Monday, October 24, 2011

Fruit of the Spirit

This post is completely raw and an open view into my heart. I needed to write it for myself. I want something to document the changes in my life and to hold me accountable. 

Saturday we had a free cupcake day at work. Needless to say, it was a long 12 hour work day for me that started at 6am.
Justin and I were having a heart to heart that night. He had said something several weeks ago but it wasn't until that conversation that it really hit me. Hard. He told me that I had lost my sweet spirit. Honestly, it floored me. He didn't mean it in a mean or callous way. He said it gently and in a way of keeping me accountable, something I definitely need. But it hurt. A lot. Over the last several months I have changed and it was so gradual I hadn't even noticed. It is so embarrassing to admit but I have been less than pleasant company. I know I am quick to get angry, beyond impatient, ridiculously nit-picky and flat out over-opinionated and rude. I wasn't happy and because I wasn't happy I was snapping on anyone and anything in reach. I seriously cried for hours on Saturday night. I don't want to push away the people I love and care about. I don't want to isolate myself because of my miserable countenance. What in the world was wrong with me? Why have I become like that?

Looking back on it I think it started when I decided I needed to pick up a second job. Through the entire past year I have been trusting in God's faithfulness and His promise to provide. He had shown it occasion after occasion. Yet I took things in my own hands and took on a second job, working 2-3 12 hour overnight shifts. It wore me out physically, mentally and emotionally. And it went down hill from there. My quiet time became non-existent with my insane schedule. I became ill and irritable. My priorities weren't straight and my heart was definitely in the wrong place. The last several days have been beyond humbling. I realized that I had become a person I didn't want to be. My parents hadn't raised me to be controlling, impatient, irritable, demanding, stressed, worrisome... I could go on and on. I sat down Saturday night trying to figure out what Justin had meant about my "sweet spirit". I didn't get it at all. After much prayer and digging into the word, I realized where I had strayed and what my character and countenance has been lacking. I've started studying each of the Fruits of the Spirit and the characteristics of love individually. God has much work to do in my heart, but my eyes, ears and heart are open. I want so desperately to be happy and content again. I want my faith to be stronger, my life to be what it should be. 

Galations 5:22-23
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

1 Corinthians 13: 4-8b4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails...

I started with patience. I know it is something that I have always struggled with. It's already been a really humbling, eye-opening experience. 

Despite knowing what all needs to change and how far I have strayed from where I need to be, today has been one of the most peace-filled and content days I have had in a long time. I started off my morning early, around 5:30am, with prayer and more praying while I was showering. I actually took the time to make my bed up, a very rare occurrence. Strange how something so simple can make you feel a little more put together. HA. I then got to have a good quiet time and sharing with my mom via text messages. She always knows exactly what I need to hear. I can never explain to her how much I appreciate her wisdom and understanding. I worked 9-4:30 and ran some errands before hitting the gym. I made it home and I wasn't ready for dinner so I decided to work on my personal planner I've been creating and attempt at gluing some of my puzzles together. Then I had a yummy dinner of Parmesan pesto tilapia and green beans. Healthy and delicious. I know it doesn't sound like much but you know the biggest thing. I smiled the whole day. Not one thing bothered or irritated me and I didn't lose patience at all. All little steps but it was so refreshing and did my heart good to know that change is possible and it is going to be amazing. I feel refreshed and renewed... and very hopeful. 


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