Do you ever feel like you're running 12 days behind schedule? Well that has been me this month! Clearly, because I was supposed to write this blog post on March 1st and it is now March 12th. I could tell you all the reasons why (including but not limited to we got a puppy and he only lasted at our house for 13 days before we found a family better suited to take care of a tiny puppy), or I could just get on with it. :)
My memory verse this month is Galatians 5:22-23. The fruits of the Spirit. I know this verse generally, but I want to truly know it, inside and out this month. My wonderful Bible study group has been studying the book Women Living Well by Courtney Joseph. It covers many of the issues that women face in life, from our personal walks with Jesus to our marriages to raising children. This past week we were discussing a chapter titled I'm Gonna Blow My Top!, which covered what to do when you feel anger rising as you raise children. I was very convicted because I had just come off an extremely stressful week (remember the thing about the puppy?) and I had raised my voice with my children more times than I could count! This is not how I want to be as a mother, and this is not how it has to be as a mother. Not when I, as a Christ follower, have all the power and goodness of the Holy Spirit dwelling in me!
I want to include some of the gems of wisdom from the chapter we discussed for you. Maybe it doesn't apply to you right now, but maybe it will apply to you sometime down the road.
"Are you baffled at the fact that your children are not listening to you? Research has shown that when a parent raises his or her voice at a child, a defense mechanism kicks in that helps the child emotionally protect him- or herself by tuning out what you are actually saying. When we as moms go on a long rant about something the child has done wrong, we may feel better because we got our feelings out, but our child has not been brought any closer to wisdom and understanding."
"To break the cycle of sin in our lives, we must add in the virtue of gentleness; by default the old vice will be replaced."
"There are no perfect moms, but that should not stop us from pursuing a good and godly life. We are all works in progress. The greatest lesson we can learn is that we are flawed (the cross says that we are all flawed and in need of a Savior), we are weak (2 Corinthians 12:10 says that when we are weak, we are strong), and we must lean hard on God daily to help us be the women He created us to be!"
So that leads us to the fruit of the Spirit. With all of these gifts from the Lord, surely I can be the mother He has created me to be!
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
There's my verse for the month. What is yours?