Remember when I started this blog and I promised that there would be a few short entries because I’m a busy mother of two small children? Well you are in luck, because this is one of those posts!
I’m the first to admit it. My patience has been running thin these days. Maybe it’s because Henry is waking up at 5:40 a.m. every morning. And he won’t go back to bed. And he proceeds to wake up Charlie. And come to find out, I’m really not a morning person after all.
But I digress…I recently decided that we needed to do an art project at our house. (No, art projects don’t frequently occur in our house and they are a big deal when they happen.) Our project would focus on key words that would help us to smoothly get through our day. Words like: Patience. Gentleness. Self-control. Faithfulness. Joy. Love. Kindness. Peace. Goodness. Sound familiar? They are the “fruits of the spirit.” Galatians 5: 22 – 23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
We had some family in town and made this project a family affair. While I would like to take full credit for this project idea, it has been done before – by an amazing mom and friend. Rumor has it she even made a tree for the fruit.
There is no tree for our fruit – and they may look like a preschooler made them – but they are proudly on display on our refrigerator where we can easily see them. They serve as a reminder for us on how we are to live each day.
Henry and I frequently review what each fruit means. I share with him that I am focusing on the banana which just happens to be patience. Henry is focusing the on the grapes – self-control (or the “listening and following directions fruit” as we like to call it.)
I was feeling pretty smug about the whole project. We were tossing out the “bad fruit” in our daily life. And in the process Henry was learning some good biblical truths, as well as some great traits to live by. Yet I will admit that I have had to re-tape the “goodness” watermelon, and “love” cantaloupe to the fridge many times. They have been ripped off in moments when Henry has forgotten his “grapes” (self-control.)
But I do think he is learning.
The other night at dinner he was rhyming “cat, mat, sat, fat.” Then it became “fat, fatty, fat, fatty, Charlie is a fatty,” he sang his song to his little brother who was seated in his high chair. (I must note that this is actually quite funny, because “fatty” is probably the last word you would use to describe Charlie – he is only 14 lbs. 11 ounces at almost one year.)
“Henry, you need to apologize to your brother please.”
“Sorry, Charlie. Mommy, why don’t we say fatty?”
“It not a nice thing to say. To Charlie or anyone.”
“Oh. Pause. Yeah, fatty isn’t a fruit is it?”
We’ll just go ahead and call it progress.
Henry putting the fruit into action this afternoon showing “kindness” and “love” by helping to bring in the garbage can. Yes, he wears his rain boots all the time. Even when it’s 100 degrees outside.
*As a side note – our kids bible listed “humility” instead of “gentleness,” so you will see that we have a “humility” orange, but I’m thinking we may have to add a gentleness fruit too…when looking at other translations it seems as though all of the other “fruit” are the same reguardless of the version.