Monday, December 30, 2013
Like many people, I could express the beautiful gifts received on Christmas day; however, I’ve learned that it is not about monetary gifts, the value one has spent on purchasing gifts or even the abundance of the gifts received. That stuff comes and goes and in a year or so, will be obsolete, old, useless and probably broken anyway. My special Christmas gift this year is having both of my daughters at home. For years, it was just my daughters and me. They were my road dogs, my doll babies, my joy and sometimes my headache. I’ve nurtured them, loved on them but when the time came, I had to let them go.
Just two days ago, my daughters called me in the bedroom and told me of a discussion they had with each other… as sisters often do. They shared with me how the one thing I demonstrated for them was Love. They told me that they grew strong in loving people because they always witnessed me loving them (even when they were getting yelled at) and as a result, they now share with everyone; particularly, those close to their hearts, the words, “I love you.” They also reminded me of a situation when they were in middle school of being teased by a few children because each time my girls saw each other in the hallways, they would hug, kiss and say to each other, “I love you.”
Well, my daughters are back together again loving on each other, but just for a short season as my Brittany will have to leave soon and return to her military base in Guam. While often times I think this country doesn’t deserve her ~ equally my thoughts tell me that because she is love and represents love, perhaps SHE is exactly what this country needs.
So… while we all marvel at the gifts, attempt to decipher the instructions on our new gadgets, spend those gifts cards on the 75% off sales … remember what is really important in life. In my life that would be LOVE. I don’t know about you, but for me, without LOVE my life is not worth living.
Three things will last forever--faith, hope, and love--and the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13, NLT)
Saturday, December 28, 2013
Saturday, December 14, 2013
Our gift to the world is the capacity to love, forgive and to see all people as wonderfully created. While this isn't always easy, we recognize that when you're given something, you must "give back." We choose to give to all of God's people and to each other love ... demonstrated through action not just words. Give the gift of LOVE ~ not just for the holidays, but all year long...it will look good on you.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Self-reflection (in my opinion) is a term that I use to help motivate me to move toward the next course of action in my life among a few other things. This is a very difficult albeit cleansing task to perform because it requires complete and honest examination of self. What I’ve discovered, or I should say have confirmed is that I love me. Loving MYSELF motivates me to help others love THEMSELVES and while I am far from perfect, I can boldly state that I am perfectly made.
As I continue to speak to people, pray for and with people, counsel, study and become involved in intimate relationships, it is clear to me that people don’t love themselves. They have no clue about what self-love really is, what it means and how to go about truly and sincerely loving who they are. How do I know this? Well, I’ve watched the imitators, I’ve stood beside the copycats and I’ve grieved for those who somehow cannot appreciate the authentic nature within their very own creation. I’ve viewed their constant turmoil and despondency. I’ve watch them examine over and over and over again their feelings of extreme sadness, guilt, helplessness and hopelessness without resolve.
I’ve been alongside those experiencing a drastic decline in their state of being ~ only to be replaced by a temporary “self-love” which ultimately results in their inability to sustain this false melancholic condition. We look to our spouses, our children, our jobs and ministries; we look to others who themselves struggle to define self-love. We look to this evil world and the people within it to love us when all along self-love begins with truly believing how worthy, valuable and great you are.
Self-love is demonstrated when you are kind to yourself, when you do the things that contribute to a healthy mind, body and spirit and when you stop looking to others to love you when quite frankly, some just aren’t equipped to love you. Self-love is also demonstrated when you can look at yourself with compassion, and under a microscope. Self-love allows mistakes and imperfections while embracing the fact that even in those imperfections lies something beautiful and marvelous. Self-love is a willful and conscious act that says, “no matter what happens, who hurts me, who rejects me and who betrays me, I REFUSE to define my love for self in someone else’s love for me.” Too much self-love, on the other hand can result in an off-putting sense of entitlement and an inability to learn from failures, so part of the task is finding the balance.
Finally, self-love defies all thoughts and opinions of those who just don’t matter or contribute in a healthy and consistent way in your life. Who do you think you are anyway that everyone should love you and furthermore, how did your pride, ego and arrogance become so great that despite the fact that not everyone loved even JESUS (a perfect man), you STILL believe they ought to love you? Get over yourself immediately! On your best day, you still can't hold a candle to Jesus.
Recognize that you were made as a result of love. Your job is to believe in it, and embrace it. Then start treating yourself with the loving kindness that you deserve. Love already takes up residence within you so it is unfair to yourself and others that you continue to make others responsible for loving you.
Opinions and thoughts are my own. I apologize for none of it.