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Fruit of the Spirit

Fruit of the Spirit meditation series.

Fruit of the Spirit Meditations

Self Control: Choosing the Important Over the Urgent

June 1, 2020
Self-Control

For today’s final meditation on our Fruit of the Spirit series, my husband, Tyler, is going to share with us what he’s learned about self-control. I’ve transcribed a portion of his sermon below, or if you prefer, you can listen to his sermon here.

We are going to define self-control as: the ability to recognize and choose the important thing over the urgent thing.

What would your life look like if you had that mastered?

Self-control is a virtue that I value, that I have been studying and striving for on a personal level. It is something that I regularly feel deficient in and it is something that I ask God to grant me every day. So hopefully I can share with you a few things that He has taught me recently.

So as it turns out, I am not the only one who feels self-control is a weakness. In fact, among the two dozen “character strengths” surveyed by researchers to over 1 million people around the world, self-control was ranked dead last as the one people were least likely to recognize in themselves. Conversely, when people were asked about their failings, a lack of self-control was at the top of the list. 

Okay, so we know that self-control is a problem, but WHY is such an acute problem?

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Fruit of the Spirit Meditations

The Holy Spirit: A Q&A with Jeff Chacon

May 18, 2020
The Holy Spirit

As we conclude our Fruit of the Spirit series, I thought it would be helpful to go over some of these questions about the Holy Spirit. Instead of trying to tackle this difficult topic by myself, I decided to reach out to Jeff Chacon, who ministers at Anchor Point Church in Tampa (he also happens to be my father-in-law and next-door neighbor!). His answers to these questions were deep, Bible-filled and clarifying. I hope they are helpful as you search for a deeper understanding of the Holy Spirit.

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Fruit of the Spirit Meditations

God’s Gentle Whisper

April 27, 2020
Gentle parenting from Scriptures
For the busy mom: listen to an audio recording of this post!

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23

This week’s topic for our Fruit of the Spirit series is gentleness. “Gentle parenting” is a hot topic right now – but have you ever thought about who the originator of gentleness is? God is the ultimate parent and the founder of true gentleness. Today we’re going to look at an incredible story about how God parents the prophet Elijah with love and compassion during a difficult time in his life.

I have the hardest time being gentle when things don’t go the way I want them to. I mean, when everything’s going my way, I’m the nicest, humblest, gentlest person EVER! Ha…

But when people let me down, when they’re overly dramatic or annoying, it’s hard to be gentle. When I’m annoyed or frustrated, I’m dismissive, ignore people and am downright rude. Especially to my husband, and even to my children.

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COVID-19 Fruit of the Spirit Meditations

Faith Over Fear

April 15, 2020
Faith in Fear
For the busy mom: listen to an audio recording of this post!

For this week’s devotional on the fruit of the Spirit, we are looking at faithfulness.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23

The Greek term for faithfulness used in our key verse is “pistis” which conveys faith, belief, trust and confidence. This is the same word used when Jesus says things like, “Your faith (pistis) has healed you,” (Mark 5:34, 10:52) and in Mark 4:40, “Why are so afraid? Do you still have no faith (pistis)?” It is the same term used all throughout the “Hall of Faith” in Hebrews 11.

With everything going on in our world right now, it’s hard to be faithful. It’s easy to doubt what God is doing with this pandemic or in the various hardships he’s sending our way. Despite these storms, it is possible to have full faith in God – and not just blind, oblivious belief.

Pin this!

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COVID-19 Fruit of the Spirit Meditations

In Short Supply: Toilet Paper, Chicken Thighs & Kindness

April 8, 2020
Kindness fruit of the spirit in short supply
For the busy mom: listen to an audio recording of this post!

This week, for our Fruit of the Spirit series, we’re focusing on kindness and goodness. These terms strike me as nice, fluffy Christian words that depict a demure, smiling woman who writes a check for her local charity and doesn’t honk when someone cuts her off. But kindness and goodness are so much more than that – and, I believe there is an alarming shortage of true kindness in the world right now.

Before this pandemic, on Sunday evenings, I would meal plan for the week and put together my grocery order for the following day. With all of the craziness going on, meal planning and grocery shopping have been a nightmare. Who knew eggs, chicken thighs and toilet paper would be such a necessity in a pandemic?! We’ve been scouring every single grocery store within a 30-mile radius for these items. As soon as we find out that boneless skinless chicken thighs are available at the Costco across town, we’re in there like Delta Force trying to get what we need. (Because Heaven forbid we have to cook with chicken breasts instead!)

My reaction to this minor inconvenience made me consider what’s really important right now. What shortages does God care about? What deficits would get His attention?

I think God is looking down at our world and it hurts His heart that we have such a shortage of true kindness. Our goodness is apparently so rare that whenever someone does something exceptionally kind, it goes viral!

The good news is that as Christians, we can do something about that. Especially during such a turbulent time in our world, we can stand out and reflect these traits of God to the world on a daily basis.

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COVID-19 Fruit of the Spirit Meditations

Patience: Love Bears All Things

April 1, 2020
Patience in a Pandemic
For the busy mom: listen to an audio recording of this post!

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 

Galatians 5:22-23

This week’s fruit of the Spirit is patience. I gotta tell you that whenever I write a devotional, it seems like whatever I’m writing about becomes the battle for that week. I’m doing pretty well with keeping my anxiety in check until I write about peace. Or I’m feeling incredibly joyful…until I write about joy. And this week was no different with patience. I really had to battle this one out on multiple fronts.

Everything I write on this blog, I’m writing it to myself. This is an outlet of teaching and preaching to myself. It’s wonderful, and incredibly challenging. Just a reminder that we’re in this together, mamas.

I know we’re all probably going a little stir-crazy with the whole world on lockdown during this COVID pandemic, and I think it’s safe to say we could all use a little more patience. (And peace. Read more about peace here.)

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COVID-19 Fruit of the Spirit Meditations

Peace in a Pandemic

March 25, 2020
Peace in a Pandemic
For the busy mom: listen to an audio recording of this post!

The next fruit of the Spirit in our series is peace. This is a pretty crazy time to discuss peace. At the time that I write this, the Coronavirus is closing in on half a million confirmed cases. Countries are closing their borders and several U.S. Cities and states have issued stay-at-home orders. We can make jokes about Quarantinis all day, but this is a terrifying situation. 

So, how should we, as Christians, respond? 

In my opinion: with preparation, prayer, and peace. I’ve already written about how we should prepare for disaster, so I won’t go in to it here.

One of the most important things we can be doing right now is praying. If you head to my Instagram, I’m doing a series of daily prayers for this pandemic. Please join me as I pray for our world in crisis. 

Lastly, we should be at peace. We’ll get into the how later, but let’s talk about what peace is first. 

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COVID-19 Fruit of the Spirit Meditations

True Joy

March 16, 2020
true joy fruit of the spirit devotional
For the busy mom: listen to an audio recording of this post!

With COVID-19 declared a pandemic, cases sweeping the nation, and schools, businesses and even our local churches on lockdown, I think it’s safe to say we’re all feeling a little tense. I find it interesting that in the midst of all of this, the next fruit of the Spirit in this series is joy. That seems like the farthest thing from my mind right now.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, JOY, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23

I remember that in the midst of one of the most physically challenging times of my life, my mother-in-law told me: “You’ve lost your joy.”

To be honest, at first I was offended. Defensive. Of course I’d lost my joy! I was in pain every single day. 

My friends and peers were moving on with their lives: advancing in their careers, going on adventurous vacations, exploring the latest fitness craze. I was 25 years old and walking with a cane. I could hardly adventure to my bathroom, let alone outside. 

The thing about her statement, though, is that it was true. I had lost my joy. My focus had become on my physical circumstances instead of my eternal status. Sound familiar?

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Fruit of the Spirit Meditations

Fruit of the Spirit: Mama is Love

March 9, 2020
fruit of the spirit
For the busy mom: listen to an audio recording of this post!

This week, I’m starting a series on the Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5. I chose this verse because as moms, I’m pretty sure we all want to be everything in that scripture. Loving, joyful, patient, kind. But it’s hard. We get frustrated, impatient, lose our tempers. We get overwhelmed with the daily burdens of life. 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23

I wanted to do a deeper dive on this verse to help me (and hopefully those of you reading this) to connect with and understand how we can grow in these areas. 

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