No, I Love YOU More…

I love you more

My youngest daughter and I will go back and forth sometimes about who loves the other more. It’s pretty cute, I’ll usually start with “Elle, I love you” and she’ll come back with “I love you too”. Then, I’ll say “I love you more” and she’ll say , “no, I love YOU more…” and it continues. Her response is precious and as much as I love to hear it, I know now, as a parent myself, that our kids will never be able to comprehend our love for them until they have a child of their own. They may love us with as much as their little hearts know how to love another human being, but they cannot yet comprehend our love for them.  Our love for them is unexplainably sacrificial. What we are willing to do for our children truly blows me away. We can summon strength we didn’t know existed in us because of the true love we have for them.

I can’t help but parallel this exchange between God and us when we tell Him that we love Him. No matter how much our hearts are filled to the absolute brim with love for Him, His response is always “I love you more.” Unexplainable and sacrificial, deeper than we deserve, wider than we can fathom, and as consistent as we dare to comprehend.

Elle is not feeling well this weekend. She’s actually lying on the couch right now and I’m wishing I could take her place. I’d take her sickness in a heartbeat if it were possible. Jesus did just that. He took our sickness as humans and died for it, for us. His is a sacrificial love. Whether we desire or are even aware of His love does not change the fact that it’s there. His arms are wide open and ready to hold us and love us no matter what and no matter when. We are given the free will to lean into that love, ignore it, or reject it altogether. After all, what’s a forced love anyway? I wouldn’t want anyone to feel like they HAVE to love me or pretend to love me. I doubt you would either, that’s not real love.

Remember that the next time you feel impressed to express your love to God in any way, shape, or form, His response to you is always “I love you more”. And who can argue with that? It’s not meant to argue with, it’s meant to enjoy.

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Worrier vrs. Warrior

warrior

I shared this title idea with one of my coworkers this past week and she agreed that it would be a great one for most of us. I have been a tried and true worrier my whole life. If worry were a disease, I’d be riddled with it. “What could I have done or said differently?” “This must be MY fault.” “I should have fixed it or stopped it or done whatever I tried to do differently.” Any time a problem comes my way I tend to immediately blame myself. It’s gotta be me. What’s wrong with ME?….

When God says “Be Still” this calms my nerves. This phrase reminds me that rejection may have been the most loving option, not the least. This phrase reminds me that sometimes it’s not what we COULD have done but what God DID do that sent that particular situation in that particular direction. This phrase reminds me that no matter how much we fear we may mess things up, He is STILL in control.

Sure, we make choices and may suffer consequences, but like the perfect parent He is, He still loves us. Sometimes the choices are made for us and we tend to take that VERY personally. Once again….WHY ME?? We need to fall towards His love and not away. Give the situation back to Him and remind ourselves that it’s just too heavy for us to carry.

What makes a worrier?  Insecurity, lies, paranoia, stress, questions, rejection, FEAR!

What makes a warrior? Prayer, peace, truth, confidence, strength, power, SURRENDER!

Waving the white flag of surrender makes us the warriors we need to be to live in this world. It’s HIS way or the highway, not mine. We shouldn’t be afraid to make choices, we shouldn’t be afraid to try, we shouldn’t be afraid to fail. The desire to live our lives to honor Him is the best we have to offer. It doesn’t mean we have to be perfect. He doesn’t expect perfection.

Living loved is the best defense against worry. He wants us to live loved. Living consciously aware of His love throughout the day will take the sting out of disappointments, rejection, and worry. Living loved can remove the fear of trying, failing, and trying again. Knowing that we were loved in the past (when it happened), are loved today (while it’s happening), and will be loved in the future (even if it happens) is a warrior’s perspective.

I don’t write as an overcomer to worry, it’s still a daily struggle for me. I write to remind myself of these truths because I desire to live as a warrior too. Let’s fight (surrender) together. Oorah!

He Loves Me Enough To….

 

he loves me enough to

He loves me enough to….

  • Let go
  • Forgive
  • Relax
  • Move forward
  • Change
  • Be honest and get real
  • Admit weakness
  • Come to my rescue
  • Help me raise my children
  • Listen anytime and every time
  • Try new things
  • Try again
  • Chase a new dream
  • Give more than I “think” I can
  • Share more than I “think” I can
  • Speak up
  • Stand up
  • Keep going….

That’s freedom to me.

Each one of us has different fears, different issues, different pasts, and different baggage. God’s love is the healing balm. Feeling His love will cover you, embrace you, strengthen you, remind you, and overwhelm you. His love is why my grandpa’s favorite song was “No Regrets”. The lyrics “No regrets, I chose to follow Him” is actually written along the bottom of his tombstone and I can hear him singing it every time I read those lines….

No regrets because His love is what it’s all about.

In the Trenches

trenches

Do you ever feel like you are “in the trenches”? In the trenches of raising littles ones, in the trenches of working full time, trenches of singleness, marriage, or a long term relationship? There are trenches of all sorts…..caring for elderly parents, caring for infants, raising teenagers, grief, even empty nester trenches. When we see someone in a trench with us, we should come up alongside and encourage them. So often our human instinct is to judge, compare, criticize, and question. Where’s the love in that?

Open your heart and eyes to others and help them if you can. Encourage when you can. Sympathize, empathize, and love. If you can’t do any of these, don’t intentionally harm them. Correction can be a form of love, but to quote John Maxwell “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” TRUTH! They will know us by the way we love.

Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. John 13:34,35

The next time you see someone in a trench with you or one you’ve been in before, give them a smile, a compliment, or at least an understanding head nod to let them know that you can relate to what they are dealing with. Offer them a push and a prayer because we all get stuck now and then. The trenches of life are seasons. Some seasons last longer than others, let’s help each other get to the other side.