Sunday, February 15, 2015

Love is...

This week while teaching a kid’s yoga class, I asked them to check in with a response to the following: “My heart is filled with…” The responses were each precious: (peace, hope, joy, love, God, kindness…), but the one that stayed with me was EVERYTHING! Our work in practicing loving kindness is to embrace it all; the good and bad, happy and sad, and everything in between. As adults we are constantly judging, controlling, and trying to shape our world into a desired outcome, but kids are different. They are pure of heart, and so they are better able to accept what is. They are often our teachers, if we can soften enough to acknowledge their wisdom and brilliance.

The next day, I sat alone preparing for a pre-valentine’s girls night out. We were challenged by a dear friend who is a gifted teacher. She invited us to write a love letter to God. She gave us some questions to ponder: What do you Love about Him? Where have these qualities been palpable in your life? When does He make you feel most alive? I put the assignment off as long as I could. I tried to begin several times, but got distracted and pulled away in a million different directions. Then finally, an hour before I was being picked up, I reread all my brainstorms and half-finished love letters and wrote something worthy of bringing along. After spending time catching up, we read these precious love letters aloud. It was amazing to me the way that God’s love poured through these amazing women as they shared longing and desire, gratitude and awe. It was the perfect place of preparation for the real task which was to take that heart overflowing with love to the paper once again. This time she brought out beautiful stationary and sparkly hearts and asked us to write a love letter to our husband. It was a good challenge.

Writing comes pretty naturally to me, so I dove right in, but the real beauty came to me near the end of the letter, when I addressed the mystery and the goodness of God’s design. That he would take two young and very dysfunctional kids and bind us together in His perfect love. That he would use our stories of grief and shattered dreams to create a fairy tale. I was in awe as I looked back over our history together to see God’s perfect plan unfolding. It was in EVERYTHING… From the drunken teenagers sitting on my front porch sharing our stories of harm and our longing for more, to two 40 year old parents who are ready, willing, and able to grow up and be used for God.
This Valentine’s weekend I am filled with Gratitude for God’s love that is everywhere. I am blown away to bear witness to it in my children, both when they are loving one another, and when they are torturing one another. Love is in all things. It is everywhere and it never fails!


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