Friday, February 20, 2009

Love.







All of the things pictured here are things I have spied online recently and can't help but love. {I don't claim rights to any of them.} I think I must be in a muted zone right now because I didn't realize, until I posted these images altogether, that all of them share similar colors/tone. I'm terrible at keeping track of where I find stuff I like- I have a tendency to click and save images into folders, but I rarely ever keep track of the original sources. I plan to edit this post and link up all the neat stuff pictured here today. Just give me a bit of time and I'll go hunting for sources. (Here's where I saw the cute cupcake garland.) (And here's a link to the rainclouds canvas.) (Found the pinatas via this blog.) So, other than the bird wallpaper, I'm all set on sources this time around!
Okay.
Speaking of love, besides felt clouds and expensive pinatas (the ones pictured above cost $135.00!!) and cupcake liner garlands, I have been thinking about what love really, truly is, and just how hard it is to love consistently in my life. I am good at kissing my kids goodnight and telling them I love them throughout the day, but I have to admit I fall short at 'loving them' when they yell at one another over who's turn it is to play the Wii or when they have to be called 6 times before coming to the table to eat, and other various moments when they're being less than perfect kids.
I find it hard to love Chip when the kids have drained my energy for the day and he walks into the house after work and finds me tired and short-tempered. I find that more often than not, love is not an easy thing for me to do- unless I am consciously making the effort to show love. I am realizing more and more that most of the things I do- my "acts of love" for my family- are so routine that they end up being overlooked. I'm sure if I quit doing laundry for a few days, the piles of dirty clothes would start to make a statement. But in doing daily loads of laundry, it just becomes a "chore" and nobody 'sees' it as love. It's expected and it just gets done.
However, I believe that in doing things for others- our actions- express our love more than simply saying the words, "I love you".
As I continue to strive to live an intentional life, meaning being fully aware and engaged in the things I do and say (or the things I don't do or say), I am finding that there are ways to show love and be a 'better person' if I just act on certain things. It seems like such a simple concept, and it is- but it's not always easy to implement- especially on the long, hard days that come our way at times.
Today, I did a little thing. I took the garbage out to the end of our driveway. Chip most often brings the garbage out on Friday mornings as he's getting the kids loaded up for school. But today he had a meeting and was gone, but rushed home to pick up the kids and drop them off at school. I knew he would be in a bit of a hurry. I knew it was a chore he normally does, but I also knew that by taking the garbage bin out it would save him some trouble. So I did it, all the while knowing it would make his life a bit easier.
When he came home, one of the first things he said was, "You must like to take the garbage out... I see you beat me to it today". I said, "I don't like to take the garbage out, but I know you don't either".
Now, before you start to think I am some superwife or want some bragging rights, I'll tell you I mess up more than I get it right. I am a work in progress. My family knows I love them all very much, but I blow a lot of opportunities to show them just how much I care. I am challenging myself to love in ways that I wouldn't automatically love- in ways beyond just doing the 'usuals'. I am wanting to push myself to love- even when it's not comfortable or expected. I have known what love is for a long time, and I know there are times when it's wasy to love and times when it's hard to love.
But no matter the circumstances, I want to be a person who loves no matter the level of ease. I want to be a person that loves. Period.

13 comments:

MandieGirl said...

There must be something in the air. This is something I'm dealing with lately, too. Thanks for sharing the sweet images-LOVE that cupcake banner!!!

Chantelle said...

The cupcake garland is sooo cute. I think I'll try that.

And thanks for the reminder to love in unexpected ways.

Chelsea P. said...

I am with you. I love my kids (and my husband, too, for that matter) more than they could ever know, and I want to make every moment (whether in fun or discipline) be a way that I show them that. But in the busy-ness of the day, and the chores piling high, and the attitudes going sour, I'm afraid that's not always the message that comes across. And that's when I've had a good night's sleep! I hate that the ones you care about the most are the ones you're most comfortable with- because the real me that comes out fails a lot. Thanks for the encouragement that I'm not alone and it is still worth striving to love everyone better.

DJones said...

Thank you for saying it!

lisalyn said...

First of all..I have been reading your blog for some time and I can tell that you LOVE your family!
My blog header says "It is not how much you do, but how much love you put in the doing." And when I hear all the GOOD things you do, I am sure they are filled with love so it's ok if you don't just always SAY it....showing it is a wonderful thing. :)

I've come across a blog that I really appreciate (and need to implement into my life more!). It's www.operationnice.com/ They share some cool ways so show our love to others. I would nominate your taking the garbage out as one of those "nice" things to do..just because it was unexpected and nice of you. That's what people need...other's doing nice things for them....that's love! :)

We all blow those opportunities at times...it's life, but we can make up for it somewhere else.
I don't have little ones running around my house anymore :( but I do remember what it feels like and how tiring one can get. It's exhausting, but I miss it! I also had to take care of my niece ALOT. I love her but it was almost like she was an intruder in our home. :( I know that's terrible! So I failed sometimes....there were times that I should have done better to her and my own kids. I know that....and she and I have talked about it. (she's 20 now). I really should be showing her some love now that I think of it. :) Think I need to get a care package off to her. See how you've inspired me!! :)


Oh...and I LOVE the pictures you shared today...so very cool. Thank You.

Lauren Kelly said...

I said it once, and I'll say it again, I love your blog. It so resignates with me, and I'm so blessed by it. You have really challenged me in the area of love. Thank you!

wife.mom.nurse said...

I love these things too") Good eye. I especially like the cupcake garland. It took me awhile to figure out what I was seeing.

caro said...

... so do I. thanks for saying it out loud. Hugs.

Memaw Barbie said...

One thing I learned from Dr. James Dobson early in my marriage is that the best thing you can do for your children is to love and honor their father and he is to love and show honor to you.Sometimes that is not easy in marriage, but it seems you have learned that early too. You are a wise woman and your family is blessed. I am on the other side of raising my children. They are grown and have children of their own so I am trying to pass that on to my grandchildren.
It is a blessing to hear your faithfullness to your family. Blessings Memaw Barbie

Jennifer said...

I really liked this post because I am a big believer in showing love by doing, but am at the point where I make my husband's life so easy. I told him the other day that I am done making his life easier until he starts making mine easier. I love doing things for him out of the blue, but... I know I am doing the opposite of what your post is about, but sometimes in doing things for others, you get taken for granted and they just start expecting it. He has started helping out more and I thank him when he does those little things. But you have to start somewhere eh? If not, it is a vicious cycle that can spiral out of control if it isn't acknowledged.

mamatwoboys said...

Thanks for sharing yourself today. My oldest son and I had a rough morning but thankfully got to I'm sorry and I love you NO MATTER WHAT before he left for school. I'm hopeful that as he spent his day at school, jealous of his sick brother who got to stay home, that he will know the love that I have for him. I will certainly lavish him with more lovin all evening, as much as I can.

Lisa the Lovely said...

what's in those pinatas? your 135 dollars??

Chey said...

That was lovely and so well put. Like MandieGirl and you that's something I'm also working on.... so it's so nice to hear others thoughts on it to!