. . . in your vegetable crisper, you are supposed to stop the world and scrub down the entire refrigerator with a bucket of PineSol.
ESPECIALLY if you are a Stay-at-Homeschooling-Mom. What an opportunity!
This is not the first time this kind of thing has happened at our house. . . . And OH! The blogging possibilities! It's a bummer though, I don't really have it in me to say anything funny about it . . . .
I will say that the refrigerator is now a thing of beauty. It shines like the top of the Chrysler Building. And I don't want to sound bragadocious, but I am pretty awesome as a Mom!
Let us enjoy the moment. . . .
Last week I discovered Home Sanctuary where Rachel Anne offers simple household tasks -- one a day -- to help us make our homes a sanctuary for our families. What a beautiful idea.
In good conscience, I will state emphatically that I am the Queen of Spork and I took Tuesday's chore to a new level and actually cleaned my kids' bathroom too!
And to take Rachel Anne's idea one step further -- why not use simple household tasks to teach spiritual lessons?
As Christians, we do waste opportunities. I am more than guilty. I've missed plenty of opportunities to bless my children because of my obsession with FoxNews. It runs 24/7 in our house! Good Grief! I could turn it off for 15 seconds.
Okay . . . 15 minutes.
I could also do a better job of incorporating vegetables into our family's meals before they turn stinky and ugly and furry.
Our lives are so full of God distracting activities and just plain useless garbage. We need a renewed sense of priorities. Getting rid of the useless garbage (see rotting vegetables above) is a wonderful first step. Getting rid of distractions helps us put both our priorities and our purpose in proper perspective. (Just like my crisper drawer. It is now ready to hold all those beautiful carrots and tomatoes saved from the frost this week.)
God does speak to our hearts on all matters if we'll just listen. Sometimes we just need to clean out the garbage and distractions first. He is always attempting to get us to draw closer to Him. Sometimes he has to remove the distractions Himself. The distractions must go away if we are to going to be receptive to God’s constructive and purposeful guidance?
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful."
~ John 15:1-2
This "Fruit Guide" (below) is something I used in a small group study once several years ago. I'm posting here today for my own personal evaluation and to share with you.
I love the wording -- it really challenges us to honestly evaluate each area. I'm less than enthusiastic to share all my scores, but I did score fantastically on one -- Faithfulness. (Needs Work: Kindness.)
How 'bout you? (Care to comment?)
The Fruit Test. . .
Rate yourself on each Fruit of the Spirit on a scale of 1 - 10.
1 is lowest. . .
10 -- "I am doing fantastic!"
1 is lowest. . .
10 -- "I am doing fantastic!"
___ LOVE Love is pre-eminent in my life. I see all people through the eyes of Christ. I have a deep compassion for the lost, the lonely, the weak and the poor. I am magnanimous towards those who “get in my hair.” I keep no record of wrongs. I give selflessly, sometimes till it hurts. I go the extra mile. I would rather forgive 20 injuries than avenge one. God always comes first.
___ JOY People know me for my joyful disposition even when there is a cause to grieve. There is a contagious radiance about me because “the joy of the Lord is my strength.” I remain strong and positive when things go wrong because I trust in God. I am quick to see the brighter side of things. I know that for my shattered plans, God has better plans. My contentment springs from the knowledge that God is sovereign and Jesus is coming, again.
___ PEACE The peace of God rules my heart and mind. I stay calm in disturbing situations because my eyes are fixed on Jesus. With few exceptions (and I’m working on these) I enjoy wholesome and beautiful relationships all round. Whenever relationships are strained or fractured I take the initiative in moving toward healing and restoration. I can see the dark spots in my own life and am quick to confess them. I am willing always to pay the price of being a peace-maker in a world of bruised relationships.
___ PATIENCE I never make hasty judgements or speak hasty words. I am not quick at jumping to conclusions. I am patient with people when they fail or fall. I face opposition and discouragement with composure. I never give up. I keep cool while others are hot. I am not irritable or easily angered. My “tolerance level” is extremely high. I can put up with a lot. I accept people for who they are and not for how they perform. When I confront others, they feel I do so because I care!
___ KINDNESS People feel “love’s touch” when they’re around me. I am blessed with a M-I-L-D disposition (though, occasionally, I do turn that “M” upside down). I let God deal with the bitterness, anger and malice in my heart. A deep respect and consideration for others, coupled with a forgiving spirit, makes relating to people such a pleasure! The kindness of Jesus is seen in me.
___ GOODNESS The goodness of God touches my life and then overflows into the lives of others. I am a caring person, a friend and neighbor to many. A genuine benevolence characterizes my life. When I see a need, I respond to it in the compassion of Christ. I am sensitive to the evil and suffering around, and seek to be an instrument of God’s liberating touch. Uplifting the quality of people’s lives is a major concern to me.
___ FAITHFULNESS I make promises and keep them. I am a man of my word. People can count on me. There is no gap in what I say and what I do. Fidelity is the hallmark of my marriage and other commitments. I do not flirt with the world or with anyone. I am true to the Lord, to my spouse, to people, and to causes that God entrusts to me. They are all sacred to me!
___ MEEKNESS I am willing “to go under” any yoke that God wants me to to be SUBMISSIVE to God and to one another out of our mutual reverence for Christ. I freely and willingly accept all that God, in His providence, gives or withholds from me. I am willing to step “under the yoke” with Christ and my co-workers in kingdom service. I am willing to step aside when it is time to do so. I bring myself under the authority of Christ and His Church. I can “glory in my infirmities so that the power of God may be made manifest in me.” I bear provocation without being inflamed by it. I give a soft answer when angry words are spoken. I respect my own rights and the rights of others, willing to give up mine if the Lord so guides me. I am a pro-actor not a reactor. I relate to others as one among sinners never arrogantly.
___ SELF-CONTROL The key to my life is self-mastery. I am temperate in my thoughts, words, and actions. I live a disciplined life-in private and in public. I have complete mastery of my body, my mind, my emotions and will, my time, my possessions, my desires and appetites. I never lose control. I don’t eat too much, drink too much, work too much, play too much, or sleep too much: no excesses whatever! Jesus is Lord over every area of my life!
~ Esthermay Bentley-Goossen
© 2008 The Heart of a Pastor's Wife