This month one of the blogs that I follow, http://www.womenlivingwell.org is hosting a Gentleness Challenge. This is something I have been feeling very convicted of for some time now. Now that I have a 13 year old who helps take care of her younger siblings I’ve noticed a bad habit, which I hate to admit she most likely picked up from her mother. Harshness. Ouch. Proverbs 15:1 says “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” It is absolutely true that mom sets the tone of her home. I am currently on week 2 of the challenge and I can say that I have seen a huge difference in our home. I hate to admit that it comes much more naturally for me to criticize and point out faults than to encourage and compliment. These are some ways that I am intentionally working on being more gentle with my words.
- Each morning I light a candle in the kitchen and say a prayer for peace in our house that day. Since we live with Autism in our house it can sometimes feel like your walking on eggshells trying to avoid the next blow up.
- Get up early to have some “mom” time before I have to serve my family.
- I gave Matt permission to “call me out” if I’m being too harsh with my words. And promise not to get harsh with him.
- Give each child at least one hug and compliment before and after school.
Doing these things has made a big difference. Have I become a pushover? No. In fact I think it’s made me be more consistent in dealing with behavior right away so that I don’t let it go until I’ve lost all patience and start yelling. The best part is that the kids are responding. I’ve noticed more smiles, hugs and “I love you moms”. I’ve also noticed them being more gentle with each other. Perfection? No. Progress? Definitely.
If you’d like to check it out or join in here is the link http://womenlivingwell.org/2012/01/introducing-the-gentleness-challenge/
Taken from the challenge:
Our Assignment for the week: I encourage you this week 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.
Have a great week!