Moments for Mom: An Action Plan for Spiritual Growth
- Elisabeth K. Corcoran Author
- 2005 1 Jan
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
• Each night, read and think on I Corinthians 13 (from The Message)
• Read from Naked Fruit, chapter on love
• Bible study on Love
Pray that my:
• heart will love God more than anyone else, especially myself
• heart will love Jesus as God loves Jesus
• heart will soften and fill with love for Kevin, Sara & Jack (my husband and kids)
• attitude towards friends, family, co-workers, and fellow Blackberry Creekers (my church) will be self-sacrificing
• heart will see lost people as God sees them
• I will make the choice, just once, to read the Bible or pray during one of the times I go to lay on the couch and turn on the television
• I will make the choice to ask Kevin one morning if there is anything I can do for him during the day
• I will show Kevin more affection, at home and in public
• I will hold my tongue and eye-rolling and sighing one time when he asks me for a favor
• I will take Sara out for lunch
• I will play games with Jack
• I will ask my boss if there is anything I can do for him
• I will ask a co-worker if there is anything I can do for her
• I will leave my church to-do list home on Sundays, and just be available to talk with people without an agenda
• I will call, email or write a note to each of my friends this month
• I will compliment a stranger on something tangible and for no reason
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 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.
© Elisabeth K. Corcoran, 2005
Elisabeth K. Corcoran is the author of Calm in My Chaos: Encouragement for a Mom's Weary Soul. She is wife to Kevin, and mom to Sara, 8, and Jack, 6 and 1/2. Her passion is encouraging women and she fulfills that through heading up the Women's Ministries on staff at Blackberry Creek Community Church in Aurora, IL and writing and speaking as much as she can. Calm in My Chaos (2001) can be purchased directly through her publisher, Kregel Publications at #1-888-644-0500 or www.kregel.com, at amazon.com, or through your local Christian bookstore. This article is original and not excerpted from her book.