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?

5 replies
  1. Morgan Gist MacDonald
    Morgan Gist MacDonald says:

    This is beautiful, Amy! I’m new to your blog, but this post about gentleness so hit home for me. We have three little ones, and at the end of many days, I wish I could take back harsh words. I think you’re right, that a lot of it has to do with letting go of the need to be right and the self-imposed stress. Going to let gentleness rule today. 🙂

    Reply
  2. Melanie
    Melanie says:

    I saw a link of your blog on FB about raising our kids be responsible. My oldest is 25, and my youngest is 21 with a 22 year old daughter in the middle of these growing young men. I read through several of your blogs and explored your blog. I am a former Special Education teacher with most of my experience in middle school, my passion lies there. I am still in the public school but over two middle schools compliance in my role as an ARD Facilitator. I makeg sure the plan being recommended is compliant/legal. I do many duties. I lead the IEP meetings, train teachers, do LOTS of paperwork (which I am a nerd and love), and keep compliance for our Special Education kiddos among a million other little things. My biggest role in the end is to lead a positive meeting while maintaining compliance in every aspect of my job. So there is some of my background. I have really enjoyed reading you blogs. I did not do what you said for certain about raising my kids. I sent my firstborn to college without him ever cooking or doing laundry, although he did work from 16 on. He adjusted and figured it out. He lived in a dorm off campus, basically. Then I had a severe health problem push my 11th and 9th grader into more of a young adult role when I had a tumor found and removed from my spinal cord. I still have chronic pain, so my role changed. I am married, so they weren’t alone, but I carried the family up until that point in all the home/sport or other activities. It was good that the younger 2 were given the ability to grow some. Anyway, I liked and agreed with a lot of what you said. I plan to keep up with your blog.

    Reply
    • Amy Carney
      Amy Carney says:

      Thank you Melanie! Wow- what a journey you have been on! Growing up I was the same as your son having never cooked or doing my laundry, but I started working at 15 and have always been able to figure out life and stand on my own two feet because of my work ethic. My kids don’t necessarily cook or do their laundry, but they can if need be which is what I think is important. Thanks for reading!

      Reply

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