“…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”
Recently a girlfriend and I were laughing, with our six kids underfoot, about the irony of things we yell as moms:
BE KIND TO EACH OTHER!!!
(Oh, the humility of life with small people…)
I often think about kindness as a virtue I have to teach my kids. Don’t kick. Take turns. Play nice.
How often do I think about kindness as something I need to practice – towards myself, towards my children, towards other adults?
This idea I had, to write nine prayers for pregnancy around the nine fruits of the Spirit, has made for some interesting synergy. I’d never considered the place of kindness in pregnancy. But all those incredulous comments I would get while pregnant – on how HUGE I looked, on how FAR I still had to go, on how SICK I could be – they were all opportunities to practice kindness.
Most of the time I failed at that. At best I gritted my teeth and tried to smile. At worst I groused to my spouse at night about the ridiculous things someone had said to me that day. But maybe I could have seen these conversations as openings to grow in kindness and compassion.
And to be kind with my own self as well, as I sacrificed sleep and energy and comfort (to say nothing of caffeine and wine!) for the health of my baby.
This prayer has made me think about kindness in my life today, too. How can I grow into the generous joy it takes to live kindly? Who are the people who challenge me most to be kind? What does it mean for a fruit of God’s loving Spirit to be the simplicity of kindness?
May kindness find you this week. May you share a kind moment with yourself or those you love.
. . .
God of kindness,
Halfway through this month
The journey will be halfway done.
Twenty weeks past,
Twenty weeks to go.
As I feel the weight and wonder
Of this milestone,
Let my hopes and fears
Be carried by your promise
Of unfailing kindness.
Now that I feel the flips
And kicks and gentle pokes
From the child growing within me,
Let me remember
How you cradle all your children
Within the depths of love itself.
When I finally see
On the ultrasound screen
The dancing feet and waving hands
Of the sweet baby
I will soon hold in my arms,
Help me to trust in what I cannot see:
That you are with us,
That you guide us,
That you will never leave our side.
Help me to be loving and kind
Towards myself and my child,
Family and friends,
Even well-meaning strangers
Who comment on my new shape and size.
Let the words of my mouth
And the thoughts of my heart
Be compassionate and caring,
Even when my body grows weary.
In kindness I pray,
© 2014 Laura Kelly Fanucci
Prayers for all 9 months of pregnancy can be found here at the end of this series.
Please consider passing them along to an expectant mother who could use them!
(And h/t again to Kendra at Catholic All Year for creating the lovely images for these prayers!)