Pet Peeves and Other Irritations

My daughter let out a heavy sigh and scowled. “Do you have to type so loudly?”

Sitting beside her in my king-sized bed, her with ice propped around her face, me with pillows propped behind my back, I glanced at my hands poised on my keyboard and stifled a grin. “Oh, was I loud?”

“Yeah. Your nails make an annoying clicking noise. And can you quit wiggling so much?! You’re shaking the whole bed!”

Now that’s passionate typing, or a very sensitive teen. By complaint number five, I assumed the latter.

Throughout the day, I wiggled my foot, breathed to loud, shifted too often. After a rough oral surgery, followed by a few days of bed rest, my daughter was going stir crazy. Not only that, but she was overdosing on parental time.

On night three, having all the mommy-time she could bear, she grabbed her bags of ice and trudged upstairs for some much-needed space. Her reprieve was short-lived. At two am, awakened by pain, she sought me out, only to fall down the stairs with a loud crash and a high-pitched cry.

I jolted awake and ran to her, comforted her, and guided her back into my bed where I could monitor her more closely.

Poor child.

The following weekend, we went to Omaha for house hunting, which placed our now claustrophobic (her words, not mine) daughter in a 300 square foot hotel room with both parents. By this point, even a look was enough to make her teeth grind, not a good thing, considering the state of her mouth.

As my husband and I chuckled about her behavior, God used the moment to prick my heart.

I’d been the same way with Steve. Like my daughter, I’d let little things, minor irritations, urk me, only my behavior wasn’t comical. My role is to build up my home, not to tear it down, to support and encourage my husband, not to nit-pick him verbally or mentally.

This week I’m memorizing Colossians 3:12-13: Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.

It’s helped. When I’m tempted to get annoyed, God reminds me of this verse, and effectively defuses my irritation. When centered in God’s Word, I realize how petty most of my annoyances are and what a treasure my husband truly is. In other words, the Scripture passage “transforms my thinking” (Romans 12:2) and “judges the thoughts and attitudes of my heart” (Hebrews 4:12).

Although we’re nearing the home-stretch with our home purchased and only one more hotel stay left (the hardest part for each of us loners), I know stress will come and pet peeves will happen, but when they do, I pray God will remind me of my comical-yet-not-so-funny, eye-opening time with my daughter. And may He grant me the patience to make allowances for dirty socks found in sheets and crumbs left on counters, or whatever minor “faults” might arise.

Let’s talk about this!

Join us at Living by Grace as we talk about all those little things that drive us crazy in a given day, and how to handle them with patience and grace.

Stop for a moment to contemplate some of your pet peeves in light of the verse above. How can you “make allowances for each other’s faults” today? And how might that change the atmosphere in your home?

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4 thoughts on “Pet Peeves and Other Irritations

  1. For thousand times, I was not sensitive to the needs of my family, but my wife was patient with me. We sat down, talked and resolved the issues. I confessed my ‘sin’ to God. To this day, I always pray that the Lord may make me into a better husband and a better father. Patience softens a person’s heart.

  2. What a great post, Jennifer! I’ve been praying for more patience with my family and with life’s circumstances. From my own experience, I’ve discovered one of the fruits of patience is peace–peace within myself, in my relationships, and in situations. Thanks for sharing your experience and the verses in Colossians.:0)

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