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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Gentleness Challenge - Week 1

Monday was the first day of the Gentleness Challenge hosted by Courtney at Women Living Well. I was so excited to get started because this is a specific area that I need God to do some major weeding. More often than not, I find myself frustrated which spews out via a quick temper & yelling. You know it's really time to make a change when you see your children demonstrating the same negative behaviors as yourself. Even our 3 year old has looked at her brother and said, "You're making me so frustrated!" Please know that I tell you this with much embarrassment. But I want to write from on honest and transparent heart.

So here are the main points I learned from yesterday's video (I have posted it at the bottom in case you missed it.)

1. Intentionally speak words of encouragement over my kids. It's very easy for me to lecture, correct and discipline. Although I do encourage my kids and praise them often, I need to use the times when they are upset, mouthy or out of line to stay calm and try to get to the root of the problem.

2. Not every disobedient act requires a punishment. Choosing to exercise grace is not the same as being a push-over.

3. It's not my job to be my children's Holy Spirit. This is huge for me! God wants me only to teach and train them. It is His job to direct their hearts towards Him.

I have started putting these things into practice and can already feel a more peaceful spirit in our home. It's only day one of week one and there is a long road ahead. But I know God has begun a good work here and that He will be faithful to complete it!

As with any life change, the most important step is to be in prayer and His Word daily. Have you embarked on this journey too? I'd love to hear your thoughts! What is God showing you? How are your children responding?


Zombiemommy said... [Reply to comment]

Oh boy, I do a lot of correction but not as much "Good Job" and "Atta Boy".
Thanks for the reminder.

I do exercise grace sometimes.

Great post.

Karen Dawkins said... [Reply to comment]

Thank you, Torrie, for getting me involved in this challenge! This video encouraged me. Much of what they say, I actually do from time to time. Not as consistently as I need, but regularly. YAY!!!! :)

Taking it one day at a time.


Hannah said... [Reply to comment]

I've noticed that when I am getting especially frustrated with my children's misbehavior, it's usually time to step back and examine my own behavior. If I'm impatient to them or saying things in an unkind way, they are all the more apt to do the same to each other.

Love the's so easy to return to bad habits!

Torrie said... [Reply to comment]

Thanks for your comments ladies! I value them greatly!! I think consistancy is a key here. We all love and praise our kids. It's in the stressful/frustrating times that all the "atta boys" and "mommys so proud of yous" get overshadowed. Trying to make them more common and the old grumpy mommy a fading memory. Got a long way to go though. Thanks for joining me on this journey. :-)

Elizabeth said... [Reply to comment]

My husband and I are working on praising our kids more than saying no, and well negative things when they make a wrong choice.

Fawn said... [Reply to comment]

Courtney is so adorable. A ton of energy! I love this challenge you're doing. Thanks for sharing, Torrie.

OneMommy said... [Reply to comment]

Doing the challenge, too, although I haven't posted yet.
I try to do a lot of positive reinforcement, but I know I have a tendency to point out what is wrong more often than what they've done right. That is the big thing I am trying to change this week.

Torrie said... [Reply to comment]

Love reading all these comments and how God is using this challenge to change our hearts & homes. And it's only week 1!!!!

Positive re-enforcement is so important. I have been trying to do more of that too. I have a tendency to give them praise followed by a "but" (That was really nice of you to share you dessert, but your sister didn't need anymore sweets). This week I've made a conscious effort to just give the praise and leave out the "but".

~Isabel said... [Reply to comment]

"3. It's not my job to be my children's Holy Spirit. This is huge for me! God wants me only to teach and train them. It is His job to direct their hearts towards Him."

oh my....i'm afraid that i thought that was "my" job, not God's! I need to remember this and be sure to do a good job teaching and training...

Torrie said... [Reply to comment]

Isabel, this is one of my biggest challenges too. I think for me, it's two-fold. 1. I need to give up control. (I tend to be somewhat of a control freak.) 2. I want so desperately for our kids to grow up to love and serve our Lord that I forget HE wants that even more than I do. He created them for his glory. Thank God for His amazing grace on this journey!!

From One Mom to Another said... [Reply to comment]

I think NOT being my kids Holy Spirit is the most difficult for me at this stage. I also want to control all situations and possible outcomes, leaving no room for the Lord to work. I have to remember that God also loves my kids, more than me, and has a good plan for them.

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