This wall hanging was made by my good friend Maisie for Rutledge's room. It is what I have been staring at over the past few months while I feed Rutledge, or change his diaper. It's come to mean more to me than what it's witty graphic implies. There are so many of these sayings right now, of which I also have in my house, "...and Carry On". Girls are drama. I remind them to carry on; often. This one, "Grow On" has struck a chord.
Made me think. Unintentionally convicted.
We (meaning I) can get really stuck in our ways. We can get so comfortable in our surroundings, in our attitudes and in our habits. We could live there. Forever.
Treading just enough to keep our heads above the stagnant, mosquito infested water.
After awhile, you won't even feel the mosquitoes biting anymore.
Our house has done a lot of growing! We've had four kids in the past five years. We just sent our first born to kindergarten. Our youngest, a boy, gained 3 pounds and grew 2 inches in less than two months!! Literally, we are growing!
But you can bet in this house full of people, there's a different kind of growth to be had! Being kind to a sister. Being patient with a naughty child. Loving a husband when you've already given out your love quota by 9am to all the children running around. Notice all the key words I used there. KIND.LOVE.PATIENT.
The Bible tells is this:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness,
self-control; against such things there is no law.
These are the fruits the Lord tells us to bare. Although patience or joy or self-control or etc... may not come naturally, we're still supposed to live them out.
Yes, in real life. Not just in our heads!
Let me tell you that it's really hard to be patient with my two year old who spills 40 glasses of water each day. Or decides she doesn't like to wear diapers, yet has NO awareness of when she has to pee.
It's hard for me to love my husband unconditionally when he gets home later from work than I expect. And let me tell you that I lack gentleness with him when it happens multiple nights in a row! Ouch. That's two right there!
Here's the thing. I don't have to bare these fruits on my own. Or get frustrated and give up when they don't come naturally. How FREEING!
Jesus is going to help me. The first and most important thing I have to do is to grow in n my relationship with him. He'll help me with the rest!
And so, I humbly, with God's grace, knowing I will fail daily, choose to GROW ON. Because the alternative is kind of sickening. When I am tapped out for the day, it's really hard to pick up my Bible. To pray for my husband and kids. To spend time and energy thinking about and seeking wisdom on these things.
Bu I am encourage, knowing this growth will not return void. Stagnancy will.