Friday, October 29, 2010

Revisiting The Gentle Mother

Ah, the picture of peace.  Doesn't this mother look like she's gentle and patient and that her kids look to her as a fixture of peace and stability?  This is something that has been lacking in our house lately.  It's always something!!!  Sick kids, tired mommy, messy house, SOMETHING.  I was so miserable my first trimester I really feel like I am catching up on 2 1/2 months worth of housework.  It's stressful.  And when I get stressed, I am not the mommy that I want to be.  I believe that gentleness is a quality that all mothers should possess.  Even daddy's can possess gentleness, but it should really characterize a mommy.  My mom is very gentle.  It is one of the main words I would use to describe her.  She wasn't a softy.  In fact, I dreaded her spankings much more than my dad's....and she's the one that didn't ever let things slide.  She was able to be firm and consistent yet gentle.  The way a mother should be.  The way I am not.  Sigh.  I am working on it and know that one day I will attain it.  My word, I pray about it enough....surely one day I'll wake up and just BE gentle....right?  ;)
I read an inspiring post about gentleness earlier in the week and wanted to share a simple list of some practical ways to pursue kindness and gentleness towards our precious children.

Putting on kindness:
1. Practice kindness.
2. Recognize that whatever comes from my mouth is born in my heart.
3. Allow no corrupt talk, in any form, to come out of my mouth.
4. Learn to love kindness.
5. Recognize the difference between childish immaturity and sin.

Pursuing gentleness:
1. Smile at your children.
2. Demonstrate constant affection toward your children.
3. Never speak in tones of sarcasm.
4. Do not raise your voice.
5. *Practice* speaking gently. 
6. Adorn yourself with gentleness and a quiet spirit.
7. Utilize your husband as an accountability partner in helping you grow in gentleness.
Susan Kemmerer

So, as I go into the weekend I am going to make more of an effort to do these things.  To be kind and gentle, even when I'm tired, the house is a mess, Suzannah is going crazy from poison oak, the baby dumps sugar all over the kitchen floor, Jack is whiny, Molly Beth spills water all over our homeschool books and the whole house needs to be deep cleaned.  It's not an excuse!  I'm the biggest influence in these children's lives b/c I am with them ALL THE TIME.  They are looking to me to be the example of how to handle stressful situations.  They are looking to me to be the example of how to treat others when you yourself are in physical discomfort.  They are looking to me to be the example of Christ.  It will stay with them forever and shape who they will become.  No more excuses.  I need to be a better example regardless of the circumstances.  Here's to a fresh start!  
Have a wonderful fall weekend!  :)


Bethany said...

Just what I needed! Love the thoughts/wisdom. Our homeschool group from church just started Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit by Teri Maxwell. So far, an excellent (and quick) read.
Totally my heart's desire! Sometimes I feel like Paul, I do the things which I don't want and that which I want to do I don't do. Looking forward to growing in the grace of gentleness!

YaYa and Pops said...

Oh I am so thankful for memories clouded by time. I would not think of gentleness as one of my descriptors but so humbled that you do. What a wonderful goal for all of us to reach towards.


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