I am a bit fashion-impaired. Left to my own devices, I would wear running shorts and my favorite t-shirt that is roughly eight year old every day. (Except during the months of January and February where I would wear sweat pants and my old fuzzy blue bath robe all the time to stay warm.) Thankfully, I have a very trendy little sister and two childhood friends who keep me looking a little less schlumpy. (Is that a word? Let’s pretend it is.)
I have learned much from them about how to find comfy, cute clothes that fit my personality. But there are still many days that I text a pic with the caption reading, “Help, please!” Last fall, three girlfriends started coming over to my house once a month so we could work on our prayer notebooks together. One day Gracie brought us each a print with a verse from Colossians on it. She had it in her room where she would see it early each morning. I decided to put mine in my closet so that when I got dressed I would see it and remember to clothe myself with more than just fabric. “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Colossians 3:12
Compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience—those are five things I need in great supply every single day. I talk about these things with my girls often. They hear the same reminder multiple times each day, “Kind words, please.” When one of them grabs the paint brush from a sister’s hand, “Kind words, please.” When another plops down at the island and demands lunch, “Kind words, please.” When someone wants the same toy as her sister, “Kind words, please.” They hear it all the time. I know they are listening because one day I didn’t use kind words with Matt, and Charlotte walked up to me and said, “Kind words, please.” A much-needed reminder from my three year old.
Why is it we often have the hardest time being kind to those we love the most? In our ten years of marriage and six years of parenting, there are many things we have learned and grown in. It’s hard to narrow it down to which one has been the most important, but I know kindness has to be near the top. And just like we put on clothes every single morning (or sometimes more like 1 PM—don’t judge!), we also have to daily clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
I know the struggle it is to have time in God’s Word in the morning when you have little ones. Every time you sit down, someone needs something else—more milk, a towel to clean up spilled milk, a snack (the seventh one of the day and it’s only 7:43 am). I’m right there with you. And maybe you don’t have little ones, but you still know the struggle of sitting down for time in God’s Word every morning. Maybe you had a late night because of work or a teenager’s ball game. Maybe you’re in a hard season right now and morning is a difficult time for you.
We are all facing different things, but the truth is we cannot face anything hard without His Word. Otherwise, we go out naked, and that just isn’t going to go well.
So, my hair might be in a ponytail again and I might have to get up 16 times while I am reading and praying, but that’s okay. Because …
when I pull up the chair at my old kitchen table and crack open His Word, He clothes me. He wraps me in His compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, so I can then share them with others.
I believe in having Scripture all over my house, including my closet. Would you consider writing this verse out and sticking it somewhere you will see it every morning? How do you show kindness to those within your home? A coffee delivery while your husband is taking a shower. Warm cookies when the kids get home from school? A friend of mine keeps a stash of balloons, and some nights she and her kids will blow a few up and throw them in the air when daddy walks through the door after coming home from work. What a welcome home for him! How can we be intentional to make kind homes?
**Today’s post is contributed by Elissa Roberts who writes about life, love, and learning the hard way at elissawroberts.com.