Fruit of the Spirit: Faithfulness

Welcome back to the MaverickRx Fruit of the Spirit Challenge!  Today we are sharing about faithfulness.  Please try to join us tomorrow morning, Thursday at 8:30 for our Facebook discussion of this week’s topic.  

In case you missed it, last week we talked about goodness!

Let’s get to it!  This week we’re talking about FAITHFULNESS!  

SCRIPTURE:

Proverbs 19:21
21 There are many plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s plan that will stand.


DEFINITION OF FAITHFULNESS:
1: strict or thorough in the performance of duty
2: true to one’s word, promises, vows, etc.
3steady in allegiance or affection; loyal; constant: faithful friends
4: reliable, trusted, or believed


REFLECTION:
Faithfulness looks very much like loyalty wrapped in trust.  When we are faithful to God and trust him, we are free to live our lives with less weight and stress.  We are free to show up as our true selves.  Rhonda and I have circled back to this scripture in Proverbs countless times. When we: 

  • try to create our own solutions only to feel stuck
  • realize we are forcing our will over His
  • strive to fit timelines on our own time tables

Not being in control is such a hard feeling. We like the idea that if we can just find the right rythm and stay on the beat, everything will run as smooth as a symphony orchestra. When one instrument goes down though, everything sounds off and we feel compelled to scramble and find the fix or create the solution: tune the instrument, replace the chord, tighten the bow.

We’ve learned that our solutions are not the same as His solutions.  Our solutions often amplify the problem or cause us additional stress.  Being faithful as a Christian is allowing God to assure us of what we do not see.  It is trusting him to share his plan with us when he sees that we are ready.  Faithfulness requires us to do the hardest thing: submit.

There are countless Biblical stories of God blessing those who are faithful.  Ruth could have gone off on her own to create a new life after the death of her husband, but she chose to remain with Naomi. Sarah and Abraham had Isaac when Sarah was very, very old – after decades of not having a child.  Arrested and thrown into a lion’s den for praying, Daniel emerged unscathed.  In all of these instances, God rewarded faithful people.  

One of the hardest things for me to hear in the age of corona is that we are living in a “new normal.” I don’t like the saying because nothing feels “normal” and it encourages our longing for the past. I, for one, do not want to pine for the pre-corona days.  I will put my trust in God and have faith that where he leads us will be better than where we were.  

It is ok to be uncomfortable.  It is ok to not understand the world around us.  It is ok to feel overwhelmed and stressed and unsure of the next right move. You don’t have to carry the weight of the world on your own. My hope is that you will rely on your faith in God and trust that the next right step will be revealed to you when it should be. Until then, keep showing up as YOU. 

ACTION CHALLENGE:
What is getting in the way of your faithfulness today? Can you give it over to God?

Fruit of the Spirit Challege: Kindness

We are half way through the MaverickRx Fruit of the Spirit Challenge.  We’re curious if these weekly emails have given you food for thought? We are hopeful that they’ve been a bright spot in your week and we hope you’ll remember to join us Thursday at 8:30 for our Facebook discussion of this week’s topic.  

In case you missed it, last week we talked about patience.  We explored how difficult it is to be patient while living in a “now culture” and while facing challenging times (hello 2020 🤪).

Let’s get to it!  This week we’re talking about KINDNESS!  

SCRIPTURE:

Proverbs 11:17 Your kindness will reward you, but your cruelty will destroy you.
Luke 6:31 Do to others as you would like them to do to you.


REFLECTION:

It used to be that if you didn’t have anything nice to say, you said nothing at all, or so we were told.  In 2020 it feels like no one has anything nice to say and they say it all the time.  People have become embolden, almost brazen, in their meanness.  

To be honest, the lack of kindness toward other human beings was a motivating factor in the creation of the Fruit of the Spirit Challenge.  A massive shift occured this year – we went from living in our little bubbles to staring day in and day out at disease numbers, political unrest, racial tension, and inequities in healthcare and education.  Our news outlets and social media feeds are peppered with division across a broad range of critically important current events.

Everyone feels like they must take a stand, have a position, voice their opinion, speak up, be heard! At some point though, we’re all just filling the space with noise.  We aren’t listening, caring, or helping one another as we should.  We aren’t digging into our hearts for compassion; we’re laying into people with our words of division.  By participating in the negative noise, we are perpetuating it.  

Here is a perfect example.  Today I was looking at something on Facebook.  There was a negative comment on the post that I disagreed with – not the content of the words, just the fact that the person felt the need to type the negativity.  I almost clicked the angry face and asked the person a question. 

I refrained.  I chose to pray for my own patience and kindness and I kept scrolling.  Listen, it isn’t going to stop.  It isn’t going away.  People are angrier than they have ever been and sure, they have every right to be, people have every right to have their own opinion and share it.  But what gives us all the right to treat each other badly because of the difference of opinion?  What gives us the right to be out right mean?  Why do we feel compelled to explain our side, give them a piece of our mind?  SPOILER ALERT: we aren’t all supposed to be the same.  Our differences keep us open, learning, and growing.  Our differences ask us to look at the world through a different lense, explore our own beliefs, and narrow in on who we are as individuals.

The only way to get closer to kindness is to CHOOSE KINDESS amidst difference.  

Sometimes I am lucky enough to go on a date with my dad (p.s. Dad it’s been too long!) We talk for hours and I love it. I always take away more than he does because he is wise and has read more books than anyone I’ve ever met.  On one such date he shared a Stephen R. Covey quote:
 

“𝑀𝑜𝓈𝓉 𝓅𝑒𝑜𝓅𝓁𝑒 𝒹𝑜 𝓃𝑜𝓉 𝓁𝒾𝓈𝓉𝑒𝓃 𝓌𝒾𝓉𝒽 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝒾𝓃𝓉𝑒𝓃𝓉 𝓉𝑜 𝓊𝓃𝒹𝑒𝓇𝓈𝓉𝒶𝓃𝒹;
𝓉𝒽𝑒𝓎 𝓁𝒾𝓈𝓉𝑒𝓃 𝓌𝒾𝓉𝒽 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝒾𝓃𝓉𝑒𝓃𝓉 𝓉𝑜 𝓇𝑒𝓅𝓁𝓎.”

 

Keep this quote front of mind as you engage in conversations. Listening is essential to kindness. Choosing kindness in 2020 looks very much like:

  • Listening without personal motive
  • Caring for each other instead of tearing each other down
  • Being open, honest, and thoughtful
  • Respecting and accepting other people just as they are
  • Electing not to engage with negativity

The absolute beauty of it all is that what you put out into the world is what comes back to you. Keep pushing forward with kindness, keep on the path Luke recommends and kindness will surely come back to you.  


ACTION CHALLENGE:
This week I’ve removed the “social media challenge” and rather ask you to take action by walking through your week choosing kindness – hold doors, smile, LISTEN, and learn from the people in your world. Set an example of kindness and reap the rewards that only love can provide.

Fruit of the Spirit: Patience

Welcome to week 4 of the MaverickRx Fruit of the Spirit Challenge! Two weeks back we talked about peace and how hard it is to remain at peace during times of struggle.

Remember to join us on Thursday at 8:15 a.m. on Facebook to share your thoughts and find a little inspiration, too.

Let’s get to it!  This week we’re talking about PATIENCE!  

SCRIPTURE:

Romans 12:12

“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”


REFLECTION:

We live in a now culture.  One in which everyone wants immediate action, immediate solutions, immediate plans. We email and text people expecting an immediate response. We expect everything to happen exactly as we want. We want traffic to move out of our way, everyone to stay in their own lane, mind their own business, don’t create any problems. We expect smooth sailing, instant, easy breezy lives.  

The fact is, life is hard and challenging. Yet, it is our choice to sit in that hard place with a negative mindset, grumbling about circumstances.  It is our choice to lose our temper in a fit of road rage, over the fridge going out, the internet moving slow, or the children not behaving. Scripture teaches us that the tribulations we see in life present us with teachable moments in the art of patience – God’s endurance training, so to speak.

We all have struggles, big or small. The fact is, we don’t know other people’s struggles. We are called to show up for friends and strangers alike with patience and empathy.  Rather than grumbling over negative circumstances, ask for patience and dial into gratitude.

In Romans, Paul asks us to be “patient in tribulation”. To take action with patience is to wait in prayer.  Talk to God, dump the entirety of your troubles on Him. Lean in while showing compassion for other humans around you – the kids, the spouse, the boss, even the driver in the car next to you. Be gentle with each other as you would like God to be gentle with you.    

SOCIAL MEDIA CHALLENGE:

Tag @MaverickRx in a post inspired by patience on Facebook this week; share something with us that reminds you how much easier life is when we trust God.

Fruit of the Spirit Challenge: Peace

This evening we’re stepping into our third week with the MaverickRx Fruit of the Spirit Challenge. We’re hopeful that you’ve been able to take a pause with each email so far and think about how the fruits can positively impact your mindset. Last week we talked about joy and how it nurtures our relationship with God.  

Remember to join us on Thursday at 8:15 a.m. on Facebook to share your thoughts and get a little inspired, too.

Let’s get to it!  This week we’re talking about PEACE!  

SCRIPTURE:

Luke 1: 78-79 New Living Translation (NLT)
Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.”


REFLECTION:

We experience times in life when we feel like God really came through for us, don’t we?  A prayer was answered, a child healed, a marriage renewed, a sunset enjoyed. Those times we fall comfortably into God’s peace and feel at ease.

Then there are the hard times when we feel as though we are very alone, lacking direction, hearing no answers, or not in control.  In those times, when we feel hopeless we have to choose to lean into God as much as possible – to seek his peace, deliberately reminding ourselves of the good work he has done and will most certainly do again.

A few weeks ago Rhonda came to my Pilates class and we were talking about the upcoming weekend. Her mind was in a whirlwind – because she had a lot on her plate in a single day: softball games, relatives visiting, packing grandparents for a move.  We talked about how it will all “work out as it should” and I encouraged her to just take one step at a time.  (Something she’s told me a gazillion times!)  Saturday came around and the games were rained out, the visiting relatives changed their plans, and all she ended up needing to work on was moving her grandparents.  

In the moments when we feel overwhelmed, Rhonda and I often remind each other of the times when things just “work out as they should”.  It rarely goes as we expect it to go, but it always goes as it should.  In hindsight it is plain to see. But in the moment, it requires deliberate choice to be at peace with not being in control.  

How Many Hats do Moms Wear?

Do you ever feel like you wear a million hats? We certainly do. From driver to maid to chef, moms (and dads, too!) wear a lot of hats. We often feel overwhelmed by all the jobs we have. While we are beyond grateful to be moms, sometimes it is just heavy work.

Every day we turn to our faith for strength and to stay centered; when we feel overwhelmed by the worry, the to-do list, or the laundry our faith plays a major role. Truly, I never knew worry the way I now know worry. The worry of motherhood is consuming and truly, there is no end in sight. I remember when I first had my daughter I mentioned not sleeping to my mom. She was honest and said, “yeah…. that’s gone until she leaves the house for good…not college, that’s even worse, but for good – when she’s on her own.” I was like “Wait…what?” Truly though, the weight of motherhood isn’t one that anyone shares before a person becomes a mom.

I often feel like we do a disservice to our comrades by not communicating the truth of parenting. We glorify parenthood, because it is glorious, but in so doing we fail to prepare future parents for the reality of job. Parenthood is 24/7/365 – unlike any other role. You are never off the clock, you are never without the hat of being a mother. You might be off enjoying your first girls weekend away after having a baby thinking, “Yes! I can chill!” And then you get a call that your eight month old daughter has croup and will likely need to be hospitalized. So you and your supportive friends quickly pack up the car and bust ass back home so you can be there for your kid. Because, while chilling with girlfriends is essential and so great – in your heart, as a mother, there is no better place to be than at home taking care of the kids that you created.

When all that weight and reality of our emotions connected with the jobs and hats of motherhood feels like too much – lean in. Lean into God, lean in to your husband, lean into family and friends, and lean into the role. Pray and ask for strength, and it will be given. Pray and ask for help, and it will be given. But never assume that anyone just knows you need help – even your husband or own mother – you must reach out. Don’t let yourself drown in the weight of the work and worry. If you’re wearing the driver hat too often and need a break – speak up. If you’re overwhelmed by the dishes, the yard, the cleaning, the cooking – you have to speak up for yourself and ask for help.

Leaning into God when motherhood feels heavy is legitimately the only way I ever get through any of it. He has big enough shoulders for all of your worries and strength to spare when you need it. Take a breath, step outside, and raise yourself up and ask Him for help.

You got this, mama. You. Got. This.

To hear a few verses that lift us when we struggle with the weight of parenting, watch our latest episode on YouTube! We share the ten hats we’re rotating through the most and the scripture that helps us power up for the day!

Much Love To You.

MAV