Patience Revisited

My first children’s book, Wendel the Wind Turbine should be available soon. I am awaiting final proofs. I can imagine that like so many things since the pandemic, the process is running slower and with fewer hands. Once again, it is time to reinforce the process of patience in my life.

I became aware of my impatience as a young adult. I was excited about the future, my career as a Registered Nurse, all of the interests I pursued, traveling, getting married and starting a family. I would hear often that one should ideally live in the moment, but the future held so much in store that in the moment I needed to think and plan! I realize now that while thinking ahead and planning are very important, they are not what is meant by “living in the moment.”

Social media memes abound which emphasize that while people are snapping away selfies and photos and recording events on smartphones, they are missing out on actually participating in the moment itself. Decades and centuries ago, people would have marveled at such technology, but could it be that without it all, they participated more fully in the moments of their lives?

Yesterday before dusk my son and I had a nice drive together to accomplish an errand. He drove and we chatted. I instructed him in that loving, motherly-way of how to reduce speed more gradually when approaching red lights and cars braking ahead. Oh, he was patient with me!

Upon arriving home, we witnessed the most incredible evening sky. Oranges and pinks and lavender bounced down from a vast, low ceiling of clouds hovering just over our home. I did say it was too bad we couldn’t take a photo, and he fumbled with groceries and managed to get out his smartphone. I went inside immediately because that is what I do with groceries. But by the time I walked to the kitchen at the back of the house the carnival lights had dimmed to a dull purple. I thought it would last. I wish I’d stayed on the porch a bit longer, basking in the colors as long as they shone. The photo hastily taken did not match the spectacle. The light just could not be captured.

What has this to do with patience? I did nothing wrong in my auto-pilot of putting bags down in the kitchen, and yet a second or two more of enjoying the light would have been lovely. I will ponder this along with my efforts to live better in the moment. There is too much unrest in the world. By resting in the moment, experiencing what is good and beautiful as fully as we can, we become better versions of ourselves, with profound effects on those around us.

It takes patience to seek the beauty of the moment, it takes slowing down. When effective, the spirit, mind and body are calmed, and we experience peace and gratitude. Patience is indeed a fruit of the spirit.

Developing it in ourselves bears much needed fruit in the world.


As a parent of ten children, the teen years have gone on in our home for a few decades now. There are wonderful things about these years, but there are challenges, as well. We’ve had some self-motivated, straight-A children, some who fall terribly behind and then a few in between. When the oldest are the high achievers, it is hard not to expect that the younger children will follow suit.

But they are each unique. And each deserves to be their own individual person, including what kind of student they are. They all need one-on-one time with their parents. This is more challenging in big families, but it must happen, even if it must be planned ahead. In a former blog I told stories of the many adventures on and off our Abbey Farm. Now we live on an Army Post and up until a couple months ago, had 6 (!) teens under one roof. The oldest recently turned twenty and is in the Army Reserves deciding on what college degree to pursue.

The fourteen-year-old has been making up school-work and was just in my room complaining about monotony. Oh, the many things I could have depressed him about in terms of monotony ahead in his future. I told him that he really was developing character, and that little jobs went a long way. Tidying up an area, taking a walk or bike ride. The twenty-year-old was home and I asked him to take his brother out for a drive, maybe get a milkshake. A change of scenery is always a good idea when we are in rumination mode.

For myself, I am in a bit of self-isolation, undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. It’s all been a shock of a summer, totally unexpected and I will neither elaborate, nor make light of it. A new normal begins once again. Much patience is required. I realize the importance of each of my children, and how I still want to be present in their lives while fighting a disease. They have all been supportive and reacted with such love and care and help. My husband has been my lifeline.

Friends have been so helpful, and some from long past have reconnected; it has been truly a gift. None of us looks forward to adversity, but in truth, it often sheds light on the very best things in life. It requires resilience through faith, a strong network of family and friends, and a lot of patience.