I hope you are enjoying the Making Your Home a Haven challenge! We are following along with Courtney of Women Living Well, and this week, she suggests listening to soothing music and working on gentleness and self-control.
Working on Patience
I have to admit, I’m normally a very quiet, nice person, but when I’ve run out of patience or am just frustrated at something that doesn’t go the way I think it should, I can blow a gasket!
In fact, just a few weeks ago, after the painters had packed up all of their things and left, I had a little meltdown. My dad was here on his annual visit, the house had been torn up pretty much the entire time he was here, and everything was a mess. As soon as I closed the door on the last worker, I went to work myself, putting all the furniture back where it belonged, hanging up pictures again, vacuuming and mopping.
The kids’ rooms were also a mess. Because they had to take everything out of my son’s closet to get access to the attic, and they had also painted in my daughter’s room, I had a big job in both of those rooms as well. Oh, and did I mention that the majority of that day’s laundry still had to be dried and folded?
Normally, this kind of thing wouldn’t bother me so badly, but with my dad here, I wanted everything to be “perfect,” and clearly it was not. So I tried to hurry and right everything in the house before the kids got home from school. We had plans to have a nice steak dinner at home to celebrate my dad’s birthday that night and I just wanted to be able to sit at our dining room table and relax afterward on the couch.
With most of the work done, I ran over to the grocery store to pick up some meat for dinner. Of course, they didn’t have any of the kind my dad had requested, so I bought another cut of steak, hoping that he would still enjoy it. When I arrived home, I noticed all the work that still had to be done, and it put me over the edge.
no perfectly arranged living room
no perfect birthday dinner for my dad
a mountain of laundry to be finished
a week’s worth of dog hair covering the floor
…and a whole family sitting around playing with toys or online, not trying to help get things back in order.
So I lost my patience and yelled at my husband and kids for not helping. I created a mood in my home that afternoon where all my loved ones had to walk on eggshells lest they set Mom off again.
Luckily, I realized what I had done a few minutes later and apologized to them, asking for their forgiveness, but the damage was done, so to speak.
Of course, I had caused most of the trouble myself…I had not asked anyone to help with any of the work, I had just assumed that they would notice what was undone and get to work. And I had an unrealistic expectations of a “perfect” birthday for my dad in the midst of all the home repairs.
So, in addition to adjusting my expectations and communicating to my family instead of just expecting them to know what I want/need, I’m also going to keep these verses in mind:
By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit. –Galatians 5:22 and 25
Those who are hot-tempered stir up strife, but those who are slow to anger calm contention. –Proverbs 15:18
Using music to help with gentleness
Music has a way of influencing emotions. When you’re feeling sad, listening to upbeat music can change your mood. Likewise, calming music helps you feel more peaceful and more graceful.
In our home, we started listening to more instrumental music after I heard Sally Clarkson suggest it. I found several free and some very inexpensive albums on Amazon that help us promote a calm atmosphere during the often crazy dinner hour.
One of my favorite things to listen to is Classical Music for the Reader 5: Great Masterpieces for the Dedicated Reader (affiliate link), which I downloaded for only $.99. I play this album constantly, as it is very soothing and is over 2 hours long.
We are also big fans of Celtic music, and I like to play it often. I picked up this Green Hill Celtic Music Sampler (affiliate link) for free several weeks ago, and highly recommend it. I also sometimes play our favorite Celtic Woman (affiliate link) CD during dinner.
The kids love to hear their albums from vacation Bible school (affiliate link)…I think we have 4 or 5 of them now! They are fun for getting the kids energized to clean up or just for having fun dancing around the kitchen.
How do you promote gentleness in yourself? Share with us some of your favorite music!
**I hope you’ve enjoyed this Making Your Home a Haven challenge as much as I have. To see other posts in this series, head over to my Making Your Home a Haven page, where you will find my other posts from this year and previous years.