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 is...no 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.