Love Like Jesus #1

I’ve been a “born again” Christian for 30 years. I’ve learned a lot over the past 3 decades, but I’m not quite “there” yet. I’m in good company, as stated by the apostle Paul: “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead” Phillippians 3:13 New International Version.

My spiritual growth is important to me. I want to use the time God has blessed me with wisely. What one thing can I do to make the most difference overall in my life and in the lives of others? I’ve spent the Advent season praying about this and I have received an answer.

Love. Like. Jesus.

If I “strain toward” this one thing, how might 2022 look for me and the people in my sphere of influence? How important is it to love like Jesus? Pretty important actually. When asked by a Pharisee: “Teacher, what is the greatest commandment in the law?” Jesus responded: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment” (I’m working on this too….not as easy as you think to focus solely on things not of this world) And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself”. Matthew 22: 36-39 NIV

Love my neighbor as myself. Every neighbor. Even the ones I hide from when I see them in the grocery store. Who is a neighbor? If I take it in the literal dictionary sense “neighbor” would be those who live and/or work in close proximity to me. Knowing my Lord as I do, He means anyone (and everyone) who is in proximity to me (or potentially so) at any given time. EVERYONE is my neighbor.

Now that I’ve determined who I must love like Jesus, I must work on the how.

I’ll pray on that and get back to you.

Living MY Life

ImageThere are some days when your blessings are more blatantly apparent than others. Like a flower garden you pass everyday but suddenly take notice of, the blooms seem a little brighter, a little bigger and smell a little sweeter. Today my heart is full and my blessings abundantly present. I am thankful for this respite as I gaze upon my darling children, listen to their stories and songs. 

I wish I could hold on to this feeling forever, unfortunately living gets in the way of life. Time to prioritize and live like the only things that matter are those I hold closest to my heart. Being content is often overlooked in the name of ambition. Not that there is anything wrong with ambition, but if it gets in the way of enjoying what you already have, let it go. Today I choose to let it go………

Mother Love

ImageSomeone once said: “to be a mother, is to have your heart reside outside of your body”. Never has that felt so true than the day Casey left for boot camp. The pain I felt was so heavy, so real, as if someone had physically punched me in the chest. 

I knew the separation, the restricted communication, would be temporary but that offered  no relief. The fact that he would be far away in an isolating, foreign environment among strangers without the physical or verbal support of his family and friends caused me great distress. 

I remember that day vividly, almost 2 1/2 years ago. I was heading north, alone in my car sobbing uncontrollably like a lost child. With the sadness came anger. Why did MY son feel  he had to serve? Couldn’t someone else’s child take that burden? It didn’t matter that I had three more boys at home, no one could replace Casey’s presence in my heart and home. 

Before my angel left I reminded him that no matter where he was, or how long he had been away, if he looked at the moon he could find comfort that I was gazing at the same heavenly entity, thinking of him, praying for his strength and safety. Indeed every evening I would go outside and look at the moon.

Prayers and tears would find their way to the surface as the familiar pain would return afresh, like a wound reopened. Eight weeks is a long time when it separates a mother from her child, but the end did come, as ends do. I miss my handsome Airman as much as I did at the beginning of this journey, but the pain has dulled now, and I know longer feel angry. 

I feel pride. Pride that my son chose to serve. Pride in myself for my sacrifice. Pride in my son for his sacrifice. I feel love. Love for my son, love for my God. I feel thankful. Thankful to God for protecting my baby, thankful to every military family who has endured separation and loss. 

Another person once said: “Home of the free, because of the brave”.

Brave service men and women. Brave mothers. 

Husbands, Marriage and Love

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My husband and I have been married 17 years. We are not the couple above, but I hope in 20 years we are. Marriage has its ups and downs….highs and lows……ins and outs……discussions and arguments…smiles and frowns…hugs and kisses and if you are very very lucky LAUGHS.

I read somewhere that love is not a “feeling” but a decision. Once the initial passion (you know that heady feeling you had when you used to spend hours on the phone just listening to each other breathe) fizzles you have to find a strong basis for continuing the relationship.

You CHOOSE to love your husband. You have to reach deep sometimes to recall the exact things that used to endear him to you (strangely enough those very same things may annoy you  now). You have to put yourself aside and put your marriage first. Nothing and I mean NOTHING is better for your kids than having loving parents to observe and one day hopefully, emulate.

Now, to my husband…how I choose to love him, let me count the ways:

  1. He is by far the funniest person I know
  2. He supports my dreams, not only in principle but in application
  3. He is an excellent provider
  4. He is the perfect ying to my yang
  5. He is cuter than a bugs ear
  6. He always washes the dishes
  7. He compliments my cooking, even when it is frozen taquitos
  8. He hugs better than anyone in the world
  9. He loves our children beyond belief
  10. The rest are too personal to list 😀

How much do you love your spouse? Do you choose to love them everyday?

Traditional nuclear families are fading more quickly than you can imagine….it is up to us to keep them alive and well!

I love you K!