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By Elisabeth Corcoran
I have the tendency to wish I would grow in a certain area of my life, to not do anything tangible about it, and then to kick myself when growth didn't magically happen. This year, I knew I had to be intentional about my spiritual growth. I know myself too well. If left to my own devices, and to do what I wanted with my "free" time, I would watch tv or lay on the couch with a magazine, or whittle away the minutes online, or go shopping for no real reason. None of these things are horrible in and of themselves, but the time that they chip away at the life God has given me can really add up.
So I prayerfully decided that this year, I wanted to work my way through the fruit of the Spirit, tackling one fruit a month (and taking the summer months off because we all know how summers just seem to have a different rhythm to them). "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control." (Galatians 5:22-23a) I am choosing to go in order, and love was the first one I'm reflecting on. I didn't just want to sit and think about love every day for ten minutes --- though that probably wouldn't hurt! --- so I came up with an action plan for the month, and I'll share it with you here:
Love: affection for God and others
Pray that my:
To some of you, this may seem rather silly and basic. Some of you might be thinking, she has to plan to show her husband affection or play a game with her son? Yes, I do. And you want to know why? Because I am so very human and can be so very selfish and know that if I weren't intentional about some of these things, they remain good intentions only and not the fulfilled desires that I have for myself to become better at simply showing love to God and other people.
So, Moms, what do you need to do? What changes do you need to make? What area of your life have you been sweeping under the rug, but you know is in need of some attention? Sit down sometime this week and write out three things --- that's all! --- three things that you want to be different in your life one year from now. Then prayerfully come up with a few small, doable steps to reach those goals. Let's make 2005 a year for growth --- not just for us, but for our children, our marriages, and God.
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