I’m a wife. I’m a mother to three adult children. I’m a grandmother to an 18 month old, and there’s another grandchild on the way. I have two adorable Shi Tzus sitting right next to me as I write this. And I’m a Christian. Certainly, I must know what love is. But do I always feel it? No way!
Love is deciding to forgo a career because I made the decision to be a stay-at-home mom with my kids. Love is cooking and cleaning and shopping and all the mundane details of organizing a happy, healthy home. Love is sticking through 33 years of marriage and all the inevitable ups and downs that go with it. Love is suffering with those in pain and rejoicing with those who have something to celebrate. Love is sometimes giving advice, and sometimes keeping my mouth shut. Love is giving a hug and giving space. Love is moving away because it’s important to someone else. Love is watching your children move away to make their own lives. Love is accepting new people into your family and embracing their gifts. Love is nursing and healing and sometimes watching someone die. Love is giving birth and burying and learning how to handle the additions and subtractions that are a part of all of our lives. Love is knowing when to fight and when to surrender. Love is hearing the needs of others and really listening to them. Love is seeing what is really there, and not just what I want to see. Love is sitting and waiting with someone when you have no control over making something happen. Love is teaching and learning. It is accepting what you cannot change. It is patient and dogged and stubbornly loyal. It is getting angry at injustice and celebrating the little victories when fairness prevails. Love is daily and it’s eternal. Love is an emotion and it’s so much more than mere feeling. Love is a choice that sometimes you make when it’s the last thing you feel like doing. Love is opening up yourself to be cherished and to be hurt. It is making yourself vulnerable so that maybe you’ll be understood. Love is sometimes forgoing sleep and comfort so that others can rest in you. It is giving without expectation. It is putting the needs of others before your own. It is seeing the beautiful in those who sometimes behave in ugly ways. It is forgiving those who do things they regret. It is loving those who aren’t always loveable.
Love is wonderful and awful and enveloping and lonely. It is the best gift of a loving God to His children. And it is a choice I make every single day of my life. Love is the only thing that matters and it is all l around us.
All we have to do is accept it. And then, give it away to those around us…