The Millennial Homemaker

The musings of a Stay at Home Mom

Nine Fruits: Part Four ~ Patience

Patience is one of the fruits of the Spirit that is difficult to accept and more difficult to put into practice. In the present moment we have so many things that require immediate gratification. How in the world are we supposed to exercise patience?peachjournal

Another definition for patience is long suffering.

What an oxymoron: patience is related to suffering. How can this be? Yet, it is true. Patience must be exercised in the midst of a trial. We have no choice but to wait.

Orange is where it’s at…

I chose the color orange (or peach) to represent patience. Orange is a mix of red (love) and yellow (joy), so it seems that patience would be a mix of love and joy. In one sense this is absolutely true. When a person exercises patience, he is showing love by putting himself behind the other person/thing in need. He is also showing joy to the other person/thing by choosing to have hope and wait alongside for a positive result.

Patience doesn’t always result in positive outcomes.

Sometimes, we wait and wait and wait for an answer to prayer, and God says no. Or, God says wait. And, then there are times when He says yes. In any answer to prayer, we have to wait and have faith. We have to be patient.

The picture above is an inexpensive creation I made from a store-bought notebook, a few pieces of scrapbook paper, and a spare piece of ribbon. It cost me one dollar to make. Yet, the end result is invaluable, for it is a unique creation.

I call it my healing journal. Why? Healing takes time.

I plan to make many more healing journals for anyone who would like to have one. These journals take about an hour to make. That is not a lot of time, but it does require patience. I have to measure the paper, the ribbon, and the glue. I have to wait for it all to stay in place before I transfer it to a safe place for keeping.

The healing journal is a small part of why I am choosing to focus on the nine fruits of the Spirit. As a newly joined member of the panic-anxiety realm, I have to make a conscious effort to focus on the present moment. I have to be patient with my mind as my body returns to a normal functioning state. Moments feel like hours when adrenaline hits the system. So, I am focusing on journaling my way through this season of growth, pruning, and rebirth.

Romans 12:12 says, “Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.”

It is easy to associate the word patience with a negative trait. But, it doesn’t have to be viewed that way. Patience is a teacher. It creates a new type of learning curve. It is re-training the mind to slow down, have hope, and seek closure. Patience teaches a child to be grateful instead of demanding. Patience teaches a young adult to have faith when the situation looks bleak or unreachable. Patience teaches the older adult to embrace the winding down of life and the enjoy what has been experienced.

Patience is not an easy topic to share. This is one virtue that is so subjective, so individualized, that it is difficult to express in words. Yet, I must share what I know, what I have learned, and what I hope to experience as I ingest the fruit of Patience.

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Nine Fruits: Part Three – The Pursuit of Peace

“When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll; whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul.”

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The river is a symbol of peace.

As I ponder the words of the old hymn written above, a part of me doesn’t assimilate peace with a river. For one thing, a river is unpredictable. A river can be big, small, tranquil, or raging. A river is powerful and always moving. However, a river brings life to a dry land.

Whenever the pioneers or natives explored America they would move to an area close to a river. The mighty Mississippi is one example of settlements that turned into big cities. Or, perhaps the beautiful Columbia river that cuts across the Northwest, helped to create sustenance for those who followed the paths of Lewis and Clark. And, my favorite, the Colorado River, which formed the beautiful Grand Canyon and feeds the Southwest with its life giving water to a dry desert, is a reminder of sure power and beauty.

The color blue represents peace to me.

Blue is a calming color, just as the blue sky or the blue waters of the oceans and rivers show a sense of calm. It is the notion of acquainting blue with peace that makes me understand why the above hymn was written. When I sit by a pool, or gaze at the ocean, or wade in the river, I am at peace. A storm could come and upset the current, but the water itself is the calming factor.

The very essence of what makes a river a river is the reason for its peacefulness. It is the outside influences that change the essence on a temporary level. But once those outside influences have ceased or disappeared, the water goes back to its normal flow.

In my pursuit of peace I am looking to nature to help me understand the “whys” of life. I know that my Creator made the things in nature so beautiful that I cannot doubt that He wants me to be at peace. When I gaze at His creation I have a renewed hope for peace. My heartbeats slow down, and I breathe easier.

A river is blue. Blue represents peace. Therefore, a river does represent peace.

I understand it now.

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Nine Fruits: Part Two – Joy

sunshineWhat does the sun, a rose, and even a certain brand of dish-washing soap have in common?

Hint: it’s a color that I often think of when there is joy!  ~YELLOW~

Joy is the second “fruit” of the Spirit. It is more than happiness, because happiness is a temporary emotion. Joy is the culmination of everlasting happiness. Joy can be present at all times, even in sorrow, because it is part of the Spirit.

I am in the midst of pursuing a life of joy. I know that when joy is received, contentment abounds. The Bible talks about having complete joy in the book of Philippians. It says in Chapter 2, verse 2, “then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.” (NIV)

A smile and a song.

I find myself smiling a lot when I sing! The smile is an outward expression of an inward response to joy. Smiling is also contagious, so if you don’t want to sing, then smile. I love the movie Sleepless in Seattle because of the music that is played throughout the story. Some of the words in the songs just make me smile, as I know that the movie has a happy ending to a sad beginning!

Joy should be pursued.

Joy is caught more than taught, so it should be pursued. When I choose joy, I am pursuing the opportunity to have all of the other fruits of the Spirit like love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. Joy is the bow on a package of love. Love is given as a gift, and it’s difficult to give someone love without also giving them joy.

Joy gives strength to the soul.

In Nehemiah 8:10, it says, “The Joy of the Lord is my strength.” When I embrace my faith in the Lord, I also embrace His joy, which strengthens my soul. Joy gives reassurance to the weary soul, by fortifying the bones and nourishing the muscles with inner strength that can only come on a spiritual level. This is why joy is different than happiness. One is spiritual while the other is merely emotional. The two virtues seem similar, but they vary greatly based on their origin.

Joy in the trials.

James says, “Count it all joy when you encounters various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.” It’s difficult to find joy in the trials of life. Some trials are so big, while other trials seem trivial. Either way they exist, trials are not fun. Yet, the apostle James says to count your trials as joy. Why? Because trials produce strength! We all know the saying, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” (Equation: Not dead = trial and stronger = joy. Therefore, trial = joy.) It’s a great reminder that trials produce strength, and the end product of strength is Joy.

I’m good with that. I just need that daily reminder… KEEP CALM AND JOY ON!

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