In all the chaos that is the world today, this small symbol lightened my heart. Tucked into my dual purpose yearly planner/ Bible carrier is this picture on a yellow sticky-note. My daughter drew it during the church service Sunday.
Don’t overthink it. Love.
God is LOVE. Even thru the agony of the fires, hurricanes, and threats of war, God is still LOVE. He doesn’t want these pains for us. That tricky double edged sword of free will…
I feel helpless when stacked against the content of today’s news report. But I will still LOVE those around me with service, kindness, forgiveness and mercy. I will LOVE people thru the Gospel’s truth.
I will LOVE.
2 Steps Back and 5 Forward: An effort to get to know yourself and who you are made to be, deeper than the outward reflection shown in the mirror.
A local women’s group did a short exercise with the ladies who were present. It is a Christian non-denominational group for new, seasoned, young, and older. A lovely mix of women.
*I follow online because although it is God-centered, it still isn’t a Best Yes for my time when I add in the driving to town and back and how it disrupts my family’s schedule.*
The exercise asked the women to say or describe two things about themselves that are negative.
- I overshare details and stories… then spend anxiety-ridden time mentally re-hashing all the oversharing moments that just spewed forth from my lips. Ugh. Thank goodness I don’t publish on here every thought I actually say out loud. Awkward!
- I get extremely frustrated during transition times with my kids. Daycare pickup is the absolute WORST. I’m overwhelmed. They’re talking and arguing over each other for my attention. We all end up with our feelings hurt when I have to SHUT IT DOWN.
^^^ It honestly didn’t take much to come up with those. ^^^
The exercise then asked the women to say or describe five positives. I’ll take this one step further, in honor of the book I’m currently reading – Walking with Purpose, and say it can’t be about my job or my duties as a mother or wife.
Ummmm…. Hmmmm… Maybe…. ?
- I am compassionate for ALL things. I catch spiders and release them outside. I don’t want anyone to suffer. If it has to be the end for a living creature, I want it to be quick and painless. Hungry? I want to feed you. Confused? Let’s figure this out.
- I very rarely rush to judgement. I like to gather my own research before forming an opinion. I have friends from all sides of the political, geographical, and faith spectrum. Discussions, when respectful, are thought-provoking and enlightening, even if I disagree with the other parties.
- I am determined. Four years and two babies ago, I decided if I ever wanted to get in shape and feel good mentally, physically, and emotionally, I had to make it happen. No one else could do that for me. It was MY job to exercise; MY job to make devotion time; MY job to figure out where my life was going. Yes, I have a husband, two littles, a job, a pet, family, friends, etc… but what was my path? my goal? Was I just supposed to feed small people and handle advertising from my computer? No.
I have a bigger purpose. It is one that is constantly evolving and coming into focus as I make another trip around the sun.
- Honesty. I told my children that if they ever ask me a question (which they do 3:1 for every statement – truly, I counted), I will ALWAYS tell them the truth. Don’t want to know about Santa? Don’t ask unless you want the truth and history behind Ol’ Saint Nicholas. What happened to Nana & Papa’s old dog? It died because a body gets old and unable to heal. NOT that it went to live on another farm with other old dogs…. Right Mom and Dad?
I really think honesty is key here. We sugar coat too much to the point where the next generation won’t understand reality.
- Love. Love for my family. Love for my friends. Love for people I don’t even know. I am unconditionally loved by God and want to share that love with those around me.
I separate love from “like” and “enjoy” and “happiness.” Sure, those are comfortable feelings, but in the uncomfortable is where we grow, support, and care for one another. It’s easy to give a high-five or a smile at the end of a game. It isn’t as easy to sit with a bestie after her engagement ends or know what to say when a friend miscarries, but those are the places that love illustrates beauty. Spending time volunteering to give a hand up to the less physically fortunate or going to an elder care facility and touching a frail, lonely hand, that’s love. Parenting with grace (so hard sometimes!) is another form of love.
We don’t all “do” love the same way, but think of the world if we all “did” real uncomfortable love in SOME way for somebody.
So there it is. My five positives and my two negatives are out there. Time well spent looking a little deeper into myself.
Much love — Jen