Friday, October 16, 2009


Kicking off the series here discussing the Fruit of the Spirit . Sorry it has taken me so long to dive into this.

My first excuse--The week (hmmm..has it almost been 2 weeks?) Just flew by...Where did the week (er, weeks) go? I had an anniversary, did a billion loads of laundry, went to an all day meeting in Charlotte, came home to more laundry, then was out of town last weekend in DC...and now more laundry. While in DC I remembered...hmmm, I haven't written that post on Love. And I've got joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control to all hit on...So, I better get cracking!

Second excuse-- I just don't want to write about these things. I do not want to be confronted with my own sin and weaknesses in my parenting and I certainly don't want to tell YOU all about it. And I don't want to give all these suggestions on how to live out the Fruit of the Spirit in our parenting, because that means I will actually have to apply those suggestions to my own life!

*Confession--I just want to let you know I ALWAY forget gentleness when I write out the FOS. Why is gentleness so hard for me to remember?
Maybe is because it is the FOS I struggle with THE MOST in my parenting.
And now back to our regular scheduled blog post on....


Why would Paul mention Love as the first Fruit of the Spirit? I do not think it was just because it was the first thing he thought of. I think there is a reason he mentioned it first. What does 1 Corinthians tell us? If we have not Love we are a clanging cymbal. And here...Faith, hope, Love... but the greatest of these is Love. Love is of utmost importance... and there is good reason Paul mentions it first. How can we truly live out the rest of the Fruit of the Spirit if we can't Love?

My first application about Love is this...
I cannot love my children well if I am not loving God well. And I cannot love God well if I don't fully accept and believe that He loves me. If you are looking for a book to remind you of God's Lavish love for you, I highly recommend Who I am in Christ by Neal Anderson . This book is always just what I need to remind me of my identity in Christ. My relationship with God must be a priority if I expect to love my children well.

When I was really feeling convicted about my parenting and the lack of spiritual fruit I was producing, I spent some time considering the way I treat my children. Too often the way I treat them is not the way one would or should treat someone they love.

Love is a decision, not a feeling. Of course, we all love our children. But I will write what no mom wants to admit.... there are many moments when I have a hard time loving my children, moments when I don't really like them. When they annoy me, when they don't appreciate me, when the embarrass me. Moments that simply make them difficult children to love.

I want my children to feel loved by me, and for our house and family to be full of love. I want for my children to grow up loving to be around our family. How can I accomplish that? How can I live out Love in a more Christ-like manner towards my children?

Here are my action steps

1--Let them see that I love God

2--Greet them each morning with excitement and joy, not disappointment that they woke up so stinking early. I do have a "no waking before 6:30am" rule for the older ones...well, if they wake they must stay in their beds or cuddle with me. I love greeting them in the morning, at Sunday school, at preschool, etc with excitement and joy telling them how much I missed them (even if I do wish preschool was 9-5 some days)

3--I do not want to be the Abominable NO mom. I will indulge them a little in extra special things just for them. Another cuddle at bedtime instead of a "go to bed, stop talking" A surprise treat... a special movie.

4--Special mommy dates. Wait.... I am with them every day all day, right? Doesn't mommy deserve a mommy ALONE date?? I have seen that my kids LOVE getting to have one on one time with me. But with 3 kids, this can be challenging. David and I take turns often letting the kids have "dates" with mommy or daddy.

5-- Try and make Bedtime a calm time of cuddles and kisses. I am usually drained, Helen is usually screaming, and David is often about to walk out the door to go to campus. Bedtime around here can often be chaotic and I am ready to get the kids sleeping so I can have some "me" time. Taking a breath and making bedtime a moment of peace helps me to center my heart back to what is important...that I love these little llamas so much!

6--Tell them the reasons I love them. I can really dwell on my children's poor behavior. At the end of the day sometimes I forget the cute things they have said or done. It helps to tell them or to jot those moments down. To share them at the dinner table.

Well...there you have it. Love. I promise to not make you wait another 2 weeks for the "Joy" post. I may even throw in some extra posts on Love to spur you on.

What helps you to Love your family well?

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