Sunday, February 14, 2010

L-O-V-E!

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Words cannot express the thankfulness I feel for my husband.
And the past month has made me fall in love in a whole new way.
Happy Valentine's Day, my love!
I am excited about every day I get to live with you.

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This and That...

An ideal Friday night
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Aggie booties from my parents and Baylor Bear outfit from Aunt Julie
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Exercising with Daddy
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And one of the sweetest things I've ever seen
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Every day this month I have been reading through 1 Corinthians 13 to focus my mind on Love.

It's been really good for me. The words on what love is, and what it is not, have come to mind many times in the last couple weeks as I'm tempted to act in an unloving way, like insisting on my own way or being irritable (vs. 5).

Last week Caedmon and I went on our first outing alone. It was only around the corner to Starbucks and then to the grocery store down the street, but it felt monumental!
I strapped him on to me and he slept the whole time we were out.

I was sitting there at Starbucks at my nice little table with my coffee and my sweet little baby and my Bible, reading 1 Corinthians 13. Close to perfect.

But then, perfection changed to uneasiness as a man took a seat at the table right next to me. He was not unlike many men and women we encounter everyday in the City... matted hair, soiled clothing, a stench, homeless. He spoke nonsensically to himself, which always makes things feel so unpredictable and uncomfortable.

I was immediately so put-off by his presence, mainly because I was holding my clean, healthy little baby, yet to be touched by the dirtiness of the City. I wondered what diseases he might be carrying, and if they could be caught sitting in such close proximity.

Trying to carry on with my nice morning and divert my attention, I looked back down to the passage.

As I read, the very obvious hit me.

Here I sat reading about what Love is. At the moment while reading, I was thinking about my family and how to love them better. And that is sometimes a challenge because of the sin in me, but it's not really all that difficult.

But this passage wasn't just talking about loving those it's easy to love. No, it's probably speaking even more about those it is hard to love, like the man to my left.

There was no way I could go on reading the passage and reflecting on how it affected my family and I, while I was feeling such animosity towards the man. This is exactly what it is talking about!

So I took a few moments and just prayed for God to change my heart towards him. Yes, he was making me uncomfortable, but the discomfort I was feeling was just a tiny fraction of the discomfort he had most likely experienced his whole life.

I remembered that not all that long ago he too was a little precious baby boy, just like Caedmon. He may have had a mother lovingly hold him, or there's a good chance he did not.

And to think, God has just as much love for him as He does for me? Wow. I elevate myself so highly sometimes, it's frightening.

I'd love to say I went and made friends with him and talked for a while, but I didn't. That was about it, besides the smile I gave him on my way out. But I was thankful for the heart change. That's really something only God can do in me, and I was thankful He allowed me to see clearly.

We talk a lot about loving the poor and marginalized in the City. Living life alongside them is one of the beautiful things about an urban home.

But my natural inclination and first response is usually not love. That is something I am continually asking God to change in me. How will my children see me respond to the needy God puts in my path? I want them to see a God-glorifying response.

And the truth is, I don't have the option of being selective with my love. There's enough for everyone, and everyone is who it is meant for.

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Happy Valentine's Day to YOU!

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