Introducing – The Gentleness Challenge

 

Yelling at a bud won’t make it bloom.

As we start a fresh new year, I want to turn our hearts towards our children.  I remember the first time I ever “lost it” with my son.  He was around 2 1/2 and his baby sister was 6 months old.  I had laid them both down for a nap and up he popped out of bed – “mommy, I’m not tired.”  I gently laid him back in bed and told him mommy knew he needed rest. But again, he popped out of bed and refused to sleep…after about 5 times of returning him to bed, this weary mommy’s temper began to rise until I raised my voice in anger at him.

I remember feeling terribly guilty that day…I could not believe the anger that was inside of me.  I NEVER thought I’d yell at my children.  But there I was – with the situation out of my control I felt helpless and lost it.  I repented, apologized to my son…but little did I know that that was the beginning of a long road of my patience being tried by my children lol!

Matthew Henry says “What is spoken wisely should be spoken calmly, and then it will be calmly considered. But passion will lessen the force even of reason, instead of adding any force to it.”

Are you baffled at the fact that your children are not listening to you? Research has shown that when a parent raises their voice at a child – a defense mechanism kicks in that helps the child emotionally protect themselves by tuning out what you are actually saying. When we as moms go on a long rant about something the child has done wrong – we may feel better because we got our feelings out – but our child has not been brought any closer to wisdom and understanding.

Surprisingly, when we harshly tell our children we do not like something they are doing – all they hear is – “you don’t like me“- period. It’s the harshness that accompanies the correction that causes the child to take personal offense and not listen.

And so I’d like to embark humbly on a Gentleness Challenge for mommy’s everwhere who struggle with raising their voices to their children, scowling, speaking in rapid fire foolish words or lecturing in anger. 

It’s interesting to note that all of the fruit of the Spirit address this very issue – the fruit of the Spirit is: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control (Gal. 5:22).  When we walk in the Spirit – we will be gentle mothers.  But when we walk in the flesh – we lack all of these attributes.

Which brings me to conclude that we must be in God’s word and on our knees daily – depending on God to help us be the gentle mothers he has called us to be. 

Each Monday in the month of January, I will be posting a video excerpt from the Summer Book Club I led over at GoodMorningGirls.org.  We were reading in Sally Clarkson’s book the Ministry of Motherhood and there’s over 20 videos in the series – but I have chosen the ones that best fit our challenge to share with you - in hopes that it will give you further inspiration outside of my writings. 

So here is our first video featuring me in Ohio skyping my partner Angela in Texas. They are a little lengthy (10 minutes), so grab a cup of coffee and sit back and relax.  We discuss using words of encouragement, food, and kindness to minister to our children along with our fears of being a push over or lecturing too often lol!  

 

 
If you are taking the challenge, I invite you to leave a comment in the comment section telling me that you are joining me on this journey!  If you are a blogger, I invite you to “copy” and “save as” this button and put it somewhere on your blog and link it back to http://www.womenlivingwell.org Then link up below!

Let’s focus this January on dealing gently with our children. Touch them gently, use their names gently, use your words gently, slow down and be loving, kind, and gracious.

Walk with the King!

Courtney

 

I’m linking up to:

Comments

  1. Hi Courtney, Count me in! This challenge is SO on time for me for 2012. I desperately need to work on not tearing my house down by venting my anger on my children and it has been on the forefront of my mind for sometime now. I will be buying my copy of Ministry of Motherhood immediately and as soon as the kids are in bed (so I don’t yell at them for interrupting me!) I will be watching the above video. Thanks so much for your ministry!

    • I am proud to say that I will be doing this challenge! I sometimes struggle with my temper and I’m excited to start the New Year in such a positive way. I know that this is one more way the the Lord is working in my life! Thank you for doing The Gentleness Challenge! :)

    • Alisha Richey says:

      Hi! I think this is amazing! Count me in

  2. I will be joining you in this challenge and look forward to any way that the Lord has to help me in overcoming this problem. I know it is wrong, yet I sometimes continue to do it. The message at church today was the Jesus has to be at the center of our lives, not just number one on a daily priority list. I am asking Him to be with me in ALL that I do, and I feel this will be another tool He will use to bring me closer to the person He created me to be. Have a Blessed year and thanks for all you do.

  3. One of my prayers for 2012 was that God would break me of my inpatience, esp with my children. Thank you for this. I am taking the Gentleness Challenge with you…feels like an answer to prayer for me :)

  4. Only by the grace of God can I walk in this obedience to love my children as He’s called me to. :) Count me in.

  5. I am looking forward to this challenge! I have always had issues with my temper

  6. Just the kind of challenge I need–thank you–I’m re-reading Mission to Motherhood as well: )

  7. Last night I prayed for better patience, I am 22 years old with 3 year old twins. I get so stressed out, and so impatient I felt I had no where to turn. I have prayed so hard to be a better mother. I had planned on using the New Year as my fresh start, to be less stressed and to practice what I prayed. I wasn’t sure if it would work, seeing you post this, feels like God talking right to me. Thank you so much for this post. I truly needed to see this to go through with what I want to do, and to work on my temper.

    xoxo
    Tiffany
    http://www.everydaybeautifulxx.com

  8. Thank you for offering us this challenge, Courtney! Like those who have commented before me, I too lose patience with my children. I can’t wait to work on this heavenly virtue…patience…to counteract my tendency towards frustration/anger! What a wonderful way to start of 2012. Many blessings to you this New Year!

  9. Count me in! Seeing this today was certainly a blessing.

  10. Gina DeBruler says:

    I’m in! I struggle constantly with a short fuse. Much needed challenge/devotional. Very timely.

  11. I’m in! Thanks Courtney!
    This has also inspired me to make Gal 5:22 our first memory verse this year!

  12. Im in! I cant recall how I was led to your blog, but I’m sure divine intervention was involved. I went out today & bought The family reading bible & a brand new 5 Star notebook to begin a 2012 journal! Thank you for drawing me closer to His word.

  13. Starla Findley says:

    Looking forward to this Challenge!

  14. Count Me In!

  15. I love this! Count me in :)

  16. Christina says:

    Thank you for your ministry Courtney!! Thank you for this challenge – it is something I really need. I was part of your summer book club with Ministry of Motherhood, and it was an excellent book. I have enjoyed following your blog for some time now, and thank you again for your ministry to women. May the Lord bless you!

  17. Me too! I’m in. I struggle with this more than I like!

  18. I greatly appreciate this video, and videos to come of the wisdom and GENTLE encouragement. I too, am a blower and know how WRONG it is, but continue to walk in it. It’s great to have others to walk together with through this difficult issue in life. Thank you for all you are doing and I anticipate ordering this book as well.
    I have yet to figure out how NOT to be the Holy Spirit to all of my family members…
    I will be participating in the Gentleness Challenge with you as well, as it is perfectly suited for me! Blessings over you and your ministry! ;)

  19. I have gone through the same thing. My son was 2.5 and my daughter was 2 months. Never thought I would get so out of control After reading Proverbs this fall I have toned way down and I accept this challenge again!

  20. I’m not a mom – in fact, I’m not married either. I’m living at home with my family. But I could so use this challenge anyway. Just because I don’t have kids doesn’t mean I don’t struggle with having patience! This looks great! Thanks!

    • I am Alison’s mom. She knows I need to do this, too! Do you have any ideas about how to measure our success quantitatively? (ie, This week I will only blow my top THREE times? ) :) Something better than that, I hope.

  21. Count me in! Thank you!

  22. I want to join in! It is something I really need to work on. I will be ordering a copy of that book also.

  23. Hit the nail on the head here, Courtney. This challenge is going to be awesome. I love the quote from Matthew Henry. I think something misfired in my brain and I linked up instead of leaving a comment first…sorry bout that!!!

    Thanks again,
    K

  24. Count me in! Gentleness is something I need and want more of..especially with my kiddos!

  25. I totally need this! Thanks Courtney!

  26. Count me in, please!

    I struggle with this, too, with my four young children. “Gentleness” has been on my heart as we enter a new year. This is so timely, Courtney! Thank you for this challenge.

  27. Courtney- I am joining you. My goal this year is to be better mom, a less angry mom. I read a book titled “She’s Gonna Blow” years ago- but just now God has been working on my heart concerning the issue of anger towards my children. Thank you for this challenge and sharing this with all of us!

  28. How did you know that this is what I desperately need to focus on this year? My lack of patience and quick temper are affecting my life and marriage. This couldn’t be better timing.

  29. Jennifer G says:

    I’m in. 2011 was really hard for my family in just about every area of life, including the birth of baby #5 who has spina bifida. Stress levels have risen and with them the anger level in our house. I’ve always fought to maintain patience (sometimes more successfully than others), but I felt God chiding me lately that I treat my children like I don’t like them, especially the older ones. I was raised in a very angry, abusive household, and it really comes out during times of stress. I chose peace and joy as my ‘theme’ for the year, and this goes along perfectly. Thank you!

  30. Like many of the other Mommies, I have been praying for God to help me with my temper and make me a better Mommy to my three beautiful girls. I am positive that this is God reaching out to me , thank you and count me in!

  31. Count me in. I always thought I was a patient person and hardly ever lost my temper until I had A 5 yr old. I need this, thank you.

  32. Perfect timing :)

  33. I’m joining GMG for the 1st time this month AND yes being a gentler mommy would be a wonderful thing to work towards with this. I am hoping by being in the Word each day, I’ll be more focused with my eyes on God and how HE wants me to be anyway. So ya, I’ll jump on board with this one!

  34. What a God-send you are!! This is exactly how I needed to start off my year. We’re stuck in a hotel with 4 children, needless to say, this momma’s temper is often red hot! I’ve been desperately praying for the Lord to help me cool it down and this challenge is an answer to those prayers! Thanks again Courtney for being awesome! :)

  35. This is something that I need to work on. Perfect! Thanks so much!

  36. I am so in. I have 3 daughters:10, 4 and 10 months. I have been allowing outside stuff to influence how I handle things. As a result I am seeing the temper in my girls, and it makes me sad. I am so ready to put the anger and temper behind us.

  37. Busy momma here – and I NEED this encouragment now! Thank you for the challenge!
    Excited to join you on this journey of gentleness.

    AND can’t wait to begin the Ephesians GMG journey soon too!!!!

    Blessings!

  38. I’ll be joining this challenge. My children are no longer “little” ones and sadly, I still lose my temper with them way too frequently. Thanks for the challenge!

  39. Count me in!

  40. I will be doing this as well, its been in my heart for a while and I needed to see this to follow through!

  41. I am in! I need this. Thanks!

  42. I’m going to be doing this. I need it!

  43. Jen Kindle says:

    This is a challenge i will be taking. I most assuredly need work with my temper not only with my children but in all aspects of my life.

  44. As I have been praying about what area of my life God is wanting to work on this year I keep coming back to being more intentional. Part of that is being more intentional with my children. I grew up in a home where anger & yelling were part of the discipline. I had issues with my temper as a child & teenager. I always said I would never “lose it” with my kids but, old patterns are hard to break. As my young kids are growing up I want to be a Godly, gentle example of a loving Mom. I look forward to this challenge. Thank you!

  45. I am so in need of this, but I am so scared of it being like everything else I’ve tried and not been consistent in. I start something and never finish. I’m not good at consistency in anything . I am praying that if the Lord can change my attitude about life then my children will see Jesus in me instead of mean ugliness. Maybe if I change, they will change too, with God’s help. Praying that 2012 will be a year of consistency in prayer and motherhood.

    • Reading your comment brought tears to my eyes. It perfectly summed up my heart’s cry. I need this challenge but I am horrible at consistency, too. I get so excited about new ideas to help me grow or to improve our family life and then I lose steam or just forget to follow through. I am praying for a year of consistency, too. Thanks for encouraging me!

  46. Julie S-G says:

    Wow, is this post timely! I got angry with my almost 2 year old today. Instead of helping to clean up his toys like I was asking and asking and asking him to do (kindly at this point), he kept throwing his toys all over the room. I was not kind. I have a 22 1/2 month old and a 5 month old and a husband who works out of town 5-6 days a week and I am exhausted!!!!! That is not an excuse. I need to get a better handle on my anger. I am definitely joining the challenge. I need God to overcome this. I want to be the best mom to my boys that I possibly can be!

  47. I struggle with using a calm gentle voice when I’m angry or impatient with my 4 littles I homeschool (9, 6, 3, and 2). I am soooooooooooo in on this challenge! Thank you so much for offering it!

  48. I’m in! Thanks for the opportunity!

  49. I am absolutely in. I can’t express how timely this is for me. Thank you for providing a place of encouragement and accountability.

  50. Nikole Prince says:

    WOW! So I’m not the only one! I struggle with my temper…don’t want to spank so I yell, then apologize for yelling. Vicious cycle…I have prayed and prayed for guidance in this area of my life. Can’t wait to get started! Thanks so much for this series!

  51. I love this challenge and am looking forward to it! Like the last writer, I homeschool my 7 yr old and I also have a 3 1/2 and 1 1/2 yr old. Just because I homeschool some think I have an amazing amount of patience … (Not true!!!), yet homeschooling is what God has been using to grow my patience.

  52. I am definitely in! Thank you for doing this!

  53. I’m in! This was a resolution of mine! I am new to your site and have to say that your timing has been amazing…between your free ebook and now this…I know God has led me to you! Thank you!

  54. Count me in! I have caught myself lately really raising my voice to my 7 year old daughter. Ever since our son was born in my I just get so frustrated easy and lose it with her to fast. I have got to be a better mommy to her and him. Thank you for this!

  55. I’m in! Thanks for doing this!

  56. Staci Payne says:

    Courtney-You post came at just the right time for me. I am recently married and do not have children yet (we would love to soon!), but truly think this post is also applicable to marriage. The Lord has especially put on my heart this year to put forth a gentle and loving spirit towards my husband at ALL times (even if I’m feeling irritated) and zip my lips when I feel the need to say something negative. Here is a favorite quote from The Love Dare by Kendrick (you can apply this quote to any interaction- friends, co workers, strangers, husbands to children):

    “No one likes to be around an impatient person. It causes you to overract in angry, foolish, and regrettable ways. The irony of anger toward a wrongful action is that it spawns new wrongs of its own. Anger almost never makes things better. In fact, it usually generates additional problems. But patience stops problems in their tracks. More than biting your lip, more than clapping a hand over your mouth, patience is a deep breath. It clears the air. It stops foolishness from whipping its scorpion tail all over the room. It is a choice to control your emotions rather than allowing your emotions to control you, and shows discretion instead of returning evil for evil” (p.1-2).

    I just love this! Happy New Year!

  57. I really needed this!!! I never was one to yell and normally am pretty calm, but sometimes I lose it and I hate that for my kids! I am definitely going to join this challenge!!

  58. Yahooooooooo!!!!!! Count me in!

  59. sounds great – I’m in!

  60. I found myself thinking more about how I treat my husband, than how I treat my daughter as I read this post and watched the video. I have had such a terrible attitude towards him lately. He can never do enough. But, I also thought of some times where I totally lost it with my toddler, all because she didn’t do what I wanted her to, the second the words left my mouth. Here I am, wanting her to be patient when I ask her to wait on me for something, and yet, I haven’t shown her any patience. Looking forward to this challenge. Courtney, thank you, once again for addressing an area in my life that is in need of change.

  61. Courtney, Thank you for following God’s prompting and embarking on this challenage. I have been struggling with this very issue for quite awhile. I’ve read Galations 5, blogged on the topic, tried my best to stay in control. Yet, all too often, I find myself falling back into the realm of irritated, frustrated, grumpy and eventually-yelling & lecturing. I’m sure many women (children & families) will benefit from this challenage. I’m brought to tears knowing that THIS is meant especially for me.
    Dear Jesus,
    Thank you for Countney and the ministry you have given her. Thank you for her heart for you, your daughters and our families. Pray that you use this challenage to change how I respond to the children you have given me. But Lord, first I pray that You Change My Heart Oh God! I commit this challenage to you & for your glory. May lives be forever changed!
    In your name,
    Amen

  62. This is exactly what I needed to go along with my resolutions to be more calm and not lose my temper. I’m in!

  63. I’m so excited for this challenge! Thanks for doing this!!

  64. Crystal Bryant says:

    This is a huge struggle for me and I’m encouraged and excited to join this challenge! May we all learn to submit ourselves to Him and gently train our children for His glory! Thank you ladies for this opportunity!

  65. I definitely have *yelling mother’s remorse*. What a great challenge for the New Year!

  66. Jenn Hostetler says:

    Im on board! thanks so much for doing this cuz i need it! i grew up in an abusive home, n always vowed i’d never lose my temper with my children… :( this is exactly what i needed!!!!!!!!!

  67. I’m in too! I loved that study last summer I’m getting ready to hopefully read Mission of Motherhood within the next few weeks!

  68. I think that we can always speak more kindly to our children and our husbands! I am excited to be apart of this challenge!

  69. Love this! Exactly what I want to work on in the coming year.

  70. I’m in! I need this. I’ve been too stressed out lately.

  71. Oh, HOW I need this. Thank you!

  72. How very funny. I have a post relating to this very topic that I had scheduled to post on Tuesday for Wednesday’s link up! I might post it early now… Either way a reminder is always a good thing. I’ll join the challenge and pray that my heart might be changed. I have five children – ranging in age from 12 to 8 months – the 3 yo dear girlie is a HUGE challenge to me! It is good to have a community of people to work on positive change together.

  73. I’m taking the challenge, I too often turn to raising my voice in frustration and feel awful about it later!

  74. Perfect timing as always! And I start college Jan 30th, so this will be done just in time. Thanks Courtney!

  75. I am so thankful you are doing this, I need it more than ever!!

  76. I’m so in!!!! Thank you!

  77. Amanda Cross says:

    Courtney,
    I definitely need to cultivate some gentleness…not only to my almost 2 yr old who just started undressing himself at every turn, but to my husband of 6 yrs. Honestly, I think I am more gentle towards my little boy than my husband. I guess it’s because I know he is still doesn’t get everything and so my expectations are much lower. So, I ask the Holy Spirit to work His work in my heart and help me to be gentle to both my husband and little boy.

  78. Definitely count me in. The last couple weeks have proven very challenging for me for some reason and I can’t figure it out. I have had the shortest fuse for the past few weeks and want to get back to the calmness and patience I had before.

  79. Count me in. This is one area I need some help and accountability before I can improve.

  80. I’m in! Totally need this…thank you!

  81. Count me in too! What a wonderful way to begin 2012. This challenge will help me with being intentional this year.

  82. I am joining this challenge! I have felt quite convicted of this as of late and want to be the mother and role models my daughters want to become when they are older. I love my babies dearly and so desperately want to teach the God’s wisdom in a healthy, godly manner, not in an angry way.
    Thanks for this post and the challenge!

  83. Count me in!

  84. One of my prayers for 2012 is that I will have more patience with my children! Have a soft tone voice and have grace for my children as God has grace for me! Count me in!

  85. Christa Gardner says:

    What a FABULOUS idea! I will be joining in this challenge! Thanks for giving us something to work on with the support of others…this is a great one for January!! :-)

  86. Jessica W says:

    I am definitely in and hope I am able to complete this challenge as it is something I really, really need. I struggle with this daily. I have 4 little ones 6 and younger. (Youngest is 7 months) I’m a SAHM and homeschooling mom and struggle each day with finding some sort of balance in our home between their needs, the day to day home upkeep, homeschooling, my needs… I find that I have a very sort fuse and I’m parenting just about the exact opposite of how I want to. I don’t want my children to remember me this way. I keep striving to be a gentle mom and recently have tried really hard to just let things go… not stress about the house being clean or keeping up to the school schedule I have in mind. Peace and joy in our house are more important. I have actually been wanting to post the fruits of the Spirit on the wall in our classroom to teach my children but also to remind myself daily. I love Sally Clarkson’s books and have collected quite a few but haven’t made the time to read them yet. So here goes!

    One question I have is, the above video (which was great by the way!) starts at chapters 3 and 4… should I jump in there or try to go back and read from the beginning first? Am I already behind or will the challenge be going in a different order? Thank you so much for putting this together. I am very excited for this and hoping it is what I need to finally be able to make some big changes in me.

  87. Wow, this is desperately what I need! So comforting to know that fellow momma’s walk and deal with this daily. Hoping to glean some knowledge and info fro this series.

  88. I’m in!!!! I was convicted of this when I decided to homeschool this past fall, but too soon fell into old habits. My life, home, relationships, everything is better when I have myself in check and speak softly. I once read a quote that said “Your attitude sets the mood of your home”. How absolutely true! Parenting challenges are so much less when we are gentle and calm……so why is it so hard to be that way? So excited to do this, and committing to be in prayer daily for the ability to make it a habit that will be lifelong :)

  89. I am TOTALLY IN!!! I just wanted to say thank you for doing this! What a way to start the new year… I seriously struggle with my temper, but I feel its more my expectations. I EXPECT SO MUCH from my sons, I think TOO much!! They are only 5,4, and 1 and I really expect the older ones to be more mature to know exactly what I want. I have forgotten that they are children and need things to be explained… I dont want to destroy their spirit!!

    So thank you!! From the bottom of my heart I feel that this is a gift from God to me…

    I also wanted to know if there is an ebook that goes with this, or something that I can read during the week?

    God Bless you!!
    Love
    Monica
    NY

  90. This is challenge will be a perfect tool to help me…count me in!!!

  91. Oh I want to speak gentle words – especially as frustrations arise during home school times and sibling challenges – looking forward to this challenge – thanks

  92. Please count me in!

  93. Joetta Graner-Smith says:

    I need this reminder so much. I pray that this study will touch many mother’s hearts.

  94. This is perfect! Thank you! I have found it too easy these days to raise my voice unnecessarily to my son, and this challenge is a great encouragement to me at just the right time!

  95. Can’t wait to get started…Thanks!

  96. (((Thank you, Courtney))). I need this.
    Blessings,
    Toni

  97. I just found your videos on youtube over the holidays while searching homeschool videos – WOW, thank you GOD for leading me to you. We homeschool also using the virtual school in another state. I love your chore ideas, your 2-3 pm room time and now this challenge. I so need it and have committed myself to finishing the school year with a calmer spirit. Thank you for following your heart and helping so many of us moms in internet world!

  98. What a GREAT idea! I often struggle with this myself, pray about it, and blog about and still seems like I never “get there”. I hope this helps! :)

  99. Oh yes, this is definitely something I need to work on….THANK YOU LORD for providing this challenge to me and for helping me to realize that I need your help with this :-)…Thank you Courtney :-)

  100. Well, I am so encouraged that I’m not the only one who struggles with this! I’m so in. I need this desperately!

  101. This is awesome and such great timing for me- I felt the Lord nudging me along these exact thoughts this weekend. My kids are 4, 2 and 8 months and so this really hits home. Glad to join the challenge.
    And… LOVE your site- thanks for speaking such truth and encouragement to us!
    xo

  102. Hi there Courtney! Please count me in – and thank you!

  103. I know that God opened up this page for me to see tonight as I just had a yelling match with my child and everytime it happens, I feel like such a horrible parent. I can’t wait to start this series and let God speak to me through your program. I want 2012 to be a year of love and patience!

  104. I am in! I am a self-confessing yeller and I struggle to keep my anger in check when it comes to my children. I have an especially hard time with my oldest. He is 5 years older than my other kids and I don’t give him near enough grace or patience & I struggle with the guilt of how it is affecting him. Thank you for addressing this issue!

  105. I recently found your videos and your site and have been going through them, you and your messages have been a blessing! Count me in for the Gentleness Challenge!! :)

  106. What a great way to start the year. Count me in….

  107. I’m in too!!!! This is an area I have struggled with in the past. Although I have made great improvement in this area, it is an area I continual try to grow and develop in! Thanks so much for your leadership to start this off. It is apparent you are reaching many women out there!!!!!! Staci

  108. I am in. Much needed in my life and in the lives of my children.

  109. Sounds like a great way to start the year! Yiddle and I really struggle to hear each other

  110. ready for the challenge

  111. Count me in!!!

  112. kristen rumphol says:

    I am so in thank you for doing this.

  113. I so need this challenge! I dislike myself when I literally blow up at my 2.5 year old son. At times I feel like a hyprocrite because I read the Bible, but don’t apply the simplest things to my own children. Lately I have counted and stopped and prayed before reacting to my toddler’s tantrum or lack of hearing. This challenge will help me to continue down the path of being slow to anger and actually building up my children, instead of knocking them down with my words and wrath. Thank you so much!!

  114. This is a huge area of concern in my life that needs a lot of focus. I see my actions and attitudes repeated in my children’s interactions with each other and my husband and me. I like to blame my husband for his example but they are with me 24/7 and, if I’m honest, they are mirroring my behavior. I have noticed in the past, when I am purposeful about smiling at them, they mirror that smile back to me. Intentionality. Thanks for this.

  115. I was just talking about this very topic with my husband yesterday- about how the words we speak harshly negatively affect our children- they hear and remember the tone and the ugliness more than the actual words we speak. I was so pleased to see this challenge after that conversation. It’s clearly what I need and a challenge I fully accept! Thanks for guiding us in this journey.

  116. My kids are 18 and 22, so speaking gently comes much easier when they are “grown up”. As a young mom I would’ve loved this challenge! God bless you ladies who are doing it!

    And it’s true, speaking in a low tone with calmness gains their attention and respect much more than ranting. I learned that as they got older.

  117. This is just what I need. God has been dealing with me in this area. I look forward to this journey.

  118. Count me in! I am definitely the mom that gets loud and lectures and would rather be soft spoken to get my point across. I am so afraid of being a push over but this yelling isn’t working either. I have 4 daughters ages 21, 19, 15, and 5.

  119. Thank you for this timely challenge…count me in!

  120. Count me in!

  121. Nicole mc says:

    Im in!

  122. Michelle Redding says:

    I am so in for this challenge! I have been very frustrated lately with my youngest son (8) and no matter how many times I try to start out nice, quiet, and explain things well, I always end up loud and I am sure in his eyes, mean. What a great challenge to start out the year! Thank you!

  123. I am so thankful for this! I’ve got the book and I’m ready to get started on resolving to have a kinder spirit toward my children.

  124. Count me in! My memories of growing up are that I could never do anything right. The lengthy beratings and unkind, personal attacks from my mother that extend into my adulthood have left me feeling unworthy and unlovable. Now I find myself in danger of repeating this pattern. Thank you for this challenge! I know the Holy Spirit can and will change this in us and build a stronger, more positive family heritage as we seek and submit.

  125. Wow..I really need this type of encouragement. My daughter is 8 and has been “pushing my buttons” when it comes to getting her lessons done. We are homeschooling and she tries to get away with as little work as possible and this can lead to “disagreements” between her and I. What a great way to encourage our mommy hearts and help us to remember how Christ handles us when we “misbehave”. Thanks! :-)

  126. Courtney, I am SO excited about this challenge! PERFECT timing…God’s timing! :0)

  127. Perfect timing! I have long been broken over my harsh tongue, but have felt powerless to change. I pray this is the boost to change in me.

  128. A. Cherry says:

    I am excited to participate in this challenge. Gentleness is what I will be focusing on this year! Thank you!

  129. This is a challenge I need SO much! I enjoyed the study of the summer. My anger and words have taken over where the shouldn’t this is much needed in my life.

  130. I’m in!

  131. Thanks so much for this challenge. This issue has been heavy on my heart and one I have been struggling with to overcome. It is goo to see I am not alone and other sisters in Christ struggle the same way I do. I am looking forward to being a part of this challenge and getting a hold on this for 2012. GREAT way to start the year.

  132. Perfect Timing for me, too. Constantly feeling guilt over speaking quickly before calming down with my young children.

  133. Hey Courtney,
    Count me in. Its no coinsidence that I just told my husband I wanted to read the Heart of Anger with him as a study, so I have an accountability partner. Looks like I will get a good start.
    Duise

  134. I am really excited about going through this with all of you. This is a conviction that has been on my heart lately and was so blessed to see that someone was starting this. Thank you so much!

  135. I need this challenge. I have 3 kids and have prayed to stop yelling as much. I didn’t know that about their brains cutting off when you yell… I feel kinda bad now. I can’t change my yelling past, but I can definitely be a better mommy today and in the future :)

  136. I am in! What an answer to prayer…

  137. Hi Courtney,
    This is wonderful and I am in. I enjoyed this vlog very much. My youngest is 17 and I believe it is not too late for me to start-PRAISE GOD!!!!!

  138. I’m in!!

  139. I’m in!!

  140. Count me in as well. Not losing my tempter and saying things I don’t mean to my kids is one of my New Year’s resolutions so this challenge came at a perfect time.

  141. Thank You so much Courtney this is just what I needed!!!

  142. I have been working on this for years, but could use an encouragement. The old ways have come back so easily. I am not enjoying my journey like I would like and should. Please include me in, in the dead of winter and homeschooling patience is something in need an endless supply of. And not through me but God can I be a light and loving parent/mother/wife/teacher/etc. Looking forward to 2012.

  143. amanda lane says:

    This is definitely what the lord is calling for in my walk. my first reaction is to yell to get my point accross, especially since it seems that’s the only way they listen. I hope this year I will be able to make strides in this struggle. May god bless everyone.

  144. God always puts you where you need to be, right? Well apparently he’s trying to get through my thick head…again! LOL This is probably the area of motherhood I struggle with the hardest. With four Manlings of various ages….it’s not easy some days, especially when my youngest (10) is a very strong-willed child. I’m looking forward to this…and dreading it too…

  145. Looking forward to this, thank you!

  146. Thank you this is an answer to prayer.

  147. Thank you what an answer to prayer.

  148. I’m in! I need this badly. I was raised in a angry yelling home and I find myself following in those footsteps to often. It’s a cycle I want to break. I’m looking forward to this series!

  149. What perfect timing, Courtney. I am currently struggling with temper issues. More often, I blew up on my poor two year old.

  150. I accept this challenge, and it will be a challenge, I very easily raise my voice in anger and have little patience. I struggle with this daily.

  151. Sarah Swearingane says:

    I’m in! All to often I find my self frustrated, feeling ignored, and losing it on my kids. I SOOOO need this challenge, now I have to challenge myself to stick with it, lol. Thank you for doing this. I’m so ready for a change around here… and I’ve known for a while that it’s gotta start with me. I want so badly to be a better/calmer mommy. Thank you!

  152. Rebecca Y says:

    Oh this SO timely for me!! Thank you SO Much, Courtney!!!
    I am glad to see I am not alone!!

  153. Thank you for doing this! I have been doing my own challenge for about two years now reading every book I can find on anger and parenting. It is comforting to have other people to do this with.

  154. I really want to join this- right now I don’t have 10 min to watch a video tho maybe later!

  155. Lynnelle Allred says:

    Thank you for this challenge. I have been thinking alot about this very subject and trying to change myself. I feel that your challenge will help me stay on the path and give me new ideas to help.
    Thanks.

  156. Count me in!

  157. Oh thank you, Courtney! This is an area of my life I am working on. I never thought I would lose my temper with my precious sons that we were told we would never have. But I have. I could quiet a class of 30 kids by clearing my throat but 2 little boys won’t listen at times?? I love the part about not being their Holy Spirit…such an easy trap to fall into. I have already been blessed and convicted this morning by the video. Thank you so much!!

  158. Kim Overpeck says:

    I am so grateful for this gentleness challenge! I continually struggle with losing it, either by angry outbursts or by lengthy lectures… My deepest desire is for my motherhood to be a ministry of love and gentleness. I look forward to this challenge!

  159. Count me in! It is so nice to know I am not alone. I know God has something to teach me in this area. Thank you for sharing these videos with us~what a great idea for the New Year!

  160. This is an answered prayer! I had one of those nights just last night where is seems I forgot what being patient meant and just went off. A few months before my son turned 3 in Nov he went from being really easy to handle and listening really well to a defiant and difficult child. Took me completly by suprise and ever since I have been yelling and allowing anger to take over more and more. So last night after he went to bed and I reflected on how I acted I realized that I wasn’t keeping control of myself anymore and it was time to change and then this morning what should I see on FB but the link to this challenge! I am excited and can’t wait to see how this can help me change the patteren in my parenting :)

  161. Rachel Smith says:

    Looking forward to this challenge. I have four children that I need to love on more.

  162. I need this challenge! Thank you.

  163. This is my new year’s resolution and it will be greatly helpful if I am not attempting this alone. I was raised in a house of tellers and only pause to think of my actions once I’ve already been yelling for several minutes. My goal is to learn to lead through love, not anger. Thanks for leading this challenge!

  164. Thank you Courtney for always being transparent. I have 7 from 20 to 1. I’m now a much better parent than I was with my older children. My husband and I had a lot to overcome from our own childhood. I pray that as my grandchildren come along I might help my children to understand I live with a lot of regret. And I will do my best to advise them to not make the same mistakes I made with them. I hope that my husband and I are the ones who break those nasty chains of family destruction.

  165. Definitely a challenge I need right now. I have quite a bit of stress in my life with my Dad’s failing health and my mom’s inability to let him go. I get frustrated easily and often snap at my 4 yo son when I need to just take a breath and talk to him.

  166. I will be accepting your challenge. I’m TERRIBLE about how I speak to my children. Unfortuanately, they’ve picked up on my horrible attitude. I’m willing to do what it takes to turn this around. Thank you for your ministry. I have a feeling it’s going to be a true blessing to me this year.

  167. After “losing it” with my teenage son on New Year’s Eve day, and carrying the resentment all through New Year’s day, I need this challenge. I don’t necessarily WANT this challenge, but I definitely need it.
    Donna
    http://www.anotherbattlewon.blogspot.com

  168. Oh I sooo need this. I am embarrased to admit some of the things that I say to my children. I’m good at being a wife and a homemaker, but I struggle as a mom.

    I just had a full blown raging fit at my son because he wanted to play with playdoh and I didn’t want him to. Why? Because I was busy watching your video on gentleness!! I struggle with being interupted BIG TIME. That one thing is what sends me into a rage.

    I was a great mom until I had a second child and my time became limited. You get one settled and the other one starts in. I have 2 kids and my youngest is 2. In the span of 2 years I still haven’t figured out how to deal with it.

    I’m now in tears. I would never want me as a mom…at least not how I am in the present moment. I have started the whole 5 subject notebook thing (somewhat similar to yours) and this year’s theme is on Godly parenting. I need it desperately. More than you can imagine.

    I love your challenges and I hope to get her book!

    Thanks!

    • Nycole Dare says:

      Just wanted to give you a little internet hug and tell you your not alone!! You took thoughts right out of my head! None of the mom’s around me struggle like I do, or at least the don’t admit it, and it is always refreshing to know I’m not the only one!! God Bless, Nycole

  169. Tanya Thomas copper says:

    Thank you for this challenge! I pray that I can be a better mom to my precious children!

  170. Mommy of three says:

    My number one Mommy failing. I have even been known to yell at my children to use more gentle voices with one another! As I read through some of these comments, I could’ve written so many word for word. Thank you for this challenge

  171. I so need this. I’m taking the challenge!

  172. I just linked up :) this is something I really need to work on, I was raised in anger and I’m seeing it become more of my style too, as well as my hubby’s. I know that I can’t control my husband’s behavior but I can take action for mine.

  173. Cout me in! Sadly, I am a yeller, and I am very aware of my sin, but have alot of difficulty with breaking the habit.
    Thanks Courtney!

  174. Cierra Buchwald says:

    I will be doing this challenge! Exactly what our household needs is gentleness! Thanku

  175. I need this.

  176. Alisha Slay says:

    I’ve been praying for God to show me clearly, the places in my life inwhich I need the Him to do the most work in me. This is just hwat I needed. I’m up for this challenge! Thanks!

  177. What a blessing to come upon your link this morning! God is good! I’m definitely in and look forward to the Lord growing me in this area.

  178. I’m in!! This is an area that I struggle with DAILY & look forward to helpful, Godly tips that I can use to show more grace to my kids. Thank you!!

  179. I’m in, I was excited to see it being offered, thank you.

  180. Totally in friend! Thanks for doing this!. Love, Traci @ Ordinary Inspirations http://www.ordinaryinspirations.blogspot.com

  181. I think God must have laid this on your heart with me in mind! My husband is a Marine, and he recently returned from a deployment to AFG. I am saddened to admit that, during that very stressful 7 months, I “lost it” with my kids, ages 6 &2 at the time, way more often than I’d care to admit. I’ve battled my short fuse for most of my life, and I am believing in Jesus’ name that this will be the year of changes! Thank you for this series, and count me in!

  182. Perfect timing! Thanks!

  183. I need this challenge. I am not a natural born gentle person at all. I have a lot of regrets with my older 3 children (though they all love me dearly) yet I still have 3 more to try and do better with!!! Will get a blog post to go with in the near future.

  184. Diffently count me in this is an area of constant battle for me!

  185. What a blessing!!! This is one of my new years resolutions, to teach my children patience and that “a soft answer turns away wrath” by my actions toward them. I do okay but in those trying moments, Satan can get me. What a blessing…this should be your next e-book! Loving the P31 one!

  186. christina says:

    I know that I need to be challenged in this area with my 3 little ones—-thank you for addressing this issue—I’m in!

  187. So excited to have found this today. I am looking forward to learning how to curb my temper without biting my tongue.

  188. I am soo in!!!!!

  189. God really does provide that which we need. I was praying last night for God to help me approach my son with gentleness and calm when I am upset with him. And I see this blog post now. I will be ordering the book when we can get the funds for it. But I hope that me not having the book will keep me from being able to join in.

    Thank you, Courtney. I’m new in this journey and it can be so overwhelming trying to do and be everything at once. Thank you for offering up baby steps. :)

  190. I’m looking forward to this challenge…thank so much for doing it!!!

  191. I’m in!!

  192. Decided that I definitely need to do the challenge and continued to fail miserably today :(. Its such a struggle, I have 2 kids, 2 and almost 4, and I’m pregnant with number 3. I’m having issues with my third pregnancy not with the baby, but just physically with me, and it really is taking a toll on how I react to my kids. I usually have a pretty sure temper as it is, so its been rough. I pray that God will give me the strength I need to take on this challenge and show gentleness with my children.

  193. I am thrilled to join you on this journey!

  194. I’m in too!!! So blessed to be apart of this with you, Courtney!!! :) Love ya!

    Love God Greatly!

  195. This has to be the year that I see great change in this area. When I listened to the video, I was reminded of how I was raised and how I am committed to doing it differently. Nothing is impossible with God.

  196. Thank you for this challenge. Count me in as well and blessings to you and all of us who have signed up,wanting to be better mothers for our childrens sake.

  197. I definately will be joining you for this challenge! I struggle with this daily and it breaks my heart every time I am too harsh, loose my temper, scowl at one of my children, or I think back to times that I have. I know that “yelling Mommy” is not the impression that I want to leave on my children’s hearts because I adore them! I want to be a Mommy who is gentle, compassionate, kind and merciful – the same way Jesus is towards me every time I make a mistake. Thank you for doing this challenge – I believe it is right on time for us!

  198. I’m convicted already :)

  199. Stephane Delgado says:

    I struggle in this area not only with my kids, but my husband too. I want this to be a year of love, gentleness, and self control. Thank you for helping me!

  200. I’m not a mom, yet, but I am a 3 year old preschool teacher and a nanny to 4 boys. Im going to be joining in because I definitely need some encouragement in this area!

  201. This is something I really need. I tend to yell a lot. :/

  202. I’m so glad to see this and can’t wait to watch the videos. This is something I deal with and find myself on my knees often about. Glad to see I’m not alone!

  203. I am so glad I stumbled upon a link to this through BF.
    My New Year’s Resolution is to be a better mommy – to have my kids know I love them no matter what they do. To speak more gently to them and be physically more gentle. What a wondeful blessing to have found this at this time.
    Looking forward to joining you!

  204. This is something that I struggle with sometimes and am so excited to be joking this challenge with other mothers who also struggle. May God be glorified in our efforts to be more like him!

  205. I have found myself in this position on a number of occasions ~ speaking harshly out of frustration with my darling children. I have relyed on myself rather than my heavenly Father to handle these moments. I will be joining this challenge!!

  206. Such an awesome post and challenge! So excited to join in.

  207. I’m in, two feet… jumping, no LEAPING into this challenge. I need this more than most, I’m sadly sure. This is a place in my life I’ve struggled and am claiming victory over my temper this year!!!

  208. I’m in! Today was a definite challenge but I’m determined and encouraged knowing I’m not alone.

  209. I am absolutely in on this challenge! The timing is perfect for me! Start the new year out in a positive light with God as my drivers.

  210. Anger has been an unfortunate issue for me too. I have at times feared that I would be the reason that their hearts wouldn’t be drawn to God because I would come off as hypocritical to them. I believe the Lord has shown me His grace in this, as well as grace from my children in humbling my pride when seeking their forgiveness.
    It is always encouraging to know that you aren’t the only mommy on the planet who fights this battle of anger. Allowing ourselves to walk in the spirit and not the flesh will make gentleness completely attainable!!! Thankful for such an encouraging challenge ;o)

  211. Hi there, to go into detail about why I am doing this challenge would be an emotional story for you and me. To put it lightly, I am trying to stop what happened in my childhood, be an amazing mother to my boys, keep an amazing house, and try to give my husband a good example to draw closer to God. I know this may not do all of this or maybe it will, but I know that I read this because God knew it was something that I needed. I am so excited to start this journey and to grow more in this month and make our home and happy and gentle one, where my children feel loved. Thank you for doing this. I will be praying for God to give you the words that will help all of us through this.
    Let the chiseling begin!

  212. I am in tears watching the video. Lately I have found myself speaking harshly to my children so often. I hear the things that come out of my mouth and think “I wouldn’t even speak like that to someone I don’t like. Why am I speaking like that to my precious children?????” Thank you so much for this very timely series!

  213. I am a member of MBC and just found your blog and I am so glad that I did. It is so inspiring and I look forward to reading more. I’m following you now too :)

  214. I am so embarrassed to say I have had some really high tempered moments with my kids. I am ashamed to even see these words. Thank you so much for this challenge. I look forward to this and thank you do much for all you do. You are making a difference in this world.

  215. I’m joining you in this challenge! Just in the past month, I’ve noticed that when I’m filled with the Spirit I am a much better mother. (Of course, this is a no brainer!) It brings me joy and contentment when I respond with patience and gentleness … I know too well how much I regret snapping and yelling in anger and frustration.

  216. Hi! I’m looking forward to this challenge! I have really been praying the last several months that the Lord would help become a more relaxed mother in the midst of chaotic moments. We have 5 children, ranging from almost 13 to 2! We love our children and are very proud of them, but because I am with them 24/7 (we also homeschool) I find myself raising my voice and lecturing way too much! I know God has convicted my heart concerning this. With that said, your timing with this challenge was perfect…probably because it’s God’s timing :-)

  217. Wow! So convicting! God has really been speaking to me about this in my life! Definitely excited for the challenge!

  218. Lisa Buchanan says:

    Please count me in and please be praying for me during this journey. It is something that I have had a really hard time with ever since becoming a mother 9 years ago. I really try and do good for a few weeks and then have a bad day and let my anger fly with my words and screaming…I HATE myself when I act this way. I have started off the New Year praying, thinking and TRYING to be a better mom – I am a good mom, but hate when I listen to the way I talk to our children sometime and really hate when I hear them talking that way back. :) They are only learning what I am teaching them. We started our first back to school night with stories after bath, prayers for each child tomorrow and for my recovery (just had surgery) and soft music with night lights in the background….both of my babies are fast asleep so that gives me time to reflect and pray! God Bless and Happy New Year!

  219. Sometimes I yell so loud, it hurts my own ears. I have long struggled with this and have attempted to be more passive and calm, which lasts a few days before something sets me off into a roar again. Perhaps I have been going about it all wrong. Thank you for offering such a wonderful and needed challenge.

  220. Thanks for such a well written and timely article! I’m in….with much prayer. :)

  221. Courtney, Thank you for touching on this subject! I need this so much! I went from being a single woman to a single foster mom of two baby sisters and a year later, I am their forever Mommy! I have so much to learn, especially in patience and grace and love!!! Count me in!

  222. Wow, I am definitely joining in on this challenge! It is so good to know I’m not alone in this struggle, and to have so many women who can relate to how I feel. This subject has been so important to my husband and I. We’ve talked and prayed about it many times. I can see where I have influenced my kids and not for the better. I’m praying God changes my heart in ways I could never imagine. Thanks for this opportunity to join in with others in bringing it before the Lord.

  223. Thank you so much for doing this challenge! I’ve needed to work on this.

  224. I so need this. Thank you.

  225. What a great way to start the New Year! I am looking forward to starting this journey! Thank you and God Bless!

  226. Thank you very much for following the Lord’s leading on this, just the time I need this.

  227. kimberley says:

    wow you have no idea how much i need this challenge ,i am hoping this will work for me. kim way down under the bottom of the world lololol New Zealand.

  228. I am accepting this whole-heartedly and am so humbled by my Holy Heavenly Father right now- he has answered a prayer I was being too stubborn to even speak ;-)

  229. I’m in! Mama to four…9, 7, 4 and 1.

  230. Joining!!

  231. Like so many have said, this is exactly what I need. I have an 8 and 10 year old and have felt for a long time that I was “ruining” them by so much yelling and anger. I know I need to be more gentle but fall short on a daily basis. I enjoyed the video and look forward to the challenge!!! Thank you!!!

  232. I am in. We homeschool and like a previous person posted, I haven’t quite figured out how to be a calm mother of 2. Things were good when I just had one, but now I can’t get it together. I am looking forward to drawing closer to God, becoming a better mother, and liking myself more at the end of the day when everyone is in bed.

  233. Count me in!

  234. When I was single, I didn’t think I had anger issues… now I have FOUR… Nick (8yrs old), Joshua (7yrs old), Jessica (5yrs old) and sometimes my hubby Richard :)

    So count me in!!!!

  235. Thank you for creating this challenge! I have a 4 year old and a 9month old and it has been a tough transition for us. I am a WAHM and have felt the tension not only in myself but within our home. I look forward to this challenge to give me a direction for my improvement. I really enjoy your blog. Thank you! :)

  236. I really, really need this. I’m in!

  237. Only God could have led me to this site. I need this. Thank you.

  238. Thank you for doing this!!! I need it so much!!!

  239. Melissa Jackson says:

    I’ll be joining too.
    Thanks!

  240. I’m ashamed that I need this so desperately, but I do.

  241. Can’t think of a better thing to work on this year. I’m in!

  242. I’m in!

  243. I will echo what many others have said here . . . this is very timely! When I’m in the midst of it or in the aftermath I feel like I’m only one struggling with this . . . but I’m not. I have asked the Lord to just fix me and to please do it quickly, but (surprise!) I still struggle. The innocent ones that I am supposed to point towards God and love my best are the ones I tear down. I pray the Lord will use this challenge to change me. Thanks for faithfully walking with the King and sharing the journey.

  244. Love this challenge perfect for me as well!!

  245. I am in on this one! Thanks, I have been praying for help in this area of motherhood. – Jess

  246. I love the gentleness challenge, I’m in!!

  247. Thank you so much for this challenge. Starting the new year with postive attitude. I have a 7 year old, who I feel only reponds to me when I yell at her. I hate yelling or raising my voice and I feel so guilty after I do it that I start doubting myself as a good mom.

  248. I’m in!

  249. I have been praying for increased patience for some time now. I am eager to join this challenge as it comes at the perfect time. I already own this book but have not read it. I guess I’ll move it to the top of my reading list.

  250. I’m in for the challenge. As a mom of teens I find I have lost the gentleness touch!

  251. Johanna B says:

    This is great! I’m totally in!

  252. Wow! Isn’t our God simply amazing? As I sat down to pray over what I might be challenged to change in 2012, the area of growth that the Lord put on my heart was in my vocal tone with our precious children. I will not point fingers as that doesn’t help me in dealing with my personal sin issue on this, but I was not raised to have a gentle voice. My husband and I have been called to the mission field, but that does not mean we have reached any sort of “spiritual pinnacle!” Rather, I’m in a deeper need of growth and change and God’s chosen the African mission field as His means to grow me….and grow me He is!! I hop onto this blog once in a while and was floored to see that your January challenge fits perfectly with what the Lord had already laid on my heart! He is awesome. I’m very glad I can join this Godly challenge with all you ladies!

  253. I’d love to do this challenge as well :) I love my babies and want to be the best example of Christ to them that I can be, and i cant do it with a temper flaring up at every little thing,,, thanks so much for doing this!

  254. Tina Adkins says:

    Would love to join ya!

  255. Ready for the Gentleness journey!! Thanks for the challenge! You’re an inspiration & encouragement to me…thanks for pointing us to the King on all things wife, mom & beyond!

  256. Aloha! I am in. Thank you for this opportunity to learn to heal myself and minister :-)

  257. I don’t know if you get to read all your comments, but I can’t even believe you posted this…My friend kept texting me this morning for me to get on your blog and read this post about yelling at your children…I struggle so much with it and I hate it!!!!!!! I’m thankful for the husband I have in CHRIST because I almost let the devil convince me “how could I be saved”…My husband opened his Bible and started ministering the Word to me…My Spirit has been renewed, for today…GOD is so amazing Courtney, and I thank you for posting this…I am taking this challenge, but have to first figure out to do that…Thanks so much and may the LORD show HIMSELF mighty to you and your family!
    Denise

  258. I’m looking forward to this. Today I yelled at my son and his eyes started tearing up. I knew it was because I hurt his feeling and not because he was sorry for what he had done. I need to focus on being consistently gentle ALL the time. Most of the time is not good enough. This challenge could not have come at a better time! Thanks. Also, this is the first time “linking up” I accidentally “linked up” three times. Sorry…

  259. I’m joining :). #84 on Mr. Linky.

  260. This definitely for me. In my home, it’s a daily struggle. Just when I think I’ve mastered it, something will happen to send me right over the edge. My youngest has ADHD which in itself is challenging. This combined w/ the stress of daily life creates a difficult situation. This challenge is what I need for the benefit of my entire family!

  261. Kellie Barley says:

    Hi Courtney. Thank you!! Count a much needed me in! :-)

  262. Bridgette Mc says:

    I am definitely taking this challenge! I so need help in this area! Thank you for allowing God to use you in this way! Blessings!

  263. I must say, this challenge really speaks to me. I live with a lot of anger and it does over flow. I plan to challenge myself with my children and with my husband.

  264. I need this! Looking forward to this challenge!

  265. I’ll be following :)

  266. Stephanie says:

    I would like to take part in this challenge. I definitely need it!

  267. thegoddiva says:

    Hi Courtney, Thank you for all your hard work to help women in all walks of life succeed in our roles.
    I’m taking your challenge!

  268. Hi Courtney I really need this!!! I’m up to the challenge!

  269. thegoddiva says:

    Hi Courtney, Thank you for all your hard work to help women succeed in our roles.
    I’m taking the challenge.

  270. I’m in! Praying for God’s grace and strength to see it through.

  271. Count me in! This is something I need especially with my strong willed 4 year old. I often cry because I feel at times we are losing connections with her already. I know that it is me who needs to change my parenting style and I need to do it now.

    Thank you and God Bless!

  272. Laurel Derry says:

    This is a great challenge! I’m looking forward to it. Thanks for encouraging and challenging us!

  273. Yes, count me in too! Great way to start the new year.

  274. I’m so glad I found this, I will definitely be following along as I have been really struggling with this!

  275. Nycole Dare says:

    I just watched the first video in the Gentleness Challenge and I am overcome with emotion. I thought I was the only one with this problem. Let me give you some back ground. My children are 3 and 7. They are adopted and have been with us for 3 years. We are also homeschooling them. I feel a huge burden for them to behave in a certain way because I know there are so many people that diagree with the way we raise them. Because of that I have become a very iron fisted type of mom and that wasn’t the plan. I need gentleness so desperatly with my oldest son. He has been through so much! He is a great kid and I am so hard on him all the time. I feel like I can’t let up or he will run all over me. I am very excited about this challenge and I thank you for sharing your struggles!! God Bless!

    • Nycole, I am in the same boat as you except we have 2 little guys who are 5 & 3 yr old and we are in the process of adopting a 4 yr old lil princess. We are also homeschooling! I feel like you were writing my story for me. I will definitely be praying for you as we go thru this challenge together!

      I am very excited about this challenge! I have been praying that God would soften my heart and help me to be a more soft-spoken gentle mother!

      Thank you for sharing!

  276. Jessica Stout says:

    I am so in!!!!!!!!! I need this and my family deserves this!!!!!!!!!!! XO THANK YOU!

  277. Thank you for sharing this challenge…I definitely want to participate. I love my son dearly but do tend to have a problem with raising my voice to him when he does something wrong. I so look forward to changing this!!

  278. So excited to start this. Although today has had it’s issues. I know it will get better. The first day back to homeschooling can be stressful to all not just mom.

  279. Wow. This is one tough challenge. I wrote my post — so now I’m in. It’s probably the hardest post I’ve ever written. It’s hard to be honest sometimes.

    Thanks, Courtney, for the inspiration and the gentle push to address my own behavior. Praying with and for us to have hearts that change.

    Sincerely!

  280. I will be joining you too. This is an area of weakness.

  281. Yes. Count me in! 2012 is my year to learn MERCY…Oh how I need to discipline myself to deal gently with my kids. I’m excited to see how God changes my heart this year.

  282. Jennifer Bailey says:

    I will be joining! This sounds amazing. With two little ones at home, I can always work on this area!!

  283. Stephanie says:

    Count me in!!

  284. I would love to join the gentleness challenge. I have a family of screamers and short tempers and I have tried my hardest to break the cycle but I have lost my temper way too many times with my babies. I am under a lot of stress with a little one with special needs and an older one who is always making messes, but I am so ready to change!!

  285. I’m joining the 200+ mommies in saying that I SO. NEED. THIS. TOO!!!!! I’ve been so grumpy with my kids since they’ve been home on Christmas break. I feel like my harsh tone is being passed onto my girls as I hear them talk with each other. Talk about a slap in the face and hearing your words come back to haunt. I pray I can stick with this! Thank you, Courtney, for providing something that is not really talked about, but SO NEEDED!

  286. Courtney,
    I am joining you on this journey and have got some friends of mine who are as well so we can keep each other accountable and pray for each other…thank you, this is a timely series for me! I have a 5 year old and an almost 3 year old and I feel I fail at this gentle mom thing, but it truly is my hearts cry. God bless you!

  287. Following :-) looking forward to God’s work

  288. Lori Tovar says:

    I definately need this challenge now! Thank you so much for coming up with these challenges. You are such an inspiration to me!

  289. What a wonderful gift from God this is for me!!!!! I have been asking the Lord to help me with patience concerning disciplining my 2 and 1/2 year old Son. He is so strong willed and sometimes I feel so at a loss!!! Thank You so much for everything that you do!!! I will be joining in on this challenge for sure!!!!

  290. I was raised in a home where there was always yelling. Even if we weren’t angry – everything was loud or yelled! I carried this over into my own family and I can’t stand it. I have gotten better about it, but it still happens and the thought of what I’m doing to my kids just saddens me. Thanks for this challenge. God knew I needed this.

  291. A friend on Facebook posted this challenge on her wall. I am so thankful she did. The Lord knew I needed this and He knows my struggles. Looking forward to starting.

  292. Lord, hold my heart, and my tongue. says:

    taking the challenge….and a challenge it is!

  293. I am joining in this challenge. This has been a struggle for me a huge one. Dare I call it a stronghold? Yes. I am beyond ready to hand this one over to God and finally through Him claim victory over this ongoing battle. I love my 4 little monkeys and my hubby dearly and want nothing but the best for them. But that is not what I have been giving them. I am so thankful for this challenge and know great things will come from it. God bless and thank you :O)

  294. Yes! I was focusing this new year on “taming the tongue” but gentleness goes much further than just the words we speak. Also, I will be applying this to my wonderful husband!! Amen!

  295. Very blessed to be a part of this challenge. I was trying to go back and crop my pic and I’m not sure what happened up there. I’m now 102 & 103 and I don’t know how to delete the 102! Are you able to fix it? Thanks

  296. Hi Courtney,

    I am really looking forward to this challenge!! I want to break the cycle of yelling that I grew up in and speak kind, gentle, loving words. These are prayers of mine on a daily basis. Psalm 141:3 helps me with this!!

  297. I am IN!! So need this in 2012!!

  298. Lynette Confer says:

    I really need this. I am a homeschool mom (virtual homeschool this year) struggling with some health issues and just keeping it all balanced and together. Lately I feel as if our family is coming apart at the seams. My husband does not attend Church with us nor support it. In fact, there is not much support from him at this time, so I’m doing this Challenge for me, for our children and our home. I was diagnosed with early stages of colorectal cancer two years ago and in Feb. 2010 had the right side of my colon removed. Since then, I have struggled to get back on my feet with very little support. My family lives far away… friends I don’t often rely on but am learning to. I struggle lately with my children and their attitude toward me, each other… praying this makes a difference for me and for them. I am desperate for peace, love and harmony in our house and to feel some sort of balance with all the demands of the day-to-day. I have three kids, ages 9, 6 and almost 5. Today is my birthday and I am joining this Challenge as a gift to myself and my family!!

  299. Thank you for issuing this challenge! I desperately need God’s transforming work in the way that I speak and treat my two little girls. May we all grow in the fruit of the Spirit as we embark on this journey of being made more like Him.

  300. Jennifer Schober says:

    Looking forward to this study-

  301. Holly Broadway says:

    I am in! Thanks for sharing.

  302. I’m in also. I have always had a hair trigger when it comes to my temper and I know this is NOT how God wants me to be. Hoping to learn how to control my mouth and temper through this. Looking forward to the videos and trying to find the book (at a price within my budget! LOL).

  303. I am so in…2012 is going to be a big, exciting year for me!! I am a mother of 4 (6 1/2yrs, 5yrs[this month], 3yrs, and 1yr) My husband works in the oil field business so he has no specific schedule, and at times gone for days at a time. We have recently decided (with the Lords prompting) to take our 1st grader out of school, not enroll our kindergartener and Homeschool (Im very excited & fight my flesh to jump ahead of Gods timing for this). And if that is not enough (LOL) untill school is out in May I watch 4 other children in my home after school, and 1 all day for a close friend, and a family memeber. 2 of the 5 are special needs!
    SOOOOO patience, and gentelness are very much needed!!!
    This will be a wonderful study!!!

  304. Love it, I’m in!! Thx

  305. I am looking forward to participating in The Gentleness Challenge; I am so inspired by the video I watched on 1/2/12. I am grateful to have found Women Living Well and Good Morning Girls; I know 2012 will be a year of spiritual growth for me because of what I am already learning through these two ministries. God Bless You…

  306. Such a great challenge. I am IN! I SO long to be a gentle mama but it is definitely an area that I struggle with…I think most of us do. Let us encourage one another to be loving and gentle even we have to be stern with our little ones. Thanks Courtney!

  307. Deb Donner says:

    God has been leading me to this for a very long time. He is so patient with His children!! Thank you for your ministry!

  308. This is wonderful! I’m in :)

  309. Yes, so want to always be gentle and loving to my children.

  310. I am inspired to try!

  311. I just got absolute chills! Would you believe that just this morning after completely lacking self-control and gentleness with my children on our first day back to school/work, and feeling so defeated and so ashamed by how I had acted, that during my devotion time, God prompted in my heat the need to pray for gentleness and self-control? He led me right to where I needed to be in His word and told me not to feel defeated and ashamed, but to lean on Him and pray for these things. I was so overwhelmed with how He always speaks to us, if we’re just willing to listen and then I saw a link to this challenge in a post from a friend on facebook. I know it’s God just reminding me to keep praying for these fruits of the spirit and to keep my focus on Him. What a blessing! I am most definitely joining this challenge! Thank you so much!

  312. I am so excited about this challenge! I have been praying for self control, peace and the power to be a good mom to my two girls (5 yr and 3 yr). Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this!!

  313. I am so in :) Thank you Courtney for your inspiration once again :)

  314. I’m so in!Thank you for the encouragement!!

  315. I will be joining you on this challenge! I am a working mom and definitely feel the need to be more gentle. Thank you!

  316. Toni Callahan says:

    Thank you, I will be taking part joyfully…for my children Eli (16) Abigail (14) Emma (10) for their hearts, souls, and spirits.

  317. Toni Callahan says:

    Thank you, on behalf of my “Reasons”, Eli (16), Abigail (14) and Emma (10)…for their hearts, souls, and spirits.

  318. Joining you on the Gentleness Challenge. Thank you!

  319. Count me in! I’ve posted the link on my blog. Thank you!

  320. Courtney, I LOVE your blog and am so thankful for you and the material you bring to our attention. Becoming a more Christ-like wife and mother is something I have been working on improving lately and will continue on working at in 2012. The Gentleness Challenge is just the thing to keep me focused while also providing wonderful support for me as mom. I will be checking out the book at my local library and look forward to your weekly videos. Thank you SO much for sharing your knowledge and Christian faith with the world <3

  321. As a new mom to a 20 month old (we adopted in November) this has come at the perfect time in my life! Thank you for sharing your heart with us…we are all in this together and I’m so thankful for the time you put into helping us live better lives for Him.

  322. I am a little late but I so need this! I am in!

  323. Tantrums, meltdowns, refusing to obey have all made this mama less than gentle. My sweet little ones deserve so much better. So excited for this challenge. Better wait until the chaos has died down to watch the video though. :)

  324. Mother of two Boys says:

    I am so thankful I found this link!! I can’t wait to see what tools I can use to be a more Christlike mother wife and woman!

  325. We have a small group of Morning Girls where we keep each other accountable, request prayer, and all around encourage each other through e-mail. I just sent a specific prayer request about this very issue, so count me in!

  326. Julie Leonard says:

    I am jumping into this challenge

  327. What a great post and so timely for me. My husband and I had just been talking about how we both tend to be “yellers” when we get frustrated with our kids. And I also hurt my husband when I use unkind words that make him feel inadequate. This is an area I really need to work on. As I have been mulling this over in my heart it hit be again this morning in a very visual way. I was folding clean clothes from the drying racks in the laundry room. I noticed a fresh scratch in the paint – in a room that we have recently redone and repainted. My initial reaction was one of annoyance as I figured my husband scratched the wall when he was moving the drying racks and laying out the clothes (helping me with the laundry). I was faced with a choice. I could either complain to him about his apparent carelessness and chip away at his heart – or I could keep quiet and let the chip in the paint remind me to not do the same to the hearts of those I love. I’m thankful to say that I chose the latter today and am praying that little spot on the wall will be a daily reminder to me to not chip away at fragile hearts entrusted to my care. Thank you for calling me out in an area that I need to work on.

  328. Yes I am looking forward to this, I have 2 boys, one with Autism. I think this is a great way of keeping acountability when it comes to gentleness in our parenting :)

  329. WOW! What perfect timing for me! God has been laying this on my heart and just today I dealt with a situation with my daughter before sending her off to school. I was not as gentle as I should have been and God really convicted me when my girls left and showed me another approach to the situation that really could have changed the situation and really helped us come to a solution together.

  330. Jennifer Reed says:

    As a Mother of 5 under the age of 7 this is so important for me to grasp. It is very challenging for me to be gentle at all times (like now when they are suppose to be napping =) Thank you so much for this challenge. I am taking it and will run with it and pray myself through it!!

  331. I will also be joining the gentleness challenge. I can sadly admit that I loose my temper way too quickly with my kids and I know it isn’t right. I get frustrated way too easily with both of them and it kills me. Today I start new knowing God is with me to guide me and help change me!:)

  332. Stress and working as a preschool teacher has lead me to be a less than gentle mom. I feel that I use all my patience with my students, and feel lacking in the mom department. This will be an amazing challenge. Thanks

  333. It’s been on my heart a lot lately so, here goes.~ Courtney

  334. I can do better.

  335. I can and want to do better!

  336. Caitlin Miller says:

    I am so excited

  337. I’m in! This challenge is so perfect for me, thank you!

  338. Courtney F. says:

    From one Courtney to another – THANK YOU for sharing this challenge with us! I absolutely need this right now, more than ever.

  339. I too need this. My temper is my biggest struggle when it comes to my kids. I lose patience and I yell at them, and rarely is yelling taken as kindness. It’s me playing the martyr and bemoaning the things that I should be doing with a willing servants heart. Thank you for this challenge… I will be following along.

  340. Lindsey Cosson says:

    What a beautiful challenge! I am looking forward to joining in. Thanks so much for your wisdom.

  341. Angelina Degelder says:

    Yes please – I need all the reminders ans support I can get – we have seven children :)

  342. Count me in – I SO need this!

  343. Can’t wait. God has been convicting me on this issue and it helps to have someone else to go on this journey with!

  344. I am doing this challenge because I have finally stopped hating being a mother, and stopped fighting God on being a stay at home mother. I now need to change my heart and mind to be more kind, gentle, loving, and positive! I look forwards to all this Challenge offers!
    Thanks so much!

  345. WizDumbSpeaques says:

    Wow!!! I so need this. Count me in, count me in, count me in…tears and all!

  346. I’ve been wanting to do this for so long – with no idea where to start. I need to “let God” help me through this. I have passed this along to my hubby, as I think this is for all parents, not just Mommys. I’m in with both feet – love this Gentleness Challenge! God, transform me!

  347. Thank you for this challenge and I am joining in. Perfect timing & so encouraged by all the others!

  348. Hi! Still catching up from the holidays, but I’m glad I got this email!! I would love to join in since this is a focus for my new year, also! PATIENCE, PATIENCE, PATIENCE.

  349. Hi Courtney! I am up for a challenge:) Looking forward to this! ((hugs))

  350. Thank you so much for this. One of my friends from our moms in touch group shared what a blessing this has been to her already and I am excited to do this challenge as well. I was just sharing how my energy is being drained and poured into our little one who is 14 months and I find myself losing my patience more and more with my 5 and 7 year old. I am excited to join this challenge.

  351. This is right on time for me!!! I told my son (7yrs) old about it and he agreed that I need it :) I love his honesty. I am in!!!

  352. God bless you for doing this, and thank you to all of the other women who are joining this challenge. I often feel like the worst mother in the world for being so impatient. These other moms are helpIng me realize I’m not the only one who feels this way and that life doesn’t have to be this way! I am so excited to join!

  353. Tina Sbriglia says:

    I so need this. So glad my friend Melinda shared it with me. Can’t wait to get caught up.

  354. This is a wonderful idea. I don’t really have a problem with this yet because my daughter is only one and there’s only one of her…until June, but I do lose my temper with my husband. He saw me looking at this and suggested we do it with each other. I think that this is a wonderful idea because even if we are able to always keep our temper with our children (which we probably won’t if we’re not in the practice of it), losing our temper with each other affects them too. We’re in!

  355. Wish this had been available when I was parenting little ones — they are grown and have their own now, but I found reminders I can apply to my spouse and others in my life. Thank you

  356. Count me in.

  357. Count me in!! This came at good timing. This was down on my New Years Resolution list!! :)
    Thank you!!

  358. Thank you for posting this challenge. We have a post that is funny but also serious about time out. http://wisemommies.com/index.php/discipline/44-discipline/145-time-out.html
    My husband and I use this to try and keep ourselves calm because we do not want to raise our voices to our son. However, we moms need reminding and support for this. It’s not always easy. We will be embarking on the Gentleness Challenge. Thank you!! wisemommies.com

  359. Cant wait to get started on the gentleness challenge.

  360. Hi Courtney! I found your website at the end of last summer when your session was ending. I signed up for the fall GMG session and LOVED it, but was still sad I had missed going through the Ministry of Motherhood. Since my temper is something I struggle with as a mom (hard to admit) I knew I needed more tools, wisdom, and guidance in my mommy journey. So, I decided that for Christmas I would start a Sisters Book Club. It is just me, my sisters and a sister-in-law. I gave my sisters this book for Christmas with my intentions in the inscription!! We are so excited to go through this book together, and I am forever thankful for finding your blog and your GMG site. My life has been changed through your ministry. The biblical wisdom and practical advice have been like air for me – and have me diving into my Bible in a way I never had in 35 years of life. Because of this site – I will intentionally continue to grow in my walk with the Lord and in my role as a wife and a mommy. I won’t just survive from day to day, but will continue to LIVE every day to it’s fullest, embracing the gift of my family. Thanks for sharing your heart and your life with all of us! You have a gift. Thank you for being obedient to God’s call on your life – we benefit from it! I GLADLY ACCEPT THE GENTLENESS CHALLENGE!

  361. I needed to find this. I am joining the challenge. I too became like my mother. In lots of ways, I didn’t, though. I’m still breaking free everyday and become who I was meant to be as a mother.

  362. I just found the challenge today and I will most definitely be joining you. I could definitely be more gentle with my husband, first and foremost. And with an 8 month old (and entering the “NO” stage, I need to have gentleness as my “normal.” Thank you for creating this challenge!

    P.S. Oh, and I am reading “Ministry of Motherhood” as well. Got it for Christmas. Blessings!

  363. I’m in! I used to think i was a fairly patient person but since I am a mommy to 5 (the oldest is almost nine, with another on the way for May) I am so needing growth in this area…being a mom brings out who I really am n I so dont like it!! I want to grow in gentleness!

  364. Last night while standing in the dairy aisle at Publix, I asked God to please help me love my son again. Not that I’ve ever NOT loved him, but to help me show him my love and not get so angry all the time. He has always been the sweetest, most tender-hearted boy, but since starting third grade in August, our family’s happiness has quickly gone downhill. Last night my husband said he wasn’t going to deal with our son anymore, and I had such deep sadness because I know that’s not what God wants. This morning a good friend sent this blog in an email to all of her email buddies, and I knew right away it was God coming to my rescue. I am enthusiastically joining this challenge!!

  365. I’m so in need of this challenge. Its so easy to fall into that emotionl trap of yelling and ranting when life feels chaotic and stressful. I need the power of the Holy Spirit to recover from the habits I’ve fallen into with how I communicate with my kids.

  366. i’m in.

  367. Rosemarie Rutledge says:

    I am so excited about this challenge. I came across it on a friend’s wall and said a loud, “Thank you, Jesus” when I started reading. This is exactly what I was asking for! I am now a single mom, not by choice, raising our precious 2 year old son by myself. I need all the helpful, Biblical, godly support I can get! Can’t wait to see how the Lord will change me and my relationship with my son through this. Thank you for starting this. It’s already been a huge blessing!

  368. Count me in!!! I just found this page and I am excited about this challenge!!!

  369. I just found you through another blog and I LOVE this challenge. Life with three boys under the age of five has been very humbling. I am not as “together” as I once thought. :) Being more gentle is my tone was actually one of my new year resolutions. Thanks for the encouragement: I’ll be back!

  370. Taking the challenge. I have been really contemplating lately how to balance grace and accountability with my children. This gentleness challenge is very timely.

  371. I’m so thankful for this challenge this is one of my biggest struggles. I have 2 girls 18 months apart. One is a toddler and one is 9 months old. I tend to lose my temper a lot with my toddler. This was actually was my biggest New Year’s resolution. Your ministry is such a blessing!

  372. Sunu Philip says:

    Hello all..

    First , thank you.. THANK YOU, Courtney, for creating this challenge. Actually God led me to this today from another blog. Quite accidental..!
    I am taking up this challenge.. I yell at my son almost daily and I loose patience very fast. I am trying to be soft and gentle but very frequently I loose my control! I am praying daily and I am seeing improvement. But not perfect. Through this series , with God’s help, I can overcome this.

    Thanks once again… and have a rocking year ahead!

  373. Stephanie Estes says:

    I will be taking part of the Gentle Mother Challenge. I look forward to this journey of learning how to be a better parent. Just last night I caught myself screaming @ my 4 children because I had asked them to go to bed and instead they took the opportunity to play and fight with each other. I feel like a broken record @ times with them, & lately I have failed them as a mother. I am very eager to learn new ways to parent them and to show them my love and affection towards them instead of bringing them down everyday. The say “You live by what you learn” I really would like to break that vicious cycle and become closer to my children.

  374. Thank you for your ministry and this challenge. Count me in :)

  375. Rebekah Labell says:

    Love it – and am following, just haven’t posted yet. Thank you so much for this wonderful and important challenge, Courtney!

  376. Elizabeth says:

    I totally need this! Thank you!

  377. I am a little late, but just now finding you. I am in on this challenge!

  378. Joey Bolger says:

    This comes to me by God’s direction for sure. After a particularly harsh weekend with my lids, I am left feeling guilty & sorrowful. I love my children so much, but I let my temoer get the best of me every time. I know I am hurting them & want desperately to stop. I accept this challenge with brevity & prayer. Thank you for doing this. I pray it changes me & my family for the better.

  379. I’m taking this challenge! The Lord has been gracious with me and has laid this matter on my heart! I have grown in this area over the last 6 months or so, but I feel like there is still room for improvement! I have 3 small children and want to say God bless you for your site! Moms need to encourage each other!

  380. Melissa Warr says:

    This is something I desperately need! Thank you so much!

  381. As my family settles down from the Mardi Gras festivities, I am preparing my heart for the lenten season. Your Gentleness Challenge will certainly assist me in my desire to give up yelling for lent – and, hopefully, forever.

    Thank you for your time and guidance to help us as mothers give up “perfection for progress” (perfection- another thing to give up for lent). :-)

  382. I just saw this Challenge. Joining late– but I want to be a part of this.

  383. Sujet trop intéressant !

Trackbacks

  1. [...] or lecturing in anger.”  This is an area that we can easily fall into this trap.  Visit Women Living Well to learn more. [...]

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