"Life in abundance comes only through great love." Elbert Hubbard
Have you ever wondered what love really is? I know there was a time in my life when I did. I could not understand what was wrong with me, or why love seemed to totally elude me. I always wanted to be the person that was married for 75 years, to the same spouse. The wife who knew what made her husband happy, the little old lady walking down the street, holding her husbands hand and still, very much in love.
I wanted to be the mom who had the house that every other kid in town wanted to live at. I wanted to be happy, loving, caring, calm and quiet. I wanted my kids to love being with me. I wanted them to have fun and to laugh a lot. I wanted them to believe that I was nearly perfect.
I had a lot of growing up to do, and a lot of discovery about myself to do also. Sadly, none of those dreams have come true for me. I am still learning how to bridle my passions, how to not be annoyed when I am interrupted, how to enjoy homework, arguing, fighting, pushing and pinching. I have come to find that love is not at all like I dreamed, but is even better than I ever imagined. I have come to learn what love really means, as well as some of the things that it is not. Let me share just a few of them with you.
Love is not a feeling. No matter what the poetry says, no matter what the books you read say. Love is a verb. A verb is an action word. An action word requires some type of action on our part. It is not passive, (Though we often act as if it were).
Love is not something that we fall into, or out of. It is not a crack on the pavement, or a deep hole in the ground. It can not take any action on it's own. It needs us to make it work. It is a willingness to change, a willingness to serve.
Love is an accumulation of many, tiny, small acts of service. It is the little things that are done for the ones that we care about. It is a choice we make, to put someone else's needs about our own. It is learning to be unselfish, caring and kind. But, it’s even more than that; love is a sincere desire for the other person’s happiness.
Love is changing diapers in the middle of the night, fixing dinner, reading stories, reading scriptures, prayer, cleaning up after others. It is doing the laundry and the dishes. It is going to movies that are not your favorite, and watching "Tangled" 300 times in a month, and snuggling down with a sick child when you would rather be doing something else. Love is knowing that you are holding hearts in your hands, and not doing things to damage them. Love is choosing not to be angry or cranky. Love is honor and respect for one another. It is understanding that we are all different. It is allowing hearts to mesh together, while the edges grow and become what we were meant to be.
The most important thing about love that I have learned is that it is a gift. Both a gift that you give to another, and also a gift that you give yourself. It is finding the strength within to forgive the hurts that you will surely suffer. I believe that it is important to love yourself, to forgive yourself, to realize and accept that you are not perfect. I believe when we are humble, we are more open to finding love in all the right places. A lasting love, the hand-holding, walk you across the street, kind of love. A love that is nurtured and that grows from your heart right into eternity.
“Because,” words by Edward Teschemacher (1902).
Because you come to me with naught save love,
And hold my hand and lift mine eyes above,
A wider world of hope and joy I see,
Because you come to me.
Because you speak to me in accents sweet,
I find the roses waking round my feet,
And I am led through tears and joy to thee,
Because you speak to me.
Because God made thee mine, I’ll cherish thee
Through light and darkness, through all time to be,
And pray His love may make our love divine,
Because God made thee mine.
I am linking up today for Meditation Mondays over at Living a Big Story. Hope to see you there with your own meditation for the week.