Someone told me once that you shouldn't pray for patience. I remember being in a situation where I was just tired of waiting for something to happen, or God showing up. I told this lady I had asked God to give me more patience to bear with this.
She said, "Well, that is your answer. That's why you shouldn't pray for patience."
I know it was a joke, because God knows what I need, and if He thinks I need to work on my grace or my forgiveness, I bet He would make arrangements for me to work on that. But I also think that sometimes we don't really know what we pray for.
What I mean is that sometimes when I pray for patience (which in my case what I really want is tolerance) I think God is gonna be like, "Here you go, there is your patience." But I guess what He really does is putting me in situations where I need to exercise patience or tolerance, like my daughter crying for no reason at all non-stop.
No kidding, the other day she was just crying, and crying, and sometimes I feel like screaming at her, but I stop, and breathe, and walk away. What I hear in my mind during all that time is, "Self-control, slow to get angry."
Anyways... Three nights ago, Libby woke up at 3 am, and cried until 4 am. I complained with my voice, and I ended up letting her sleep with us on the bed. I don't sleep very well to start with, so when it was time to get up, she woke up at 6 am sharp, as usual.
She was very, very happy. She seemed like nothing had happened. It is difficult to be angry at her, I wasn't.
But I was very tired. I didn't feel joy or anything that would resemble joy in my heart nor you could see it in my face. And Emerson opened his mouth...
"Just look at her, how joyful she is. I challenge you to be like her. You are always complaining, but you have to be joyful always. This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it."
Emerson doesn't usually tell me stuff from the Bible, but I'm guessing this was God speaking trough Him or something like that. I didn't like what I heard.
"Really? This morning you are the spiritual guy that tells me what the Bible says... of all the mornings, you chose this one? Who do you think you are? Can you even imagine how it feels not to sleep well, and then having to be awake for an hour in the middle of the night, and sleep at the border of the bed so that your daughter has enough space in your bed? You sleep like a rock, but I don't", I thought.
I am sorry, Emerson.
After several minutes I realized he was right, and that is what joy means. No matter your circumstances, you are to be joyful. I just figured that it might be referring to someone dying, or not having money, instead of not sleeping well.
I have dealt with no sleeping well for a long time now, and I won't go into the details, because I would be writing forever. It is enough to say that God keeps me going when I feel I can't go anymore. Something like Paul's thorn in the flesh. And although it sucks sometimes, I am very blessed that there are times when I can take a nap or just fall asleep in the couch, when we are watching a movie I don't really like.
So the bad night was Wednesday night. Thursday night, or more like middle of the night, around 2 am, when I usually move to the couch because Elizabeth starts dreaming and making noises, I prayed that God would help me remember to be joyful always, pray continually and be thankful in all circumstances, like the Bible verse says.
"Just help me remember to be joyful first thing in the morning when I hear my daughter crying. Just help me focus on being joyful. Please help me remember that as soon as I hear her."
So she woke up Friday morning at 5:50 am, and I was just ready to go. God did answered my prayer that morning, I smiled at my daughter as soon as she came to say good morning to the couch, and I never felt like every morning, with this feeling of "Just five more minutes, Libby".
But God took advantage of my honest heart, and went the extra mile with the joy giving. Well, not the joy giving, but the fact that I asked Him to help me be joyful. Yesterday morning He gave me plenty of opportunities to be joy-proofed.
So I didn't take a shower to start with. Libby and I dropped off Daddy at work, and went to have breakfast at Rudy's. We didn't have breakfast tacos this time, we just took our food. She had Chex, yogurt and bananas, and water.
|Yogurt face at Rudy's|
I decided to take Daddy to work on Friday because I didn't have to meet my friend Jeff on Skype until 1 pm, so I could go to Canino's, and Walmart, and skip grocery shopping during the weekend. But I needed cash for the market, so I needed to find either a CVS for a Chase ATM, or I needed to find a Chase.
But I didn't find any. The CVS I went to didn't have an ATM. Last time I was there they told me they had robbed the place so they didn't have it anymore. Hopefully that will give you an idea of the neighborhood I was driving through. Oh, but guess what? I had forgotten I had been at that CVS before until we got there.
Of course, that's so me.
I kept on going, and a guy said on a red light, that there was a Chase on 34th, and 290. I went there, but I didn't see anything. And then, the GPS told me there was a Chase on Hempstead or around there, but all there was there was like an empty lot.
"You've got to be kidding me... I so hate you, but love you because at least you can take me out of here." And then I clicked Go Home for the thing to take me to 290, so I could still go to Canino's.
So, I didn't have any cash with me, but you don't need cash when you know the lady that sells you the fruit, you even went to her daughter's baptism, of course she could lend me the fruit, right??
Elizabeth fall asleep going there, but I could park in front of her place, and buy the fruit while Libby was sleeping. And when we got there, Lupita wasn't there yet. And Daddy had told me not to use Canino's ATM so that Chase wouldn't charge us a fee. Ahhhhh!!!
|Row, Row, Row your boat.|
This might be nothing for you, but I felt stressed out. I texted Emerson, but he didn't answer. I just felt like an idiot. I was there with no money, the fruit lady wasn't there to give me the fruit for ''free", and Libby opened her eyes after being asleep for 30 minutes, and started crying...
I've heard many times pastors say that there is that one millisecond or (less) when you are faced with making a decision. That it is then when you have to stop and think, "What do I do? Should I choose right or wrong?"
But that's kind of stupid, I mean, don't take me wrong. I know that's what probably happens in your brain, but it happens so fast that I highly doubt you can literally stop and think what to do.
But that's when prayer works. Prayer and the fact that you have conditioned yourself to think the way God thinks by reading your Bible. Libby started crying, and I smiled at her, and was happy she was awake. I told her, "Hey! You woke up on your own. That's great because we need to go buy fruit to the other side because Lupita is not here, but we can use the debit card there."
That was it. I didn't really stop and wondered, "Ok, she is up. Should I be mad because she only slept 30 minutes? Should I explode for that freaking GPS thanks to which I have no cash? Or should I be joyful?"
No, I didn't think those things. I honestly didn't. But I was there. I didn't drive all the way there to come back home empty handed. I had no cash, but I had a debit card which I could use to buy the stuff. And if it ended up being a little bit more, then, oh, well, thank you GPS for giving me no cash.
So we bought our stuff, and Libby was very happy. You could see she was tired, but she could hold it like the good sport she is.
|Perrito Guau Guau y El Tío Chucho|
On our way back though, I started singing this song to Libby from Seeds Familiy Worship, it's actually a Bible verse. "Beee joyful alwaaaays, praaaay contiiinually, give thanks in aaall circumstances...give thanks in aaall circumstanceees... for this is God's will for you in Chriiist Jesus, this is God's will for youuu in Christ Jesuuuus."
I explained to her what that meant. No matter what, you are to be joyful. God wants you to talk to Him all the time for any reason, and you can say thank you, God, at any moment for anything. I felt joy in my heart. I realized until then that I had passed my joy test that day.
Maybe my test wasn't supposed to be my daughter crying that morning. Maybe God wanted to show me that joy applies to any situation in my life.
Joy has to be applied especially when things go totally wrong, well, totally opposite according to what you were expecting like yesterday morning. And I felt happy, I started singing louder and louder, and Libby started yelling, like she lately does. Putting her hands up like a little tyran and saying, "Da da, ta tatataaaaa", like when Daddy says, "Silence your mouth, Dori."
And then the Mommy I am showed up and we (I) began signing, "Who are we? We are Christians! Who do we love? We love Jesus! Who do we hate?? We hate Satan! What will we do?? We're gonna kick him, kick him, kick him in the butt... butt, butt, butt, butt" (like in that episode of It's always Sunny...)
And so I felt thankful that God helped me that day, that He answered my prayer, that He provides so that we could use a debit card. I felt thankful for my daughter. I felt Him smiling at me and being proud of me.
I wish I could pass every test as easy as this, but I don't. But it's okay. He is a cool teacher who lets you study again and again, and retake and retake those tests.
I felt thankful for my husband.
|Mom was late for the photo|