Bold but Gentle~Somewhere in Between Jerk and Doormat

Gentleness may conjure up the image of a mother cuddling her newborn. Yet many circumstances and relationships require gentleness in both attitude and action. Gentleness isn’t about being soft-spoken, silent, or sweet.

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. ~Matthew11:29

Gentleness is about a willingness to sacrifice for a greater cause, humility, learn-ability, and teach-ability. As Beth Moore put it in the study Living Beyond Yourself:

Gentleness is responsibility with power.

As a mother, wife, sister, aunt, and active member in my church I often feel compelled to initiate change for a greater cause. But it’s so easy to get caught up in how I think things should be that I fail to understand the situation from all perspectives.

In this year of change I have had to learn to choose my battles. Most recently, I fear I volunteered our whole family for a commitment that was just too much for us to take on. Add to that drama, mismatched personalities and disorganization and I realized we had to bow out or risk burn-out and frustration.

Deep breath! Whew! It was not easy in the least, but in the end my attempt to “make peace” by “gently” bringing to light the problems at hand and gracefully (I hope) releasing us from our commitment, will eventually lead to greater opportunities when the time and the team is right.

I know I tend to over-think things, but it is important to me that I do not take on any long-term commitment that is not smack dab in the middle of me fulfilling my purpose as a child of God, a wife, mother, homemaker and writer. It is a daily battle for me to choose my battles, avoid avoiding conflict, and take issues by the horns at the first signs of struggle.

I have a long way to go to reach any hint of perfection. But for now, I am working on living in the moment, and when life calls for action, I hope to respond somewhere in between being a doormat and a jerk!

If I fail, I trust my good friends, relatives and colleagues will choose to let me know as gently as possible, of course!

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