The Fruit

I have two sons, George and Oliver. They are strong-willed, sensitive, wild and crazy. They wrestle, fight, and call each other names. While I am writing this to you, Oliver is shooting nerf darts at my back and George is reading over my shoulder. To assure George I am not just writing about their poor behavior, I told him that the good stuff was coming next. He laughed and said, “Oh no mom, that is the good stuff.”  Seriously? I cannot make these things up, Ha!

Not only do I just mother these crazy boys, God spoke clearly to me four years ago to homeschool them. I wrestled with it at first, but after I found a free desk while on a bike ride and a sweet mom dropped off an entire kindergarten curriculum all in the same week, I said yes. It has not been an easy journey, but when God has us do something, He provides….

A few years ago, I made a sign with nine little cursive words that have made a big impact in my mothering. Love Joy Peace Patience Kindness Goodness Faithfulness Gentleness and Self-Control. Galatians 5:16 tells us to live by the Spirit and we will not gratify the desires of the flesh. These nine words are what our lives will be filled with if we walk in His Spirit. While talking with a good friend about parenting and homeschool over breakfast, she reminded me that when our flesh wants to take over, ask God to take that away and ask for the good fruit instead. This seems like a simple concept, but it made such a great impact on me. Why do I forget that we have access to this goodness twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week? Thinking of the sign hanging in my living room, I decided to try something new. I remember asking George to arrange the alphabet from beginning to end, and he had an absolute meltdown when I said I would time him. I felt it, that blood boiling, frustrating, wanting to shout, “just do it!” Instead, I went to my living room, I sat in front of that sign with the little cursive words, and I said, “God, all I feel is anger and frustration. I know I have self-control and gentleness in here, please help me to say no to my flesh and help me access the fruit that you offer, Amen.” My heart changed in that moment, and I felt peace. I took a deep breath and went back to the classroom. I was thankful for the reset, and pleasantly surprised by how smoothly the remainder of our day went.

I began to teach my boys the same principal of walking in the Spirit. When I see their little flesh rising, you know what I’m talking about, I bring them to the living room and say, what fruit do we want to hang on our branches today? It is fun to hear their answers, and most often, they know exactly which one they are struggling with. We pray together and ask God’s Spirit to take the place of those fleshy parts, and then back to school we go. We have fun with it, but most importantly, it brings more peace to our school days and teaches the boys the power and fruit of His Spirit. 

Now let me not fool you, I wish I could access this all the time, but I simply don’t. There are days I’m tired, or hungry or I just don’t feel like I can be patient and kind. I believe that is okay, the good thing is, I know the more I desire the things of the Spirit, the less my flesh wants to take over. I like choosing joy over anxiety, peace over frustration, kindness over anger and I want to reflect the heart of Jesus as best I know how, fully recognizing the sin and flesh that so easily entangles us. I hope this helps you, as it has helped me, and remember that God smiles upon your mothering and He is cheering you on!   

 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-25

Published by Emily Rodewald

Emily is a writer and worship leader. She has written several worship songs, she is a co-author or two children's books and has begun writing about the light of Jesus in her blog at She is a co-founder of Parallel Ministries and a mom of two boys, George and Oliver. She has been married for 13 years to the man of her dreams, Daniel. She and her family live in beautiful Montana where they enjoy taking the boys fishing, going on adventures, and renovating their new home.

2 thoughts on “The Fruit

  1. Such a good help. All of us need ways to help us stay on course. I think you are doing a good job. Rah, rah, keep up the good work.


  2. Thank you for this story and lesson! I needed it right in this moment. I’ve been struggling with patiently waiting on God for a promise He gave me a long time ago to be fulfilled. This encouraged me with exactly what I need to do to move forward.
    Thank you, Emily!! Love your sweet, loving spirit!


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