Since I’ve decided to take part in the Gentleness Challenge I’ve been more aware of how I react to my children. I’ve not been a perfect mom and yes I’ve still yelled this past week and right now I’m very, very close to yelling again. My girls are trying to do their math work, my son is taking apart the broom and bugging his sisters. Okay, yes maybe I should have something for him to do – he was coloring and cutting but decided that wasn’t fun anymore. Being a mom of a boy is both a blessing and a challenge as I just can’t figure out his brain, one minute he acts like a little man and the next? He’s whining and sounding like a little girl – yes, really!
I know where my parenting style comes from and unfortunately also my husband’s style. I used to blame my hot part Irish blood, then I blamed my part German blood but it doesn’t matter – I have a temper but the Lord needs me to control that and use it to bring Him glory. Yelling at my children doesn’t bring Him glory, it doesn’t help my children love me and it doesn’t help me feel close to my children. Most moms of many can probably relate – our houses are loud, sometimes – especially during winter we are in our homes day in and day out, and the nerves, conflicting personalities and well it seems like no one is listening.
The challenge this week is to smile more, hug more, SLOW DOWN, listen, take a deep breath. When you feel like screaming – whisper. Pray pray and then pray some more. Take time to write out, meditate and memorize the 2 verses above, as you pursue gentleness. Can I do this? On my own strength I know I will fail but if I lean on the Lord like I should have been doing all this time I can do it. My flesh wants to laugh and say really? Smile when my son is whining like a girl? Hug my daughter when she doesn’t clean up her lunch mess? Slow down when we have to get to karate AND dance. That is my flesh. The Lord says “I gave you these children to train up, discipline them, love them and teach them My Ways – I will give you strength and lift you up like the eagles and give you peace that passes all understanding. Come here my Daughter, lean into My arms, and let Me guide you, comfort you and give you the peace you so desire.”
I’m not guessing what the Lord will say to me, I KNOW, He tells us all the same thing in His Word, in the Bible. He is with us, as long as we call on Him and give over our weaknesses, our failures, our sins, He is quick to forgive if only we ask. In realization of this I don’t only need His forgiveness I need my children’s – I need almost 10 years of forgiveness from my Hannah (God has favored me – what a tall meaning to live up to), 7 years of forgiveness from Bethanne (Beth means house and Anne is a variant of Hannah in Hebrew – WOW!) and 5 years of forgiveness from my son, Christian (Latin for follower of Christ). I want forgiveness, I need it, we can move on and we can grow a better relationship one based on love and not yelling or anger.
Want to know what the two verses are that are mentioned above? The are Galations 5:22,23 and 2 Corinthians 5:17. A balm, a cool breeze, a cool drink, the Word can refresh our spirits and renew our minds, keeping these two verses in the forefront of the mind can get me through the day when my son is whining, my 7 year old is crying because she doesn’t want to ask for help in math, or my 10 year old is yelling at her siblings.
The reason why I included the meanings of my children’s names is because I need to remember that the Lord knew what they were going to be named before I did – He knew them before I knew that they were mine. If I can keep in mind that my daughter’s share the same meaning (totally unplanned by the way) of God has favored me and if I want my son to be a follower of Christ his whole life I need to remember what I need to do – be slow to anger and quick to love and embrace them and let God take charge over all our lives.