The fruit of the spirit is a good measure of my Christian walk.
In my experience, these are the goals of a “decent” Believer. Personally, I have muddied the waters – er, fruit basket, berating myself for my lacking in this area or that.
Primarily, patience, I lack patience. Granted it’s not really my fault, it’s because I live with crazy people. People that lack common sense and provoke scenarios that motivate me to lose my mind and say things I regret, kind of. Also, I lack self-control because I love Cheezits and Reeses Peanut Butter Cups – also Chardonnay.
Until my sister, Stacey Todd and I started the discussion on our podcast, The Easy Wife I would have told you I had a deep grasp on the fruits of the spirit. If I knew nothing else, I knew these things. I knew what I had mastered and I knew what I was lacking.
And we fully intended on skipping over “FORBEARANCE” cause what is that? Probably patience… or some kind of tolerance. Or the current status of my student loans. I am a displaced, jaded, and confused non-committed Republican who is purposefully following Jesus around begging Him to show me how to support all six or seven, maybe eight of my children, who now have their own ideas, their own passions, and their own convictions… that were not mine.
But then, we thought it ignorant not to look closer, so we did.
Forbearance: self-denial, sacrifice, back-bone, submission, commitment, to stay the course.
That is me.
That is the essence of my existence, not to my political party or Weight Watchers… but to everything else, I am forbearance.
As a car pulls out of my driveway with my “foster” daughter inside… I deny myself and wait to collapse on the shower floor and sob the cries of the brokenhearted.
You can have new tennis shoes, I can wait.
You first, not me.
I stand up for the little guy, oh, and I submit… you are wrong about my son.
I have grit. I have backbone. Don’t you dare say the love I feel for those I birthed is different than those I mother?
I would die just the same.
My commitment to the crusts cut off, secret rubber sheets, and all things weird – the belief in who they are and what they will be is not impacted by the jackass stunts they have pulled… or planned. You don’t know them, don’t pretend you do.
I sat up all night and prayed as my baby climbed the last miles of the Crucible… and became a Marine.
I sat on the bathroom floor and prayed that Jesus would help me let go of a baby girl voice saying… “bye-bye mommy!” but never to forget the warmth of her body or the smell of her hair.
You can’t fathom what I understand about these people that call me mom.
You can’t comprehend what I would do to support them.
I am forbearance.
And if it is just tolerance or a delay in payment… I am that too.
Before they spoke, took a step, or messed up… I stood by them. Here I still stand.
To the mom – the broken, betrayed, step, adoptive, god, auntie, grand, great-grand, foster, adoptive, and twice removed – you are forbearance.
Among my favorite Grace teachings, there is one that always stands out. Andrew Farley always says, “An apple tree doesn’t try to make apples, it just does.”
And while I may wrestle with my ability to say no to chocolate covered peanut butter and all things chilled and 2012 (an excellent year in Napa), the greater truth is, I have yelled “I WILL KICK YOUR FREAKING LUNG OUT!” seven times today and… I am forbearance.
I am: self-denial, sacrifice, back-bone, submission, commitment, and I have done nothing if I haven’t stayed the course.
I have given up my last chicken nugget, my dignity and my core beliefs… to try and be and understand everything about these humans, that call me mom.
No, I needn’t try to manifest forbearance.
An apple tree just produces apples.
A mom just produces forbearance.
It is the nature of who we are.
May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained. Love, Jami
God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood–to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—Romans 3:25
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