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Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. ~ Ephesians 4:2
Last Sunday our pastor challenged us to pray about one thing that God would have for us in the new year. One thing to confess, one person to forgive, one relationship to mend, one dream to pursue…
I am a goal-making, list-checking, problem-solving kind of gal and I go crazy with it this time of year! But this time, there is a call to rest, contentment, and abiding that I hear from my Lord.
There will be projects and goals and lists of books to read. But those are not on my mind as I look out expectantly into the future. Instead, He has placed deep desire within me for one thing this new year. A dream that is humble and yet so challenging…
To be a gentle and joyful mom.
It’s almost anti-climactic to write that. It isn’t a dream that will impress the world. There is no checklist for it. There is no end to pursuing it. It is not a S.M.A.R.T goal. But it is the desire of my heart and worth everything in me to run toward.
This past year, especially, I have struggled with anger and frustration with my family. My default mode is selfishness and a complaining attitude. I feel such discouragement and shame when, despite my best efforts to overcome it, impatience lashes out in harsh words and a cold, hurried touch. My weaknesses have been exposed and my attempts to fix myself have all failed.
Finally, I have run to my Jesus, all tears and big feelings, and fallen into His arms. God has brought me to a level place where I am at the end of myself and fully dependent on Him. At the same time, He has given me a great desire to be a woman her family knows as gentle and joyful.
That’s where I stand right now. All God needs to accomplish what He wants in my life is a broken spirit and a contrite heart – a willingness and obedience to follow Him.
So what do I do with this dream? I talk about it and write about it and pray about it. I listen to God and open my eyes to what He is doing in and around me. I remember that sometimes, God brings about transformation in a round-about way.
And I seize the opportunities He provides to cultivate rest, contentment, abiding, gentleness and joy.
Here’s what He’s already led me to:
- Friends to process with and be accountable to in this journey
- The guidance and wisdom of older women
- Time with Him and in His Word
- Little ways to practice gentleness with my kids
- Knowing His word and living it out
- Slowing down and dwelling on His many blessings
If you struggle with these same things – if God had placed a similar dream in your heart for this new year – I hope this can be a place where we can share with and encourage each other!
Here are more articles and resources that I hope encourage you!
- Dear Mom Who Just Lost Her Temper
- Book: Give Them Grace by Elyse M. Fitzpatrick
- Book: Ministry of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson
- Book: Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson
This Post Has 12 Comments
Ashley Ditto13 Jan 2013
What a beautiful post that I truly needed today. Bless you!
phoward33615 Jan 2013
I love your goal – I think it is perfect!
Kristie10 May 2015
I am right there with you on the frustration with my family and how it shows so easily. I truly needed to read this post today.
Kelly H.25 Mar 2016
I really love this, Tauna. I know that my defaults are the same, and I have to ask the Lord to work in me continually – since I know that I cannot do it in my own strength. I think that women who stay home with their children 24/7 and are the mom, the cook, the maid, and the homeschool teacher can all relate to the joys we experience throughout the years of performing this ministry to our spouses and children, but also to the frustrations that arise from it as well.
Tauna26 Mar 2016
Thank you for your comment and encouragement Kelly! I’m so glad you found it helpful, and always glad to know I’m not alone in this struggle but seeking God’s transformation together. 🙂
AmyE2 Dec 2016
Thank you so much for sharing this struggle and your commitment and strategies to become a more gentle and joyful mom. I am experiencing the same struggles and have had many tearful prayers begging God to change my heart. Reading this post is so encouraging knowing that I’m not alone. I’ll be following your journey and spending time with God listening for His wisdom in my journey. Celebrate Calm’s wisdom on their facebook page has been a big eye opener for me. Kirk Martin’s (the founder and speaker of Celebrate Calm/Calm Parenting) insights have completely turned my thinking upside down. I highly recommend reading through what he has to say.
Tauna2 Dec 2016
Thank you so much for the encouraging words and the recommendation Amy! Praying for you now. 🙂 All us mamas need prayer!
Ruth13 Jan 2017
This is my goal as well. And after a night where I finally asked my husband to see what he could do to “make her (the baby) shut up” with tears streaming down my face…. What a well timed post. I feel such guilt when I react with anger and frustration with my children. Such inadequate- ness.
Only Jesus can mold me into the mom HE (and I) wants me to be.
Tauna14 Jan 2017
“Only Jesus can mold me into the mom HE (and I) wants me to be.” yes! I understand those feelings! Praying for your mama heart.
Kristie20 Mar 2018
I love this ,I can relate ,and gives me hope . This is one of my goals as well . Thank you
Tauna Meyer22 Mar 2018
I’m so glad you found it encouraging Kristie!
Joey22 Aug 2019
I absolutely relate to everything you have shared in this post. Those two words – joyful and gentle – are the things I most long to be, especially to my family. And I fail, what seems like every single day.