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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Dig Down Deep

Photo Credit:  raymortim at

I’m going to come on out with it.  I’m not holding back.  I’m layin’ it all on the line.  Here goes:  I CANNOT and SHOULD NOT multi-task.  Period.  End.  Of.  Story.

All moms are supposed to be able to do fifty things at once right?  Well, not this momma.  It’s not advisable.  Let me tell you a little story…

The other day I was on the phone with a dear friend.  She was sharing with me about her recent health problems and how she was coming up with more questions than answers.  My heart was breaking for her and I was very focused on listening to what she had to say.  In a conversation like that, I usually just sit on my duff in my favorite rocking chair and soak it in.  I don’t want to miss something.

This time, against my better judgment, I felt the need to finish the laundry, put fresh sheets on the beds, corral the kids, and make supper while chatting with her.  Epic fail.

Supper – check.  Listen to my wonderful friend – check.  Corral the kids – half a check.  Laundry – no check whatsoever.

I ran the dryer twice.  No biggie.  Well, it’s not a biggie in and of itself since it is OLD and we usually have to run it several times before the clothes are dry anyway.  The kicker is that the clothes were still in the washer when I ran the dryer twice.  Yep.  That’s right.  What WAS I drying?!  One will never know.  I do know that the air inside of that dryer was the hottest, driest air I’ve ever met outside of west Texas.  (In my defense, does it help if I tell you that our dryer does NOT have a see-through door?  No?  Poo!  I didn’t think so.)

Well, this little oopsie would definitely have been tucked away in my “Are you kidding me, Heather?!” file, but another party was unfortunately involved.  My dear, sweet, helpful husband.

My husband had come home from work while I was doing all of this fancy multi-tasking.  After I finished my phone call, he asked if I needed help folding the clothes in the dryer.  (SO thoughtful, that man!)  He heard the dryer running and thought we could knock out the load together so we could eat supper sooner and get the kids’ nighttime routine going.

He opened the dryer door.  He looked in the dryer three times.  Then, he looked at me.  Then, he looked in the dryer again.  I took a peek in the dryer, wondering why on earth he kept looking at me with such a weird expression.  (Oh my gosh!  An empty dryer.  No way!  All this time.  My mind was foggy.  Had I really done it?  Air?  Air!  I was drying AIR.)  I desperately hoped at that very moment that some clothes would just magically appear in our dryer.  Any clothes.  Just something.  Help me out, Lord.  (I will NOT be getting the “Mother of the Year” award after this one!  hee hee)

Luckily, my hubby is not one to holler, scream, or relentlessly make fun of me.  My loving husband took a deep breath and just looked at me kinda quirky-like and calmly asked, “Really?” 

I had no words.

Our washer is old too and keeps dripping if we don’t take the clothes out right away.  So, in silence, we gathered the clothes from the washer, wrung them out in the sink, and put them in the dryer.

Patience.  My husband did such a great job that day.  He has not mentioned this “incident” again.  Although, I’m certain that he had to dig down DEEP!  Thank you, honey.  I might have just plopped down on the floor, rocking and sobbing, had you reacted some other way.  You rock.

Little day-to-day chances to witness patience are beautiful, aren’t they?  Don’t we admire patient people?  We respect their ability to take it all in stride…to think before they react…to pray before they hastily make decisions.

In Allen Hunt’s book, “Nine Words,” he addresses patience.  He breaks it down into three categories:  end-time patience, social patience, and personal patience.

For end-time patience, he says, “Believers wait for the Lord.  We wait for the completion of the Lord’s plans in the world.  We wait for the return of Jesus.  We wait for the arrival of the Kingdom of God.  We wait for our souls to be united with Jesus forever.  We wait.  All Christians live with an eye toward God’s eternal future.  We already know the outcome of history.  We know where we are headed.  We have the assurance of God’s final victory.  In the meantime, we wait and anticipate.  End-time patience.”

Hunt says that we needn’t worry that we won’t get enough things or fulfillment in this life.  We don’t need to invest ourselves completely in the achievements of this worldly life since there is a life to come that will be more rewarding.  When things don’t go our way, Hunt reminds us that we shouldn’t lose heart, because the purpose of God will prevail.  That is worth waiting for.

Hunt states that “the Holy Spirit provides a whole level of internal peace that allows you to live richer, fuller lives.  You can afford to be patient because you know that this life is not the end but merely an anticipation of eternity with our Lord.”

The second dimension is patience with other people – social patience.  Hunt writes that “social patience blossoms directly out of end-time patience.  As you learn to have a Kingdom view of the world and of your life, the Spirit then is able to move you to a deeper level of patience with other people.  In other words, the more you know God and trust in His eternal ways, the more you are able to be patient with the other people around you.  You know the big stuff, so the small stuff begins to occupy your mind a little less.”

Hunt says that “just as God is patient with you and your failures, so too does God desire that you will be patient with your difficult neighbor, your rebellious child, or your opinionated co-worker in your struggles to live and be together.  Bearing with one another even when shortcomings and failures are apparent – THAT is social patience.”

In the Patience chapter of his book, we are reminded that it is not a natural human response to bear with people who mistreat us or to have endless patience with the most difficult of people.  It is only through the work of the Spirit that we are able to.

And, finally, the last element of patience is personal.  Well, personal patience, that is.  And, it is quite possibly the most difficult.  Patience with ourselves.  “The work of the Spirit bears fruit as we learn to be patient and endure through personal suffering.  The Spirit makes Himself known to us as we learn to experience the hand of God in our suffering rather than IN SPITE of our suffering.  This lesson may be the hardest one to hear and the hardest to learn, but it is also the most fruitful.  God can and does grow your patience by using suffering in your life to draw you closer to Him and to form you in His image.  God does not CAUSE you suffering, but He can USE it to grow you.”

I really enjoyed pondering patience through Hunt’s three descriptions in his book.  I hope to cultivate more and more fruit in the garden of patience.  So!  When you “think” you have set the microwave “timer” and it runs without a single food particle inside, be patient.  When your kid’s Easter Party becomes a man-hunt for the six decorated “unboiled” Easter eggs, be patient (a friend’s story – no names, though!).  When your wife runs the dryer (twice) without a stitch of clothing inside, be patient.  Dig Down Deep.  Be patient.  Be patient.  Be patient.  God is patient with us.


  1. I really enjoyed your towel story. The patience lesson was great. : )

    Jen G

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Jen! Glad you enjoyed my little laundry story ;-)