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An evergreen tree with a dusting of snow

Longsuffering. It’s the phrase that I underlined in my scriptures this week.

At the time I couldn’t see why the word was important. But now I’m thinking, and God is becoming clear.

Every night lately, I find myself praying for Lucy. She’s three years old: precocious, preferential, silly, and—dare I say—volatile?

Her favorite phrases are:

  • “I just CAN’T WAIT!”
  • “But I WANT tooo!”
  • “I don’t want to be alooooooone*,”
  • and “Auuuuughhhhhhhhh!!!”  

I’m not sure how to respond. We’ve tried empathy, boundaries, sticker charts. Rational words at eye level. Time-outs. Yelling (not recommended). Laughing it off. Singing it off.

Sometimes it works.

Most of the time, we spend the day troubleshooting rampant whining.

And then I find myself underlining “longsuffering” and wondering why. Huh. Like maybe the longsuffering example of Jesus Christ might help me to practice longsuffering in my home?

This is why I read scriptures.

Alma 7:23, from a Book of Mormon sermon

I still don’t have a silver bullet for whining and tantrums, but I know that I have Heavenly Parents who know what it’s like to suffer long with their children (Jacob 5), and I know that we are not alone in our parenting efforts.

Longsuffering may be the answer for now—we’ll keep trying, tantrum after tantrum, to cultivate goodness and sanity in little hearts and in our home.

* * *

How is the word of God helping you with real-life problems? We are blessed when you share your faith (and His saving grace)!

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Jenny Harris
Jenny is a star-gazing, book-clubbing mother of two. She has a Master’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies, which is mildly comical (but also a boon in parenting and relationships). Her kids will attest that she’s crazy about reading aloud, time out of doors, and creative play. Her family’s goal is the “abundant life,” as prescribed by Jesus. You can read more posts by Jenny here.

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