This is a story about a simple lesson I learned in the past year about a four-letter word we all say all the time. LOVE. I use the word LOVE a lot. I mean it to the Bearded one, my children, my friends, family, and even co-workers. I say that I love chocolate and whiskey. Lord knows I LOVE shoes. This blog isn’t just about just saying the word love for anything- a vain repetition. We’re at the beginning of a full new adventure for two people coming together with their children and creating a new family.
For two previously divorced people who stepped into bad choices for other relationships, we want our relationship to be different. That is to say; we’re going to do things differently than we had in the past. The past didn’t work, and good relationships take work. We’ve learned from our histories, and we want to be the best parents and partners we can be. We’re coming up on the anniversary of the one-time appearance of the “Blue Shoes.” Otherwise known as our first official date. I know boys think girls are rediculous about remembering things like that, but for us, it was our last first kiss, our last first date and the last day we’ve slept apart from each other without a compelling reason (such as work or a trip). I don’t like to be apart from him, nor does he want to be apart from me.
We woke up this first day of a new decade, wanting to stay in bed and enjoy the last two days of quiet we’ll have in a very long time. Of course, that is not what happened at all. He had to leave to finish up side work. I needed to run some errands, but we still enjoyed a cup of coffee and said our usual departure, “I love you, see you soon.” We have this Q & A book that he and I write every day. It’s a three-year journal where each day we each answer a question. We started using it in February, and it been rather enjoyable to read each other’s answers.
Today, January 1st the question is “Love is_______”
Hmmm, “Love is…”. I do say LOVE a lot, but what does it mean to me. What does it mean to say it to him? I went to the source for the answer and took the time to study the actual words. Love is indispensable, and it is an excellent way to live. Love is a genuine and selfless concern for the well-being of others. It is the greatest of all Christian values. If you were to read 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, can you replace the word love with your name or even the name of a loved one?
“[Name] is patient, [Name] is kind, [Name] does not envy, [Name] does not boast, [Name] is not proud, [Name] does not dishonor others, [Name] is not self-seeking, [Name] is not easily angered, [Name] keeps no record of wrongs, [Name] does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. [Name] always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. [Name] never fails…”
The first time I did this with my name, I thought boy, I have a LONG way to go to be a loving person. Wow, talk about an exercise of humbleness, I suck! How about my family members, the Bearded one? My children, my friends, family, and even co-workers, chocolate, and whiskey. Shoes?
Many times over, a few qualities were lacking. It’s not a contest, but a goal to strive to be a loving person. None of us LOVE perfectly because no-one is perfect, but Jesus, who lived a sinless loving life. There was, of course, failure in the exercise when I tried to replace LOVE with chocolate, whiskey, and shoes because those things cannot do what the bible defines as love, although they do bring joy.
What can we do, though? I’ve often referenced my children as 1/3, 2/3, and 3/3. That changes with an act of love to 1/5-5/5. I have the honor of being a Bonus Mom to the two we all refer to as “The Littles.” The Bearded One and I are taking primary custody of 4/5 and 5/5. We are all over the board with emotions, expectations, and decisions to make. What I have learned through this last year’s transition is that he and I can pretty much accomplish anything we set out to do together. We’re blessed beyond measure, and I will continue to count my blessings daily. We intend to create a house full of love. We’re going to continue to teach our children that love is an action and not just a word used to describe a favorite treat. Rest assured, I’m going to screw up and forget who I am. We’re going to be tested and tried. The devil doesn’t want good things to happen to God’s children so that he will attack us, but I know without a doubt in my mind that we will LOVE through all of this.