I chose a word to represent my hopes and plans for 2014 in homeschooling, blogging and family life: gentle.
I have been working on being more gentle all my life, but I will take things to a new level in 2014. My children have inspired me to go in that direction, as children often do to parents.
Where do I begin to explain how difficult this word is for me?
- I’m Romanian. We are passionate, emotional, and action-oriented people. Gentleness does not come naturally.
- I am goal-oriented and high-achieving.
- They keep moving the goal posts on me. Translation: I am never satisfied with the status quo for more than a few days.
- I have a Type A personality. I could not even type “gentle” above without making it bold. Sigh.
When I thought about what my word should be for 2014, I thought of my goals, of course. I have goals. I am in the process of reading not one, but two books on planning and getting things done. However, as ambitious as my plans are for 2014, nothing is as daring as reaching the mountain top of gentleness.
“Oh! that gentleness! how far more potent is it than force!”
― Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
Nothing is as important, either. What is gaining the whole world while trampling others in the process? So I decided that as long as I accomplish things without being gentle, I might as well not accomplish them.
And here’s the funny part:
My children are high-strung, hard-working, stubborn, and independent. The apple does not fall far from the tree.
I have found out that I can only guide them the way I like to be guided: gently. It’s an uphill battle which requires:
1. Lots of time spent with the One who is meek and lowly.
2. Numerous trips to the throne of mercy, asking for forgiveness.
3. Apologizing to my children every time I am not gentle.
4. Lots of courage to start the process all over again every day.
I marvel at such words as “still, small voice” or “meek and lowly in heart” or “peace maker” or “the Lord was not in the earthquake” or “Let your gentleness be known to all men.”
So glad I homeschool. I have all this time with my children, to practice gentleness and guide them in that direction as well. What is your word for 2014?