Patience

8 Aug

It’s a quality I could use a lot more of. Apparently I’m not as patient and long-suffering as I’d like to think. Apparently I still need a lot of grace and unconditional love woven into every fiber and pumped through every pore of my being. Apparently the days I always think are going to be easy and fun are the days I end up needing Him most.

Kids Camp is only a few days away and the closer it gets, the more excited we are. We’ve prayed over it and we’ve had meeting after meeting for it and we’ve signed up tons of kids for it.

It was a fun day of decorating. Exhausting, but fun. We’re not finished yet but the house looks great. The original plan was that the kids would stay out of the house so we could work efficiently. The outcome was more like the older ones came into help and efficiency worked its way down to borderline zero. As did my patience. Glitter and double-sided tape work great with a crowd. Wet paint and trying to make sure everything turns out perfectly do not. So when Srey Pi has black paint dripping off her fingernails and mischief dripping off her face and I take her paintbrush for the third time and remind her what a Khmer no sounds like, I hear myself asking would Jesus care if there’s paint piles all over the floor? The answer is no. So why should I? When two girls plop down beside me and trace my careful English letters with sloppy blue and I want to tell them to go cut out stars and let me take care of this, I ask myself would Jesus turn them away so He could do things easier and better? Same answer. So why should I? When bright orange shows up in the wrong places, and frustration too, and too many kids beg to do too many things and I want to stand up and announce it’s time to clear out, I pray for inward grace to transfer outwardly but it’s not until I get home that the Jesus-words come as the answer to all:

Let the children come. Don’t turn them away. Don’t forget it’s to them My kingdom belongs.

Who really cares if the poster is smeared and the letters are crooked and the stars are misshapen and the mess factor is ten times bigger? Who cares as long as there’s enough Christ-love being poured into me to get poured back out, as long as there are kids wanting to serve and opportunities to let them, as long as I’m being reminded that all the perfectionistic tendencies and creative ideals in the world won’t get me anywhere close to the kingdom I long to live in daily?

All I know is, Paul knew what he was talking about when he told us to be in a spirit of prayer constantly. Not just in worship services or early mornings or a set-aside afternoon hour of quietness, but smack dab in the middle of glue messes and paint splatters and glitter warzones. Because if you’re talking to and hearing from Love all day long, shouldn’t that make a difference in what comes out of you? I think yes. I wish I could brush patience across my soul as easily as I can paint strokes across a canvas. But I’m glad tomorrow’s another day with precious kids, and getting to love all over again, and being more like them so I can be more like Him.

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5 Responses to “Patience”

  1. Abby August 8, 2011 at 7:25 pm #

    What a beautiful challenge, Ervina. Thanks, woman.

  2. annamary August 8, 2011 at 10:02 pm #

    oh darling so true…abby and i had such great fun last week…oh you dont even know 😉 sonya is just pretty awesome too 🙂 you dear little women have some wonderful friends who think of and pray for you lots…and i dont know if you consider me wonderful (haha) or not but i sure think and pray for yall too =D xoxo

  3. Dani August 8, 2011 at 10:21 pm #

    again you strike a chord–what about cleaning at the refuge house and having some “helpers” who help eat pizza more than they work………and i too am guilty of thinking that matters. why should it matter?

    can you please keep blogging even when you get home?

  4. clarita August 9, 2011 at 4:56 pm #

    This really strikes a chord, because all could can translate perfectly into my own children. Not just children on the other side of the world, but children in my own home, everyday. And I am so guilty of wanting efficiency, and rapid speeds, and of “Why don’t you just go play for a while?!”… But I long to be filled with Love, because only then does what I do matter. Efficiency means nothing if there is no love. A home decorated as I would like means nothing if there is no love…

    And I echo Dani… can you please keep bloggin when you get home?

  5. maria August 11, 2011 at 1:09 pm #

    love this.
    ditto clarita’s comment. (including the last line)

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