Developing a Gentle and Quiet Spirit

My spirit is much gentler and much quieter than it used to be. A gentle and quiet spirit in a woman is precious to God. But although I try to be gentle, sometimes I lose my temper. I don’t even try to be quiet at home. I am not even sure I am capable of being quiet!

What does it mean to have a gentle and quiet spirit? How does this pair with being a strong person, with having a strong personality, with being opinionated? Can they go together? It is such a hard issue to understand. What is wrong with a spirit that wants to do more and be more? There is a fine line between gratitude and complacency.

So far, although I am reading about it and searching scripture, the conclusions I have come to are this: do not be contentious, control your temper, and use soft words for the people around you. Perhaps being gentle and quiet has nothing to do with whether you are weak or strong, opinionated or not, or the color of your personality.

I have made so much progress on having a gentle and quiet spirit, but I have a long way to go to be pleasing to God. I focus too much on my own needs and not enough on my husband’s. I am short tempered and rash. I am too easily stressed out, instead of taking serenity from the knowledge that God is in control. My tongue is too sharp at times.

Biblical Gender Roles

As a firm believer in gender roles, the God-designed differences between men and women, and submission, I found this book to be one that really hit home. It spelled out cogent arguments for what I already believed, and it brought to my attention fresh ideas about the roles of the sexes in light of scripture. I have found that living out God’s designed role for me makes my life and my marriage better for me. I highly recommend this book, especially for Christian feminists.  It presents clear rebuttals to that ideology.

Self Esteem from God

We live in a culture of comparison. Sometimes that can be a bad thing. Women get on Instagram and see how immaculate another woman’s house is and feel bad. But not all of us are equally gifted in all areas, and what matters is that your home is clean and homey – not stock photo material. And besides, you don’t know how many piles of junk have been pushed just out of the frame.

We compare weight, wealth, and style. It starts young. Yesterday our family was in the car and our daughter said that someday she wanted an expensive house so people would know her house is expensive. Where does a 5 year old get that idea? At a young age we feel compelled to outdo one another, and not in kindness. I asked her why she would care if other people think her house is expensive. She said she wants to be pretty.

Of course my husband and I had a corrective talk with her. If she does end up with wealth, and we hope she marries well, she should not flaunt it. Furthermore, having an expensive house won’t make her prettier than anyone else.

From very early on in life we figure out what the world values and we try to be and acquire those things. I honestly think that although much of it stems from pride and competitiveness, which I am guilty of, some of it grows from fear. We believe people will be nicer to us if we have an impressive house, designer clothing, trim waists, and big vacations. Honestly, we are right. The world at large is kinder and kinder, even idolizing, those who are most extreme in these trappings of societal gold. There will always be a certain percentage of people, especially women I think, that will treat you differently if you are slim and rich. Some hope the cache of these things will rub off on them by association. Still others may be riven with jealousy, but interested to watch a life they perceive as better than theirs. We revere what we value.

Some of it is plain insecurity. We want people to at bare minimum not be mean to us. I think my daughter perceives, young as she is, that people will have a better initial impression of her if she has a big house – and that therefore people will be kinder.

I have found this to be true in my own life. In middle school, living in apartments and with few outfits and no handbags, I was an outsider to the girls around me. I was treated differently. Yet I don’t want my daughter to grow up fearing that. I want her to draw her self esteem from God, and rest secure in His love. She has nothing to prove to other people, no one to impress. She needs to please her savior. Friends can help get us through this life, but the right ones will genuinely like you. Your house will not need a marble foyer for them to want to come over.

I hope my daughter has a gorgeous home. I want her to be well traveled. But I do not want these things to be what she derives her self worth from. These things are also not a guarantee in life, and I want her to have a firmer foundation on which to rest her identity.

Our worth is derived from God. Enjoy your blessings, but never be prideful. Even if they are hard earned, they are undeserved gifts. I want my daughter to remember that

Marriage Journal

This is a lovely red journal I bought that I use to remind me to be a good wife. On each page is a verse about marriage or submission. In it I try to record daily goals for serving, respecting, loving, and honoring Craig. It really makes me think. You can’t take your husband for granted, and each day I should focus on serving my husband. He is such a blessing in my life, and he deserves the best of me. I get tired and busy and moody, and sometimes it is good to have something to remind me to prioritize my marriage.

Merry Christmas!

Angelica enjoying her Light Bright for the first time.

Merry Christmas to all of you. I hope you are having a beautiful day with family and friends. I hope your fellowship is warm. Enjoy this special day celebrate the Son of God come to Earth in the flesh. I love you all.

If you are alone this Christmas and want to talk, whether you celebrate Christmas or not, send me an email at McLemores0903@gmail.com

I would be glad to talk.

Sacred Parenting

God uses our children and our experiences as parents to refine us like gold. Just as we greatly impact our children and can even bring them closer to God, our children do the same to us. Through the sacrifices we make for them to the trials we have with them, if parenting is done with the right spirit it can make us more holy.

Life Giving Home

This inspiring book by Sally Clarkson renewed the vigor with which I manage my home. I will never be a fantastic housekeeper, but I will try.

Growing up I read that the mother is the thermostat of the home. Her mood and attitude sets the tone for the rest of the household. This book more or less drives that point home. The best thing I can do as a homemaker is be gentle with the people in my home, and try to be cheery. Good homemaking is not just about having floors that are clean enough to eat off (although that’s a good thing to have), but rather it is about creating an environment that people want to dwell in.

This book also gave me a few random ideas for creating a unique, memorable environment for my family. Play music throughout the day. I asked Craig to buy me a speaker for downstairs. He got me a cool little one that changes colors. He also got me an mp3 player and sd card to go with the speaker so I could connect music.

I tried to choose a soundtrack that I thought was interesting and set a tone. I have Gregorian chants, nun choirs, and other Christian music. I also have some favorite instrumental film scores, including some dark ones. I want a house of thinking. of memory, of the surreal. I have a little Evanescence and some Apocalyptica. They make orchestral versions of rock songs.  I have some of the Lord of the Rings soundtrack on there, some a capella, and Adrian von Ziegler.

Maybe that is a little odd, but I think it sets a memorable tone for the house. 

Perfume for Jesus’s Feet

Angelica came to me yesterday and told me she made a cross. She had drawn a cross – and put my favorite scrapbooking bows all over it. 

I have been letting Angelica go into the craft room by herself and use materials she likes for several months now. I’ve been sharing craft supplies with her her whole life, but until recently I supervised 100 percent of the time and chose the materials she could use. Angelica is growing up so fast though that lately that I let her come and go in the craft room alone or with Grace, her wonderful babysitter. She can use any paper, stickers, ribbon, washi tape etc that she wants.

Yet I had a moment of dispair when I saw she had used some of my favorite little pieces all at once and on one project. I was happy to see her artwork, and thrilled by her devotion to Jesus, but I did feel a little twinge when I realized I couldn’t use those for still lifes again or for a collage or scrapbook page. 

Then I had a revelation. Angelica loves these bows too. She didn’t give one thought to giving all the best bows, at once, to Jesus. It is a given she will never have those supplies again. She knows that, and she didn’t hesitate. Angelica gave her perfume to Jesus. My job as a mother is to help her grow in her faith and continue to pour her best bottle of perfume on the feet of Jesus. And yesterday, I learned from her.