When you move, are you the person who empties out all the boxes and hangs things on the walls within the first week? I love and admire you.
That’s not me.
I have to live in a space arrange and rearrange furniture; slowly figuring out what gets hung where.
That being said we have framed art leaning against the walls in different rooms, waiting for me to make the final decision. I love my hubster. He has his own opinions but not so much about things like decor.
I have been sorting through and organizing the ‘stuff’ we (think I) thought we (think I) needed to keep when we moved. I have been coming face to face with the realization that I have some mindset issues that need realigning. Somewhere along the line I developed the mindset that “things equate memories”. Giving up ‘things’ has been a challenge to my core. And yet we shed a lot prior to our move. I keep reminding myself of that while I see boxes of books we haven’t unpacked and all the boxes of scrapbook materials I haven’t even opened yet.
I am trying a new, gentle approach with myself. I am going through one box a day and shedding some more. It’s good to do this so that no one else needs to figure out what was important in the midst of all the knick-knacks and paddy whacks that I have stored!
The joy of going through this process is the freedom that it brings and the treasures that I find.
Here is one such treasure from a file of notes:
The Fruit of the Spirit is Love
Joy is love’s strength
Peace is love’s security
Patience is love’s endurance
Kindness is love’s conduct
Goodness is love’s character
Faithfulness is love’s confidence
Gentleness is love’s humility
Self-control is love’s victory
Against such things there is no law.
You may recognize that someone has taken the passage of Galatians 5:22-23 and written it a little differently. If this offends your Biblical sensibilities I am sorry. But I see it as a beautiful way to go deeper into Who lives within us as Christ-followers.
God is Love. He is so much more but for the sake of conversation (and the length of this blog post) I want to focus on only one of His many perfect attributes.
This step by step, word by word look slows us down, giving us time to think about each attribute of the collective Fruit (evidence) of the Spirit in us.
All these character traits are a part of us. All the time they are present within us.
I used to look at these characteristics as individual to do lists of self-improvement and a measuring stick of how well I am doing as a Christian. If I was having a bad attitude day I was coming up short of a lot of fruit. Which gave me fuel for self-condemnation. But that perspective is neither accurate nor helpful. God’s Word also tells us there is now therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. If He is not condemning me then why am I so hard on myself?
We live this life one moment at a time. Not one day at a time. One moment. In this moment we can choose to speak kindly. We can choose to be gentle with our own heart. We can choose to show patience in the face of a repeated mistake because this moment will pass and a new moment with new possibilities follows. We choose our responses one moment at a time. Be present to God’s Presence within you. His fruit will be more and more evident, one moment at a time.
One of my favorite things about this sorting process is coming across treasures like this 3 x 5 card that remind me how far God has brought me and all the grace He has shown me in the process. How have you seen God at work in your life lately?