Patience is a Virtue

“Mommy, be patient!

Hannah has, for some reason, taken up this mantra and continues to remind me of this each and every day.  And it is definitely something I need to be reminded to do!  With a very busy toddler boy and a curious four-year-old girl, I am constantly learning lessons on patience!

Of course, with two kids around, I need an extra ounce of patience every single day!  Right now, though, I think that God is giving me a life lesson on patience in being His child and allowing my Father to have complete control.

During our family vacation, both of our cars broke down.  Thankfully, we were using my mother-in-law’s van on vacation, so we weren’t stranded at the beach without a vehicle.  But we still had to think about what we were going to do once we returned home.  We both have Saturns, and neither of us has had air conditioning in our cars for four years!  But the repairs on Jamie’s car were way more than the car was worth, so we had to admit that there was no way we could fix it!  My car had some major safety issues regarding the brake system, but we decided that it was still cheaper to fix my car than to buy two new vehicles.  We paid off both cars last year, and we were on our way to being debt-free this year.  Our goal was to start saving for a van that we could purchase without a loan by the end of the year.

However, God has something different in mind for us.  Instead of using the money from our tax return to pay off the rest of our adoption, start saving for our next adoption, and become debt-free for the first time ever in our marriage, we are being forced to use that money to buy a new (used) car!  Mind you, we aren’t looking for anything fancy, but we do need reliable transportation to get our family from destination A to destination B!

Lord, give me patience.

The first test in patience came shortly after we returned when we found that we would probably have to take out a loan initially in order to even consider buying a car.  Because of the way the IRS is handling adoptions this year, our tax refund was being held hostage since February while they audited all of our expenses.  So we knew that we would eventually have some money to put into a car, but we had no idea if the IRS would give us all of it or when we would receive it!  Fortunately, Jamie was able to prove to them that we were basically in a state of emergency and needed our money right away.  By Thursday, the money was there.

Lord, give me patience.

The next test was a little easier to handle but just as annoying.  Car shopping.  With no car budget.  We finally managed to get all of our research together and agree on a budget.  But then we set out to find the perfect vehicle for our family.  Let me tell you something – there is a big difference in shopping the car lots on the last day of the month (I actually made one sales man cry!) to shopping on the first day of the month (“Who cares if you have cash?  I have bigger deals coming in!”).  The most frustrating thing to me was the used car lot that was only offering cars between $20,000 to $30,000!  For this adoptive mom, that is the cost of bringing home our next child.  That is the cost of a little boy in the Ukraine who is in need of medical care and has been forced into an adult insane asylum, bedridden for life unless a family is willing to adopt him.  Don’t even think about showing me a vehicle that costs as much as a little boy!  I left that car lot in tears!

Lord, give me patience.

We found the perfect van.  Or I should say that my mother-in-law found it for us!  It has all the perks we wanted and needed, good mileage, and was in our price range.  So we called the owner to see about a test drive.  He was out of town for the weekend but could show it to us on Monday afternoon, but Jamie had to work.  So he could show it to us on Tuesday morning.  But when I called to set up a time with him on Monday night, Tuesday morning was no longer good for him.  He could meet us in the afternoon, but Jamie had to work.  So he said he could meet us at 1 p.m.; but Jamie had to be at work by 2, so he agreed to meet us at 12:30.  We made arrangements for my mother-in-law to watch the kids, and then we waited in the hot sun for over an hour.  He never showed!  And he wouldn’t answer our phone calls or text messages either!  But when my dad called him, he was quick to answer the phone and even offered the van to him at a cheaper price (not knowing my dad was affiliated with us!).

Lord, give me patience.

So it seems that we have been inconvenienced for awhile.  I know that everyone goes through car troubles, but we were so looking forward to being debt-free and actually using our tax money for some fun things this year!

Psalm 37:7-9 seems to really speak to me during this time of frustration:

“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him;
     fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,
    over the man who carries out evil devices!

Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath!
     Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.
For the evildoers shall be cut off,
    but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.”

When looking for something as valuable as a vehicle, it’s easy to see the wickedness that lurks everywhere!  It’s easy to feel like wicked are winning; and it’s easy to get angry with all the people who are running scams.

But God wants us to be patient.  To wait on Him.  Even in the little inconveniences of life.  When your car breaks down in the middle of rush hour traffic, God wants you to see His hand working in your life.  When your kids scribble in permanent marker all over the newly-painted hallway walls, He wants you to count your blessings.  Every single day, God gives us an opportunity to simply trust in Him and to remember that our heavenly Father has a greater plan than we could ever imagine.  And I know that whatever His plan is, it’s going to be much, much better than mine!

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