Choosing a word of the year is all the hype. Perhaps you’ve already chosen yours or are in deliberation. Or maybe you have never even thought about letting a word represent the year ahead. It’s thought provoking and pretty painless, so why not? I’ve found that sometimes my choice even inspires others.
Last year my word was deliberate. I went easy on myself and chose a twist on the word intentional, something that I strive to do every day anyway. This year the word I’ve settled on is going to be a difficult one for me.
This year my word is GENTLE.
When I reflect on my 2015, I did a lot of amazing things. I hiked part of the Grand Canyon with a girlfriend. I flew around to some awesome conferences and to visit with family. My husband and I enjoyed some quiet time RVing to pick up the kids from summer camp before we headed off as a family to serve in Mexico. I made a lot of great memories last year.
If I’m honest though what stands out to me the most is how much I nagged and got frustrated with my family last year.
I want to soften my tone and attitude toward my loved ones behind closed doors. The struggle is real friends. I have three teenage sons, an almost teenaged daughter and a very gentle husband who doesn’t quite know what to do with himself most days on this thing called retirement from the NHL.
Keeping my mouth shut will be a task for me. There’s no way to be gentle when you are a nagging, huffing and puffing mother. Change is in order.
Pastor Jamie kicked off a new series at Scottsdale Bible on the Fruits of the Spirit. Ironically, my chosen word is part of the fruit basket. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, GENTLENESS and self-control are what God wants to do within all of us. It’s up to us to cooperate.
In my commitment to become more GENTLE, I vow to:
Lean on our Lord for guidance and help with my word for 2016. I can’t achieve gentleness on my own will.
Respond instead of react. This doesn’t mean ignoring my feelings or thoughts, but perhaps approaching situations so that I don’t walk away with a scratchy throat. Think calm, cool and collected.
Let go of my need to be right. I am a first born, type-A Leo so let’s face it I am rarely wrong. Being gentle doesn’t mean compromising my beliefs, but it does imply that I can be wise and loving in expressing those beliefs to others. Oh Lord, help me now.
Treat my family as I do friends, by honoring them with patience, tolerance and compassion. No one is more deserving than these five who I share an address with.
Judge less. Be gentle with all. Be compassionate and understanding of people I may not know, understand or agree with. Approach everything and everyone softer.
Get less busy. It is a lot easier to be gentle with others, if we are first gentle with ourselves. Too much of anything strips away at my inner peace. With a slowed down, simpler life, I have a greater ability to be gentle because I’m not stressed.
Own my lack of self control, apologize and try again because I will mess up and start going all looney toon on everyone because I’m human. Humans make mistakes but gentle ones can humbly ask for forgiveness and keep working at getting it right.
Have you chosen your word for 2016? How do you feel about my word GENTLE?