I didn't really make any new year's resolutions this year. Honestly, I'm kind of tired of setting my self up for failure. There are the typical things that I hope to accomplish as we break out the fresh calendar -- like getting more organized, being a better time manager, and getting back in shape. But instead of setting rigid, external goals for myself I'm trying to focus more on some inner heart issues. I've been in a little bit of a funk lately. I know that it's just a hard season. But how many months can I say it's just a hard season before it really becomes a reflection of my character? I seem to have shifted my focus off of the bigger picture of motherhood and my perspective has gotten lost down here in the mud of the trenches. And it shows in big ways. My patience has been paper thin and I've been a giant stress ball of ugliness and while I preach that I never want my circumstances to define me, lately my attitude would tell you otherwise. I hate that I'm letting the frustration and the challenges of this season rob some of my joy, and in turn, some of my family's joy. Over the last several weeks I've been asking God to reveal the specific areas in my life that I need to focus on and discipline myself in. Trust me; there are many, many areas that need attention. But he has repeatedly given me the same one word.
So that's what I am planning to focus on and work at this year. To be more gentle with the people I love. To be more gentle with people I don't even know. To be more gentle with myself. To be gentle in not only my actions but also in my thoughts. To work on my pride and on my temper (it's going to take a LOT of work). To discipline my children with a loving gentleness instead of anger or impatience or frustration. To lower my expectations of others and even myself and instead offer a little bit more grace.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand supported me, and your gentleness made me great. Psalm 18:35