I love my family. Fiercely. We’ll often get something we call “love surges” for each other and will tackle each other with hugs and kisses. Our older daughter Mira really shows her love surges with her intense eyebrows turned down almost like she’s upset but she’s just really expressing her fierceness! It’s pretty funny. I feel so blessed and thankful everyday. Of course, I’m not in a constant state of thankfulness; sometimes I feel frustrated or put out because I have to do mom things like clean up spilled milk or tell my youngest daughter NOT to unroll the toilet paper roll for what feels like the hundredth time. But I do try to stay as close to that state of thankfulness as possible.
I got to really thinking about love the other day when I encountered a part of the bible that I hadn’t read before but had heard many, many times (especially during wedding vows). It was 1 Corinthians 13 verses 4-8:
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends…
Wow. What beautiful words. I sat in bed reading and taking some time to really listen to their meanings, and I found my heart searching my own quality of love. I know I have a lot of love to give, but I also realized that the quality of my love could use more growth than I had realized. I love fiercely, but do I love without resentment or irritability?
Just lingering on each word gave me a completely new appreciation for love. And I realized that love is selfless. And I have a problem with being selfish. I’ve always wrestled with that part of myself. While I try to do things for others, deep down I always want my way and will push and push until I get it. My extended family and co-workers have seen that trait. And it really bothers me that I can’t just stop being selfish.
So I acknowledge that my love is irritable and resentful and rude sometimes. And I pray and ask God for his grace and love and help so that I can be more patient and kind. Like today, when I was grumpy and responded roughly to Mira and then she responded roughly back and it became this grump-fest and I didn’t like the way it felt and wanted to fix it but still get my way and save face. And I realized getting my way and saving face is not like the love I read about in 1 Corinthians. Plus, this kid is smarter than I know and she deserves an apology and a hug. So I said a ten-second prayer and stumbled my way through an apology and we hugged it out and things became peaceful. Thank you, God. And thank you 1 Corinthians for keeping me honest and open and in time, maybe, more selfless.