Friday, May 4, 2012

Gently



James 3:17 

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.



The formal living room in my Mom's house was always cool and hushed, save on holidays when the fire crackled warm and voices sparked in laughter and debate.  But on a normal rainy afternoon when I'd settle myself on that black piano bench, it resembled the quiet solitude of a chapel.

One of the last pieces I remember playing was "Anne's Theme" from the BBC's Anne of Green Gables miniseries.  Perhaps that alone gives quiet testimony to how little I progressed, despite years of lessons.  Oh, to have that chance again!  Hindsight's 20/20 and I haven't touched the ivories in years.

Still, I remember.  That little note on the music, right above the key register:

"Gently, and with great feeling."


I'd close my eyes, take a deep breath in and then --- with as much feeling and gentleness as I could clumsily convey, I'd begin.

These days, I can't get those words out of my mind.  They've become a bit of a mantra of sorts, and in my mind's eye I can see them still on that dog-eared bit of music.  When the five year old stamps her foot mid-tantrum.  When the toddler is all crazy and loud and I'm an impatient mess.  When the oldest one is stalling on his school work and I just want to be done already.

I close my eyes tight and think - gently, and with great feeling.

It cools and calms me and I can gain some perspective.

It's not my job to out-shout the toddler.  In fact, I've found that the more I escalate, the more he follows my lead.  Gently correcting him with restraint, quiet yet firm, I can see the difference.  He pricks up his ears and he hears me.


 Proverbs 15:1 

A soft answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.



You can catch more flies with honey, after all, and gentleness becomes a calming balm on the relationships in my life.  It doesn't always come easy - my temper burns fiery hot and can run away, wild, if I let it.  I've been set in a place of authority over these little ones, but I can choose gentleness in how I lead them.

My job is to live and love gently, with great feeling.  When I'm not fiercely defending my own honor or stubbornly digging my heels in, I can feel the peace washing right over me.



“I choose gentleness… Nothing is won by force. I choose to be gentle. If I raise my voice may it be only in praise. If I clench my fist, may it be only in prayer. If I make a demand, may it be only of myself. ”
— Max Lucado



9 comments:

  1. Wonderful post!

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  2. Good preaching sister. Thank you! : )

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  3. I have been so encouraged by your blog for awhile now. I am also a homeschooling mama to five under 10. Thank you for your faithfulness to point to Christ in your posts, and for your honesty! It is hard work but good work, because Jesus is worth it! Blessings, Melissa from Texas
    By the way Love Michigan, I lived there for 2 years near Buchanan, beautiful place~!

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    1. Thank you for stopping by! I love meeting other moms in a similar place in life. You are right, it is hard (but good!) work. I go to bed exhausted but I really couldn't fathom doing anything else. It's a good life!

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  4. Beautiful and I totally loved that Max Lucado verse. I put it on my facebook page.

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  5. Lydia,

    Your post is absolutely beautiful and it brought tears to my eyes! Very fitting for the times we live in. Where the stay at home Mother and/or wife is not the norm and the the Proverbs 31 woman is considered counter cultural. God is definitely doing good works through you and your family. Thank you for being obedient to your calling!

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    1. What a lovely, genuine comment. Thank you!

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  6. You always bless me Lydia, your posts just keep getting better and better!

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