Archive | February 2016

Valentine’s Day

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February 14th. Valentine’s Day. A day of love. A day of chocolate, flowers, champagne, cards. Stereotypically single people, women in particular, have felt left out and men who are in dating relationships have felt pressure to propose on this day.

And to be honest I’ve been one of those single women because everywhere around me were couples either in dating relationships or married celebrating their love. I often felt a serious “woe is me” attitude. I felt alone, depressed and I felt as if people pitied me because I didn’t have a man in my life and yes I still sometimes feel that way but this year I wanted to think about something different.

What happens on February 15th? Why put so much pressure on ourselves to celebrate one day of love when our entire lives should be a celebration of love?

I am always teased at church because I give hugs that let people know that I genuinely care about them and I want them to feel the love of Jesus through those hugs. 3539242149_8be9702397_o.jpgAnd I will take that teasing all day long because it’s more important for someone who has never felt a kind loving touch to understand how gentle, caring and comforting it is to be in the arms of Jesus. Now I’m not saying that I am Jesus because I could never die on the cross for the worlds sins but as a child of God I am supposed to reflect His attributes.

Love is not supposed to be something you buy and parade around once a year. Love is supposed to be who you are. I know it’s not always easy especially when we are called to love people who don’t look like us, act like us or have the same ideals as we have but that still doesn’t mean we get a pass on love. 1 Corinthians 13 talks about what love, especially for a believer, should look like. And as a believer, as a Christ follower it should be our standard.

So as we move closer to February 14th let’s all remember what true love looks like. It’s not balloons, it’s not flowers, it’s not candy, it’s not jewelry. It’s sitting with a friend after they’ve lost a loved one even when you don’t know what to say. It’s getting up in the middle of the night when your child has had a nightmare. It’s opening your doors to someone who doesn’t have a place to stay. It’s climbing on a cross and taking on the world’s sins to reconcile them back to their Father.

What is your definition of true love?

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone.

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Dashes

15458354908_50b1ea8ab9_o.jpgThere are two major dates in our lives. The day we are born and the day we die. The question is what do we do in between those dates.

I recently lost someone very close to me and I miss her everyday. I’m constantly thinking about how much her life impacted not only her immediate family and friends but people that only knew her through her family and friends. As I got the opportunity to spend time with her before she died I started thinking about how much she means to me and how much of a legacy she was going to leave behind. And then I started thinking about what kind of legacy I wanted to leave behind.

Everyday, whether we know it or not, our lives are affecting someone else. Just as my brother said the other day we encounter people at the grocery store. When we are filling up our tanks. When we drop off our kids at school. Even when we are driving down the highway. What kind of impression do we want to leave with them? Princess Diana was a in this world for a short time but her legacy of humanitarianism is being lived out through her children and prayerfully her grandchildren. Martin Luther King Jr., Medger Evers, Malcolm X all spoke out against injustice and while their methods were all different their ideals are still being spoken about today. Jesus encountered thousands of people in His three year ministry and everyone’s life was changed as a result. People’s lives are still being changed because of His encounters. I don’t want my life to be “she was born and then she died”. Nobody’s life should just be “they were born and then they died”. Everyone should have more than just a footnote to put between the dashes.

I feel very blessed to know that I’ve been able to touch the lives I’ve already touched but I still have more living to do and more lives to touch. When I die I want people to know that Jesus loves them. That I love them and that they matter. I don’t need to know personally everyone that I touch but I do want to know that my six degrees of separation doesn’t just stop there. Paul wasn’t satisfied with just touching a few people with Jesus’s message of salvation-he wanted to touch the world.

My aunt poured a lot of who she was into me and I’m a better person for it. So this post is dedicated to her and the legacy she leaves behind in her daughters, her husband, her grandchild, her brother, her sister and the countless others she has touched. Thank you for your life Mama Barb. I miss you everyday.

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Cupcake

I recently had surgery and I’ve been recuperating at my parents house. Both of my parents have been at work and my niece has been at school so that has left just me and the beautiful dog Cupcake at the house together. As I sit here not able to move around as much as I’m used to I watch how Cupcake spends her day. She spends her day laying around allowing people to wait on her hand and foot. She has to wait for someone to feed her, let her out to use the bathroom, play with her, pet her and she seems to be content with that.

Come to think of it it’s easy for a child to do that as well. Which is how Jesus wants us to come to Him…so why is it so easy for a child but not me?

I think it’s because the last thing we want to feel is vulnerable and needy. We seem to take it as a sign of weakness. If we’re vulnerable, if we show that we need people, if we show that we are human and have weaknesses then people might take advantage of that. And yes is a possibility. There are people who use our openness as a way to make themselves feel better but it’s not up to us to determine how people use what we give them. No we shouldn’t allow people to walk all over us but if we let a few to dictate how we interact with the majority that is giving the few power over us that they do not deserve.

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So back to Cupcake. Earlier today we took a nap. I could hardly enjoy the nap because I was worried about what she was going to get into. She on the other hand couldn’t care less about what I was doing. Her main agenda “take a nap and enjoy it”.  I even got up and asked if she needed to go outside. She looked at me, yawned and plopped on the floor as if to say “yeah, I’m not doing anything until I want to”. She clearly doesn’t really care about what people think of her. I, on the other hand, have an issue with making sure people see me a certain way.

Again it goes back to the vulnerability. If we present what we think people want to see we feel as if we have some control over them. NOT TRUE. The only thing we can control is our reaction to things-not even the things themselves. Almost four years ago I got fired. Obviously it wasn’t something I wanted-I mean who really wants to get fired-but that decision was out of my control. What was in my control was how I was going to deal with it. Freak out or trust that everything was going to work out. I’ll be honest my first instinct was to freak out. I had just bought a house, a still had a car payment, insurance etc. I had no idea what I was going to do but then I took a step back and saw it as the opportunity that it was. I learned a lot about myself and I continue to learn a lot about myself.

This surgery was considered elective but it was a necessary surgery. My goal with this recuperation is to learn to not only trust more in God but to allow people to show me love my offering their help. And I’d rather learn that lesson now on a voluntary basis then when God forces me to learn it. It’s always easy to retain a lesson when it’s learned on your time instead of on someone else’s time.

So I’m going to take a page out of Cupcake’s book by relishing in the love that is given to me and allow people to be there for me.

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