As we were driving down a two lane road with a beautiful lake on the left side, I looked to the right and showed the kids the cute cherry signs lining the street for a good half of a mile. They were advertising their sweet and delicious cherries that were growing, and for sale in these cute cottage looking houses, with hand drawn pictures that made us want to eat them up. We wanted to go in and taste them, but we passed them by, as we had miles until our next stop and the sun was quickly setting.
The next morning I heard one of my littles raise her voice and respond in frustration to her siblings, if horns or claws could have come out I think they’d be in full motion. It happens, sibling rivalry occurs, but I don’t want to just dismiss it and let it go all the time. There are times I do, and they talk it out and work through it as I’ve taught, trained and modeled over the years. But generally, I strive to focus on the heart, I’ll write more on that another time, but usually there’s a heart issue, something deeper than what we see on the surface, so I need to be in tune to that. So to deal with the issue at hand, and as I could feel myself start to get frustrated losing my own patience, I stepped out, took a breather and realized there was a lack of patience and gentleness in her tone and heart and she needed help and guidance at that moment. And since a mama directly affects and helps guide the temperature of her home, I wanted to help set the thermostat at a comfortable place. I wanted to address her heart and dissolve the situation, rather than letting it saturate and spread amongst us all. She needed a reminder of the fruit she was producing. I asked them if they remembered those cute cherry signs we had seen the night before. A little bit of my teacher, story-telling, voice came out to excite them of the red, juicy cherries advertised. I said, “Now imagine we had stopped last night and walked in to buy some of those yummy cherries, and they told us they don’t sell cherries here.” We talked about how we would be let down, we would feel like they falsely advertised and we would be disappointed that they were really selling stinky cheese or something other than sweet cherries like the signs said. It led to a conversation about the fruit we should be producing, and how when we lose patience, self-control etc. we are not producing sweet fruit, but rather a bitter, rotten fruit.
I reminded them of a bible verse we have written around the house and strive to focus on each and every day, Galatians 5:22. They know it, but the peace that came over the situation from opening our bible and rereading the verse is something I can’t make up. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” I told them I needed the reminder too, we all did. We needed to water our souls to produce that tasty fruit. The gentleness and peace that came from refocusing and reading that scripture was a reset for us. It was a sweet moment that could’ve gone differently had I not been in tune to that tug to bring my loves in and refocus. Are there moments throughout your day where you just need to refocus your spirit and change your response? Like I tell my kids, you steer your own ship, steer it well. Mamas, steer it well and know where you’re going. Be in tune and intentional to the fruit you want to produce.