{Part One} Nurturing the Fruit of the Spirit: You Can’t Rush Love

Life changing lessons often come quietly, don’t they?

As I rode into fourth place in our bicycle train, eight wheels flew along the sidewalk and people in cars smiled. Neighbours waved and dogs sniffed. Trees rustled in the breeze as the last sunbeams fell beneath the horizon. It was the perfect night for a family bike ride!

But our smoothly paved trail quickly turned in a rocky, bumpy one and suddenly Tiny Daughter {still on training wheels} fell behind. She panicked, as do little girls {and boys, too, for that matter}, and cried out for us to not ‘leave her in the dust!’

I slowed my pace to match her pace, which had become painfully slow. So slow, in fact, that I kept losing my balance. {Because you can only go just so slow on a bicycle without [ahem] falling off.}  While issuing phrases of encouragement to Tiny Daughter such as “See, you can do it!” and “Wow, look at you go!” I picked up my pace and sailed by her, hoping my words of praise would magically help her pick up speed and keep up with the rest of us.

Her shrill cries brought me back to reality. In a flash I felt frustrated.

What was supposed to be a fun family bike outing was turning into a  ‘drama maintenance’ session with our four year old.

The book I’ve been reading suddenly showed up in my heart’s eye…”Loving The Way Jesus Loves” by Phil Ryker. Oh friends, it’s so convicting. Like my heart is God’s garden and He’s taking a cultivator through the furrows and turning up the soil. Planting new seeds of a deeper love for Him, for others. Stopping me in my tracks throughout my days’ situations and saying, “Leah, THIS is what I’m talking about.”

Part of change is recognizing where and when we need to change, isn’t it?

Change comes when we push the pause button on our mechanical lives and  consciously make a different choice than we’ve made previously.

And so through the haze of my frustration, the Voice of Grace came through loud and clear. {I’m so glad that God is practical}:

Her little legs are one fourth the length of yours.

Her tricycle wheels have to spin 3 times for every 1 spin from your wheels.

She’s not nearly as strong as you are and she only has a fraction of the stamina that you have.

She just wants someone to ride the trail with her…at HER pace.

Wow. Was I ever the one in the wrong!

I’m finding that many times my children and the people around me just need someone to ‘do life’ with them…at their pace.

When we hurry, we quench the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. True, there are definitely times when we need to hurry.

But you can’t rush love.

And so for 2 hours I biked as slowly as possible, stopping often to keep from falling off because my wheels weren’t rotating fast enough to stay upright. A few times we stopped and walked our bikes for awhile instead of riding.

Tiny Daughter? Oh, she was happy as a lark. No more shrill cries for fear of being left “in the dust.” No, she chattered happily about everything she saw along the way- slugs, ants, flowers, choice sticks and blades of grass, that worm she’d like to take home….the things we wouldn’t have noticed had we been flying by at top speed.

And it came home to me: She didn’t even notice that we were going slowly. She thought we were going fast. I was the one who had to discipline my love to do what she needed, rather than what I wanted.

I’m pretty sure it strengthened our relationship. Because love trickles in slowly when you make the right choices.

And no matter what season of life or situation you find yourself in,

You can’t rush love.

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{Dear Reader, is there someone in your life who needs you to slow down for them? You might be surprised at what happens when you do.}

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You’ve just read Part One of my nine-part summer series “Nurturing the Fruit of the Spirit.” This series was prompted by the observation in my own life that when I’m in a hurry, I’m less likely to submit to the Holy Spirit’s promptings in my heart. It’s a call for women everywhere to slow down and let the fruit of the Spirit grow and change us. Join me? Drop your email address into the box on my right sidebar so you don’t miss out on new posts! Also, come over and connect with me on Facebook to receive extra updates and encouragement.

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About Leah {Embracing Grace}

Leah Highfill accepted Christ as her Saviour and became a child of God at the age of 18. Originally from the USA, she and her husband moved to the mission field of Canada in 2005, where she served in full time ministry as a pastor's wife for 10 years. During their tenure there, they became dual citizens. Leah and her family recently returned to NC and are currently enjoying a much needed sabbatical for the year of 2015. She homeschools her children {Small Son is 9 and Tiny Daughter is 7} and teaches private piano lessons on the side. She can be found reading, writing/blogging, playing the piano and violin, or ice skating. A friend to ministry wives everywhere, Leah has a passion to inspire hope and to encourage women in their walk with God. Her first book, Expecting Grace, was published in 2013. Expecting Grace is the story of Leah's experience and survival of a life threatening pregnancy, and of many medical and financial miracles along the way. Her second book is currently in process. Join her grace-filled journey right here at Embracing Grace!

17 thoughts on “{Part One} Nurturing the Fruit of the Spirit: You Can’t Rush Love

  1. Meanwhile, I was loving Caleb as we went on our bikes at the speed of light!

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