Friday, October 16, 2009

A Worm in my Fruit Basket

OK, so last Wednesday night I walk into the youth room a little on the tired side. Actually scratch that. I was really tired, with a prize winning headache on top. With every step up the stairs I was debating on turning around and playing hooky for the evening. My hubby has other willing and able adults helping him, besides it is "youth" group, I'm not there to learn anyway...


I stayed and ended up with my toes severely stepped on.

Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!

The Lord threw one curve ball at me after another. And then managed to kick me in the you know what really good. I walked away mumbling in my head, about all this "dying to self" and "living in godliness" being just "plain hard" sometimes. It doesn't help when the Lord uses my hubby to be my teacher either!!! Nobody likes a "know it all" husband!!! Or at least I was trying to use that as my excuse as to WHY I didn't want to listen...or follow. (I know, I was being childish. I've already gotten on to myself. Actually, I love listening to Kevin teach, but when the toes get stepped on...)

But I've had a few days to mull it over. The verses used Wednesday night have stayed with me, constantly just "showing up" in my head as great big reminders of just how I am suppose to be acting. I know your curiosity is getting the better of you, so I will share the subject matter of the Bible study Kevin is working through on Wednesday nights with our youth group...

The Fruit of the Spirit.

Powerful stuff.

Galatians 5:22-24 serves as the "perfect" example of how to live and be totally "Christlike."

"But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires..."

OK. Loving is pretty easy for me. I can find joy, have peace, be kind and good and I'm known to be gentle. I might struggle with patience every once in a while, but I try daily to be faithful.


I have real issues when it comes to that "self-control" word. Guess what fruit of the Spirit good 'ol Hubby was on this week. And you wonder WHY I was tired, with a headache and wanted to play hooky. I didn't want the Guilt. I didn't want the disappointment in self to be added on my plate. I wanted to ignore this "fruit." After all, I have been working real hard on all the others. Is it really necessary that every Christian have ALL the fruit displayed in their life?


So you see, I walked away knowing that by "knowing" I must try harder, be better, get stronger and finally give control all up. If Christ lives in you, then HE has total control. In other words, one really must have self-control for all the other fruit in their life to really produce.

The definition of self-control is "not saying or doing everything we desire." The temptation to gossip, overspend, overeat, speak your mind, or not manage your time wisely can be real "worms" in the bowl full of the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. The only way to "deworm" is to "give up" the control. Hard stuff to swallow for a wife and mom of two. I tend to think mom always "knows best" or "has all the answers." When the truth is, I don't.

I must remember that when I am weak, he is strong...when I struggle for answers, He knows all...when I want to give up, He keeps going...when I self medicate with the desires of the heart, HE has self-control...when I fail, He forgives. To develop self-control I must realize I CAN'T do it on my own power, I must believe Christ can.

So here I am on a Friday night, contemplating the lessons learned. God is so good, He really does meet you where you are. This week I am learning self-control. Scratch that. Actually I'm learning how to give up control to someone who really knows best...The Father.

I really desire to have a beautiful bowl of fruit in this 'ol heart of mine.

What does your fruit basket look like?


He & Me + 3 said...

Great post. My fruit bowl has two fruits that have bruises. I need to work on the self control and the patience. Thanks for the reminder about His faithfulness to meet us where we are & to help us be the person He created us to be.

Amber said...

Good stuff.

I'm with you. Self-control eats my lunch every.time.

And patience. Ugh. Hate the patience part.

Love you.

momstheword said...

I love the worm part of it! To true! I have that want-to-control thing too. Which is funny, because it's a delusion and we really aren't in control at all!

Thank you for sharing this! I could do with a whole lotta Him and a whole lotta less of me!

BTW, I am having a free blog makeover giveaway. Just thought I'd mention it in case you're interested!

Eyeglasses & Endzones said...

Man- I am so imperfect it hurts. Sometimes I think my crop needs to be burned and started over. Thanks so much for posting this. I always need a new dose of patience.

Jim said...

I was reminded by your "fruit bowl" analogy of the bowl of fruit that sits on our dining table. You know the one - its all plastic! Do you recall the green apple on top? We keep it as a reminder even though when you turn it over, it has a set of teeth marks that belong to Sawyer.

Your talk of worms in the fruit is a good one. We do need to keep our fruit good and fresh for others to enjoy. When we do, we'll enjoy them, too.

It occurs to me that the plastic fruit is sort of like putting on a front of spiritual possession without having that which does anyone any good at all. Your yielding produces edible stuff that's good for folks. I'm feeding on it right now. Thanks!

Interesting side note - today I was joking with your mom about a neat idea for communicating the gospel through personalizing different vegetables - then I realized I had just come up with something already out there. Veggietales - so I decided maybe I should try something new - what do you think about "FRUIT FROLICS"? We could name the red apple something like ---- BOB! and the banana could be LARRY! What do you think? Will it fly?


Hope said...

Good morning Mich!

This is the exact same thing I am trying to remember, that I need to surrender completely to God. I struggle with it because, as you said, being a mother you are supposed to be the one making many (often most) of the decisions around the home about how and what the children are doing, and how and when things are to be done. When this “control” gets ripped from my hands, I have a difficult time letting go. It is difficult to balance being the one who is supposed to be in charge and surrendering that authority at the drop of a hat. I think that requires a true meek and quiet spirit. Lord, please help us today!


mimi said...

Ummm, yep...I have a hard time with self-control too.....and patience. ugh.

Tiffany said...

Excellent post! Thanks for sharing your heart. I think I struggle with self control too, and patience - definitely patience.

Sharon@JoyInTheTruth said...

The pain of having our toes stepped on in truth and love is totally worth it!

Way to yield your heart and will to His!


Heart2Heart said...


I could use a lot more fruit in my basket that is for sure and the ones that are there could use some freshening up! I love this post because it highlights some very important areas for all of us to focus and work on.

Hubby's a great guy and love how he inspired you to share this with all of us.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

christy rose said...

Great post Mich! I love what your dad had to say about the plastic fruit in the fruit bowl in his comment. It is so good and true!
If we are missing certain fruit in our lives, it is only because we are somehow not vitally abiding and partaking of the Truth in our relationship with the Lord. If we are lacking patience, it is because we are not relishing in the greatness of the character of Patience that God has toward us. The more we abide in and partake of His patience by recognizing His heart and thoughts toward us when we are taking so long to submit ourselves and give in to His plans and purposes for our lives, the more it buds and produces the true fruit of patience in our lives and it will nourish others that we come in contact with also. But, if we try to make ourselves patient in our own efforts, it is like us taping that plastic, fake fruit on our lives. It might look pretty good from a distance but when someone gets too close they can see that it is fake. And, there is no nourishment in plastic fruit at all.
Sounds like you are recognizing God's call to you unto Himself to
lean on Him and fill yourself up with Him and allow His character to empower and produce His fruit in your life. The only part you play in that is to remain vitally consumed in Him. He does the fruit bearing! Now that is one amazing work that His Spirit does in us, isn't it?

Loren said...

Self Control .... gets me every time!! Thank the Lord for Grace and Mercy!!

I just came over from Kats and wanted to meet you, am now a follower and look forward to having a new friend :)

Loved your story....

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I've loved catching up with your last few posts (including the Christmas wish lists); it's begun over here as well. Have mercy.

As for the fruit of the Spirit, on any given day I struggle with many of these, but my overriding prayer has been for the love of Christ to pour in me, so as to pour out of me. I just don't love like I want to love. The benchmark for me is Jesus' way of loving. Not there yet, but by his grace, we're working on it.

Oh, and rainy days...

Love them. At least one or two of them. They kind of give me permission to take the day off and rest.

Have a good week. I hope to be back in action sometime again soon.


TCKK said...

Very good post! I'm participating in the Beth Moore Bible Study "Living Beyond Yourself" which is on the Fruit of the Spirit. It's been a real eye opener. God is really working on me.

Fruit Basket Review said...

Self control and patience are two fruit basketsvirtues in this world that worms keep spoiling. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and follies. At least I know I'm not alone.