If you Google the word "patience," you will see links to three sites offering definitions for the word, and then a link to a YouTube video for the Guns N' Roses song by the same name.
Not being a GNR fan, I didn't watch the video.
But I did visit the fifth link that was listed, which promised quotations about patience. Some of them made me shake my head, roll my eyes, and think, "whatever." But some of them were quite inspirational. I would like to share a few from the latter category.
"Patience has its limits. Take it too far, and it's cowardice." ~George Jackson
"We could never learn to be brave and patient, if there were only joy in the world." ~Helen Keller
"Patience serves as a protection against wrongs as clothes do against cold. For if you put on more clothes as the cold increases, it will have no power to hurt you. So in like manner you must grow in patience when you meet with great wrongs, and they will then be powerless to vex your mind." ~Leonardo DaVinci
"There will be a time when loud-mouthed, incompetent people seem to be getting the best of you. When that happens, you only have to be patient and wait for them to self destruct. It never fails." ~Richard Rybolt
"Patience is the companion of wisdom." ~Saint Augustine
And my personal favorite, in light of this post: "You must first have a lot of patience to learn to have patience." ~Stanislaw J. Lec, Unkempt Thoughts
So. To the original point of this post (if you haven't figured it out already). I am not a naturally patient person. My mom has spent the last nearly thirty years contending that patience is a learned trait. And yes, I agree that patience is - and must be - ultimately learned. However, I am also firmly of the belief that some people have more natural patience than others. Sadly, I am not one of those people. Still, I do believe that patience can be learned, and that I have a responsibility to practice it every day. It is quickly becoming apparent to me that my children think so too. Because they are the ones who daily ensure that I do, and then test me to see how I am doing.
Thankfully, God uses these little opportunities to remind me how patient He is with my shortcomings. It's actually a nice little circle. My children test my patience, God reminds me that He is patient with me, which makes it easier for me to exercise patience with my children, which makes me grateful that God is patient with me. Of course, I'm hoping the end result is that the more patience I show with my children, the less they will test me!
Oh, and that they will also see the value of patience and apply it to their own little lives. Because it is a well-known fact that children pick up every positive quality their parents exhibit, and rarely pick up the negative ones. (Insert eye-roll.)