Marriage and Family, motherhood, Reflection

Nine Fruits ~ Part Eight: Gentleness

So precious is the gift of gentleness.

Baby Sister July 2006

{This is a picture of my eldest son holding his brand new baby sister, way back in July 2006.}

I believe that God holds us closely in His arms like this.

When we are scared. When we are lonely. When we are hurting.

Whenever we are vulnerable, we crave gentleness. We want someone to come alongside us and show us love through kindness, gentleness, calmness, and assurance that it will all be okay.

No wonder that one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is gentleness. Who would want a Spirit of harshness? I think of how Jesus is the picture of the Gentle Shepherd. He is gently leading his sheep into the fold. I love that image. I will never want to forget that I am God’s child, and that He is gently leading me by His hand… at all times.

As I go about each day, I am learning to practice gentleness. The book of Proverbs says that, “a gentle answer turns away wrath.” It is like putting water on a fire. I try very hard to always be gentle and kind. It’s definitely harder on some days to do this, especially when my kids are not getting Mommy’s hints!! Sometimes, I have to count to TEN and calm down before I answer. I want to try and answer with gentleness as much as possible.

It’s a beautiful thing to display or reflect gentleness. We live in such a harsh world today. So many people are running around, and they are hurt. They may not intentionally hurt others, but they will. It’s a part of human nature. We are wired to do the wrong thing before we learn to do the right thing. I have to constantly remind myself, my children, and anyone else that is willing to listen, that we have to be intentionally loving and caring toward others.

Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you.

I hope that as we go about our week, and the approaching Halloween festivities, that we will be kind to the strangers, friends, family members, and neighbors we encounter.

Gentleness is a light in a dark world. Go SHINE brightly!!

Faith, Friendship, Reflection

Nine Fruits: Part Five ~ Kindness

Kindness: a selfless, compassionate, generous, act of regard for others above your own needs.

I wonder what our world would be like if everyone practiced kindness. ALL. THE. TIME. Can you imagine what our level of social morality would be if we all could exercise kindness? I know that when I restrain my selfishness and offer my spot on the road for the car next to me, I have practiced kindness. When I choose to put down the technology and make cookies for a neighbor, I am exercising kindness. When I see that my children are giving up their beds for a visitor, they are exercising kindness.

A caveat: no one is born to be kind. Kindness is a learned trait. A baby comes into the world, and as cute and cuddly as he/she can be, babies are not concerned about being kind. As the baby grows, however, the parent can teach him how to show kindness to others. And, wouldn’t that be nice if every child learned the act of kindness and used it on a daily basis. I pray that my kids will be kind to others.

The Bible has plenty to say about showing love for one another, and kindness is one of the easiest ways to express love. Jesus said that if someone gives a cup of cold water to a stranger in need, he may have entertained an angel unaware. See Matthew 10:42

“And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”

Kindness pays it forward, and is not expecting payback.

Kindness is the gift that keeps on giving forward to the next person. Sure, you could reciprocate kindness between two people, but more often than not it is usually a one-way road. Kindness moves forward from person to person. What does it feel like to receive an unexpected gift or letter in the mail? What do you think it would feel like as the giver? Doesn’t it feel great to give of yourself?!

Kindness is given as a free gift.


Kindness can be in the form of a smile, a compliment, giving a neighbor a plate of cookies, or even a hug. Kindness is the outward expression of love, care, and concern for a fellow human being.

May we all practice a little kindness today.

It’s good for the soul.

Give a hug. Share a smile. Partake in a meal. Put love and care into action.

And, then, the world will be a wee bit better because of your kindness.