hello love

its almost heart day.  And to 98% of the world, Valentine's day is a day where Hallmark & the candy industry skyrocket in sales.

Sappy Cards are passed from one to another, even kids in our schools try to come up with the best and most creative valentines box to collect their love notes, and not hand out "too mushy" of cards to the cool kids for fear of their big personalities being embarrassed.  There might be the "ONE" kid in the classroom, or the ONE crush of the school the lil' guy has, but that is reserved for one special valentine. . .

Have you ever seen an old couple in love?
What about them makes you know they are? Is it the way they sit together?  What about the way they look at each other?  Or take care of one another?

Have you ever seen an elderly couple sit in silence together?  Cuddle on a bench and look out at the ocean, or even read the news paper together?

I once was running into a doctors office for an appointment right on time and stopped to hold open the door for the couple coming out.  It was the cutest thing!  There was a couple probably in their late 80s if not 90s there together walking out.  Slow moving, but moving in step together.  With his fragile strength, he assisted her out the door as she held on to her walker and took one step at a time ever so slowly.  In my hurried state I smiled as they exited and acknowledged them with a nod and a hello.  I bet that was their adventure of the day.  The Week even!  Getting to the doctors office, together, wasnt just a quick stop, but a field trip for this couple.  Embracing each other not just in physical strength and effort, but life and the adventure and journey it was!
There's got to be something noted for couples who make it almost a lifetime of marriage!!  What's their secret I wonder?  Perhaps more than 1 secret even;)

I like this quote: I think we like to complicate things. 
When it is really quite simple; find what makes you happy and who it is that makes you happy and you're set.  Promise.

God doesnt promise a lifetime of happiness once we've found "the one" and Im pretty sure as heck, you can ask any married couple that have been together longer than their honeymoon, who would say marriage is work. Its hard and sometimes not easy, and not always fun, or desireable, but WORTH IT.

In my story, I look back and find myself thinking what could have been had I settled down in Bend, Oregon, or had that one relationship worked out to the point of me relocating to the east coast or us moving together back to Socal, and while I've spent many days in my past thinking "what if" I find Im at a different place today and I am forever grateful!  I've talked marriage with one guy from my past, and I've actually been engaged before.  Why I actually am okay with saying this out loud is because I am confidant God has a bigger and greater plan for my life that does not involve either of these past relationships.  Thankfully I can actually look back to say, the Lord was so sweet to heal my heart of the wrong person for me, so once I could move beyond a broken heart, I could see with eyes wide open and clear vision, they were not the one for me.  I am forever indebted to my God just because he did not allow us to workout. In 2011 the Lord spoke a very clear word into my life that has given me enough excitement and hope for the future, that I continue to live in great expectations and hope for whats ahead.  And while even more recently in the past year, the Lord allowed someone pretty spectacular to be part of my life, I believe it was absolutely a proclaimation of his faithfulness to redeem and restore my faith and hope in men, and I am still confidant his providence supersedes any of my plans themselves.

Now dont get me wrong, there has definitely been days of doubt and questioning.  (Thankfully I am in a good place today where I am not struggling with the lack of hope and despair I've felt before, praise Jesus!) But I've been there.  I struggled for a long time asking the questions:  "How do you hope for something God doesnt promise"  and while I referenced a lot of things in this question:  healing from cancer, a clear report, a marriage restored, a prodigal returned home, a reconciled relationship, a dream job, that salary increase, a new life, a tax break, and even to be married??  These questions, were they to happen, per person would count them as miracle.  From the outside we could celebrate with the best friends mom being cancer free, or the neighbor's marriage restored, or the announcement of a pregnancy from a long-time family friend... and on it goes.  We love to celebrate life & victories with people  --- But how does one struggle through faith and life with unanswered prayers and hopes? For it says "Unrelenting disappointment leaves you heartsick, but a sudden good break can turn life around (Prov 13:12)"  Just like Hosea struggled with God in the valley of Achor, he learned what it was like to hope when God stripped him of everything.  "you want to know about Hope, Wendy?"  I heard him ask me last year... "I'll teach you about hope."  And so he took me too the depth of the valley, where I had nothing to cling to but him, and THAT is where he taught me about Hope and the Hope I have that is in Christ Jesus.


The Funny thing about Valentines and the day we all are overtly aware of our "label" of relationships - are we single?  are we in a relationship?  are we complicated?  ha. If you even have to question if its complicated, just consider it complicated;)  We still love you!   . . So on valentines day or singles awareness day, why not make in about something other than being reminded of something you don't have or something you wish were different?  I know a ton of people who would actually like to be in your shoes and vice-versa.  I know all the lovey dovey stuff is over-dramatic, but lets give it to the newlyweds and the couples who really want to honor and celebrate each other!  Whether you like it or not, you'll probably be one of these couples at some appointed time in your life if you haven't already!  Plus its cute to see how over the top he goes for her to make everything right, from the music to the picnic to the stuffed animal, to the favorite wine or shared dessert;)

For my journey, My entire life I've been about the adventure and getting to enjoy the journey... whoever you find yourself with!  Thankfully to me, I don't think Valentines day should be a day to mourn being single or shed tears over someone forgetting to give me candy and new socks (thanks mom!:)  It should be about loving the people before you and how lucky you are to have them in your life!
It should be a reminder of how deeply and truly you are loved by friends and family and yes perhaps the love of your life, but even greater, the lover of your soul!  Knowing Jesus is far beyond the 3 dozen roses you can give or get!  Even better than the diamond you want to frost yourself with (thanks how to lose a guy in 10 days movie line;)  But knowing I am loved for me and that he loves me enough to give his life for me and give me an opportunity to live eternally for and with him is like, way better than the icing on the cake!  Even Joe Black can't beat what Christ did for us as his bride.

SO I'll challenge you and leave you with some amazing thoughts by Jennie Allen in her recent book Restless. Wherever you're at in terms of your relationships romantically or just friends, even if you're idling right now, perhaps consider why you're pausing...
And then think about fighting for that person... They're not perfect, they're human

who do you need?  
"We don't just need people; we need the right people. Sometimes finding the right people takes discipline and effort. And then when we find them, we have to fight for them.  We have to prioritize time and issue grace over and over, because even the best humans on this earth will disappoint us.  And when that happens you love and fight for that person even harder.  (If any part of you listening to these words right now thinks to yourself I don't know if i have enough of the right people in my life, you probably don't.) We all fell in love with shows like FRIENDS because we deeply want to have "our people."  Close friends and mentors don't fall in our laps.  You search and invest, and then you allow them to be imperfect versions of what you were hoping for in your head. Most of us are waiting to be invited, waiting to be pursued, waiting for friends to come to us. But that's not the way it happens. Instead the Bible says: 
Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, Compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on lovewhich binds everything together in perfect harmony.  And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful (Col 3:12-15) 

Love is an active process, and we are fairly lazy. So initiate!  
Then, when you come together initiate depth. Great conversations come from great questions and honest answers. One of the ways I grow and experience God is over chips and salsa with kindred friends talking about deep things. it takes initiative to ask deeper questions and sheer bravery to give sincere answers. Pray and find ways to take your friendships to a deeper level."  










Before you close up, or run off to pray, here's some cool thoughts.  And while these pictures below may represent just a story; with some of them, I hope you can relate and also gain some encouragement along the way. . . Because guess what?!?!  Tho it linger, wait for it - it will come and not delay!  


Happy VALENTINES Day.... MAKE IT COUNT!



You feel this way....


And you also feel this way...



But guess what?!?!?



And so God writes and speaks to you his plans...




 You will love again;)  



SO.... 


^^^ TRUST HIM... 


& respond...



remember, my friend: 
 

AND....


oh yeh, ENJOY the JOURNEY, and 
 HAVE FUN... :-P 
 

SO, my friend... 
  

And someday, you might agree that:  




and feel this way about your other half... 



:)  




PSS.....


Guys, if you've EVER wanted to do something totally random and crazy, here's a fun way to surprise someone you want to pursue ------>
She might just think its brilliant (& of course thank HITCH for it;)


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