Love is patient, still.

“Why is patience so important?”
“Because it makes us pay attention.” 

– Paulo Coelho.

I don’t need to tell you that love is patient. I’m sure you’ve heard it a million times; some, maybe more. Chances are, you’ve heard it so many times that you disregard it, because in your mind you recite the natural “I know that already” or something of the sort. 

That’s what I do. That’s what I’ve done. I stood in front of the ones I loved, and looked in the eyes of the one I love most, and vowed to be patient – in some way, shape, or form. I vowed to be patient, because I vowed to love him. Loving, loving is such a beautiful thing. It’s a beautiful thing, because it brings out the best in us. But it’s also a beautiful thing, because it challenges the stubborn in us. 

“It makes us pay attention.” 

I pray for a patient heart. I yearn for it. Chances are, you do as well – with someone else… a friend, a spouse, a boyfriend or a girlfriend, a parent, a coworker. We remind ourselves that love is patient, and then we catch our blood pressure rising and the emotions rolling like a steam roller through our hearts. The word ‘but’ is in such a serious relationship with the validation our thoughts convince us of. We let ‘but’ justify every ounce of impatience in us. 

However, if I’m being completely honest with myself… with you… the hardest person I find myself being patient with is myself. I don’t think that’s always something we realize so quickly. We are quick to assume that the reason for our lack of patience is the person right in front of us in that moment… or even more, the person who should be right in front of us, but is choosing to head down a path your heart hadn’t planned on. We all strive to grow toward something. We all, whether we realize it or not, are working toward something. Maybe it’s involuntary, but whether we like to admit it or not, we’re all working toward love in some way, shape, or form. Some of us are running toward it, daily striving to love others as best as we can with the love the Lord has given us. Others, begrudgingly choose to stay in this moment, because moving forward requires too much; much more than we are willing to allow the Lord to do. 

I don’t care if you’re in a relationship or not. You don’t have to be loving someone romantically to move toward love; to grow toward love. It’s a choice, and often times, I think the world convinces us it’s a poor one. Why? Because being selfish and impatient is easier. It’s easier, because it doesn’t require work. Most often, it doesn’t require heartache, and that’s what the world says we should avoid. 

It says we should avoid it, but you wanna know why? Because it’s powerful. It’s powerful, because it matters. 

Marriage is fun, I mean so much fun. But it’s also challenging. They weren’t kidding about that whole selfless thing. You may do the dishes one way, and you have to sit there watching your sweetheart doing it entirely different… and perhaps wrong. But you know what? It doesn’t matter. Because down the road, you won’t remember the times that someone made you impatient. You’re going to be cherishing the things you were patient FOR. Love. 

The next time you find yourself growing impatient with someone, ask yourself: Am I being patient with myself? 

That one question right there is a step toward love. It’s a step, because it’s choosing to look beyond the moment and see what really matters. We can’t choose to be patient with the growth of another heart, if we aren’t first patient with our own growth. 

Love is patient. Whether the dishes are clean or sitting in the sink. 

Keep being patient. You’ll remember it one day, when your heart is overflowing with love instead of bitterness. 

Love is patient, still. 

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Love Actually.

Life has been giving us handful after handful of lists and remedies for how to become something or find something. It’s a little exhausting trying to coin every list and mirror our lives by comparison time and time again. I love lists, don’t get me wrong. I love crossing things off of them even more. But lists don’t make things happen – we do. It’s easy to confuse lists as the means of getting things accomplished or bringing satisfaction to our lives, but really, it’s just something to distract us from the seemingly difficult truth that’s right in front of us. We are the ones who put action behind making things work. 

I’ve begun a new stage of my life, one that most certainly will be filled with highs and lows and not just mood swings. I’ve reached the one week mark of marriage — and no, I won’t be one of those who will post a happy anniversary each month for the rest of my life. 

I will however, be doing something to keep myself accountable, to keep myself growing, to keep myself learning, and to keep myself loving. I will not be searching the abyss we call the internet and I will not be picking up books with lists on “How To Be the Best Wife” or anything of the sort. However, each week, I will be posting something I have learned heavily or have felt has challenged me the most. Each week for the first year, I am committing to “submit” a lesson analysis (excuse my teacher self), for what God is teaching me through love, through marriage, and through Him. Not a list, or something that I can cross off, but a lesson that I can always look back on, learn from, and push me toward a heart that never stops growing. 

I don’t want this to be directed toward only those who are married. For the first twenty-one years of my life, love challenged me and bent me farther than I ever thought possible — and then I met my husband (I smile when I say that) and realized those were nothing in comparison to what love was going to teach me through him. Maybe it will help you, maybe you’ll exhale a sigh of relief and know that someone else out there feels the same thing you do or struggles with the same thing you do, and maybe it will encourage you. Many document memories with pictures, something I want to do more of too. But there is something about reading words from blessings I once received and wounds I once felt that make my nostalgic heart draw closer to Him time and time again. 

So be on the look out, here’s to the first year of the rest of my life.