Rewind to about 6 years ago. I was a few weeks shy of my due date with my first born son. The anticipation was mounting, my to-do list was getting smaller (probably the last time that happened), and my husband and I were nothing but excited (okay, well, maybe I was a little anxious about my "plans" to birth naturally).
If you would have asked me then, what kind of mom I was going to be, I guarantee I would have said I was going to be the mom who never yelled, who never spanked out of anger or frustration, who would always put my child's needs ahead of my own, and would love every moment of every day at home with my kids (its okay to roll your eyes).
And then, I became a mom.
"Gentle" didn't come as naturally as I had thought it would. It wasn't handed to me when the doctor placed my son on my chest. It didn't consume me when my baby was crying in the middle of the night when I wanted to sleep, or mid day when he didn't want to nap and I did (see a pattern here? I need sleep). It didn't appear as we began to discipline for simple disobedience, and it certainly was never present in the midst of the nastiest of toddler tantrums, or even now, as we enter the school age years...gentleness isn't showing up.
Where was MY gentle spirit??? I want a gentle spirit! I didn't come with one, apparently.
One thing I learned the hard way, early on in my motherhood journey, is how incredibly selfish I was and how I had placed my own desires on a pedestal and wanted my baby to fit into what I thought was already a pretty good routine I had going. It didn't leave room for a gentle spirit...my sin was choking it out.
And as that baby grew up, and more babies were added to the mix, my gentle spirit was making less and less of an appearance as the kids began to run my day and I accomplished less and less of what I wanted. (I cringe at the selfishness written in that sentence)
It was a sin problem in my heart. I acknowledged it, but I couldn't change it, no matter how hard I tried.
As I read Philippians 4:5 again recently, there it was… "The Lord is near." Easy to breeze right by without giving much thought to, but what a simple and powerful reminder that yes, He calls us to have a gentle spirit, which can seem insurmountable at times (specifically 4:30pm….am I right all you mommas of littles??), but He promises he is near!
Psalm 73:28 says “But as for me, the nearness of God is my good.”
If we believe that, than we need to practice calling out for Him, believing that it WILL be for our good to acknowledge His presence, and ask for His help!
Philippians 4:6-7 goes on to say, “ Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the PEACE of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
I'm not responsible for the changing. I'm only responsible for the asking and believing that He will!
Recently, I went through a season where it felt like the only words coming out of my mouth were “I CAN’T DO THIS!” I had officially lost all sense of control in my life and I was in an emotional downward spiral. Heavy life transitions can do that to you.
I tried to make time to read my Bible in the morning, but as soon as the chaos of the day began, those truths were quickly drowned out with complaining, arguing, and disrespect, and my reactions looked no different as if I had never opened my Bible at all.
The piece I was forgetting was asking the Lord, in the moment, not JUST at the beginning of my day, to do all these things I “can’t do” on my own.
One morning, I was on a rant….my child’s tantrum was being matched with a big tantrum of my own, and out of my mouth came the same thing, but this time, I said “GOD! I CAN'T DO THIS!”
I will never forget the immediate peace I received in my soul from his Holy Spirit. Just one word, directed at my God who wants me to cast all my cares on Him, stopped me in my spiraling of emotions.
He heard me, He quieted my heart, and shockingly, the chaos surrounding me subsided just long enough for me to acknowledge Him and thank Him for being NEAR, and then to respond to the situation with a gentle spirit.
When it’s a learn as you go, put one foot in front of the other kind of day, it’s so easy to forget that the Lord is wanting to be a part of each and every step. They seem so mundane.
But in those mundane moments, the Lord promises to be near! Near when we are up for the 10th time during the night (and it’s only 3am). Near when we loose our temper on our husbands or kids, again. Near when dinner burns because we are playing referee in the war of brother vs. brother. Near when everything is out of control. Near when we are asking for His help for the 100th time today.
As we seek a gentle spirit, as wives, mothers, friends, daughters, we MUST remember that the Lord is near! Call out to him...as often as you need to!
Welcome to Dwelling Well Mom! I'm so glad you are here! I'm Christi, wife, mom of boys, Christ follower, picture taker, DIYer, chocolate eater, and coffee drinker. Born and raised a Florida girl, now braving the mountains of Boone, NC, I'm on a journey to find peace in the midst of my mundane. Join me!