April 24, 2013

5 Ways I've Botched Love

I used to think of love as a fluffy thing like marshmellows with pink frosting ~ sweet, without much substance. But love is deep and unstoppable; something very opposite of light and fluffy. Love reaches in where no one else will go and touches the hearts of those hungry for it. And I've botched it plenty of times.

1. Love requires sacrifice. That doesn't sound fluffy. I'm a homebody. I don't like driving in traffic or shopping. But sometimes the loving (sacrificial) thing to do is to put aside what I want for my family's sake and do it anyway. I don't like to cook, but if I'm the one home before dinnertime, it's loving to pull out the meat and get dinner going. I get uncomfortable telling the truth in sticky situations. But love doesn't shy away from speaking up just to save oneself from being uncomfortable. Love shares in tender understanding.

2. Love is patient. I'm someone who wants what I want when I want it. But love doesn't act that way. It waits, it considers the other person and what's happening with them. If I want the living room picked up in a hurry, that's usually about me. The hurrying may be because I don't want company to see it messy or I want it done now because I don't want to worry about it later when I'm tired. But patience understands that others are in the middle of something and it may take them a bit to disengage. Patience doesn't rush someone faster than their pace can handle (not running with a toddler who can't keep up; or expecting a teenager to get ready in ten minutes). Patience considers the other person.

3. Love is understanding. I've had my fair share (translation: mountains) of assuming things and not extending understanding. Instead of demanding to be understood, love moves forward to understand. It reaches out to get to know a person, see how they think and what their interests are. I often assume I know what people are thinking instead of asking and seeking to truly understand with a simple question like, "I feel like you're angry with me right now, are you?" I've had several interactions where the person was taken completely off guard when I asked that because they weren't angry at me at all; they were just stressed or hurrying and it came off as angry. Love doesn't assume, it seeks to understand and asks questions to find out.

4. Love doesn't let fear dominate. There are many things I've avoided doing out of fear, but love doesn't let fear dictate. Love says, I will move forward despite fear for your sake. I may be fearful of having others think bad of me if my kids misbehave, but love looks beyond that fear and considers the age and capabilities of the children. I might not want to go on a family biking trip because I fear I'll slow everyone down. But love says, I'll participate with you even if I can't keep up. I'll set fear aside.

5. Love is a gift. So many times I have insisted someone love me or show me love. But love can't be demanded. I can't force someone to love me; if I try it will produce a false version of love ~ duty. Love can only be given freely with no expectations. I can hand out love as much as I want, but I cannot require it in return. Although, I have found love is a magnet, and many times it is returned; but if getting loved is the goal, then it's not really love. Love doesn't require you to meet my standards or live up to what I want you to be. Love takes you where you're at, and accepts you as you are.

The older I get the more I realize I may never fully grasp all the facets of love, but I am determined to try.

Photos://Chalk art heart//Fluffy Casserole//My youngest daughter and friend creating art//Rainbow art//My oldest daughter and friend going to prom//Myriad of color//


  1. So beautifully written!! I loved reading this. I have botched it all up too! But, the wonderful thing about true love - is that it forgives. ;) Thank goodness!!

    1. Oh you're so right, Jen! Love is full of forgiveness. Thank you for your sweet words. :D

  2. Seriously good stuff! Thanks for sharing. :)


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