Thursday, June 20, 2013

Keep it Simple

Sometimes it amazes me how different my two boys are.  Like night and day,  I tell some people.  How two children who came from the same gene pool, being raised by the same two parents, could have such contrasting personalities.  One of the differences that is still emerging is their love languages, and while I'm still not sure what Gabe's is going to be, I know that Jaden's two primary languages are physical touch and quality time.  He hugs and kisses Gabe to the point of smothering him at times, and while I am overjoyed by the fact that he is so affectionate, I sometimes have to tell him to back off because I can see that he is irritating his little brother.  Gabe enjoys the first hug and maybe even a second, but at that point he is done and sees the attention as slowing him from taking over the world, bulldozing over Jaden if he stays in his way any longer.

Love… It's an action which speaks at higher decibels than any other endeavor we make in life, and yet the one we often make more excuses than any other to avoid.

She has weird hair.
Her kids give me a headache.
I don't have time for another friend right now.
I'm too busy busy busy...

The list can go on and on.  

Love….Seemingly pretty simple, and we dilute it, complicate it to the point where it's unrecognizable.  We judge others but want grace for ourselves.  I write about it because everywhere I go lately, I'm being reminded of it's importance, how it's the thing, the only thing, that matters.  On the radio, at church, in my daily reading.   Although I've been guilty more times than I can count of turning away from someone in need of love and grace, John summarized an all powerful, omnipresent God by saying one thing, "God is love."  Jesus himself tells us all of the commands given in the Bible can be summarized with one, "Love."

My greatest desire for my children is not that they grow up to have lucrative careers, fame or popularity, or a successful business, but that they love God with every fragment of their being and that they be transparent enough for others to see that love pouring through them.  Would I prefer that they not be living in our basement when they're 30?  Absolutely.  But more than that I want them to follow Jesus.  How will they ever have that hunger if they do not see it in their own mom?  I can make them learn all the Bible verses in the world, have them attend every Vacation Bible school in town all summer long until school starts in fall, send them to AWANA on Sunday nights and when they're older teach them great theological principles, but if I don't show them what it looks like to love God and love others, all of my effort is worthless. 

So lately, my prayer has been that God will transform me.  That he would make me less like the person I once was and more like Jesus.  That I would love my children the way they need to be loved, so it's not just words coming out of my mouth but something tangible.  Something real.  That they would see, through my actions, what it looks like to carry out this Biblical command, sometimes toward people who may not seem like they deserve it.  That they would see love in motion, not just sitting on the couch eating potato chips and waiting for the commercials to be over, saying, "Someone should really do something about that…"  

Mother Theresa once said, "Don't look for big things, just do small things with great love....The smaller the thing, the greater must be our love."  I pray that even on days when my actions seem insignificant, that I would be filled with the love Christ gave me.

"If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.  If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing."
1 Corinthians 13: 1-3

1 comment:

  1. I'm enjoying your writing, Abby! Keep it up :-) I struggle with showing love in the little things... you know, it's so tedious to wipe rear ends and tie shoes, and fold laundry! But if I chose to do it in love, such a message it gives my children. Oh, only by the grace of God. Because goodness knows, my flesh would much rather be sitting on the couch, eating potato chips ;-)
    I also blog (when I have time)... it's mostly just about my family happenings, but it's set on private b/c we have a foster baby. Email me your email address and I'll give you access to it if you would like (bethhaut (at)