Sunday, October 4, 2009

Patience is a Virtue

Last Easter the girls were so excited to have fifteen baby chicks as an addition to our family. The chicks were so small and fragile and needed constant warmth and care. It took almost six months before they started laying eggs but the girls still checked the nests daily.

In Linda Papov’s book The Family Virtues Guide, she describes patience as “a quiet hope and expectation based on trust that, in the end, everything will be all right.” She also states that patience is “enduring a delay or troublesome situation without complaining.” Her daily thought on patience teaches that “Patience is preserving - sticking with something for as long as it takes to finish it.” Patience is a commitment to the future.

In our society it can be difficult to teach children patience. We have fast food, instant credit, instant messaging, and high speed internet. Could it be that our society has become impatient? Our children hear how they can buy homes and cars with “little or no money down”, lose weight without effort, and look like a body builder in only twenty minutes a day. This definitely does not make it any easier for children to develop the already difficult trait of patience.

I am constantly searching for avenues to teach my children patience and I am thankful when they experience that “quiet hope” for the future. Two days ago one of my girls ran in our home carrying a small brown egg. All summer the girls helped clean out the coop, feed and water the chickens, and take them to the garden for fresh greens. The girls learned that sometimes it takes time to get what they want. Even if they felt impatient, they acted calm and accepted that they didn’t have control over when the first egg would arrive. This morning we had five eggs and had a Sunday breakfast compliments of our very own chickens! The girls were so appreciative and thought it was the best breakfast they had ever had!! They experienced the rewards of patience.

Our value of the week will be patience. I hope to show my children that patience is having goals and picturing the end in the beginning. I also want to teach my girls that trust in God teaches patience. Patience is a quiet hope that can get us all through tough times.


  1. I really enjoyed reading this blog! My kids and I can relate to the patience and chickens. We started out with 6 hens this spring and they've recently started laying eggs. Right now we're getting 2 eggs a day from our 5 hens (1 was killed unfortunately). How timely for your newsletter to come as I've decided this week that I must get back on task with the chore boards and all. We had a major house renovation over the summer and everything was so chaotic - I don't even know where the board is off the top of my head! I also need to order another because our youngest is just about 3 and I'm eager to start the process with him as well. My daughter (4.5) has actually been asking me to put the board back up and now that we have walls again I'm ready to do it!

  2. Pactience IS a virtue! Wonderful thoughts! Congrats on your eggs!!!;)

  3. It's me who needs to believe in patience - not just how to get through the day. Thanks for reminding me, through your example, the value of building step by step and not losing sight of the goal. I must say, the chickens seemed like such a nuisance, yet the lessons learned will last a lifetime. What a great adventure for the girls. Can't wait to have some scrambled eggs!