Welcome to Part Three in my Four-Part series on Love! Be sure to go back to the first two parts if you haven’t ready them yet! First, we talked about how Love is Commitment, and last week we talked on how love is Continuous. This week we’re focusing on how love is Comforting. We’ve been tackling this discussion on love with a focus on three facets: How do we love others? How do we love ourselves? How do we love God? Hannah Keeley demonstrated in one of her training videos a 3 legged stool, when one leg is missing or broken the whole stool falls over. It’s important to keep all of the legs of the stool in place.
We comfort others with our love through the commitment we have to them to be continuously there. But there is another level of comfort. When we truly love others, we notice them. We notice when they seem overwhelmed. We notice when they’re quieter than usual. Often, when someone really needs someone to come along side them and love them, they are telling you in other ways. My spiritual gift is the gift of encouragement. I love encouraging people. It’s one of the reasons I love Mom Mastery University, and I’m going through their mentor training. But I need love too. Yesterday was Valentine’s Day, and my husband and I have not done the traditional Valentines Day gifts since our oldest son was born. We have made Valentines Day about our family, and family love. We usually do something fun for dinner, with a special dessert and get the kids a small gift. This year, he did the very best thing he could do for me. He surprised me by taking the night off (he works from 2p-10p) and cleaned the house while we were at school and went to the grocery store for stuff for dinner. He called me when we got out of school and told us to let him know when we were at the church (we went straight there for Ash Wednesday). He said he would try to sneak over for a kiss 🙂 When we got there, he told us he was at home, and we were to tell him when we got out of church and he would have dinner ready when we got home. This was absolutely the best gift he could give me. Time is so precious. And we have had a rough few weeks around our house, which has led to grumpy moods pretty consistently all around. This gesture set the tone for the evening, and we were all in a great mood. (Well, almost all, we had to get one child to come around, but he eventually did). Love is comforting when we come along side each other. My husband’s gift to me last night gave me an extra umpf that I didn’t really know it would. As I sit here this morning, I feel 15 times more positive about today than I did yesterday.
When we love ourselves with a comforting love we give ourself permission. This does require us to take time to ourselves to recognize what we need. It could be that all we need is some time alone. As moms, that is a difficult thing to do, but I think it can be so valuable. It could be that we are going through a season of growth and we need to focus more on ourselves. It could be that we need to work on some personal development, and that will cost a little money. We need to give ourselves permission to do the things that bring us joy. God did not call us to live one year to the next simply trying to stay on the hamster wheel. He created us to dream. Allowing ourselves to dream gives us comfort, because in the mundane of today, we see more. He also created us to need a Sabbath rest. In today’s world, that is unheard of. I challenge you to think of it a little differently. Sabbath is supposed to be one day set aside, but if you are far removed from that (as I am), let’s start with one evening. Or, one thing we do on the days we’re home, is we have rest time from 2-3 every day. I do my best to guard this time on our home days. The kids are all reading age now, so their choices are to read or to rest. I do too. I usually read for the first 30 minutes, and then close my eyes for the last 30 minutes. Then, we get up and have tea time. Lately I haven’t been really engaging with them during tea time, and I am reminded of how precious that time is too by writing this.
Loving God is comforting. My word for this year is Trust. When the Lord gave me that word, I knew that it would mean that I would need to trust Him through some hard stuff this year. It was sort of an ominous word. But I also know that I’ve lived in a state of fear for several years now, and the answer to that is to learn to really trust Him. We never know what’s coming our way, but we can trust that God does. He knows what trials are ahead of you before they happen. He is already working out the details. This year has started off bumpy and many things have given space to my fears and anxieties. I am reminded that my children are not really my children, but God’s children, and especially when they are adults I have to love them from a little distance. This hurts this momma’s heart. My kids have been my world. They are my joy. When they are happy, I am happy. When they are sad, I am sad. It’s part of life to begin to let them grow up and make their own decisions. It hurts when they don’t include me. It hurts when they make decisions I wish they weren’t. It hurts when I see them making the same mistakes I did, but they have to learn life just like I did. I can’t do it for them. As my kids start to leave, I have to trust in the years I had with them so close. I have to trust that God desires for our family to stay close. That He ordained our family and He will be with my children and we will get through this transition period. I understand it is necessary for them to leave the nest, but that doesn’t necessarily make it easier. Every moment I had with them when they were little was precious gold, and every moment I have with them as adults is even finer. It would be lying if I said this has been easy. So, I give it to God. I hang on to God when I don’t see fruit, and I trust God that he’s working through it. This is the area that I have a really hard time in, though because of my broken relationship with my mother due to her alcoholism. Addiction takes more away that anyone really thinks about. Experiencing this loss has been a place that I have struggled with God about for several years. And, it amplifies my fears with my children. My flesh wants to shut down. My soul says press into God.
One more week exploring the Four “C’s” of Love:
I hope this has blessed you. I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!