Fruit of Hate?! What a sour bite!

This past week I’ve been struggling with hatred in my heart against someone. I’ve tried to get rid of it but it really hard. This person isn’t a good person or even a decent person. The world would say I have reason and would justify my hatred. Jesus says love your neighbor as yourself. It is hard sometimes to have love for people who have hurt you and people you love. Sometime people are out of your life and then come back like a bad penny. This is what made my hate resurface.

 

It is easier to hate than love. That doesn’t make it right though. The person is someone who lives in sin and influences others to go down their path of self destruction. It’s hard to have compassion for people who act in such ways. As a Christian I can’t feel that their behavior is acceptable. Hate the sin not the sinner. I ended up praying that God would make a way for this person to not be involved in our lives anymore. I prayed that no harm would be done to this person. I just don’t want their influence or power over others around my family.

 

My devotion this morning about the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-25) gently reminded me that I need to cut my fruit of hatred off of my tree. It was making my branches weighed down. Sometimes you have to prune your branches so you can grow and get rid of all the dead things that weigh you down. It is not comfortable but it is necessary in order to grow. You will know a tree by its fruit. What does your fruit say about your tree? Do you need to get out the trimmers or maybe the chain saw (that’s what I need) to get rid of your dead limbs and bad fruit? I challenge you to examine yourself and get rid of the bad and work on producing more of the good. I am working on it! We all need a good pruning sometimes!

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The fruit of the spirit are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance. What are these qualities that we are supposed to have?

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Love – unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another

Joy– : a feeling of great happiness; a source or cause of great happiness ; something or someone that gives joy to someone; a state of happiness or felicity; bliss ; a source or cause of delight

Peace – a state of tranquility or quiet: as; freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions; harmony in personal relations

 Longsuffering – suffering for a long time without complaining; very patient during difficult times; patiently enduring lasting offense or hardship

 Gentleness – the quality or state of being gentle; especially mildness of manners or disposition

                         Gentle – having or showing a kind and quiet nature: not harsh or violent; not hard or forceful; not strong or harsh in effect or quality; free from harshness, sternness, or violence

Goodness – the quality or state of being good

                        Good – virtuous, right, commendable, kind, benevolent

Faith – : strong belief or trust in someone or something; belief in the existence of God; strong religious feelings or beliefs; firm belief in something for which there is no proof; complete trust

Meekness – having or showing a quiet and gentle nature; not wanting to fight or argue with other people; submissive

Temperance – the practice of always controlling your actions, thoughts, or feelings so that you do not eat or drink too much, become too angry, etc.

 

 What fruit is on your tree? Which fruit of the spirit do you need to work on?

 

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Normal??

What is normal? Who defines normal? Why do we feel like we all need to be normal?

Normal1 usual or ordinary : not strange 2 conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern 3 of, relating to, or characterized by average intelligence or development 4 according with, constituting, or not deviating from a norm, rule, or principle

What is extraordinary or unusual? Why does it seem bad to be extraordinary or unusual? Who defines what it is?

Extraordinary1 very unusual : very different from what is normal or ordinary 2 going beyond what is usual, regular, or customary 3 exceptional to a very marked extent

Unusual 1 not normal or usual 2 different or strange in a way that attracts attention 3 not commonly seen, heard, etc.

The world defines what normal should be. You’re normal if you have a nice car, a nice house, a pretty wife or handsome husband. The world says unless you look a certain way, do certain things, think certain ways and have a certain amount of money you are not normal. The world gives a message that to be liked, you need to be normal.

As a Christian it is hard to be normal. We are a peculiar people. We are different, unusual, extraordinary and anything but normal. There is a constant battle between wanting to fit in and not fitting in. The older I get, the easier it is for me to see it. I used to think unless I was a certain weight, wore makeup, had a certain hair color and wore certain clothes I wasn’t worth anything. What a crazy thing to think!! Unfortunately a lot of people have this mindset. They spend their lives buying things they can’t afford with money they don’t have to impress people they don’t even like.

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Dave Ramsey

It is hard to not want to be normal! The world has worked hard on defining normal. Television can tell you that. I’ve seen so much become normal that used to not be normal or okay. Nudity, language and sex are in almost every show and every commercial. It used to be a shock when you would see someone half naked on TV. Now it is a part of everyday life. The definition above says to conform to a type, standard or regular pattern.
The bible tells us to not be conformed but to be transformed.

Conform 1 to be similar to or the same as something 2 to obey or agree with something 3 to do what other people do, to behave in a way that is accepted by most people

Transform1 to change (something) completely and usually in a good way 2 to change in composition or structure 3 to change the outward form or appearance of 4 to change in character or condition, convert

Romans 12:2 “And be not conformed with this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

It says clearly to not conform to the world but to be transformed.
We are different. It is okay to be different. Why be like everyone else when you can just be yourself? It took me a long time to know who I was. I hid behind makeup and clothes. I hate makeup and I hate wearing it. I hate dressing up! I am more comfortable in yoga pants or jeans than in dress clothes. I used to want to be rich and have fancy things. I no longer want to be rich, because I have been blessed beyond measure. I don’t like fancy things. Give me simple.
I look back on my younger years and laugh at what I used to want and all of my plans. I know God laughed when I made my plans. He has bigger plans for me and wants more of me than I wanted for myself.

Do I have to look like this? Wear certain brands of clothes? Drive a certain car? Have a certain amount of money to be normal?

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Transform NOT Conform!

Leaving Normal Sign
Who needs to be normal when you can be yourself?

Waiting

Today I had a dream that got crushed into a million pieces. I’ve been praying and praying that God would make a way for Kyle and I to move out soon if it was his will. We both struggle with feeling like losers because things happened the way they did and we weren’t able to get a place of our own when we first got married. Things still haven’t moved in that direction and its been 3 years. After finding out that we still aren’t able to get own our own right now, I had a mini break down. I thought about all the recently married couples in our life and how they all have houses or are in the process. It makes me feel worse about our situation. It’s embarrassing and people judge us and think badly of us because we live with my parents. We are blessed and fortunate that they allow us to live where we do. We pay our own bills and buy our own groceries. Despite all of that I still feel like a failure and I don’t feel like an adult.

I went for a run to get out my anger and it helped me a to calm down. I whined to my Mom about it and she reminded me about how I’ve been praying for God’s will to be done. She was right. I have been praying for God’s will to be done. It’s hard to wait sometimes! Especially when you want something so bad. God knows what he is doing and what is in our best interest. I have to keep on holding onto God’s promises and knowing that he knows best and sometimes you have to just wait.

Psalms 62:1 Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation.

Psalms 62:5 My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.

Like the verse says my expectation is from him so my soul will wait only upon God. No matter how hard it gets we have to be patient and wait on Gods timing for all things we have asked him for .

I don’t know if anyone else is going through anything similar but I hope these verses help you and give you comfort the way they did me.

Change Your Attitude

The past few weeks I’ve been struggling with not feeling good enough. I see all these people younger than me who have homes and kids and it gets me down. It’s hard not to compare myself to others sometimes. I am not where I thought I’d be at 26, but I’m where I am supposed to be. I feel like such a brat sometimes! I have it so good but yet I seem to always want more.

 

I am blessed more than I could imagine. My husband and I both have jobs. We are both physically able to work. We have a wonderful marriage. I have a roof over my head, food to eat and clothes to wear. A lot of people around the world don’t have most of those things. One day my husband and I will be able to afford to live in our own place and we will have kids. It’s just not meant to be right now. Later I’ll understand why. We all have to endure different things. We can get really down on ourselves if we focus on what we don’t have instead of all the things we are blessed to have.

 

I read Proverbs 31 yesterday and I got angry. I have always struggled with Proverbs 31. I have never felt like a Proverbs 31 woman. I feel like I’m constantly trying to keep up with everything. I was thinking about all that I had to do this week and it overwhelmed me. It seems like I’m constantly struggling with wanting to spend time with my husband and trying to tackle to mountain of dishes and laundry. I would rather play video games with my husband or snuggle and watch a movie.

 

Sometimes I think that the Proverbs 31 woman was Wonder Woman. She seemed to work all day, take care of her family, work into the night and never need sleep. Plus, she was strong. She seems like a character in a fairy tale. Women today struggle with so much! We have pressure to be the perfect wife, homemaker, mother, employee, chef, & baker. I look at myself and think well I am not perfect at any of those things. I am not even a mother, homemaker, chef or baker. What if the Proverbs 31 woman status is not attainable for me?

 

I started thinking and I realized God made each of unique in our abilities, strengths and weaknesses. Like the kid’s song says, “I am weak but HE is strong”. I may never be a homemaker, a mother, baker or chef, but I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I can strive to be wise, honest, kind and true. The Proverbs 31 woman clothes herself with strength and honor. She speaks with wisdom and kindness. She is not idle. She is the woman who prays for her husband and her family. She doesn’t gossip or spend hours worrying about what others think about her. She is too busy taking care of the ones she loves and serving God.

 

I may not be able to change the situation I am in, but I can change my attitude and realize that in God’s time my dreams will come true. Until then I need to keep serving him and praising him for what I do have. God has been way too good to me for me to be ungrateful now.

 

Phillipians 4:6 “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made know unto God.”

 

God Bless! Hope this helps someone as much as it helped me.