generous…gracious…kind

It has been a gray, rainy, wet few weeks. Life has settled back into a routine of sorts and as usual the return of routine brings some settling, some calm. We are in a busy stage of life but I am choosing to not complain about the busy. I do not want to spend my days sighing and complaining about the good things that fill our lives. I get to choose my perspective.

This week we read these words in Luke 6:

Live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we’re at our worst. Our Father is kind; you be kind. (The Message)

The words rolled around in my head for the rest of the day – live generously…graciously…be kind. They became my prayer for the rest of the week – live generously…graciously…be kind. I wrote them on our chalkboard wall in the kitchen so that they would be visible. I am not by nature a generous, gracious, or kind person but the Holy Spirit was at work in me this week and I found myself being generous with my time and attention, gracious in my reactions, and finding ways to be kind to those around me.

Saturday was a rough day with one of the kids. The whole day was a constant battle with disobedient and disrespectful behavior. I have not always handled that well in the past. But Saturday I kept saying the words like a mantra – live generously…graciously…be kind – and I think our interactions with the child displayed that. As this child was headed for bed I felt the desire to hold him close. I pulled him down on the couch next to me and gave him a hug. I stroked his hair and said, “I love you. There is nothing you could ever do that would make me stop loving you.” Did that immediately fix everything? No. But it calmed my heart. It reminded me that I am loved, even at my worst.

Sunday the sun broke through and the air warmed. We headed out for a hike.

We stretched our legs. We felt the sunshine on our faces. We marveled at the world around us. We laughed. We talked. We were renewed.

And I saw that child who can be loud, dramatic, and wild can also be soulfully still.

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