A couple weeks ago, I set up some Fruit of the Spirit props for a #biblequilting session.
Later as I was straightening and putting supplies away, I reflected on how we're able to demonstrate the Fruit of the Spirit with one another when we come together.
And, hopefully, we're strengthening our resolve to extend these same characteristics as we go out among our regular activities.
Love is spoken in many ways as we gather around the Bible Quilt table. Friends share hugs...and sometimes support through tearful stories being told. Prayer requests are lifted up and tucked into earnest hearts.
As verses are sought for particular pages, the Love of God is shared with one another as we read His love letter to us, marveling at how applicable it still is for today's troubles.
JOY erupts through giggles as funny stories are shared and washi tape is swapped.
The heaviness of prayer requests is often balanced by someone using humor to lighten the mood.
"The Joy of the Lord is our strength." Nehemiah 8:10
About halfway through a session, an atmosphere of peace settles on the group. Any nervous restlessness during the introductions has faded and chattiness subsides as everybody gets more intent on their pages. Our spirits tend to settle while we're actively in the Word.
"The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding..." Psalm 119:130
Over and over again, I've observed the kindness of women welcoming newcomers, inviting them in to conversation, helping them settle in, making them feel comfortable in a new environment, and offering to share their own personal process of their BQ journey.
As women and girls gather together in the Word, God's goodness is demonstrated in ways big and small. His goodness is mirrored in the demeanor and posture of these sweet friends being vulnerable and open with each other. Their humility and earnestness to seek comfort and strength in the Scriptures is a precious validation of time well spent.
I'm amazed by the Faithfulness of these godly women, sharing memorized scripture naturally in snippets of conversation and easily referring to their faith as they reveal personal challenges or family struggles.
Several women show up regularly to support each other in fellowship. Others attend more sporadically, but often have beautiful pages to share that they've created in their own personal quiet time. Their faithfulness to the Word and devotional space is evident.
Gentleness is exhibited through soft whispers of encouragement, a pat on the shoulder, and friends' hands clasped in prayer. It's reflected in the earnest leaning in toward another person at the table, allowing personal progress to pause while paying attention to another.
Self-control may be a tricky one to pinpoint, but I see women exhibiting self-control by not dominating conversation or staying on difficult topics too long. I see generosity through the frequent sharing of ideas and supplies.
Even in their excitement to see all the embellishments available to them, I notice girls using only what they need in the moment and be willing to wait their turn for a fun tool they all want to try.