Welcome to The Gentleness Challenge also known as The Gentle Mommy Challenge, a weekly series for the month of January! We are linking up with Women Living Well. You will enjoy visiting over there!
As a Mommy of eight children, all girls from 5 years old up to 14 years old, staying calm is a big challenge for me! It can get pretty crazy around here getting meals on the table, the laundry, cleaning, getting us all out of house for church, for appointments or errands, homeschooling all these boogers, and the “gazillion” pauses throughout the day for training!
It is hard for a momma to stay calm when her little cutie-pie interrupts the family flow, slows down progress, thwarting Mom’s plans and intentions! Let’s face it. We just don’t like it when our plans and intentions for the day get messed up and we don’t like it when we feel out of control. We know the opportunities for a mother to mess up occur frequently. It can seem like a neverending road to victory. I know victory is real. I am experiencing some progress in this area. But, I am not yet where I would like to be. This past Saturday, I’m sorry to say, I “blew it” several times! Hmmm, seems to happen alot when my girls are “cleaning” their rooms…so, nearly every day I can pretty much count on being tested in this area! 🙂
I want to share two things that are really making a difference for me.
#1. Prayer and The Holy Spirit.
Everyday I ask The Lord to please remind me to remain calm, and to soften me each time I am tempted to overreact or lose my temper. I can tell you. He will do it! And it is very effective when I am attentive. I’m working on that part.
A fun way that helps the kids and I practice speaking softly to each other is when we have “whisper” days, (like “Whisper Wednesday”), or I call for whispering in the schoolroom or other times when we need some peace and quiet.
#2. Obey and Live By Proverbs 15:1-4
If I move closer to my child or get down to their height, then lower my voice even to a whisper then this verse rings very true! It really works! How about that. (The Lord is so patient with me!)
A soft answer turneth away wrath:
but grievous words stir up anger.
The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright:
but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.
The eyes of the Lord are in every place,
beholding the evil and the good.
A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.
Michelle Duggar’s testimony has also been a huge blessing to me. (Maybe you’ve heard of her; seen her on tv?) Here are some excerpts from an interview with her and Melissa Cadell with MOPS. This interview mirrors information Michelle and Jim Bob share in their book, 20 and Counting
Mothers of Preschoolers UpClose with Michelle Duggar: Planning for Serene Chaos by Melissa Caddell
“…by God’s grace, he is giving me some success over yelling. I remember praying specifically about this years ago and God bringing to mind the verse about a soft answer turning away wrath. When I feel frustration building up, that’s when I need to choose to cry out to God and pray that I don’t lose it. There are times I have to whisper to myself, “I’m not going to lose it. I am going to stay calm.”
She goes on to share, “Our anger as a parent can be a wall that comes between us and our children. Anger is such a destroyer. I didn’t know I had a problem with anger until I had children! (Laughs) We tell our children that they have a safe place to share their heart. That we love them and will pray with them and we aren’t going to look down on them or reject them. It is so incredible that we can choose our response! The most helpful thing for me personally is choosing to have a soft voice when I respond.”
Thank you for joining us on this journey! With the Lord’s help, I know we can be gentle moms!