I don't want to be powerful

"Powerful."

It was the only word the professor next to me wrote after I gave my first answer in the panel interview for admission to the graduate counseling program.

It shouldn't have surprised me (although it did, as it was far from how I saw myself).

I come from a long line of powerful women. From my 6-foot tall carpet-layer grandmother to my also-tall, rescue-ministering mom, there's not a shrinking violet in the bunch.

But all of our good traits can have an unattractive--even harmful--flip side.

In our case, the 'power' is often expressed verbally. Strong words, strong delivery. I come from a family of yell-ers.

I never start out yelling. I always ask/instruct 'normally' two or three times. But my boys' "mom-deafness" too often prompts me to raise my voice to a level where there's no denying I was heard.

I vowed I wouldn't be that way when I grew up. But family patterns are hard to break and often repeat themselves despite our best efforts to overcome them.

As my Bible study ended last month, someone asked what we plan to study while the group takes the summer off.

I didn't say so at the time, but I'm planning to study what it means to have a 'gentle spirit.'

On a visit to my favorite used bookstore a couple weeks ago, I purchased a chain-reference Bible. I'm looking forward to starting with the verses I know about having a quiet or gentle spirit and following the thread to see what else God has to say on the topic.

"Powerful" has its place, I suppose. But in my day-to-day life, that's now how I want to live. And even elsewhere, it's not really the first impression I want to make.

Thirty years from now when someone asks my boys what I was like, I don't want them to say "powerful." I want them to say that I loved them and loved God. And I know that is much better demonstrated by being kind and gentle than being 'powerful.'

"What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a whip, or in love and with a gentle spirit?"
1 Corinthians 4:21

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2 comments:

Deb said...

Love your site!! So glad to be getting to know you through Faith Lifts. Blessings!! Deb

Joanne@ Blessed... said...

Mary,

Thank you so much for stopping by and for the sweet comment of "congrats".

It meant ALOT.

Can't wait to hear your "good news" when your own FedEx package arrives.

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