Last week, I blogged about Divine love towards humanity. Go here to read the post. Since then, I have been thinking about human love. I found myself in a situation recently where I acted with good intentions and love in my heart towards someone, only to find my actions were not received as love. I learned a painful lesson in that moment. I hadn’t bothered to “ask” the person what they needed from me but felt I knew what that person needed.
I walked into a shop the other day when a man asked me if I had any spare change. It’s my policy not to give money but instead, I try to buy a meal or a drink for them. I came out with a Snickers bar, handed it to him and walked away. Instantly, I could tell in my bones, my “loving” action wasn’t what this gentleman needed! Sure, it might make me feel good (therein lies the problem) but is it really the most loving thing?
I can’t get this question out of my mind which means I need to pay attention. I feel something being exposed in me. Is every action that springs to my mind the most loving action?
I should confess now that this blog post will not be coming to any conclusions. Rather, I’m inviting others into my journey. It’s a journey to figure out what love truly looks like, not my version of love. A journey to discover my true heart motives when giving love to someone. A journey to figure out what IS love? How can I participate in loving others truly, madly, deeply? Am I willing to give up my concept of love? Am I willing to be uncomfortable in order to love others better? Am I willing to ask others how can I love them better? When I miss the mark with someone, am I willing to humble myself? I accept that I need to grow in this area which is hilarious (not so hilarious) because loving others is a central tenet of my faith.
I want to be a student of love because love, like oxygen, is vital.
Love is a buzzword right now. The word is used in many different ways in our culture. “Love wins!” “Love is love.” “I love Bono!” We bandy about the word but do we really know what love is? Love is often equated with sex. Sure, there is love with sex but many people will confess if they are being honest that love is not synonymous with sex.
What is true love? Because everyone I know is searching (craving) for true love. True love that never ever quits. Love that still loves on our very worst days. Love that accepts. Love that wants to be with. Love that covers all our unlovable-ness.
At my core, I am unlovable. This is the truth about me; it’s the truth about you. I try to hide my unlovable parts. It’s easy to do, isn’t it? Yet, if I am being honest with myself, I can look inward and find darkness with a propensity for rebellion. Is this the end of the story? No.
There is hope for my plight. I have found a Love that went to unbelievable lengths to recover what was lost in Eden a long time ago. I have found a Love that never ever quits. I have found a Love that still loves on my very worst days. I have found a Love that loves all my unlovable bits. I have found a Love that doesn’t let me hide my unlovable parts but invites me to bring them out into the light. I have found a Love that accepts me right where I am. I have found a Love that wants to be with me in my very worst moments as well as my very best moments. I have found a Love that doesn’t focus on my unlovable bits but transforms them.
Because when we were all unlovable, Christ loved us. How? Before the Creation of this beautiful world, God existed in complete harmony and love with Himself (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.) Many people think God created humanity because of a deep need to be loved. Never! God created humanity because of the overflow of Love within Himself! He always wanted to dwell with man, to invite him into this harmony. This is still true today. Despite obstacles (man rebelling against God), He has pursued man in order to dwell with him.
This is why I am crazy about my God. Because I am well and truly loved in my most unlovable moments. This Love has enabled me to love myself and others better. The best news? It’s available for each and every one of us!
I’m blogging with some lovely, wise women. Take a look at what Tracie has to say about loving the unlovable. Thank you.
In past years, I have asked the Lord if there was a word for the year that I could hold onto, think about, practice and live. Some of my past words have been joy, compassion, and love. I noticed that each year, the word became a prayer, an observation, a practice and definitely a challenge to live out.
Towards the end of December, I took some time to think about a word for the year. I asked the Lord. Savor is the word I heard. I went right away to the dictionary. Webster’s says savor means to “enjoy the taste or smell of (something) for as long as possible; to enjoy (something) for a long time. My favorite word-nerd app is Noah Webster’s 1828 dictionary. It says savor means “to like, to delight in, to favor.”
I’m curious about this word. What will it mean for me and my year? In what ways shall I savor and delight in the Lord? How can I practice savoring and enjoying moments in my day? What is the Lord trying to teach me through this word?
I also have a concern about choosing a word for the year. I have not chosen a word the last two years because, at times, I felt the word became a burden and not a blessing. Can I live up to the word?
Then I remind myself it’s practice. I am not always going to get it right. I might miss moments I should savor. Am I going to let guilt get in the way? No! If I enjoy more of my life than I did last year, then I am satisfied. It’s a win. And honestly, the word is beckoning me to commune with the Lord, to savor moments with Him. To enjoy being with Him. I’m looking forward to this year.
Have you chosen a word for the year? I’d love to hear what word you chose.
I am blogging along with women whom I admire greatly. Grab a hot drink and scroll on through to the next blog, written by the talented Staci Lee, at A Life Developing.
This month’s topic for our blog roll is When I Don’t Belong. I am tempted to link to the next woman’s blog and be done with it. Why? I have known about this topic for over a month and haven’t come up with a thing to write. It’s not because I have never felt like I didn’t belong. I have had felt this feeling often. Worse, I have made others feel they didn’t belong.
I strive to be as authentic as possible in my blog so I don’t want to BS anyone here. It’s not because I have it all together that I can’t write about belonging. I can’t even explain why I feel blocked by this topic. Instead of ditching the blog roll and bailing out, I decided to just let it be. I don’t know what to say about this topic. This is the real, honest truth.
What would you say about this topic? Have you ever felt like you didn’t belong? Do you feel that even now? Have you ever made others feel they didn’t belong? I think every one of us has had the feeling of not belonging OR making others feel this way, whether unintentionally or not.
What do we do with this?
If I could, I’d love to sit with each of you, sharing the pain and struggles. I believe many times we feel we don’t belong yet truthfully, we are not alone in these feelings. There is a camaraderie in desiring to belong, isn’t there? Why is it we want to belong so badly? What if we shared more openly with others about those desires? What would it look like for us to be fully known in this area of belonging? What courage would it require to confess when we’ve excluded others? Can you think of a person who has made you feel you don’t belong? Can you think of a person you’ve made feel didn’t belong? I am asking myself these questions.
As you can see, I don’t have all the answers but I want the freedom to sit with these questions, thoughts and feelings. Hopefully, you will afford yourself the freedom as well.
An amazing group of women are blogging about the same topic. I am anticipating some very real, authentic posts and I encourage you to scroll on through each blog.
Up next is Tracie, a remarkable woman who blogs about real life. Read her thoughts on belonging here.
Yes, I am adventuring through the Middle Ages. As Victor Hugo said, “Forty is the old age of my youth, fifty the youth of old age.” I can certainly tell that I am in the old age of my youth. How do I know? Let me count the ways. All the young whippersnappers who are reading along have my permission to go Snapchat something cool since this post will probably bore you to death.
1. Reading glasses. Yes, I now need them. But they are never where I last put them. Have you tried cooking with reading glasses? Use them to read the recipe, take them off to cook. Look for glasses frantically while whatever is cooking is becoming a burnt offering to the Lord. It’s insane.
Okay, even I am bored and depressed with this list.
Why do I say aging is an adventure? Do you know the risks and dangers of aging? Clearly, there is danger around every corner. A woman hot-flashing in 100-degree weather. Foreplay including stretching and two Advil. Bladder control. Someone daring to get on my last nerve. And who thought it was a good idea to have women go through menopause when their children are hormonal teens? One
homicidal hormonal maniac in the house is enough! D-A-N-G-E-R-O-U-S!
All joking aside, I definitely want to adventure into the sunset of my life full of vim and vigor/vinegar (which is it? In my case, probably both.) In reality, aging is inevitable. Diane Von Furstenberg says, “Aging is out of your control. How you handle it, though, is in your hands.” This is such a good challenge for me. I want to handle aging by laughing often, (teaspooning* in the process) cussing appropriately, and trying to enjoy each day as I battle high cholesterol and choke down humongous daily supplements. I’ve decided to arrive at Fifty feeling nifty. When I get there, I will be in the youth of my old age and believe me, I will kick some butt. I will have to stretch first, check my pantyliner and make sure I have my glasses but then, look out!
|Welcome to the world of reading glasses!
I’ve been invited to blog along with some fantastic women who are also writing on the topic of Adventure. Would you take a moment and scroll through the blog roll? Click here to read Sarah’s adventure.
*euphemism for wetting one’s panties.
For Christ-followers, it’s commanded that we take a weekly rest, a Sabbath. The word Sabbath means “a time of rest” or as my incredible Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary App says, “intermission of pain or sorrow; time of rest.” Let that sink in for a moment.
The Sabbath is one of my favorite things that God commanded. He commanded a weekly rest (not only weekly but times of rest and celebration throughout the year). Every week. Week in, week out. What a kind God He is! I really, really like Him.
Our American culture seems to not quite understand this concept now. Yet, we need rest! Our soul needs rest. Whether we are believers or not, this is important for our health. I myself have not always done well with this concept. Lately, I have taken the challenge of having a weekly social media Sabbath. A Facebook friend inspired me to do this. She calls hers the “Screen-free Sabbath”.
I do my social media-free day on Sundays, mostly because I attend church and generally, it’s a day of rest for me and my family. Choose any day that suits. The first Sunday I did feel a bit of a panic. What if I missed something important on social media? Therein lies the problem.
I started out by turning off my notifications for all my social media apps (this is for iPhone) on Saturday night. I still allow texting and phone calls because that’s not such an issue for me, whereas social media can become a go-to, like 52 times a day.
One of my pastors has an interesting rule for his weekly Sabbath (rest). It spoke to me when I heard it so I have incorporated the rule (not really a rule) into my Sabbath. The only activities he can do on his Sabbath are Pray and Play. The Sabbath is meant to be a good thing for our souls, not a restriction. It’s a time to say “well-done” on working hard all week. It’s meant to be a time where we realize we are not the center of the universe but there is Someone who is the Center and He’s pretty good at holding the universe together. This simply is not our job to hold it together all the time.
I hike, I nap, I read, I eat, I sleep in, I linger over my coffee, I laugh, I photograph, I worship, I thank Him, I flirt, I make love, I play games, I watch a movie, I visit, I sit, I refresh, I enjoy, I rest.
I can honestly say I now look forward to my social media-free Sundays. It’s almost a relief. I don’t think social media is evil, just so we are clear. It has its place. I am grateful for social media, but I don’t want it to rule my life. Taking a weekly break is one way I ensure it doesn’t.
Care to join me? Let me know by either commenting below or responding on social media. 😉