Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Fine Art of...Waiting

Gabrielle Here:

Like many parents today, my husband and I struggle with teaching our children patience. We've become addicted to instant gratification. We've lost the fine art of waiting. We want it, we get it.

Remember the old days when you'd have to use a whole roll of 24 exposures on your camera, then bring the roll to the store, fill out that envelope, and then wait a week for the pictures to come back? Remember when a picture you were waiting for ended up being blurry or someone blinked? And there was no re-dos? You were stuck with what you had.

Now, we take a picture (or ten), look at them quickly on our phone, and if we don't like how they look, we all pose again and take another, then we upload it to social media and share it with the world. Instant gratification.

What about a research project? Remember getting dropped off at the library (or driving your bike), going to the index files, looking up titles that would pertain to your project, finding them on the shelf, and then pouring over them until you found what you wanted? Sometimes, you'd write notes on your spiral bound notebook, other times you'd take it to the Xerox machine and pay five or ten cents for a copy.

Now, we go to Google, type in some keywords, and voila! all we need to know is literally at the tip of our fingers. Instant gratification.

We live in a different world today than the one we grew up in, so how do we teach children the art of waiting? (How do we recall it ourselves...?)

One way we've found is through seeds.

Our son is crazy about plants. He loves flowers, vegetables, fruit--pretty much anything that grows. Because of this, we've chosen to cultivate that love (no pun intended!) and have encouraged him to plant as much as his little heart desires.

This is just one of the plants he has growing
in our yard. I'm not even sure what it is.
This has been a wonderful way to teach him the art of waiting. He loves to look at the packet of seeds and see how long he has to wait before he'll see the sprout appear. Sometimes, he makes a chart and checks each day off the calendar.

He's diligent to water his seeds, checking in on them every day, waiting to see that first little green leaf.

When it does, there is always great rejoicing in our home.

Your Turn: Are you a patient person? What are you willing to be patient for? Have you struggled with the instant gratification in our culture? What ways have you found to teach the next generation patience?

Gabrielle Meyer
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  1. Patience is not one of my fruits of the spirit! Lord grant me patience but I want it NOW!! Your son is like my husband. Since my FIL passed away April 1, he has been seeding, planting and cultivating all over our house and yard. Your son will be able to do awesome science projects.

    1. I hear you, Gail. I'm sure your yard will be stunning with all those plants. :)

  2. Patience is something both my niece and I have to work on. Something she does to cultivate it is instead of throwing something in the microwave for dinner ,she actually cooks dinner from scratch. In fact she's become quite a wonderful cook!

    1. That's a wonderful way to cultivate patience. Thanks for sharing, Lynne.

  3. Love this post, Gabe! I, too, feel the need to slow myself down and remember that life takes time. Lynne, I do the same thing with cooking from scratch. Both with planting and cooking, the wait (and the slow nurturing that it requires) makes the end result so much sweeter. And it is a reminder that in the work I do (hospital social work) changes do not happen quickly. They only come slowly with mindful presence, patience, and working together with the natural processes. ❤️

    1. Katie! Thank you for stopping by to visit. I'm amazed at the patience it requires when trying to make a change. I'm sure that when you finally see the change in your work, it's all the sweeter because of the time and care it took to get there. Sometimes, it's just refreshing to give ourselves permission to be still and wait for those processes to go through their natural course.


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