Sunday, December 12, 2010

:: Kindness and Goodness Fruit ::

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control..." - Galatians 5:22-23

We started talking about the fruits of the Spirit in the summer. I had every intention of tackling one per week, but it is December and we have yet to finish going through them all. Thankfully, there is no timeline on learning and we have had some great experiences walking through these character traits -- character traits we will be working for a lifetime. We have talked about LOVE, JOY, PEACE, and PATIENCE which leads us to KINDNESS and GOODNESS.
We decided to combine kindness and goodness as they seem to go hand in hand. These two are common words in our house. If you spend any time with me and my children, one thing you will most likely hear is me asking my children (over and over and over again) to be kind. Kindness is so important to me. So important in fact, that the day I found out that Analise was going to be a girl, one of the first things I prayed was that she would be a great friend to others and that she would be a kind girl -- and she is. When we sat down to write on the back of our 'fruit', this is what she came up with.
While the things listed above don't happen every day, both Analise and Jameson are good at reminding one another to be kind. Just the other day I heard the following conversation

J: "Be kind Lisi! You not being kind to me Lisi!"
A: "No Jameson, you aren't giving me what I want and you are supposed be kind because I am your sister and you love me." - (as she proceeds to rip the car he is holding out of his hands)
J: (a loud growling scream)
A: "Thanks for the car Jameson. It was kind of you to give it to me."
J: "NO LISI! I did NOT give it to you." (whining) "You give it to me NOW!!"
A: "Be kind Jameson. Let me have it."
J: (shaking finger and pointing with great fervor) "No Lisi. You no take car from me! You need to be KIND!" (as he proceeds to rip car from her hands...and mother enters to mediate)
So, while they may not get it quite right all of the time, it is clear that they understand the meaning of the words. This has been very evident, not only watching them interact with one another and their friends, but how they perceive what is around them. We were coming out of the grocery store the other day, saw a Salvation Army gal ringing her bell, and the following took place:

J: "What that girl doing?
A: "She is ringing a bell."
J: "Why?"
Me: "Well...they are collecting money for those who have less than..."
A: (before I could finish) "Jameson. It is to help people and helping people is good because it helps them. Remember what we wrote on our fruit Jameson? It is good to love other people and to give to them too. Mom, can we ask her if she wants to give that money to us? That would be good!"
Me: "Um...that's not quite how it works..."
All of this to say, though there are many times I shake my head and chuckle with unbelief, it warms my heart when I see them 'getting it' and putting it into practice. We do have to reset, review, and remember what these fruits really mean, but that is all part of the learning process right? So far, I have two very kind and good little people in my life and I am learning from them all the time!


Steph said...

SO ADORABLE. and wonderful.

Janelle said...

I love this Nini! I will definitely be "stealing" this idea in a few months when Kyleigh is ready. Your a wonderful, thoughtful and committed mom!

Erin said...

Great to read the fruit lesson, as always! Keep on keeping on!

Stephanie said...

Such sweet photos! I love these little lessons that you are doing with Analise (Do you ever call her Ana?).

I'm constantly reminding my girls to "show kindness" throughout the week...

MamaMia said...

I love the way you are bringing these concepts into your home (and the verbatim conversations between your kids are priceless)!
Merry Christmas!