some things will happen later. Some things will never happen. I need to be okay with this.
I want to live a life of love, and that means living patiently.
I think the secret to being patient is being okay with waiting and letting God be master of timing and the dictator of expectations.
I have noticed over the last week that I am more patient with the people around me when I have allowed the necessary time for things. When my schedule is not jammed packed and when I have left us a little wiggle room, then I am patient with my kids. I am not so bothered that we have to drive back around the block to get the jacket she forgot. I can let him spend an extra 5 minutes tweaking his lego creation, before we head out the door for church. Even at work, when I give people a week, rather than a day, to respond, everyone’s stress is lower. I can be patient.
I can be patient and I can speak kindly to myself in front of the mirror. Instead of remembering slimmer days, I can remember that this body created and nourished two people. And this body is still in the trenches of caring for little people. I will be patient. (This is more of a mantra, than an “I’ve got this one all worked out.”)
And those dishes…. I can demand that they get done now. But then something else has to go, because I cannot do everything! And heaven help me, if what goes is being kind to the people I live with. I can do the dishes, but I can not work out. Or I can work out, but I can not make that phone call to the doctor. Or I can make that phone call to the doctor but I can not volunteer in the classroom. OR…. See, everything on my list seems important! But I’m serious when I say that I will create a To-Do list that is reasonable and allows me enough time to be kind and patient with my kids. That is not going to be the thing I will take off the list.
If I want to be loving, I am going to have to be patient. And if I want to be patient, then I am going to need wiggle room in my schedule, and wiggle room in my pants, and wiggle room in my house keeping expectations. And I am going to need to get better at waiting. I’m trusting God that sometimes waiting IS the work.
And sometimes waiting sets you up perfectly for a blessing you did not know was just around the corner!
How cool was that pilot?! Good thing we were still in a good mood about all our waiting so we could enjoy this moment.
PS – For more on Wiggle Room and Patience read My Secret to Happiness.
PPS – This is part of a series in which I explore the practical meaning of the life of love God is calling us to. Directions is the first post in this series. If you want to get notifications about future posts sent to your e-mail so you don’t miss them, then you can subscribe at the side bar or the bottom of the page, depending on the device you are reading on. Cheers!