If you're used to reading here, you might remember that I pray for a purpose each year. I've prayed to be more merciful, more loving, and this year I have been begging God and seeking Him hard after gentleness. I've learned that these fruits are of His spirit, and that I cannot do these things, or be these things, apart from Him. I noticed a pattern of short temper, hot-headedness towards my babies and I HATED IT. Like kinda sorta started hating myself over it. I just felt like the worst mom and like I was constantly creating negative memories for my children. And that's when I realized I was making it about me. The more I made it about me- my time, my clean house, my well behaved quiet perfectly dressed kids, the more I was so quickly abandoning the grace I should be giving them when they fail. So I failed to accept any grace from God because.... I was trying to do it on my own. All I want as a mother is to love my kids deeply, know them deeply, and raise them to know God deeply. But if I'm not leaning into Him to show them those things? Que a whole lot of disappointment.
I think I've struggled with being gentle towards people my whole life. And the older I've gotten, the clearer I feel like Jesus sinks it into me. When you're grateful for who you have, you tend to be more gentle towards the rest.
I mean this: I am so utterly, undeniably, humbly grateful for Jesus and what He did on the cross for me and everyone else. So when I make that my mindset, I tend to approach everyone else with gentleness. Including my kids.
I look at their beautiful, smiling faces from a stance of gratitude and how thankful I am to have them and raise them, that when things get hard (and they get hard OFTEN) I can seek God's gentleness for discipline and for gauging my reaction to whatever the situation might be. I can choose to be grateful to them instead of hateful. And I can choose that in Jesus name.
And for the times when I do lose my junk- because I'm human and not the best mom there ever has been or will be- then I repent and try to rest in His grace. Every day I'm glad to be their mom.