Hubby and I try hard to teach the virtues to our children by acknowledging when they either display the characteristics of a particular virtue or we see the opportunity to practice a virtue. Patience is one that I must always remind myself to practice. Right? One night, as I was being called in to the girl's bedroom room for the hundredth time because they were arguing when they were supposed to be going to sleep, I was so very tempted to behave in a way that I would not want my children to behave. Luckily, this time I reminded myself that I have all the patience that is necessary to respond to these children who are still learning an appropriate way to deal with conflict. I thought to myself, if I can use this time to model the behavior I want them to display (patience, discussion, peace, compromise, understanding, etc.) then perhaps they will be just that much closer to modeling the behavior themselves next time. What if I wore a sweet reminder, a virtue bracelet with a symbol that reminds me of patience, to support me in this journey of practicing this virtue so that I don't "forget" and practice "impatience"? Well out comes my waxed linen cord that I use for my bookbinding and jewelry making, Tibetan silver charms are obtained that are symbols of different virtues I want to practice myself, or virtues that I admire in others, and these adjustable bracelets were born!
To be honest, I still haven't made one for the virtue of patience because I haven't found a symbol that I could put on a cord. The symbols for patience seem to be donkey, ox, fir tree - to name three - and I just haven't found a source for those. I will keep researching! I do have the symbols and virtue bracelets for Faith, Hope, Love, Perseverance, Loyalty, Peace, and Courage in my Etsy Shop right now! More to come as I recognize these virtues in others and the need for a reminder to practice them in my own life. Am I especially feeling the need to have courage or faith today? I will don that bracelet as a reminder and a comfort that I have access to that virtue by grace. And for that I am happy and grateful!