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choosing gentleness

January 9, 2020

I have been reading some new books and listening to new podcast and trying to make some good changes in my life.  I love how books and podcasts do that for me. Inspire me to be a better version of myself! I hope I can pay forward the love here on this blog. 


We were at a friend's house recently and had the most AMAZING chicken kabobs.  Isn't it funny how anything someone else cooks always tastes like the most AMAZING food ever!  We needed some food changes at our house so I decided to make them myself. (With the help of Mike.  He runs the grill.)  And I did, and they were so good, but I forgot one important step, soaking the bamboo skewers.  When Mike came home and saw them, he said, "They look SO good, but did you remember to soak the sticks so that they don't catch on fire?"


"Shoot!!!! Shoot!!! Shoot!!! How could I forget?" I said. 


"It's okay.  I'll make it work."  he said and he did.  Thankfully, there was no fire and the food was great.  


He is always so gracious with me.  He doesn't get too bent out of shape over anything.  He's very much got a "problem-solver" "live and learn" mentality.  


I have always been more of a panic, say some foul words either aloud or in my head and truthfully get angry kinda gal.  I haven't always had a lot of grace for myself or others, but I'm learning to give grace, to keep calm, stay quiet, and be more gentle.  


I recently listened to a podcast about talking to yourself like you would a good friend or child.  You wouldn't tear your friends apart for a mistake and neither should we do that to ourselves, our spouses, or our children. When I heard her say that, I was so thankful for that reminder! 


Almost everything can be seen as an opportunity to grow and learn.  As parents, we should be modeling problem solving and giving grace, time and time again.  


Determined to figure the kabobs out, I made them again.  And guess what?????  I soaked those sticks!!!  Wooooo-hoooo!  He was going to be so happy that I remembered.  But guess what else????? I was kinda distracted when I cut up the chicken this time and I cut some pieces twice the size of others.  Which meant that when he grilled them, some were overdone and some were just right.


Shoot again!  I make so many cooking mistakes, it's almost comical. In my defense, I really just started cooking when we moved to Georgia a year and a half ago, so basically, I'm a baby chef.  


But I  am not going to be defeated by these darn chicken kabobs.  No matter how many times I mess them up, Mike is still going to eat and tell me I'm doing a great job and say "Next time, you might just want to do this or that a little different." Unless I burn the house down, he's always going to be my biggest fan.  


So I'm going to try them again.  Soak the sticks.  Cut the meat a little more evenly, etc. etc. I'm not giving up.  I can do this!  I know I can!  (Now that's how I would talk to my friends!) 


It's okay to be a smidge disappointed when things don't go as planned.  Think of your mistakes as learning opportunities. Tell your kiddos about your mistakes.  Let them see that even though you are 38 years old, you still forget and mess up. (Especially something that you are new at!)  Encourage them to try again and again and again until they get it right. And then work to make "right" things or "good" things even better things.  


Philippians 4:5 says, "Let your gentleness be evident to all.  The Lord is near." 


People often say to me, "you are so sweet" and I do want to be "sweet" but honestly, gentleness does not come natural for me.  I've not always been gentle with myself or others. Critical and harsh, yes.  I'm learning that Gentleness is a choice.  Basically, the opposite of Perfectionist, which is definitely my natural tendency.  I want me and everyone else to get things right on the first time, but that just isn't realistic.  And it's not healthy for anyone involved.  


Gentleness requires a lot of self-control, in my case, with my mouth.  Mike says what my words don't say, my face easily takes care of, so I am always trying to remember to rein BOTH my face and mouth in. 


What about you.  Do you choose gentleness?  Do you think of yourself as gentle?  Do you realize you have to CHOOSE gentleness, with yourself and others.  Maybe for some people it does in some situations come easily, but I think it is something that we could all be more mindful of, ESPECIALLY at HOME SWEET HOME.  It's kind of  sad that gentleness outside of our home usually comes SO easy! 


I think of myself as a sinner.  A mistake maker.  But also a grower.  A learner.  An always changing person.  A problem solver. I should always allow others the same titles that I give myself. 


I pray for gentleness for myself and my kiddos teacher's daily. I start each day asking God for it and putting it at the forefront of my mind.  Some days, I'm pretty darn good at it, and other days, like the 4 millionth day of Christmas vacation.....well...I definitely struggle!  


If harsh, impatient, unforgiving, angry, unloving are words that you would use to describe yourself (I can tell you a boatload of times I've been all of the above!) it is not too late to change no matter what your age.  Gentle, loving, patient, kind, are all choices that we can make, but they take a TON of self-control. Prayer.  Mindfulness.  


It is worth it.  You are worth gentleness.  Be gentle to yourself. Be gentle to others.   You can do it!   I believe in you friends.  I want choosing gentleness to help you (AND ME!)  find even more Joy in the Chaos of life this year!  




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