love is a verbWho knew that 14 years later I would love this man more today than the day we married!?  I guess every couple that has been married for many years knew that!! That’s how it works – you choose to work it out, you choose to stay through tough times, you choose to love in spite of, you choose to work on your own issues as you give them the space to work on theirs, you choose…

Love is a choice most days!  Some days it is easy, most days it is hard!

Love is a verb…it is work! It is an action not just a feeling.  It is an active verb that requires activity not passivity!  You can not sit back and wait for love, you must chase after it, you must pursue, you must work towards it, you must stand on it, you must choose to believe in it on those hard days when you don’t feel it, don’t want it and have lost all hope in it!

One way I chose to pursue love years ago was to purpose to become a “good finder.” Early on in our marriage I complained alot about not feeling loved, wanting Marc to show love to me through sweet love notes and kindnesses throughout the day that proved he was thinking of me.  He was not so good at that, still isn’t!! As a result of my focus I felt unloved.  Believe me, there were quite a few tears shed, strong words expressed, hurt feelings lingering, misunderstanding shrouding the true intention behind both of our hearts!

I had to choose love!  

I had to chase after, pursue, work towards, stand on and believe the best…I chose to change my focus!

Each night at the end of the day I would write down all the ways he had showed me love that day…a phone call at lunch, bathing babies in the evening, a sweet look across the room during bedtime prayers, washing dishes after dinner, a kiss on the way out the door, going to work to provide for us, being thankful for a warm meal or clean clothes…the many ways he loved and still loves me!

It’s February, the month of love…choose to change your focus.  Be a good finder!   

          Love is a choice!

                  Love is a verb!

 


Do you notice the gaps in connection between people these days? It’s unsettling to see families sitting around tables in restaurants all glued to their individual phones, faces glowing, time passing as they miss opportunities to know one another. The space between them grows!

Doctors discovered some time ago the necessity for connection through touch for premature babies. Purposing to touch their small heads, hands, feet, rubbing and cuddling, talking, singing, engaging with them decreased mortality rates of these infants. People need connection. Yet, we are a society that is increasingly more connected through “distance.” We find it easier to connect through social media, emails and such, rather than genuine one-on-one interaction.

the space between us

We recently took a family skip trip to northern New Mexico, it was our best vacation to date.  That’s a big statement! But it honestly was for this reason – the connection we experienced. The ski lifts close at 4pm and with no internet connection or cable television in this remote area we were forced to connect, to entertain one another through conversation and playing games. We laughed more and enjoyed each other more than we had in years.  It took time to adjust and connect in this way and it wasn’t comfortable at first, but as we settled into what was, something changed.  Time seemed to slow down, conversation picked up and connections sparked. We closed the gap of the space between us!

Closing the gaps:

1.     Notice that there is space between you and those you love; you can’t change anything you deny or refuse to see.

2.     Purpose to get off the phone, turn off computers, log out of social media and seek the stimulation of connection.

3.     Gather around the kitchen table, be in the same room, and let that energy awaken your senses.

4.     Be creative and intentional to connect with those gathered around the table.

 

Some creative, intentional ideas:  Play board games – Scene It, Scattergories, Apples to Apples.  Play cards -UNO, Skipbo, Spades.  Ask questions like, “What was your high/low of your day? Would you rather never wear a shirt again or have pinkies for thumbs? –anything to get you talking and laughing together. Make something together- chocolate chip cookies, a bookshelf, artwork.   Plant an herb garden, play volleyball, bless a neighbor, paint a room, picnic, watch old family videos, read out loud. The purpose isn’t the activity – it’s the interaction. Focus on connecting with one another and closing the gap between yourself and others!  

 


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A challenge for you today!

Over the last few years, at the end of the year, I begin to pray and seek God about a “word” for the new year.  A word that He speaks to my heart about what He wants to do with me, in me, and through me in the upcoming year.  My words in years past: “Deep” “Sight” “Intimacy”

Hard words, intense words, scratchy, don’t always feel good, words!

These are not the words I would choose for myself.

When I start praying about my new word, I hear words like “Beauty,” like “More,” and I wait hoping that these are my words…but knowing that I don’t always choose well, I wait!  And usually…He changes my word.  He has a better word, not “better” because I like it, better because He knows what He wants to do with me, what needs to happen in me, and how He will flow through me!  He always knows better!

So I challenge you – pray about a word for 2015!

God has an amazing word just the right fit for you this year!

A word that will encourage you, break you, restore you!  A word that will bring hope, revelation, change!

A word that will define you, a word that will refine you!

Pray….wait…receive for His word for you!

Happy New Year!!