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    Raising our children and educating them could be described as, "a long obedience in the same direction." The longer we homeschool, the more we believe that to be obedient, to stay on the "narrow pathway" that Jesus described, we need the Lord desperately, and we also need each other.

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    ~Galatians 5:22~

     

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    "Therefore encourage one another and build one another up." I Thessalonians 5:11


Pathway Christian Cooperative Blog

Jesus in Everyday Life

fots thumbGentle was a word heard often in our home during our children's younger years...

 Girl with Kitten      Inevitably, their chubby little baby fingers would reach out in curiosity for a pat or pull of an unsuspecting kitty. Anytime there was a new baby in close proximity they couldn't help but want to explore their tiny baby eyeballs. During these times, I would place my hand upon theirs slowing the motion as I said to them "gentle."

     While gentle may come natural for those that are born tenderhearted, kindly and with amiable character, for me it takes purposeful effort to speak gently instead of urgently and to walk leisurely instead of in a purposeful forward motion. Born intense and task oriented, I really enjoy finishing jobs and marking them off my list. Not a bad quality, but left on my own I function on tunnel vision.

      One day in particular sticks out in my mind. While brushing my daughter's hair vigorously so we could get out the door, I realized that I had been given an honor not a task. This was my sweet girl's crown, and I was plowing through her head like a farmer with a mission. I was stopped in my tracks. God entrusted me to care for, respect, and honor His creation, and I had missed the mark.

      Truly, it is a privilege bestowed to me if I would just slow down and take the time to lovingly brush my child's hair! It says to my child, "I love you." It says, "You are important to me and I cherish you." What a difference it makes to pray over my children while brushing their hair, tying their shoes, or any number of daily tasks. This contrast in my actions allows God to work through me and for my child to see Jesus in everyday living.

     The dictionary defines Gentle as "Not harsh or severe, mild and soft: a gentle scolding; a gentle tapping at the window." Training up my children can be done one of two ways, harshly or gently. Discipline is inevitable, how I respond takes concerted effort. My words at times come out quickly, and I later regret them knowing there was a better way. With God's help I can pause long enough to practice gentle discipline. I have found that when my heart is turned towards awareness of a behavior God will nudge me. How do I know this? Well, since I have set out to write a post about gentleness I have been nudged. My children are older now, but I still have a tendency to bark orders in my haste to get out the door or complete a task. Far too many times recently as I am backing out of the driveway, I feel it - the nudge - and I say to myself, "That was not gentle." Phooey, I have done it again.

      I have two choices in this moment: to drown in a sea of guilt, OR, to thank God for the reminder, apologize to my kids, and try, try again. It is reasonable to say that this is part of my legacy. I pray one day my children will pray over my grandchildren as they complete the repetitive rituals of life. I hope they will slow down with their entrusted ones and take the time to tenderly cover their hands with their own when the need arises. I am thankful that my heavenly Father continually, patiently, and kindly slows my motion and whispers to me "gentle."

"He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young."  Isaiah 40:11(ESV)



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