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I started on January 1, committed. I was gonna do this read-the-bible-in-a-year thing. It’s not like I hadn’t tried before. I had. But this time I had an app.

We’d have a cool, modern relationship this time. This time, we’d make it.

We honeymooned through January, and I knew we could beat the odds. We’d survive where so many others had failed. We’d make this thing work.

But then, like always, you got boring. (Maybe no one has ever told you that before, but it’s true. You can be boring sometimes.) The drama of the early days faded and you settled into Leviticus and Numbers and I lost interest. I struggled to enjoy spending time with you and life got busy and I got distracted.

It’s not like we were enemies. I still hung out with you on Sundays and occasionally we’d catch a few minutes here or there, but let’s be honest. We drifted apart. I let the kids and the house and all the other things crowd you out.

I was only going through the motions, but you were patient. And in your patience I found you again or maybe you found me, and I remembered why I love you so much. Your ancient beauty has recaptured my heart, and my adoration of you has been rekindled.

I’m sorry for my indifference. I want to try again. Who cares if it’s August 11 and we’re only at Day 80?

Thank you for waiting for me.

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Shirley and I meet with three or four other couples on Monday evenings to look at Scripture.  We don’t all attend the same church and we are not meeting to see how we should interpret scripture, but to see how it can help us to be better Jesus followers.

When we read 1 Peter 4:8, Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins, I was intrigued and have continued to think about what it says to me. I did peek at what the scholars say about this verse but to me it is quite simple.

If I love people whole heartedly we will both become different.

Perhaps some of my insensitivities (sins) will be covered and I will become different. If I see the person, not their short comings (sins), and love that person unconditionally, they too will become different.

A while ago Janelle wrote a blog about loving bad kids and I thought about the passage.

Janelle’s post from yesterday showed a picture of Carter sitting patiently in the pasture with a pail of oats trying to win the attention of the young donkey he got for his birthday. I wonder if the same principle doesn’t apply.

Recently I have thought about people who have few friends, folks who may be struggling with same-sex attraction and older people who can no longer be in their own homes. And I am challenged by these words from The Message,

Love each other as if your life depended on it.  Love makes up for practically anything.

The other way is easy. To be impatient, I mean. To hurry, hurry through whatever task I am doing. To rush, not really being in the moment, as they like to say these days. To bustle through the awake time, bumping into life as if it’s in my way, like I’m shouldering through a pressing crowd. To want it all – the children, the chores, the day – to move more quickly. Annoyed when it, when they, don’t.

I look up the word patient. It’s not really a passive thing. Did you know? It’s not just waiting. It’s more like, endurance. As in the idea of doing something, or even suffering something, in an ongoing, enduring kind of way. I think of things like reading the same book to a toddler, over and over. Or household chores, done daily. Or making meals.

Or doing dishes.

I’m putting the dishes away, out of the dishwasher and into my cupboards. I do it quietly this time. Patiently.

I am thankful for my dishwasher. I haven’t always had one. I open cupboard doors and drawers and I tuck spotless plates and bowls and silverware into their homes. I have all I need. My things are clean and waiting to be used again. I am blessed.

I open a cupboard door and I notice, on the inside, what has become invisible over time. I see childhood notes, the ones made in Sunday School, the one given me the time I came home after a stay in the hospital. I remember my babies as babies, and I think, I am blessed.

I reload the dishwasher with the breakfast things. Knives covered in jam, cups emptied of tea or coffee, the plate my husband used for his bacon and eggs before he left for work. The kids are getting themselves ready for the day, brushing teeth and such, and I think, as I tidy the kitchen, I am so blessed.

This home, this kitchen, this small world of daily family life… it is mine to care for. If I like, I can care patiently.

Today I am patient with my home. I stop and notice and I consider what it means to endure. To complete the jobs that I know will slowly be undone and will need to be done again. The dusted shelves will become dusty once more. The dishes will again need cleaning, the laundry will again need washing and drying and folding, the floors will again need to be swept or mopped.

Today I will care. Endure. Be patient.

Love.

Love is patient…

1 Corinthians 13:4