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Love Looks Like…

 

When I was a childchildhood love

Love was kittens and puppies

And splashing in puddles

Love was a summer’s day

On my bike that went on forever

Love was making cookies with mom

Or taking walks with dad

And looking up into their faces

Knowing I was safe

 

When I was a teen

Love was sweet stolen kissesfeet in love

In darkened movie theaters

Love was best friend sleepovers

And secrets by flashlight

Love was romantic daydreams

And summertime romance

 

When I was an adult

Love was meeting that person

Who filled all my empty placeshands on tracks

Love was a best friend forever

That I felt free to laugh or cry with

Love was that one special person

To complete a new family circle

 

Now as a wife love is in one

who has seen all my darkness

And still stands beside me

And now as a mom love is a constantfather child hands

giving away of my heart and yet

there is always more to give

 

Now I thought I understood how love looks

But of all the many faces of love

That I’ve been blessed to know

There’s one I almost missed

A love that had me before I recognized it

A love that had me before I returned it

A love that had me before I received it

A love in the shape of a cross

love looks like...

 

 


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If God is Love….

If God is love….what does that mean to me?

 

…God is love… John 4:16b

Probably the most overused Bible quotes of all time, second only to John 3:16. But a most important quote. It tells me that God truly does love me because it is His very nature to love. He can’t not love.

Someone once explained the extant of God’s love to me like this:

You know how, when you visit a family with a toddler in it, they always have those big clunky crayons drawings hanging on the refrigerator? If you are parent, then you are most likely guilty of this too. It’s a magical moment when your child first makes that connection that the purple thing in his hands will create big fat lines when he runs it against paper (hopefully not the wall!), so he colors purple lines on every scrap of paper he can find. The parents, being understandably proud, will hang it on the fridge for everyone to admire. If you see this in a friend’s house, I would recommend not commenting negatively as it tends to upset parents. Comments such as, “ Ooh, I see Johnny found the red crayon” are met with angry glares and a retort along the lines of “Hey, that’s my kid’s first coloring page” .

Can you imagine what God’s refrigerator must look like? He might have Michelangelo’s work hanging from a magnet. Or mine. Or yours. An angel gets thirsty and asks God for a cold drink. “Help yourself”, God replies. As the angel approaches the fridge, he sees my artwork, front and center of God’s fridge. “What is that?” the angel will cry. “Lord, you could have Picasso or Monet’s work there and you choose that?” he will ask incredulously. And God will look that angel straight in the eye and say, “Hey, that’s my kid’s!”

That’s how much I am loved.  You too.

god's love


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Starry Winter Nights

 

night sky

I don’t care how you spin it, I am just not a winter person. I don’t like the cold or the ice or the short days and long nights. I don’t like having to bundle up in heavy coats. I don’t like the way my hair gets so fly away in the dry air, and I don’t like having to wear gloves which makes me even clumsier than I already am.  I love the way everything looks right after a snow storm, but as soon as I look at the shovel leaning up against the porch door, I’m longing for spring.

Having said all that, let me add one more thing. I do love the night sky in the winter. The stars never look brighter than they do in winter. That cold, dry air that is my skin’s worst enemy, causes those stars to sparkle like they never can in the humidity of summer.

No matter how cold it is, I always take a moment to look up on cold nights and see how many of the constellations I can recognize. I call out their names like greeting an old friend, “There’s Orion!” and “Follow the star to Arcturus!”. And all the time I know that I am not the one who really calls the stars. They do not appear for my benefit. They answer a higher call and serve a greater purpose.night sky 2

Lift your eyes and look to the heavens; who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.

Isaiah 40:26

The God that created such a dazzling display that we humans have been watching night after night for eons and still have not tired of, that God also looks down upon me and smiles with a tenderness that I cannot understand yet am grateful that it exists.

When I consider your heavens, the works of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you havestars set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?

Psalm 8:3,4

The stars dance at His command. The sun sets and rises at His calling. The winds and the waves answer to Him. Hard to imagine that He can hold the universe in one hand and myself in the other. When I stray, He calls me back. When I walk straight, He holds me close.

 

 

Who am I that He should even notice?

I am His child.

father and child feet


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Happy Groundhog Day!

 

P1010724

 

P1010740There’s a town in Pennsylvania that is known for its devotion to its very famous resident rodent. Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania has long been known as the Groundhog Day capital of the world. Now before I start to get angry notes from Punxsutawnians, let me just say that I have grown to admire this quaint little town over the years. My daughter attends college out that way and the highway that we take goes right through the middle of the P1010721town. It’s become quite the game as we drive through to search out the groundhog statues that adorn street corners and many local businesses. The town hired artists to create these quirky fiberglass statues and placed them around the main business district of the town. When you drive through, or better yet, stop and take a stroll around, there is no mistaking that you are in the hometown of that weather predicting phenomena known as Punxsutawney Phil.

P1010733I must admit, I was a little surprised on that first drive through. I P1010746couldn’t help but think that it was a bit crazy to choose to base your identity on a rodent combined with a legend,  but I have come to appreciate the charm and creativity of the this town and the people who call it home. It could easily have become a tacky sideshow, but instead Punxsutawney has become a place that celebrates its heritage with dignity, grace and a touch of whimsy that is endearing to all who are blessed to see it.

So now I have to ask, “Where have I based my identity? Is it in my home? My family? My job? The things that I write in this blog?” What do people see when they look at me. Be careful, for the exterior that you show the world, is the legacy that you leave behind.

 

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. 

John 13:34, 35

And there it is.

I choose to be follower of Christ and I hope it is more than my exterior. I want it to sink deep inside and make a difference in the way I live, the choices I make and shine in a love that goes beyond my grumpy mood or bad day.

Choose love, live love.