Here are the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
I've got love, if love is a bursting feeling of gladness and blessing. If it's putting you before me, I've got it, too, some of the times, when I change your diaper and feed you cinnamon toast. But lots of times, when I need a nap and you want to do a puzzle, I don't.
I've got joy, if joy is looking at your three faces sleeping in one bed in the camper. But if it's remembering God's goodness even when the yard is long and dry and the laundry is three feet high, sometimes joy is in short supply.
I've got peace, if peace is knowing that we're all in the palm of God's hand. But if it's the real hard work of casting off anxiety about my dad's Parkinson's disease and my growing up girls, peace can be hard to come by.
I've got a little patience. I don't snap when you ask me for a treat the first time, but sometimes, when I hear "Mommy, can I," for the hundredth time, I forget the millions of second chances I've gotten and not deserved.
I've got some kindness, but less than I used to have. I'll still stop for a turtle in the road, but I've got little left for my own two cats, in whose company I see only more fur, more food, more scratched carpet.
I've got some goodness, but it doesn't come easy.
Faithfulness is easy in marriage. It's hard in doing the laundry and keeping the bathtub clean. It's even harder in making dinner every night. Sometimes faithlessness looks like a mess on the closet floor.
Gentleness isn't so hard when it comes to your little faces. It's harder with your husband, though his feelings are probably just as tender as yours. Lots of times my tongue is like a Colorado wild fire.
I don't see much self-control in my too-tight pants and the snooze button. I'm a bruised reed, but I'm still fighting to stand up straight.
Lord, give me a taste for what is good. Make selfishness bitter in my mouth and Your fruit sweet on my tongue.