Fruits of the Spirit

Have you ever heard of a company called Misfits Market? It is a online grocery option for the unfavorable or ugly produce that doesn't meet the expectations of the grocery store. At church today the sermon was focused on the passage of Galatians 5:16-26 and the fruits of the Spirit. I ended up drawing a picture of an apple and thinking about the outside of an apple and the different perspectives on how it might be viewed. Thinking about how my own fruit would be viewed compared to how it really is...

Heading into Thanksgiving this week and about to potentially be around lots of people, perhaps challenged emotionally, the pastor asked us to try to be the fruit of the Spirit that we struggle with the most. So....I started breaking down the fruits of the Spirit to figure out what I should focus on. 

The fruits of the Spirit are:
  • love
  • joy
  • peace
  • patience
  • kindness
  • goodness
  • faithfulness
  • gentleness
  • self-control
While thinking of these I opened the Blue Letter Bible app and started reviewing the Greek definition for each of the words.

The second question from the pastor was to consider which one of the fruits of the Spirit we are the best at fulfilling. It was hard to pick the answer to either of the two questions as I was digging into the definitions. 

People have said to me that there is a "peace" about me, so I started there. As a mother, I often feel inadequate and unsettled when there is a tantrum or a frustrating morning with the kids, so the fruit of "peace" felt inappropriate as my strength. 

That was one way that the apple looked shiny on one side and a little bruised on the other. Depending on what setting you saw me in, or the day, you might see a different angle of that fruit. I have heard that much of the produce in the store is coated with a wax to give it a more desirable finish. Is that not what we do as parents sometimes? We want to appear to have it together, at least I know I do. However, usually I don't. 

When I looked up the word "joy" I noted that it was "to be glad; rejoice exceedingly; to be well and to thrive". Two words jumped out to me immediately: "exceedingly" and "thrive". Those words were what drove me to see that I wanted to choose "joy" as my area to focus on this Thanksgiving. 

Holidays overwhelm me. Now that I am divorced with kids, the holidays are even more confusing emotionally. My only goal is to show the kids to be truly thankful for what we have and to love. I'm not sure what we are doing, money is tight, and yet all that matters is that we are together and we have the gift of each other and the grace of Jesus through the cross. What else is there? Truly, I over think everything. I worry about where we will go, what we will eat, and of course the next holiday and where the presents are going to come from. 

I have so many family members and yet I can feel so alone. Maybe you relate. I am beyond blessed with friends and loved ones yet I can sink into a depression if I don't have a plan. I like routine and the holidays have lost the routine. Honestly, that changed when my grandmother passed on and all my aunts and uncles started doing their own individual celebrations. It makes sense but it made me sad. I miss the large gatherings. I miss feeling surrounded by so much genuine love that lasted all day. Why are we so quick to get away from each other now? So that said, no matter what we do or where we go, I will focus on an attitude of joy. I want to praise my heavenly Father in exceptional way, in a exceedingly abundant way. I want to grow, to flourish, to thrive in my ability to experience joy. 

When you cut into an apple, regardless of how shiny it looks, it might still be bad on the inside. I want to let the Holy Spirit continue to work in me and refine me from the inside out. I want my inside to reflect outward. I want to thrive. 

May you have a blessed Thanksgiving! Please comment and share what fruit of the Spirit you want to focus on this holiday. 

Spirit, thank you for Your presence in my life. Thank you for revealing my weaknesses so that we can work on them. I know that I'm only strong through Christ. I'm grateful for the gift of salvation and the gift of the Holy Word. Let it renew my mind and strengthen me from the inside out. Bless this Thanksgiving and help me teach the kids about true joy and gratitude. In Jesus name, amen. 

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Thank you! God Bless!

You may be interested in checking out the book Superadded by Hosana Wong. She is someone I have recently found and heard speak. This idea of abundant joy, exceedingly more rejoicing made me think of her. Check out the small group options for free on her website

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