At 1:00 this afternoon, we reached that highly anticipated point of the day that Linda and I always look forward to- Ellie's and Judson's nap time. Now, don't misunderstand. We cherish our children, and we enjoy them. But the truth is that while Ellie and Judson are at large, Linda's rest and my productivity are nearly impossible to accomplish. And there is only one solution that can allow Linda to find the relaxation she needs and me the opportunity to work productively- nap time for Ellie and Judson.
So 1:00 came today, and the kids were showing the telltale signs of sleepiness. I gently laid them down on the bed with their "bee bees" (blankets) and their stuffed animal companions, and within ten minutes, the room was overcome by silence. Knowing I had a good two hours of quiet time, I spent about thirty minutes typing an update about our current situation in Bangkok, and then I took my place in my chair by the window to begin working on a sermon.
As if she had some awful sixth sense that could detect when a parent is finally content and ready for productive work, Ellie prematurely rose from her nap. In my peripheral, I saw her figure slowly rising from her cozy napping place, and I thought, "NOOOO!!!" I set my notebook down, went to her before she had a chance to get off the bed, and laid her back down. I told her firmly, "It is NOT time for you to wake up yet. Go back to sleep!" Intense crying followed. "But Daddy, I wake up!" she pleaded in her shrill voice. "No ma'am!" I insisted. "It is still nap time!" Even more intense crying began. "No Daddy! I wake up! I wake up!" she cried.
"Okay," I thought. "At least only one of them is awake. And she is the calmer of the two. I can still get some studying done."
I resumed my study of being filled with the Spirit, when in the corner of my eye I saw another figure rising from his position of slumber. Awakened by the screams of his older sister, my two year old son, Judson, was now awake. I tried to ignore it and continue my study, but my son's actions justified my reasons for wanting them to be asleep during my precious study time.
"Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, I want my truck, Daddy. I want my truck!" he begged, tugging at my shirt sleeve. This went on for about two minutes, and I felt myself getting frustrated. Just when I was about to blow off my steam at my children, the Holy Spirit said, "What are you studying there, Chad?" In my heart I answered, "About the fruit of the Spirit, and how we should be filled with the Spirit and have His fruit in our lives." The Holy Spirit replied, "Isn't longsuffering a part of the fruit of the Spirit?" I didn't need to answer. The answer was all too obvious. And I didn't need to figure out what God was trying to teach me through this little situation. I knew already.
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