Thursday, February 4, 2010

The fruit of the Spirit is crooked. Again.

Last night I was going from the kitchen to the living room when I noticed that yet again a picture above the kitchen table was crooked.
As I went to fix it, I read the words on my favorite picture.


As I was straightening the picture for the 2nd or 3rd time this week, I got to thinking about if I'm portraying any of the fruit of the Spirit in my life toward my family.
Or like the picture that refuses to stay straight, is my life crooked and off balanced,
unable to produce any evidence that the Holy Spirit resides in me?

Did my husband feel love from me last night when I had to win our discussion/argument?

Do my kids see joy in my face when I see them after being apart for 8 hours?

Is my home a peaceful or tension filled place to be? Is it a haven or hell on earth for my family?

Do I get frustrated when things aren't done on my timing?

Does my family see me treat the mailman nicer than I treat them?

Does goodness come pouring out of my heart or does selfish motives?

Am I committed to God no matter what?

What do my kids or husband hear in my voice when I answer their many questions?

When life gets stressed do I go to God's Word or straight to the kitchen.
What do I feed myself when I feel pressure?

We can be our harshest critics, that is for sure, but I really believe when we tear ourselves down we don't let God do what He wants to do within us.
So as I was reflecting on how I've been this week and going through each fruit, I started to get down on myself when my phone alerted me of an e-mail.

And I read these words unexpectedly received from my friend Lysa...

I'm so proud of you Lelia for the way you are so tenderly responsive to God's heart. I know you struggle with things sometimes but don't ever lose sight of the amazing way God created you to constantly respond in obedience to His voice.

WOW! Isn't God good?
He knew I needed this message.He used Lysa to send it to me and she had no idea the thoughts running through my mind.
And so now I had to either receive the message or dismiss it and not believe it. I chose to receive it and let God speak to my heart.

He above anyone else knows my heart.
He knows I don't get this right.
He knows I try, but fail.
He knows I don't try to act like a know it all, but instead I seek the One Who does.

The truth of it matter how hard we try, we ARE going to fail sisters.
We are going to wake up with the best intentions of living out this Christian walk, only to crawl into bed at night with bloody scrapes on our elbows and knees from all the falls we endured throughout our day.
There will be those days that strangers see beautiful spiritual produce in our lives while our loved ones only see rotten bruised up fruit coming from our hearts.

But that is why we must have Daily Dependence on God as Lysa taught in a conference recently.

Daily seeking Him.
Daily relying on Him.
Daily calling on Him.
Daily trusting Him.
Daily quieting ourselves to listen to Him.

Because when we don't our lives become unbalanced and we are producing
not so lovely, no joy, tense, impatient, unkind, selfish, unfaithful, rough, out of control fruit and we don't want anything to do with that.

Seek Him and see how balanced your life can become.
When we are connected to the Vine daily, He makes fruit come from our hearts that we never thought was possible.


Jennifer said...

I failed miserably the other night! It hurt too. God had some words for me the next morning. However, He loves us still, which is always so amazing to me. He loves us despite our failures. I am so thankful for that!

Stay the course sweet sister. I think you are amazing!!!Maybe one day we will meet face to face.

Cindy (Letters From Midlife) said...

I haven't done so well either but I promise to take your words to heart and let the Lord do a course correction in my life.

An Imperfect Perfection said...

Great words, thoughts and truths...

Yolanda said...

Lelia, I fail too, I fail. I am seeking Him. Seeking like never before, red hot, on fire....seeking.


Kelley said...

I find I have to remind myself daily that my failings are God's opportunities to demonstrate undeserved grace. Thanks for sharing your heart so openly, you are the "real thing"!


Paula said...

Just brilliant Lelia! Don't ever stop that picture from doing it' thing! What a great reminder to keep your fruits in check. It's so very easy to berate oneself for the errors in our ways, but we are only human, we are not perfect and WE NEED GOD! Love you much!

PS: Will be starting "Completely His" on the weekend hopefully!

Andrea said...


tiggerdaisy said...

What a word, girl, what a word! That really needs to be developed into a message. Seriously.

Prayers and blessings,

Paula (SweetPea) said...

"We can be our harshest critics, that is for sure and I really believe when we tear ourselves down we don't let God do what He wants to do with us." I truly am my harshest critic and only pray and hope my vision of myself is not realistic.

"We are going to wake up with the best intentions of living out this Christian walk, only to crawl into bed at night with bloody scrapes on our elbows and knees from all the falls we endured throughout our day. There will be those days that strangers see beautiful spiritual produce in our lives while our loved ones only see rotten bruised up fruit coming from our hearts." I hate this happening. I beat myself up so, so bad when I'm always falling and failing when I treat strangers better than family. It's comforting though to know others do this and it's not just me. To know others struggle is to know encouragement.
Love ya Lele.

Jo Princess Warrior said...

great thoughts there. When I was first reading it, I was thinking "Oh here we go...another reminder that I'm not good enough" but then as I read on, I was delighted to read that the post was actually a reminder of His grace. xo

AnooCre8ion said...

Thank you for such a heartfelt post Lelia.

I am so grateful to God that He has already given us everything we need to live this Godly life. (2 Peter 1:3) Thank God Jesus did a finished work on Calvary and we already have the fruit of the spirit deposited inside of us. As we work with Him and allow Him to use our everyday situations then the fruit gets a chance to be developed and manifested.

We are all works-in-progres.


Joyfulsister said...

Amen Sis,
We are indeed our own worst critic.
and so hard on ourselves as well. Thank God for his mercy and grace and for each tomorrow so we can start over again. Love the analogy of this post and the heartfelt honesty from a woman of God!!!

Hugz Lorie

MaryLu said...

I have a fruits of the spirit picture in my bathroom. I hung it there so I can see it daily. I think sometimes my eyes glaze over and I don't read it. I see it so often that it just becomes commonplace.
I think we sometimes do that to God too. We read the Bible, just to do our 5 or 6 chapters so we can get through it in a year. We pray-blah, blah, blah, ok, I'm done, let's get on with this day.
Recently I have put God off until the end of my day thinking that other things are more pressing.
Thanks for the reminder that I need to seek Him first!

"Just Me - NC Beth" said...

I loved the "crooked" Fruit of the Spirit picture can be reflected like our own lives...we attempt to fulfil the fruit of the spirit in our own lives...we sometimes are "crooked" and must be straigthened again and again...only through the Lord Jesus' help, not on our own power, though....that's why we become "crooked".

Good post!!


Kelly said...

Thanks for sharing this timely word, our pastor's wife was sharing to a group of ladies this very same thing the other night...He is wild about us no matter what, we can't earn His love...He wants us to come to Him, but He doesn't hold it against us if we blow it or don't read the Bible for 5 days in a row!! Grace, Grace and More's all His doing anyway! And the more we realize that and relax, the more He can shine through, I think...
I just got Beth Moore's new book on speaks to these same issues, from what I have read so far, she is where the rubber meets the road on this matter.

Deb said...

A thought provoking post. Thank you for sharing it.

lisasmith said...

beautiful! a word from a good friend can be medicine to the soul! a word from the best Friend can be the best medicine!!

Anonymous said...


Please, pray for me. Mine is not only crooked, it fell. Pray for me to see life through His eyes. Nothing makes sense to me, now. Thank you.

Lelia Chealey said...

I will be praying for you! I don't know what I'd do if we didn't have a God that is forgiving and loving and full of grace & mercy. He IS the only Perfect in us! Thank God He comes along and straightens us out when we need it.
email me if you ever want

In Him,