Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:12
How fun it is to have toddlers around during the Christmas season. I remember one year having the gift of my twin grandchildren with us for an extended stay. They delighted in every little detail from decorations to presents. Their excitement was infectious as they clamored to turn on the lights of the little village or wind up the dancing bears. They especially loved being in the kitchen to help create all the Christmas goodies. As soon as I began pulling out the recipes, they eagerly pulled their stools over to the baking counter on either side of the big mixer. Each one took turns measuring and pouring in all the ingredients of sugar, butter, vanilla and flour. The fun began when they turned on the mixer and watched the dry powdery ingredients blend with butter and eggs to make a smooth, sweet dough for the cookies!
I fondly remembered the times of doing this with their mother when she was around their age. One of the first times she helped me, she got her hand on the switch of the mixer and turned it to high before I could stop her. Quickly we were dusted with powdery flour from head to toe. She even recalled this event as her children were helping me.
Not wanting to repeat this part of making cookie dough with the twins, in my most gentle Nana voice, I carefully instructed each grandchild to wait for my direction and we would slowly turn the mixer on. This worked well with the first batch of dough. I was feeling confident with the second one as each took a turn gently pulling the switch. Feeling confident that I had avoided the historic error, I added the final cup of flour. Before I knew it, one of the excited twins turned the switch to high and in a micro-second, all three of us were covered with floury, new-fallen snow. I began laughing at my own misdirected confidence, thinking we were going to avoid this flash back scene. But not everyone found humor in this predicament. One of the twins was whimpering because her nightgown was messed up and the other was just shocked at the mess created so quickly. My daughter just smiled as she gave me that look of “I warned you “. We spent the next few minutes cleaning the mess on the counter, the floor, their hair and their clothing with both of them exclaiming that they did not want that to happen again!
Here I thought I had done everything I could, to instruct and prevent this chaos from occurring. Yet in one swift move, history repeated itself once again. I was surprised by my patience. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t as calm when the same flour fiasco occurred with my daughter.
It made me realize how God must have even more patience with me. He carefully and continually instructs me through His Word and prayer, while I forge ahead, repeating the same mistakes over and over again. He is always there to help me clean up the debris, while being loving and forgiving in the process. I wonder if God finds humor sometimes when I am upset with the unimportant messes I have made for myself.
Thank you Lord, for your tender and compassionate patience with me. During this Christmas season, help me be aware of the times I need to demonstrate more love, forgiveness and patience to others throughout my day. Guide my steps, my words and my actions to be your hands and feet to others. Amen.