“Copy and Paste”

In the social media world, I see posts all the time that “If you love Christ, copy and paste this post, and tag ten people”. Or, “I think you’re wonderful. Send this post back to me and send it to ten other women”. In this ‘copy and paste’ society, there is pressure to ‘love back’ the way someone else expects you to. I have thought about this as Valentine’s Day came and went with no flowers from my husband. No chocolate. No fancy dinner just the two of us. Was I disappointed? No, and I will tell you why. My husband is not a ‘copy and paste’ kind of man and it took me YEARS to accept him and love him for it and years to stop comparing my marriage to others. When Valentine’s Day rolls around, it rolls right past most years. And I am at peace with it because he buys me flowers often. He brings home my favorite dark chocolate often. He takes me out to lunch or brings home food so I do not have to cook often. He unloads and loads the dishwasher every night (which is HUGE because that is the one job I do not like to do. I will clean bathrooms all day, but I do NOT like to unload the dishwasher.) And on one ordinary day last week, he told me I was amazing.

The point I am trying to make is that just because someone’s love and affection may look different than what others are demonstrating,  it does not mean that their love is insincere . Just because there were no flowery Valentine’s Day Card by my bedside, does it mean my husband forgot about me? My Mr. Steady-low key-quiet- kind- of- guy is not going to go all out with flowery anything and I wish I had realized that much earlier in my marriage. (He did wish me a Happy Valentine’s Day.) As the wife to this man who is not a ‘copy and paste’ kind of guy, I need to be the kind of wife to him that is not a ‘copy and paste’ kind of woman. It has been a long lesson for me to love him as is, in deed and in truth for who God created him to be. He is the kind of man who simply does not feel the pressure to be like anyone else, or to love (show love) like anyone else or when everyone else does. And I would imagine that it was not easy picnic for him while I worked through my comparison issues and expectations.

To ‘love in deed and in truth’ is a beautiful thing in any relationship. Each relationship has it’s own unique traits and just because it may not look like what ‘everyone’ else’s does, it doesn’t mean that it is wrong or weird. Some friendships are crazy funny and we laugh a lot. Others are more serious and deep. Relationships with parents are different for everyone. Marriages look different to everyone, and when we do not succumb to comparing and we embrace what is in front of us, there is peace. The only kind of love we need to ‘copy and paste’ is Christ’s in that He gave all so that we might live. When we show love with our actions and in sincerity, we give so that others may better live and we can make any day a brighter day.

This Kind of Love

I. Corinthians 13:4, “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up”.

Wrapped up in blankets, a box of Kleenex by our side, we have been ‘out of commission’ with the nasty crud. One by one, we were knocked to our knees with aches, pains, coughs, sneezes, and all that this ailment can bring. Valentine’s Day commercials go by us on the television screen and we look at them with bleary eyes with nary a spark of interest. No one wants to think of flowers, chocolates, or diamonds right now. Can someone start the hot water kettle, please??? And while you’re up, could you pass me that other blanket? This kind of love we are passing around right now leans more on the practical side. With all of us sick at the same time, charity really does suffer long. To make it through the day, we each need to show kindness and not worry about who is doing the most for whom.

This kind of love has no bragging rights. It doesn’t matter who empties the dishwasher of clean dishes and loads it with the day’s soup bowls, coffee mugs, and juice glasses. When the whole family is sick with the crud, it especially is of no difference who empties the trashes of used Kleenex and washes the living room blankets we have all been wrapped up in for days on end. Love is being on the same playing field, whether you are sick or not. We do for each other to make the next day a better day for everyone. Love is doing one kind act after another without announcing the grand deed or waiting for applause. Love endures. Love is kind. Love isn’t envious when doing for another who cannot do for themselves and it isn’t boastful. Kind love isn’t swollen with anything other than love itself.

A Step of Clarity

My hand hovered over my cell phone as I was just about to sign up for another blog post series. I had just yesterday lamented over how many e-mails I had that needed to be deleted. I have several e-mail accounts, seemingly unable to just stick to one. I deleted well over three hundred messages yesterday on one of the accounts and I have just about that much on another one. What I was about to sign up for wasn’t bad, it was actually about organization and how to simplify in the new year. I already ‘follow’ this person on Instagram who updates simplification suggestions each day, so why do I need to see it in my inbox as well?

In 2016, I wrote a three part series on “Finding Your Even Place” on my former blog. Life gets out of control, papers pile up, e-mails multiply, leaving us depressed and unable to cope with even simple tasks anymore. And I am finding myself in this position yet again facing 2018, thus the update of the series on my new blog. I need it!

“My foot standeth in an even place” -Psalm 26:11.

An “even place”: Balanced, steady, continuous, unwavering.

“Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us”, Hebrews 12:1

I am finding that, for me, it’s not where to START, but better yet, what to STOP or lay aside. It is in finding space to breathe, to think, and to restore. And the things that are taking up space that take my breath away due to frustration, I need to clear. This week’s focus will be to clear out old e-mails and to unsubscribe from sites I hardly ever read. They may be all well and good, but they are not needful.

Happy New Year! If you are seeking for clarity in 2018, maybe instead of looking to start something new, consider stopping something first; something that may be hindering your focus on what really matters in your life. Take a step back. Evaluate what is important. Clear some space. Breathe.