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* sigh *

There are many days I wish I had a super huge whirlpool tub.... not because I enjoy sitting naked with my butt pressed against hard fiberglass while watching my skin pucker... but because I think maybe, just maybe, the noise of the jets will block out the sounds of "the everything" that intrudes on my patience and I'll be able to "settle my mind," thus making me more respectful towards my children.

You know the noise of "the everything" -- kids bickering, husband saying he'd gladly put the dishes away if only he knew where they went, bills mocking you in their high pitched voices "ha! ha! you still haven't paid off your balance! you're paying more in interest than principal! ha! ha!", the toothpaste dots on the mirror teasing you because you still haven't figured out who is responsible for spraying them up there (seriously - do you really need to be THAT close to the mirror? And if you do, could you not just wipe it down when you're done?), your own mind pointing out to you over and over and over everything you've done wrong: "You know, that chicken was a little dry. You've never really mastered the moist chicken thing, have you? If only you were a better cook..." "You know, there are siblings that actually enjoy each other and get along for more than eight minutes at any given time. You've never quite been able to get them to quit bickering, have you? If only you were a better example...."

I believe that the noise of "the everything" is what chips away at our internal peace. It shoves Patience aside and allows Discontent to set up shop. Respect is a good guy.... and he feels bad that Patience got pushed out, so Respect goes after Patience... which means that Discontent is leaning back with his feet up calling the shots... and that is never a pretty thing.

The topic tonight of Respect and Patience is so important to me. Perhaps it's because I have neither. Honestly. I want it. I search for it. I get put-off when someone else doesn't shower me with respect and patience. But do I have it? At times, I suppose I do. But not when it's really vital. And by that I mean, "why do I treat the WalMart greeter (with those rediculous stickers that my kid never wants; can't she see that my daughter is attempting to climb back into my body just to get away from her?) with more patience and respect than I do my own children? And why am I so surprised when they dish it back to me?

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