Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Practicing the Art of Being Gentle to Myself & The Homemaking Party

I've never felt like I was the sort of girl people would describe as gentle.

I'm not an animal lover. I don't tend a garden. Growing up, I preferred camping over ballet and took weight lifting when my friends were taking home economics.

I didn't start wearing pink until my fifth child was born and rarely wore a dress or skirt until I was almost 28 years old. Maybe you don't use any of these things to describe someone who is gentle---but they're things that I've always associated with the trait. At any rate, the feminine side of me was slow to emerge and the consistently kind and gentle side is just now beginning to show itself.

Each January, many of my friends share their word for the year and talk about why they've chosen that particular thing to focus on. I've never done that either. (Well, I guess one year I did say I was going to start saying NO to everything. It's been my word for every year, ever since.)

I think I will choose a word this year. I think I'll choose, gentle. What I'm finding is that gentleness has little to do with the outward appearance traits that I described above---and everything to do with the heart.

It's funny---when I'm walking closely with God and he wants to do something new in me, he makes it really clear. I find similar themes cropping up in various areas of my life and pretty soon they all culminate in a big, a ha!! moment for me and I realize it's God.

The last few weeks, I've found myself seeking a gentler path in so many ways...

  • Gentle Reading: I read Stepping Heavenward by Mrs. Elizabeth Prentiss in January and just finished Mary Froehlich's Courageous Gentleness. I'm finding myself hungering for books that are going to nurture my soul and encourage me in my walk as a wife, mother, and homemaker. I've started hashtagging these #gentlereading on my social media. I'm hoping others will do the same so I can get more ideas for great reads!
  • Gentle Speech: I've always sort of prided myself on my ability to make a joke in a split second. I've got a pop culture reference for just about anything anyone says and tend to be a social media show off when it comes to debating hot topics. I struggle between congratulating myself for my wit and condemning myself for the way I make some people feel. I do not like this part of me anymore. I'm trying to clean up my act and remember Proverbs 31:26--"She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness."
  • Gentle to My Body: I've dealt with a lot of self-loathing as I've done the yo-yo diet thing for far too long. Lately, I've focused more on what I put in my body, rather than what I'm avoiding. I'm choosing natural and fermented foods, drinking healing herbal tea, taking good quality vitamins and supplements for those my body is lacking in, and cutting back on sugar. I feel peaceful and positive---which is way more motivating than putting myself through the daily guilt like before.
  • Gentle to My Soul: I want to focus on positive self-talk. Speaking kind words to myself and others. Seeing the positive side of things and believing in myself more. Allowing myself times of rest and peace.
  • Gentle in Homeschooling: Since moving to Arkansas, we've been able to relax quite a bit as there's not nearly the constraints on our rights as there were in Oregon. I want to continue on that path---letting go of crazy expectations and allowing God to mold our homeschool into the unique-to-us thing he wants it to be. I want more kids-on-lap reading time, more wonderful discovery time.
  • Gentle in My Treatment of Others: Assuming the best, ignoring the rest. Walking away from conflict instead of getting sucked in. Realizing I can't "fix people" and doing my best to be an example of Christ in my words and actions.

I'm excited about the work of bold gentleness that God is doing in my heart and I'm looking forward to sharing more with you all about that.

Thanks for stopping by the Homemaking Party! Have a beautiful week!

Linking with:


  1. What a beautiful post, Sarah! I love your new blog look. :-)

  2. When I met you, I was very impressed by your gentleness ;) But I understand what you are saying, and I commend you for the thoughtfulness you have put into it. I love these words! Blessings to you!

  3. Aww. I think you and I would be great friends! I love your word and how the Lord is using it in your life. Your blog is beautiful (and truly reflects femininity).

    1. Thank you, Cheryl! Yes, let's be friends! Hope you're having a beautiful Saturday!

  4. Those sound like good goals Sarah! I have had a few of my own that have surfaced this year and it amazes me how as the years pass I see things a little more in depth each year. I always say I have a teenage brain, maybe it's growing up finally! Thanks for hosting and have a lovely weekend!

    1. It's true we never stop growing emotionally or intellectually---what a blessing! There's always time for a fresh start!

  5. I LOVE this, and I adore you. Remember, Satan likes to rob us right after we have a beautiful working inside. Ignore him, and stay with this truth. I've seen your gentle side even when you haven't, and I look forward to seeing where this journey takes you.

  6. Fabulous! I wrote a poem dedicated to you years ago when you were still in high school.

    My daughter, with a quiet strength in her gentleness...
    needs a man with a quiet gentleness in his strength.

    I think you have always had it, you just couldn't find it. I am so proud of who you are. Love, mom

  7. Great party, as usual! Thanks for hosting :)

  8. Stepping Heavenward ministered to my soul during a time of lots of young children in the home. I've been through the self-loathing, too. I am trying unsuccessfully to follow Trim Healthy Mama right now, but my husband is out-of-work, and grocery money is low. Praying for a job soon!

    Father God, I pray you will help Mrs. Sarah to follow the gentle path she has chosen. Be her strength when she is week. Help her to love herself so that she can fully love others in your name. Amen.

    Hugs to you dearie!
    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

    1. I sure appreciate your sweet prayers, friend! I've been in that difficult spot before, too. So glad for friends and prayers and encouragement!

  9. Love your word for the year! I too struggle with gentle speech. Its a hard habit to break when your mind always has a witty comeback to things you see or hear. Half the time I don't even mean them I just want to share them because they are "clever." People often praise us witty girls but not as often the lady with the gentle response. May we both grow in our gentleness.

  10. You described a work of bold gentleness- I love this contrast. In our society gentleness is often seen as weakness, but in the Lord it comes from a place of great strength!
    Thanks for hosting :)

  11. Your description of yourself and how the Lord has been revealing the true understanding of gentleness was a pleasure to read! We so often get confused about what the Lord really means by a word. It is also good recall that Paul clearly reminds us in Gal.5:22 that gentleness is a fruit of the spirit so as we grow in Him and allow Him to nurture our spirits, gentleness will grow and be a byproduct in us! Enjoying getting to know you as your neighbor on the linkup at Whole Hearted Home.

  12. I'm so glad. Here's hoping I can remember to practice it every day!

  13. First time visitor from Friendship Friday and Social Media Boost.(I will pin this gentle blog). I wrote a book (woman's self-care journal) that features many ways to be more gentle with oneself and others. My word this year is love. If you want health and wellness tips, please visit my blogs and website, www.nancyandreswriter.com.

  14. I loved reading about how you plan on using gentle this year. God does have a way of letting us know what he wants us to do.

  15. What a perfect word for the year and you describe how to do it perfectly too! Great post!

  16. Beautiful word Sarah. I was always quite the tomboy, but I do like a bit of gentleness at times. Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  17. What a great word - gentle. Imagine our world if everyone was gentle with one another.

    Thanks for Sharing Your Cup!

  18. I don't think you can go wrong seeking after a fruit of the Spirit! Thanks for adding your inspiring post to the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop...these have all been pinned to our group Pinterest board. See you again soon.



Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment! I read each one of them and love to respond back to those who visit! Please consider signing up for EMAIL NOTICES so you'll have a reminder of our weekly HOMEMAKING PARTY---and more! Have a wonderful day!

Mrs. Sarah Coller

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