Why is it that the first thing He starts off telling us is that love is patient? Why couldn't He have waited a little longer to get to that part? He could've started with something I'm a little better at. Patience is not my strong point. I'm not a "I want it and you better get it for me now!" kinda girl, I do wait. But (I'm ripping the Band Aid off my soul and showing you where it hurts) I do so kicking and screaming on the inside. Maybe that's why I'm always in situations where I have to wait. He's just gonna keep dunking me in that water until I come up as calm on the other side of the smile as I am on the outside.
Patience is not the first thing we think of when it comes to love. But God's right, of course, it probably should be. Think of the trouble, and probably divorces, that could be avoided in early marriages if people would simply be patient. Too often newlyweds want a perfect marriage (but that takes time getting to know each other better and weathering a few storms together) and the lifestyle they are used to (newsflash--your parents to years to get to the place they are now, you don't automatically deserve to start there, live within YOUR means, not your parents or your friends).
Patience is what we want for ourselves. We know what a mess we are. We know we're working on it. But do we want someone to come along and constantly point out our flaws? No, thank you. It doesn't matter how much you say 'I love you', if you're constantly finding fault or unsatisfied with the one you're saying it to, they're not hearing it (or feeling it) at all.
Patience is what we love to see. Think about it. When you see a mother sweetly talking with her child or a dad letting his son "help" with a task, your heart melts. It's love displayed for all to see. Or when you see an older couple, one tenderly helping the other, you sigh and know that's what you want. Love is patient. You recognize it when you see it in others, but it's so hard to do for ourselves. That brings us to the next point.
Patience is so hard to give. Why!?! Mostly because it's hard to see past ourselves. Past our tiredness, past our desires, past our deadlines. Patience says I love you enough to wait. Wait for you, wait with you, wait on you with a servant's heart. Even when it's costing me what I want. That is love. And when we get it right, people notice it. Rest assured, when we get it wrong people also notice it. The mother in doctor's office whose words are harsh, the teenager rolling his eyes and talking back when he's out with his grandmother--they set our teeth on edge and our blood to boiling. See how important it is, and how it's tied in with love?
Patience is the first thing people see. That's why it's the first definition of love. Let's seriously work on our patience as we seek to show love to those we care about and to the world around us.
Love is patient.
I didn't have a set of menus for you this week, things here are a little off with the second bout of flu. Apparently there are two strains and we get to try them both. I did have a recipe to share. It comes out of an old cookbook that my grandmother had. It's a tiny thing, looks homemade, but it's a good one. Like peeking over the shoulder of a by-gone country cook as she bustles about in her kitchen. A lot of the recipes are just paragraphs explaining how she does things. If you ever come upon this little book, it's a good one to have. True Southern cookin'.
Last night I was feeling the need for a little Southern comfort, a little love in a pot--chicken and rice. My mom makes chicken and rice. I'd never actually made it before. 'Aunt Nancy' has a recipe for it that I used to make it. Except she calls it Chicken Pilau, that's what they say down in Florida. Whatever you want to call it, it's good. My tinkerings are in parentheses.
Chicken & Rice (Chicken Pilau)
One 4 or 5 lb. stewing hen, cut up. (I just used boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Same taste, less fat and less mess.) Cover with water and boil until tender. Remove from broth and de-bone, shredding into bite-size pieces. If you do not have 6 cups of broth, add enough water to make 6 cups. Add salt and black pepper to taste. (I also add 1/4 c. butter and some onion powder.) Add 2 cups of rice to chicken and broth and cook until well done. (Will make a large pot, enough to feed 8-10.)