Fruit of the Spirit:Goodness

Today we kick off week 6 of the MaverickRx Fruit of the Spirit Challenge.  Please try 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 kindness; we discussed how our differences can help us grow, the value of listening, and a few tips on what kindness looks like in 2020.

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

SCRIPTURE:

Matthew 5:16
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.


DEFINITION OF GOODNESS:
1the quality or state of being good
2: used interjectionally or in phrases especially to express mild surprise or shock oh, my goodness! goodness knows
3the nutritious, flavorful, or beneficial part of something


REFLECTION:
It never ceases to amaze me how one of my devotional readings each morning is on point.  I think of it as divine inspiration.  On Sunday morning one of my favorite devotional books, Wake Up to Hope, by Joel and Victoria Osteen shared an insightful devotion on goodness.  “We all have an assignment.  You could say that we all have a ministry.  It may not be up in front of people.  It may not be to go overseas and be a missionary. Our ministry starts by being good to people.” Goodness is an action – it is our behavior.

When it comes to goodness, I think about circles of influence:


We have the ability to directly control only a small portion of our lives.  We can choose our behavior within our circle of control.  Tthese are things that exist within me – my attitude, my behavior, my mood.  I can control how I treat my family – I can control myself.  The circle of influence is the next level, all the other relationships – family, neighbors, coworkers.  The circle of concern is the parts of life that I am aware of and interested in but has less direct impact on my life.

For instance, I can control how I treat myself.  How good I am to me.  It is why I have spent twelve years in fitness.  I have one body, I better take care of it.  I have one mind, I’d better nurture it.  By being good to myself, I am better equipped to share goodness with the next circle of influence: my family, friends, community.  I can also control my behavior, choose kindness.  I can control how I talk to my children.  How I treat my husband when he walks in the door.  I can set an example of goodness for others to see and by doing so help guide their path to goodness, too.

Imagine if all circles of control radiated goodness.  What do you think the circle of concern would look like?  As Osteen writes, we all have a ministry.  It is to be good.  When we each take the time to be good to one another it has a trickle effect through the circles of influence.  What do you want your trickle effect to look like?  How do you want to make people feel?  

I have a quote on my bulletin board that inspires me everyday:

“๐“‘๐“ฎ ๐“ผ๐“ธ๐“ถ๐“ฎ๐“ซ๐“ธ๐“ญ๐”‚ ๐”€๐“ฑ๐“ธ ๐“ถ๐“ช๐“ด๐“ฎ๐“ผ ๐“ฎ๐“ฟ๐“ฎ๐“ป๐”‚๐“ซ๐“ธ๐“ญ๐”‚ ๐“ฏ๐“ฎ๐“ฎ๐“ต ๐“ต๐“ฒ๐“ด๐“ฎ ๐“ผ๐“ธ๐“ถ๐“ฎ๐“ซ๐“ธ๐“ญ๐”‚.”
 

It might be in the very small moment between getting from the car to bed after a long day of baseball games, around the breakfast table, during a board meeting, while helping a neighbor clean up his yard after a storm – but your decision to be good has an impact.  You might not see it.  Trust me, it is there.  You make a difference.  

ACTION CHALLENGE:
Again this week I ask you to take action by walking through your week choosing to be good within your circles of influence. Remember you make an impact just by being YOU!  

Fruit of the Spirit Challege: Kindness

We are half way through the MaverickRx Fruit of the Spirit Challenge.ย  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 toย join us Thursday at 8:30 for our Facebook discussionย of this week’s topic.ย ย 

In case you missed it,ย last week we talked about patience.ย  We explored how difficult it is to be patient while living in a “now culture” and while facing challenging timesย (hello 2020 ๐Ÿคช).

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

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:
 

โ€œ๐‘€๐‘œ๐“ˆ๐“‰ ๐“…๐‘’๐‘œ๐“…๐“๐‘’ ๐’น๐‘œ ๐“ƒ๐‘œ๐“‰ ๐“๐’พ๐“ˆ๐“‰๐‘’๐“ƒ ๐“Œ๐’พ๐“‰๐’ฝ ๐“‰๐’ฝ๐‘’ ๐’พ๐“ƒ๐“‰๐‘’๐“ƒ๐“‰ ๐“‰๐‘œ ๐“Š๐“ƒ๐’น๐‘’๐“‡๐“ˆ๐“‰๐’ถ๐“ƒ๐’น;
๐“‰๐’ฝ๐‘’๐“Ž ๐“๐’พ๐“ˆ๐“‰๐‘’๐“ƒ ๐“Œ๐’พ๐“‰๐’ฝ ๐“‰๐’ฝ๐‘’ ๐’พ๐“ƒ๐“‰๐‘’๐“ƒ๐“‰ ๐“‰๐‘œ ๐“‡๐‘’๐“…๐“๐“Ž.โ€

 

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.

The 90/10 rule

“I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you…we are in charge of our attitudes.โ€
โ€• Charles Swindoll

Yesterday I was driving home, listening to the audible verison of the book Everything is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo and she referenced this quote. I hit the clip and made a note. I do this from time to time when I come across a bit of a book that I am reading that I want to share with you.

I got home and my furnace was out and I quickly employed the 90/10 rule. We did our best all night to keep the house warm, kiddos covered in blankets, and everyone made it comfortably sleeping the night away. When I got in bed the 90/10 idea struck me again as I reflected on a homeless couple I had seen on Sunday in the city. They were bundled up together in a doorway on Washington and Clark. Two bodies snuggled under a heavy mountain of blankets.

I prayed: Thank you, Lord. I am grateful for the roof over my head.

I woke up this morning and started getting ready for work and the kiddos moving for school. I warmed up my shower and ran into the kids bathroom to grab a roll of toilet paper. When I walked in Clay said, “Mom watch this!” He exhaled so that I could see his breath. It struck me b/c that bathroom has some pipe issues; it registered and I thought oh no! I tried to turn on the bathtub. Nada. Frozen.

I grabbed a hairdryer and started to heat up the pipes. The kids ran around and dripped all of the faucets and I called The Hubs. While we were on the phone creating a plan, the pipe burst spraying me in the face and water everywhere. If you’ve ever seen a pipe burst, it really is quite comical. It sprays forcefully – all over the place with no set direction – just randomly hitting here and there, high and low, left and right. Like a lose hose on full blast, attacking you with water. I ran to the basement and turned the water off while the kids hurried around to grab towels and clean up the sopping mess. I swore A LOT and REAL LOUD because when something goes terribly wrong that is what I do. The louder the better. It is cathartic.

Then once the chaose settled, the 90/10 rule struck me again. I tell you this because maybe you’re having a shitty day. Maybe it has been a shitty week or month or year. And maybe you don’t want to employ the 90/10 rule; but, I think believe there is real value in it. Shitty times pass, and they pass faster with the right attitude. A positive attitude can make even the worst of times feel less heavy. I pray a lot (read: all day long) and try as hard as I can to stay in communication with God because he helps me to carry the load of mom worry while staying focused on our big dreams, too. And the 90/10 rule aligns with the teachings I’ve read in the Bible.

Mind you, I can appreciate feeling down. I can embrace it even. When I feel bad, I let it happen. I’m not over here smiling through shit all day, every day. When my daughter is sad, the first thing I suggest is to GET IT OUT. Cry and write it all down, scream it all out loud. But put emotions to it, put words to it and then give it over to God to carry while you address the mascara running down your face. Maybe those days are many and maybe those days are few, but either way, let them be what they are. Because it is ok to feel bad.

I just don’t recommend sitting in it for long.

I believe the 90/10 rule is true and I’m exited to read Swindoll’s book, The Grace Awakening after I finish Marie’s book, Everything is Figureoutable, which I totally recommend.

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