It was the third Sunday after our move, and our kids learned about the fruit of the Spirit in church. We talked about it at dinner that night. They were relishing the memory—a smorgasbord of pineapple, orange, kiwi, and strawberries from earlier in the day, topped with whipped cream and a cherry. I was intent on the lesson itself.
“So, some fruit grows on trees, right?”
William, age 4, glanced at his big sister Penny to make sure he should be nodding.
“How would we know if that tree was a lemon tree?” I asked, pointing to an evergreen in our backyard.
They looked puzzled.
“We would know it was a lemon tree if there were lemons on it,” I said. “How would we know if it was an orange tree?”
William said, “If oranges came out of it?”
Once we had the physical idea down, I said, “So the fruit of the Spirit would be what comes out of us when we have the Holy Spirit growing inside of us. We can know that someone is filled with the Holy Spirit when they have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control coming out of them.”
We had been living in our new town for almost a month. We had moved twice—first into a temporary spot and then into a rental house. The rental was still filled with unpacked boxes. The kids had all started school, and my husband had begun his new job. But we didn’t know our way around town. I hadn’t connected our home phone yet. Marilee, 18 months, had been to the hospital for x-rays the week before due to little shards of glass in her heel. Penny’s left ear was filled with fluid and the ear doctor, whom we had visited twice, was over an hour away. I hadn’t written a word in weeks. The cat had gone on a hunger strike and was in the hospital.
I sighed. “So what has been coming out of Mommy lately?”
Penny looked sympathetic when she said, “Screaming.”
William added, “Ungentleness.”
To keep reading, head over to Micah Boyett Hohorst’s blog Mama Monk (and while you’re there, I highly recommend poking around to read some of Micah’s posts too).