Tag Archives: Love

30 Days of Thankfulness- Day 7

8 Nov

Day 7- Today I am thankful for … God’s sense of humor… and Amazing Grace.

I hopped on my treadmill this evening and did what I always do… Crank up the speed, turned on a message from my favorite, Matt Chandler, and immediately started laughing. The title of the message was “Revenge and Love,” and God knew why I was laughing.

Just this morning I stood in my kitchen pouring my heart out to my sister about a very hard situation I am going through with a person who is causing pain to two very precious people in my life. I was brutally honest with her about how I wanted to go “Dexter style” on this human being. Now, if you don’t know who Dexter is… that is probably a good thing, and please don’t google the show, because you might look at me in a different light after you know…But hear me out. I simply want revenge. I want this person to hurt. I want them to lay in bed at night and ponder the hurtful things they are doing and WHO they are doing them to. I want God to just take them and shake them silly… I want them to suffer. Have you ever been there? Have you ever stood in your kitchen and just cried out for revenge? If you said “No” then you are SO lying 😉

A few days ago, I shared with you why I love my sister and the amazing influence she has had on my life. Well, this morning was no exception. After she “talked me off the ledge” she began to share with me her view on the situation and that my bitterness is only hurting everyone involved, even the ones that I am trying to protect. She reminded me that I am called to be different and that it was not that long ago, when I was the one, needing grace NOT revenge. With each word, my heart began to soften and I started to feel convicted. She was right. If not for God’s amazing grace and second chances, I would NOT be where I am. I am called to love my enemies. Even if the feelings are not there… I have to start somewhere.

All afternoon I ponder her words. I shared my feelings with the Lord and asked that He would soften my heart and let me see this person the way he does. I asked Him to help me and show me what I can do differently. It did not take Him long to answer… “Revenge and Love” came on and that is why I said I am thankful for God’s sense of humor! Here is what Matt had to say (or God through Matt… to my ears)

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you maybe sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:43-48

“What Jesus has just demanded of his people (remember, this is a superseding righteousness that Christ is creating in our hearts) is that we would love our enemies and pray for them. He even says there is a reward for loving your enemies and praying for your enemies that is not present when you love those who love you. If you love somebody who loves you, there is reciprocity there. Are you tracking me? There is no reward. They love you; you love them. How easy is that? But if you love those who hate you, if you love your enemies, then the reward that is… don’t lose me here… possible is that you might bring peace to where there is strife and you might see an enemy come under the same saving grace you were able to come under.”

Yes, I laughed out loud. Then as he went on, I got mad, I growled and almost spit… then I cried. I got it. I knew that God was showing me something pretty big. I have been so focused on ME, and what I want done to this person, that I have conveniently forgotten what was DONE for ME. I was given grace and forgiveness by a God to whom I was once an enemy. Then I stopped and thought … How can I love this enemy of mine in a way that is good for them, helpful for them, and in the end gives the best opportunity for them to sense, see, and enjoy the grace that has been so richly lavished upon me?

Although I don’t have all the answers to those questions I DO know that the grace I have been given, I did not deserve. And that alone is humbling and makes me stop and say, “Okay God, your grace is AMAZING, I am not, and thanks for having a sense of humor. Appreciate that.”

I have changed my prayer for this person moving forward, but I have asked that God will not just change them, but change ME. That he will transform this revengeful heart to one that loves and see’s the good, just like he did with me.

Many Blessings ~ Summer

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30 Days of Thankfulness- Day 1

2 Nov

This is my favorite time of year. I absolutely love everything about this season. The cooler weather, warmer clothes and shorter days. I love sipping wine by a fire with the smell of pumpkin filling my house. I also love that the month of November holds my favorite holiday; Thanksgiving. (I swear, if I believed in other lives, I would think that I was a pilgrim.) A few years ago, I started a little tradition where each day, starting November 1, I would write one thing I was thankful for. It is usually in the form of a Facebook status or a card to a certain person, but this year I am also going to post it on my blog! Lucky you 🙂 So, here we go:

Day 1: Today  I am thankful for… MY SISTER

Growing up, we could not have been more opposite. She was four years younger than me and quite frankly, I didn’t like her much. She was always dirty and I hated anything dirty. She loved animals, I didn’t. She was very athletic while I was chubby and happy sitting on the couch eating chips and guacamole. We didn’t have much in common and most of the time she was just in the way.

I am not sure at what age or stage of life my feelings toward her changed, but as we got older, I found her less annoying and more fun to be around. She had the ability to make me laugh and I found myself needing her. I somehow went from not liking her… to loving everything about her.

As I sit here and write this, I ponder where my life might be if not for my sister. She has been my rock, my therapist, my comedy relief and the one who has been the source of light when everything around me was black. She has shown me that there is no such thing as Impossible. She has inspired me to push through the pain when I wanted to give up and has loved me when there has not been much to love.

There are not many people who I hold in such high regard, but she has earned that spot. She has earned it by the way she lives her life. I believe that she is a living example of what Christ is like. She has a heart that knows no boundaries. She finds the best in the worst people and goes out of her way to make the people around her feel important and valued. She has not one selfish bone in body and is forgiving to a fault.

I know that I will never be able to show my sister just how much I love and admire her, but I pray that how I live my life and who I am becoming, makes her proud. Proud to call me her sister… because I can say with all that I am, it is an absolute honor to call her mine.

Many Blessings~ Summer

Back to Reality

15 Oct

It feels like FOREVER since I actually took the time to sit and write. What a crazy few weeks it has been, but now that I am settling back into “reality” I plan to jump back on the “blogging bandwagon” and write. YEA!!!!

So I survived our Hawaii trip. I am not going to lie… I am happy to be home. Who knew that a destination wedding could be so stressful? And I wasn’t even the bride. 🙂 ;From the moment we arrived, it was go, go.. GO. The days were jammed packed full of pre-wedding and family fun. And as stressful and chaotic as it was, everything turned out amazing!

When we got in on Thursday, Erik and I were able to go to Dukes restaurant, the spot he proposed two years earlier and reminisce. We both laughed as we thought of that evening and how much life has changed since. I was able to snap a few pictures of the spot he got down on one knee and kissed his “Man-Card” GOODBYE!!!

The Wedding was BEAUTIFUL. I don’t remember much of it, because I spent most of the day running around like a chicken without a head, but hey, that is what pictures are for! My mother-in-law, was simply amazing! If I had known how great she was at wedding planning, I would have put her to work when I was planning mine. She was so organized and calm… I was a hot mess for the both of us, but I cleaned up well. (Thank goodness makeup and a cute dress can hide ANXIETY) ;

Kaare was a stunning bride! I have no idea how she remained so calm and relaxed but it was clear she inherited that trait from her mother! She was glowing. I remember when she first met her groom and how excited and happy she was. It has been so fun to be apart of this journey with her and watch as she and Doug have grown in their love. I was defiantly honored to stand next to her on her special day!

The ceremony was intimate and sweet. I loved the vows that they wrote for one another, and have to admit (only because there is a picture of it, so someone has proof) I totally cried when Doug recited his vows to Kaare. They were detailed and heart felt. I guess because I love words, when I hear some that move me, I cant help but appreciate them. Doug, if you ever read this… you did a great job and I personally think you should type them out and frame them for Kaare, so she can read them everyday and HOLD YOU TO THEM:)

So when all was said and done, even with the heat, stress and chaos, it was all worth it. Spending time with Erik’s amazing family and meeting Doug and his family, is something I will always treasure.

And I loved that I got to walk down the aisle with my “groom” again!

I wish Doug and Kaare a lifetime of joy and pray they never forget their special day, a day they CHOOSE to love each other, forsaking all others.

With that, I will finish this post and go fold some laundry so my husbands thinks I actually did something today 😉

Until my next rambling (which wont take me WEEKS to write)… Many Blessings ~Summer

Choosing a love that lasts!

30 Aug

I was sitting in the waiting room of my doctor’s office this morning, when I spotted the cutest couple I have ever seen. They were sitting across for me holding hands as they both read different magazines. The lady looked up and sweetly smiled at me and said hello. I said hello back and somehow we started talking. After a few minutes I asked them how long they have been married. The gentlemen, smiled, squeezed his wife’s hand and said, “We are newlyweds, of 62 years.” My heart melted. Then he said, “My bride is more beautiful today than the day I married her.” Okay seriously, can you get any more adorable? No, I didn’t think so. I am pretty sure the receptionist and I swooned at the same time. I knew the nurse was probably going to call them soon, so I had to ask what their secret was. How have they made it last for 62 years? The man looked at me and said, “Everyday I wake up, I chose to love my wife. When we have a bad day, I choose to love her. When we have a good day, I choose to love her” And then the best of all…”Even when she burns my supper, I chose to love her.” 

I left the doctor’s office, thankful I had met that couple and even though our paths may never cross again, what he said to me will not be forgotten. Love is a choice. The Bible’s premier “love” passage or very definition of love is found in I Corinthians 13 :4-8, it says; “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” I love that in this  description Jesus gave of what love is and what it’s not, everything requires action.

For many years I viewed love as an emotion or a feeling you have for someone else, but now that I am married, I realize that emotions are not something to base a marriage on, but simply something to start a marriage with. Marriage is hard work and if you are relying on the emotional connection with someone to carry you through for the rest of your life (like I once was) you will quickly be disappointed. Because the very definition of love is not an emotion. It requires action and actions are a direct result of… choices.

I think this sweet little man understood this. He knew that life was going to be good and it was also going to be bad. He knew that some days his wife would make the best dinner and other days she would burn it, but most of all he knew that in order to make it through those times, he was going to have to wake up every morning and choose to love her, even when he didn’t feel like it. I love their story and what’s great is that this can be our story too. If we simply choose to love our spouse no matter what, we will be able to sit and after 62 years of marriage tell someone of a younger generation… this is how to make love last.

Blessings~ Summer

The Value in Today

21 Aug

 

He kissed his wife and 3 month old son goodbye and headed out the door for a fishing trip with one of his friends. He has been going to the same lake in Oregon since he was a boy. He knew the in’s and out’s of that place like it was nothing.It was in an instant that everything changed and somehow on the way in, the boat he was capsized into the really cold waters leaving him and his friend to fight for their lives. Sadly, his body was consumed with hypothermia and as hard as he fought, he didn’t win. He died doing something he had done over and over again.

 

I heard this young man’s story as I was on one of my evening runs. My eyes were filled with tears because sitting at home were my babies and big girls and it got me thinking… I run this particular route almost everyday. It is a 4 mile loop around where I live and I could probably run it in my sleep. When I lace up my shoes, put on my earphones and head out to the street, I never think… “I may not come back from this run.” No, I think, “Ahhhh, 30 to 35 minutes of ME time.” I am sure that young man did not kiss his wife that day thinking it would be the last time he ever saw her face. He assumed, like we all do, I will be back soon, life will go on and I will live to see tomorrow.

Every single one of us has an invisible clock over our head. It is counting down the days that we have left here on this earth and not one of us knows then that clock will stop ticking. So, what are we doing with each moment we have here? More importantly, are we making valuable deposits into the lives of our spouse, children, family members and friends?

I am learning that it’s never to late to start. As I continued to listen to the message they spoke of his memorial service and one after one, people got up and told stories of how this ONE man had made an impact on their life. This is my hearts desire. If something was to happen to me tomorrow… I want my husband to know that he was my dream come true and since meeting him, I have become a better person. I want my 4 daughter to know that they are my treasure. I cherish them for the life they have given to this once lifeless soul. I want my mom and sister to know that there are NO words to explain my love and appreciation for putting up with me and for all the amazing memories we have. I want all my family and Erik’s family to know that they mean everything to me.

We are not guaranteed tomorrow, although most of us will wake up and have a “tomorrow” but we need to value and cherish today. We need to love the ones who love us and pray for those who don’t. Go, kiss your husband or wife and thank them for all they do for you. Tell them just how much you love them. Grab your kids, young or old, and hug them, letting them know how proud they have made you. Call your mom or dad and let them know how lucky you are to have had them as parents. If you cannot do that because they are no longer here, than simply thank God for allowing them to be in your life.

There is so much value in TODAY! Go out and find it.

Blessings ~ Summer

A letter to my sister

30 Jul

Dear Sis,

I am SO proud of you. I am proud of the woman you have become and what you are doing with your life. I am proud and humble to call you my sister and my friend.

For 3 1/2 years now, I have watched you grow in your Faith. I watched you surrender all you are to the Lord and walk in obedience despite the cost. I watched you become so strong and I have also watched all of this rub off on so many.

With grace, love and humility, you have changed lives. Not just mine, but if mine was the only life you ever changed, I know that would be enough for you. Your true love for Jesus is evident in all you do. It is evident in how you treat others. It is evident in how you lead your children and respect your husband. It is evident in the way you serve without ever needing or wanting anything in return. I know your hearts desire is to be a light in a world full of darkness.

Witnessing your baptism last night… Your public declaration to follow and serve Jesus, no matter what… was such a proud moment for me. I stood there in awe of how far you have come. When the world was offering you so much, you chose the path less traveled. You chose the road that is narrow and so very hard at times. You knew the cost, but you walked it anyway, and that has led you to a life of redemption.

I love you with all that I am and I am so thankful that God chose YOU to be my little sister. He chose us to have a bond that the strong-holds of this world cannot break. Thank you for loving me in my darkest of hours and never giving up on me. Thank you for believing in me when everyone had given up on me. Thank you for seeing something in me and knowing what I was capable of becoming. But most of all, thank you for passionately pursing Jesus and living a life that changes others.

Make Me Up Summer

Certified Makeup Artist & Airbrush Makeup Specialist

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