My continued goal of gentleness....

A gentle answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Proverbs 15:1

I have been working for the past few years on my reactions.  I'm not just a reactor, but a nuclear reactor at times.  Because of years of living in an abusive environment, I have been trained to be ready on a blinks notice to jump to defense... of myself, my kids, my belongings.  Anything can happen at any moment and my mind has to be on alert for any sound out of the ordinary, any sign that one of my kids are being wronged.  Anything.

I'm happy to say that I have gotten much, much better at this (thank you Lawd!), but there are moments that it sneaks up and grabs me before I even have a moment to think about it.  Just when I think that I've got this whole reacting thing licked, *BOOM*  nope.  

Last night, one of my kids was wronged in a small way.  A few years ago, my reaction to this may have brought on the need for bail money... or a dentist when I knocked out someone's teeth.  But last night, I said my peace and then enjoyed the rest of the church service.  I was joyful and peaceful and said a prayer of thanks for God having brought me so far in the reaction department.  Then without a moment's notice, something was said about the incident with a bit of a nasty tone of voice and faster than you could say "RUN!", I was in full-blown nuclear meltdown mode.  Oh it was ON.  Just that fast.  The devil sure knows our weak spots, doesn't he?  He knows that not much else can bring that out in me anymore.  Make me feel as if one of my children need defending or protecting?  Oh, "Mama Bear" doesn't quite sum it up.  I see flames and want to come out of my skin.  It gets ugly and I become absolutely fearless.

Surprisingly enough, the evening ended up being a nice, peaceful, calm time.  Pride was set aside on both sides, apologies were given, hugs, kisses, tears, snot, the whole works.  I think it was meant to be a little bit of a test, or a wake-up call to remind me that I'm not done yet.  I'm not in a place where I can be smug enough to think that I'm beyond this familiar tripping point.  No, I'm still a work in progress.  I sure am better than I used to be, but I'm not there yet.

Which brings me to one of my many goals for the coming year... my continued journey toward gentleness.  It's not been a conscious journey until just today when I was reflecting on the events of last night, but now I can see clearly how God has been trying to grow that fruit in me for the past few years.  I've really strove (that's a real word, I checked) to not react to negativity with negativity, to not speak with haste or too much self-interest, to be proactive rather than reactive, to be calm in the face of someone else's drama.  It looks like my reaction over the protection of my kids is one of the last frontiers.  May this year see me go further than any other year. 

lurve you, xoxo v.


Dory Babe =] said…
So proud of ya! I too am still a work in progress. So good to read this :)