Monday and we actually have sun!

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We had a full and fun weekend that culminated with us falling in a heap with blankets and books last night and has me moving slowly this morning. 

Thankful for getting to wrap my arms around these two lovely ladies yesterday

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and then seeing this guy via What’s app video

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…so all in all….best weekend ever.

Since we were going to hear the boys sing up north on Sunday, Russ and I attended our church service Saturday night to hear the end of the Nine Fruits of the Spirit series. 

It was all very good and helpful until the last part when things got a little dicey. 

Because our pastor presented us with a challenge to review again the list of the fruits of the flesh…Galatians 5: 19-21….and note our “signature tendency.”

Well, true to my excessive nature, I had four. You know…go big or go home, right?

Then he challenged us to look at that and make a decision to let God take control and surrender that tendency to Him so that He can transform us and start growing and developing more of HIS fruit in us. 

He offered us to join him in a prayer that he had the tech team put up on the screen and I give Wayne credit for knowing his flock well. 

He had us read through it once and pause a second to think before we just prayed it. 

And I will tell you…in that split second after I read through what he was asking us to pray, I debated not praying it. 

I know God answers the kind of prayer we were being invited into. 

It was a prayer asking God to put us in situations and circumstances where our bent towards flesh would be displayed clearly so that we could then surrender in the circumstance and let Him have His way with us so that we could grow in our godly response of exhibiting love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. 

Yes…exaclty.

A complete mind set shift from my whole life goal. 

My thought here has always been to ask God to help me avoid situations that test me in these areas.

It seems to me that we could develop a pretty solid character portfolio for my life if God just cleared the path from all those annoying situations where my flesh rises up and has a hey day. 

But no. 

All of a sudden my pastor, who happens to also be a good friend who has eaten around my table and attended family stuff and knows me very well…is asking me to ask God to….

orchestrate situations for me to encounter where I stand a good chance of failing miserably. 

Feeling somewhat like I would if I had just been locked into a restrictive chair so that I could be whirled through a living nightmare Batman Ride at Six Flags, I prayed the prayer knowing I was going to need a heavy duty dose of yoking with Jesus as soon as we said the amen…I prayed the prayer. 

And just to make sure I knew what I had committed to, I wrote these words based on his final exhortation….

Expect to see places where my bent will arise and I can choose at those moments to live under the control of the Holy Spirit – walk in step with the Spirit IN the struggle with the temptation. Expect to find places to grow. 

So here we go people. 

I have never wanted a tattoo but am considering writing in permanent marker on my hand…so I can see it all this week…

You asked for this, Laura…now…choose the Spirit…and grow.

Because it wasn’t five minutes after I prayed it that God answered and He has just continued to abundantly give me opportunities.

The way I am doing it is I literally imagine I have my arm hooked through Jesus arm. Like little kids walk together sometimes side by side.

And you know what…I kind of love it. <3