Leading With Gentleness

I remember her smile.  Her gracious demeanor.  I look back, and think that a homeschooling mama of 5 kids with a homestead and a business to run probably didn’t have much extra time on her hands.  But I was 15, and teenagers don’t think about things like that.

She was gentle, my friend’s mom.  A soft place in a hard world, she fought to make their home a haven of rest for her family.  Maybe it didn’t seem like making hot chocolate and packing extra sugar cookies and hanging out artificial greens was very life changing or essential.  Or that including her daughter’s friend like one of the family was a big deal.

But really, it was.

Visiting their house was the highlight of my teen years, and I soaked up the peace that radiated from “Mama” Lois like a sponge.  She was a master of turning anything into a special occasion.  From bringing out the special china for an impromptu tea party, to packing a hot drink for the drive to the thrift shop, her thoughtfulness tinged her world special.

15 years later, the impact of her gentle example reverberates in my life.

It makes me wonder if I could do better at slowing my world just a little.  Adding sprinkles.  Lighting candles.  Smiling with my eyes.

Could we learn from her example this season and:

  • welcome someone into our circle
  • pack some cookies and hot chocolate for the road (even if it’s just to run errands)
  • And oh, how I want to be a soft place in this hard world.  (We can, you know.)

Every Christmas, I get caught up in the fun and excitement as I make hot chocolate and roll out cookies and twine artificial greens on our stairway.  I look at the dear little faces that surround me, and I hope…I pray…that I can lead with gentleness, too.

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