Category Archives: Love

Pause

pause-button_318-33989

Hit the pause button and sit down with me for a few minutes. This is important.

Too busy, you say? Too bad, I reply. You need to see something.

First, answer this question: When was the last time you experienced God – I mean really felt that God was present with you, hearing you, and showing you how much He loves you? Be honest.

I could venture a guess and say that for most, it’s been a long time. Maybe it’s been weeks or months or years. Maybe never. And that is so incredibly sad, because the Father is all about His sons and daughters experiencing Him. He longs for an intimate relationship with His children.

I’m not going to give you a methodology to cultivate a closer walk with Jesus, if that’s what you’re looking for. I’m also not going to spout doctrine or theology. I’m simply going to tell you that Jesus loves you, really loves you, with a love that cannot be described, explained, dissected, or analyzed. Because He IS love. As a matter of fact, He invented love.

And He is right there loving you whether you like it or not.

Before you start protesting, you need to know that you are good enough. You’re important to Him. He is not disappointed in you. The Father’s love for you is infinite. Jesus is your righteousness and you are complete in Him. Complete! You can’t get any more complete than complete, right? There is no separation between you and the Father. Jesus made that possible. He is in you and you are in Him. As one.

Perhaps you believe that you don’t understand enough about God or the Bible to really experience Him. Perhaps someone convinced you that you weren’t spiritually mature. Let me assure you that even though you may not fully grasp the concept of the love, grace, or goodness of your Father doesn’t mean you can’t experience it.

Just pause.

Close your eyes (unless you’re driving) and think about the Father’s love for you. He made you in His likeness – how awesome! – and that’s who He sees when He looks at you. He just loves you. And you can’t do anything to earn it or diminish it. Ever.

That is truly pause-worthy.

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39 NKJV)

 

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Encourage Your Husband

I read this article here, and thought it worthy of a repost.

8 Ways to Encourage Your Husband

1. Pray for him. Take time out every day to pray for your husband. You can even ask him if there’s anything he wants you to pray about, and let him know that you’re praying. There’s nothing more encouraging than knowing that someone is praying you through a situation.

2. Point out his qualities. A man’s qualities run deeper than the surface work that we see. Whether he has had a productive day or he’s kicking back and relaxing, he possesses certain qualities that make him unique. Some of Michael’s qualities are that he’s a giving person. He’s a good listener. He’s hungry for the Word of God. He’s a man of grace. He’s sensitive. etc. Encourage your husband by affirming his character.

3. Tell him that he’s doing a great job. Let him know that you appreciate what he does for the family.

4. Don’t take his gifts of love for granted. If he does things around the house, thank him. My husband has thanked me for cleaning up every time I do, which means that he’s probably thanked me about  8,670 times. Yes, he thanks me daily. *smile*

5. Listen to him. Take time to listen to him about his day and hear what he’s saying. Sometimes Michael will say to me, “I’m sorry to unload on you, but there’s no one else I can talk to about this…” That makes me wonder how many men out there feel the same way. Do they have someone they can talk to about work issues? Hopefully you will be there to listen and encourage.

6. Share his burden. Offer to help him out when he’s having a busy week. Is there anything you can do to pitch in? Maybe take on a chore you don’t normally do? If so he might appreciate the help and the company.

7. Don’t be the nag who rains on his parade–be the smile that brightens his day. If women didn’t have a tendency to nag like we do, the Bible wouldn’t reference it as often as it does. Unfortunately it can become a bad habit if we don’t learn to control our tongue. Joy on the other hand is encouraging and contagious. Work on keeping a positive attitude not only for yourself, but for the good of your family.

8. Don’t expect him to be your savior. Your husband isn’t Jesus, therefore he isn’t perfect, he can’t read your mind, he will disappoint you at times, and he doesn’t have the patience of Job. He’s simply a man growing in grace and learning to lead. Praise God for the husband you have, imperfections and all.

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What to Post When You Don’t Feel Like Writing

I haven’t posted anything for four days. Shame on me, I know, but I just can’t think of anything remotely profound or witty or thought-provoking.

Blank brain is no fun.

All that came to mind today were sounds. I heard a bunch of them that I didn’t like.

– Hammers pounding at a construction site down the street from my house.

– The neighbor rolling his trash cans up and down the sidewalk. And it isn’t even garbage pickup day.

– Crows hopping around and pecking at the cedar shingles on our roof. This is irritating, let me tell you.

– Annoying children in the back lane screaming at the top of their lungs for no apparent reason. They do this every summer.

– Static coming from the surround sound system attached to my computer.

Then there were the sounds I love:

– Thundering rumbling in the distance. This was a treat, because we hardly ever hear thunder around here.

– Giggles from my grandsons.

– Oldies playing in the bookstore when I went there for ink/paper/Starbucks aroma therapy.

– My husband’s voice saying, “hello, my love”, when I called him to say I was running away from home. I went to the bookstore instead.

– Birds chirping outside my window early this morning. Of course, this could also be a negative, because it woke me up.

This blog post is finished now. Come back again, and I promise to be more – I don’t know – something.

Maybe.

 

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On Deck

We just had our very first nice warm weekend of 2012. That means moving out onto the deck and grilling most of our evening meals from now until the end of September. It also means our kids and their kids and often some extra neighbourhood kids come too, creating an atmosphere of complete mayhem. We love it.

Although yesterday was Mother’s Day, our oldest daughter had prepared a lovely celebration meal for the whole family (there are fifteen of us) at her home on Saturday evening. Thanks again, Julie! So last night’s get together on the deck was more of an impromptu, bring-whatever-you-have-in-your-fridge affair. It was amazing what resulted. Pasta salad, fruit salad, grilled sausage and veggies. Yum! I was still recuperating from an unwelcome bout of the stomach flu, otherwise I’m sure I would have indulged much more than I did.

We sat there on the deck for hours.

We were entertained by our son-in-law’s guitar. Love it when he plays.

Little Elijah was giggling at absolutely everything. Love those baby belly laughs.

Watched Caleb (age 8) and Nikolas (age 3) and Jordan (age 29) zoom back and forth in the back alley on scooters. Love seeing Jord try to keep her balance.

Wondered at Reece (age 5) moving his plate of food half a dozen times in order to protect his bounty. Love his thought process.

We talked and laughed and sang and ate. Love it all.

And next weekend we’ll do it again.

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Reasoning Kids

This is my grandson, Elijah. At fourteen months old, he is exempt from ridicule for needing comfort from a nice warm bottle of milk and for falling asleep in unconventional places. He’s a baby. This kind of behavior is expected from babies. They can do pretty much whatever they want and get away with it.

Another of my grandsons, Reece, is five. He has moved on from the bottles and diapers and is now intent on reasoning out excuses for his behavior. Like yesterday. He whacked his older brother in the head with a baseball bat – it was plastic, so don’t panic. In the midst of his punishment for doing so, Reece explained that he had swung the bat in slow motion so that his brother had ample time to get out of the way. As if that would get him off the hook. Didn’t work. There was no ice cream for Reece last night, poor kid.

Then there is Emily, my only granddaughter. She is ten, and becoming very adept at conversations that leave you wondering if you just unknowingly committed yourself to doing something you didn’t really want to do. Like me, she is an avid reader and will devour any decent work of fiction she can get her hands on. Not long ago, Emily very eloquently informed me that she has a tenth grade reading level, so therefore she should be allowed to read books written for that age group. I knew where this was going. Probably because I had the same conversation with my elders when I was Emily’s age. I told her that just because she has a tenth grade reading level it didn’t necessarily mean she had the corresponding comprehension level. Yes, I used those very words, and Emily assured me that yes, she did have the comprehension. Then I asked her if she knew what age appropriate meant. She did. And there was no more discussion. Yeah – one for the grandma!

How do these anecdotes relate to each other?

They don’t, really.

I was just sitting here, thinking about my seven grandchildren – their startling similarities and their vast differences. What a joy to watch them grow up and to be close enough to love on them whenever I want . . . and to send them home with their parents when the decibel level goes off the charts.

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Saying Goodbye

I am saying goodbye to my grandmother.

She went home to Heaven at midnight and at last, she is with Jesus – her Lord and Savior – the One she has been longing for. I know she will  be full of joy as she is in Glory now, reunited with my grandfather, who was her great love for 64 years.

My grandmother – “Mother”, as we called her – was born on November 22, 1910 in a little town in Manitoba. Her lifetime saw two World Wars and  the Great Depression. Things like cars, telephones, electric appliances, televisions, and computers become commonplace for every home. She raised six children, welcomed and loved fifteen grandchildren, thirty-three great-grandchildren, and at least eighteen great-great-grandchildren (I’ve lost count).

She and my grandfather had one of the greatest love stories of the century. I never tired of listening to her tell of how they met, how much she was not interested in him, and how God put such a love for him in her heart. Mother once told me that even after 60+ years of marriage, her knees still went weak at the sight of her husband. What a rare thing that is.

Mother was an amazing woman. Her mind was sharp to the end and she told me just a few months ago about how she still prayed daily for all of us by name. She said she would “walk” into each one of our homes as she prayed, seeing what God would show her to talk to Him about concerning us. I will miss that, knowing that she was praying for me.

I will remember Mother’s long hugs, and how she would always respond to an I love  you, with I love you more. I will remember Mother’s delicious potato salad (which she showed me how to make) and her sponge cake with custard filling (which I have yet to master). I will remember Mother’s stories of her past and how she could still recite, without hesitation, poetry she had memorized in the first grade. I will remember Mother patiently teaching a fidgety nine-year-old how to crochet because I wanted to make beautiful things like she did. There is evidence of how well I learned everywhere in my home. I will remember Mother scolding me for my many disobediences, giving me advice on everything from dating to marriage to child-raising, and for accepting me just exactly as I was. She has left a treasured legacy of love and faith in Jesus Christ.

Mother, you will be forever loved and always missed.

Until we meet again . . .

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The Day of Hearts

I received this lovely card from my husband today. I won’t share what he wrote inside, but be assured that it was mushy and transparent enough to cause my heart to melt. Sigh. I do love that man!

We met when we were 18. He was in a serious relationship with my best friend and honestly, I couldn’t understand what she saw in him. But when said best friend dumped him a year later for the new boy in town, well, I felt sorry for the old guy and spent many hours listening to him pour out his broken heart. The inevitable happened. We fell in love. 37 years ago this month, he asked me to marry him and I said yes.

I’ve learned a few things about love since that day back in 1975. It isn’t always perfect or romantic or easy. It’s not all about walks in the park and candlelight dinners. Love is commitment. It’s putting someone else’s needs ahead of your own. It is sticking out the rough spots regardless of how uncomfortable it gets, and agreeing between you that there is no other option. Love is strengthened through struggles won. Love deepens when you give of yourself expecting nothing in return.

All these years have passed and my husband and I have now been married for two thirds of our lives. We hardly remember what it was like without each other. We laugh, we talk, and sometimes we just sit side by side without saying a word – the contentment of simply being together.

Husband is out of town on business this week, so there will be no romantic dinner at our favorite restaurant today. No worries. We don’t need Valentine’s Day to remind ourselves that our love is strong and enduring. And I’ve got a raincheck on the dinner.

Besides, I have a date with my five year old grandson at his kindergarten Grandparents’ Valentine Tea!

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