The Fruit of the Spirit and Juicing Recipes
by Diane Cretin
I have heard about the fruit of the Spirit so many times. But I am guilty of kind of glossing over them. It seemed to be something that is frequently memorized, but I have truthfully not spent a lot of time reflecting on how well (or not) I exhibit these traits.
Since gardening is something that I enjoy and helps keep me sane, right now I think a lot about fruits and vegetables. To me they go together as foods that are good for me and help keep me healthy. Thinking about them led me to this post. I think it is interesting what God uses to speak to us.
I am a person who gathers information, but sometimes too much of it is overwhelming, especially during these times. Do you ever feel like that? I think that is why I like the following graphic. It is pretty basic; certainly not like hearing Pastor Dale, Pastor Emily, or Pastor Kent teach on this topic. But it can cause you to reflect and examine where you have room for improvement if you feel you can be truthful with yourself.
I will tell you how I feel I am doing when I am being truthful with myself. I feel I am doing well with Goodness as my parents raised me to do what is right - don't lie or steal, treat others with respect; those kind of things. I realized years ago that I need to be able to live with myself, so it is important that I do what is right even when doing so may result in something negative happening to me. I also do well with Faithfulness. I don't normally quit things. Then things get a little more challenging.
On one hand I do well with Peace because I do trust God. But I think God expects me to use my brain, not just sit around twiddling my thumbs (in normal times; it is harder to do certain things now). I struggle with peace about certain events going on. When I feel a sense of unease I know I need to stop and have some quiet time with God, saying how I feel and why, then praying for peace. I am pretty good with Joy when I consider it as being OK with what I have. I feel blessed with God's provision. But if I look at it as just the emotion of joy, I frankly have some work to do. I can let circumstances rob me of joy. I am probably the most joy-filled when I am out in my gardens or sharing a nice meal with my family as we check in with each other.
In regards to Patience, I think I do reasonably well when I look at the big picture. But I am not very patient when I need something from someone or want help with something. Then I want it done NOW. I can be patient when I know the person I am involved with is working very hard and is prioritizing to the best of their ability. But overall I know I need to work on patience.
I think I am inconsistent with Gentleness. I know that we are human, so we will mess up sometimes. I think how I react is partially a response to how the person who messes up responds. If that person acknowledges the mistake and attempts to not do it again repeatedly, I do OK. I don't do as well if the person blames the mistake on someone else, when they don't own their mistake. I also tend to be a person who tells it like it is, but sometimes I really need to temper this.
Then we have the diagonal bingo of Love, Kindness, and Self-Control. I love my family and think I put them first. But I have to watch that I don't resent putting others first. I have come to realize that I should not put them first at the expense of not doing any self-care. I think this is something that is a struggle for parents, especially moms (or wives). It is easy to put all of your efforts into taking care of your family and not saving any energy for yourself. And that is when the next two can become more difficult.
When I overextend myself, my Kindness and Self-Control take a hit. When I feel exhausted and overwhelmed it is harder to be nice. And at this time it is harder to think before I act, especially verbally for me. I have said things that were not uplifting and have had to stop and ask God to soften my heart (as well as the heart of the other person if we are in a disagreement). I have also needed to apologize. So these are definitely areas of prayer for me and areas that I know I need to be vigilant about.
I encourage you to find some form of self-care that really works for you. When you are nourished, I believe your fruit will flourish.
Here are two juicing recipes that our family likes. We use a Hurom juicer. The first recipe is a pretty simple one that is easy to prepare. The contents are simply 4 cups of grapes and 3 medium cucumbers (only 1 - 2 if huge). You can use either red or white seedless grapes. Just take them off of the stems. Cut the cucumbers lengthwise is sizes that will fit through the juicer.
Since we know we like this recipe, we double it. Doubling it makes around 2 quarts plus a little extra that you can drink as you work.
We transfer the juice into a larger pitcher to stir so that the contents are blended before we put it in containers. We use canning jars. We switch the lid to one with a hole for a straw when we are ready to drink. This is Olivia's current favorite juice. It is best served cold.
The next recipe is my favorite. It will take you at least twice as long to make as there is more prep work.
1 thumb of ginger
1 small beet
3 small red apples
Since I know I really like this recipe, I quadruple the recipe. This amount yields around 2 quarts. I don't usually like to keep a lot of one-use utensils in the kitchen. But this piece makes coring the pineapple and pushing out the "guts" really simple. You also need to core the apples and peel the beets.
This is what your ingredients will look like if you quadruple the recipe (other than this is only one pineapple). I added the second pineapple to the bowl after Olivia had juiced part of the items. She likes to wear gloves when we juice red beets so her hands don't get stained. If you are not a huge fan of beets, I recommend you use golden beets in this recipe. My husband and I love ginger. If you don't, you might want to cut back on the amount of ginger.
I love the color of the red beets against the color of the pineapple as you juice this recipe. When we multiply the recipe, we again have to use a larger pitcher so we can stir the contents before putting it in the canning jars.
I enjoyed some of this recipe while working in the garden Saturday morning. Plus my buddy Oliver was with me. Gardening is more fun with a buddy.
I hope you enjoy the recipes if you juice. And I really hope you will take some time to evaluate how you are doing in relationship to the fruit of the Spirit. Remember you need to allow time for self-care.