Love is Blind

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Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8  (NIV)

Live is also blind. Love tends to ignore when it sees something that is off. When things are just not right. The fear of losing love will cause humans to pretend that every thing is all right when it isn’t. We will have that ostrich syndrome where we stick out heads in the sand and ignore the obvious. Satan hates when people love each other. He wants to cause grief and discord between us. He will give you opportunity to screw up love. He will trick you into thinking that there is something better out there than what you have at home. He will play on your insecurities and whisper lies in your head. He will convince you that you are not good enough for love. That the one you love can always find someone better. He will even stoop to tempting you with something that is a poor replica to true love. He will show you things that make you think that this, see this shiny thing over here, it is better than the true love God gives you.

Don’t ignore things, but don’t let evil kill love. Do not fall for tricks and lies. Fight for what is right. Fight for love. It is always worth it.

 

No ANTS

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In a few of my posts you have heard me talk about monkey chatter. That endless, not always helpful monologue in my brain. We all have monkey chatter and the monkeys have friends. I have struggled for the past year with ANTs, Automatic Negative Thoughts. (I wish I had thought of that acronym. Not sure where it started.) These ANTS are mean little buggers that corrupt happiness with great efficiency. They cause worry and strife where none exist. I had to realize that the ANTs caused problems to appear that were not really there. The more time I spent obsessing over the ANTs the worse I felt.

There had to be a deliberate and purposeful shift in my brain. I took time to examine the ANTs. I dissected them to see what they were made of and it was not pretty. They were made of self-doubt, fear and anxiety. They said things like, “I am not good enough”, “What if…” and “I just know this isn’t going to work out.”

Once I knew what they were and how they operated, I shifted my brain to actively combat the negative thoughts. I would like to say that I did this all on my own; however, I did not. Being loved and being shown that I am beautiful, I am enough, pushed my mind to shift away from the negative thoughts.  It is not easy. It is a constant battle between me and the army of ANTs. I must stop them as soon as I see the first wiggle of a feeler antenna on its head. I splat them dead right then and do not give it a chance to advance. It takes a conscience effort to squash the ANTs and keep them away.

I know that I am loved, wanted and cherished. I also know I am no fool. The ANTs can return any second. I am at peace and I am ready for them. I will not allow the ANTS to infest me again.

 

Photo Credit: BuzzFeed.com

It’s my Choice

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I choose truth.

I choose to care.

I choose to trust.

I choose to provide.

I choose to accept.

I choose to make our life, our future a priority.

I choose to protect.

I choose to cherish.

I choose your family as part of my family.

I choose to be happy.

I choose to love.

I choose you.

Best Advice I can Give

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Tonight I gave a thirteen-year-old girl the best advice I had ever received in my life. I did not know at the time when I got the advice that I would one day pass it along to someone else, but I did. She needed to hear it. It was perfect timing for what is going on in her life at the exact moment that she needed it. Just as it was perfect advice that I received at the very moment that I needed it. It is the kind of advice that once you hear it is seems so simple you wonder why you didn’t think of it for yourself. Once you hear it you can’t unhear it and it seeps in to you mind just when it is needed from the first moment you hear it to the next and the next and the next moment. It is advice that will never spoil and never leave you. It is tried and tested. It has proven itself to be true and worthy of use repeatedly. It is a universal truth. I want to believe that it is a biblical truth and that it is from God. He sent this truth to someone and that someone sent it to me. Now I have passed it on like a mantel of truth to the next generation.

I will pass it on again and again as it is needed, because you see, it will be needed again. That is how this advice of truth works. Here is the catch. Just because someone hears this truth does not mean that they will receive it and will use it. It must be followed exactly for it to work. Like an exact recipe. If you deviate from the truth it will not turn out right and true. It will fall like a cake with not enough flour in the mix. This truth will fix a multitude of problems. It isn’t a miracle cure. It isn’t an easy process to follow. It is a necessary step in to finding your path and finding your way in life. It is not easy to do sometimes, often not. Often it is where the rubber meets the road and the difficult decisions must be made. It is the difference between moving forward and standing still in your pain. It is healing or not. It sometimes requires you to break before you can bend. If you follow this advice and trust yourself it will work out right. Right always wins over wrong. Lessons will be learned and life is lived. It is the cross roads of survival. It is where things happen, good or bad. What is the truth?

What is this advice that will be there when you need it? If I tell you will you promise to use it correctly and share it when the moment presents itself again?

 
If you said yes, if you agree keep reading if you said no, that you do not want that kind of responsibility, stop reading now.

 
Here it is, here is the advice.
“Listen to your heart. Trust your heart. Your mind will lie to you but your heart will away tell you the truth. It will always tell you what you need. Your heart is always right.”

 
Easy yet not. Simple yet complicated. Predictable however unfathomable.
Listen to your heart, then follow it.

Always.

Power of Prayer

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Prayer is like an extension cord to God. I am not sure how it works but I know that praying with faith changes everything. I know that I feel closer to God when I pray. When I go through a time where I don’t pray regularly I feel disconnected from God.

Not that He went anywhere, I moved spiritually.  When I find it hard to focus on life or on what is important, I stop and pray. Right there, right where I stand. Stop, drop and Pray…OK I may not drop to my knees every time depending where I am standing but I pray.

I will trust Him and put those I love in His hands.Do I always get the answer I want? No. Often I do not get an answer at all. Sometimes all I get is the peace in knowing God has heard me and He is working on it, whatever it is.  For now, that will be enough.

1 Peter 4:7-8 But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. And above all things have fervent love for one another. (NIV)

Fireproof (aka The Love Dare)

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I usually only review books and this isn’t a review technically it is an opinion. I watched the movie Fireproof. If you haven’t seen it I recommend you do, married or not. The movie is based on the book The Love Dare by Stephen Kendrick. A firefighter, Caleb tells his father John about his impending divorce, and John challenges Caleb to commit to a 40-day test called, “The Love Dare.” Caleb reluctantly agrees to do the test, but more for the sake of his respect for his father than his marriage. He wife initially sees through Caleb’s half-hearted attempts to win back her heart, which deepens Caleb’s frustration. But with his father’s encouragement, Caleb continues with The Love Dare, and eventually makes a life-changing commitment to God and his wife. As a result he saves his marriage.

The love dare is an interesting concept that challenges you to do things that in reality you should already be doing for and with your spouse or partner.  Some of the dares are a simple as speaking nice and the others are more challenging. The end result is a refocus of your heart and actions on the choice you made to love the other person.

The book and movie shows that the Biblical love and marriage is a choice. If you make the choice a priority your marriage will be a strong partnership. There are no fool proof ways to guarantee that the person you choose to love will love you in return. All you can do is stay true to your promise and love them.

God chose to love us. We chose to love him and each other. Love is never the wrong choice if done for unselfish reasons. The Love Dare is that choice in unselfish action.

What is Marriage?

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What is marriage? Is it a wedding ceremony and a license? Is it a commitment to love honor and obey? Marriage is defined by Webster’s as the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law or by the rite by which the married status is effected, an intimate or close union. No mention of love.

Marriage existed before any government was organized. For thousands of years, people were getting married without a marriage license. Even today, there are some countries that have no governmental recognition of marriage and no legal requirements for marriage. Government endorsement is usually necessary for certain benefits, however. In American history, up to around the 1920’s, there was no such thing as a marriage license. The states invented them as a way to dictate who could and could not get married. Primarily as a way to stop white people from marrying black people. Still no mention of love.

Some people believe that a man and a woman are married in God’s eyes when they have completed some kind of formal wedding ceremony. There is an event, action, covenant, vow, or proclamation that is recognized as declaring a man and woman to be married. Love may be present, maybe not.

But does the very act of getting married constitute a true partnership? Does connecting yourself to another in the bonds of marriage mean that you are equally respected, loved or wanted?

Though many of my characters that I write choose to get married, I for one do not like what marriage has become in today’s society. It is an institution that gives people carte blanche to dictate what another person can and can’t do. I consider myself an expert on how not to be a spouse and how not to preform life as a married person. I should know I have had three failed marriages. Just as it takes two to make a marriage work it takes two to destroy one as well. I know I have been there. Usually it plays out that one person gives up sooner in the marital timeline than the other. The vow is broken, hurt happens and loss is felt. Often a marriage dies long before the participants are willing to admit it. How many times have you known people who stayed married for the sake of the children or other reason that is not that they truly liked being together? Notice I said marriage not love.

As I have said many times on this blog and other places, love is a choice. Love is a promise to cherish the other person. You choose to love or not. There are couples who are more devoted to each other without a marriage license than others who have been married for years. It is society that has conditioned us to believe that those who are in committed relationships but are not legally married are somehow not valid partnerships. Somehow we are taught to believe that two people can’t be devoted if they do not get married or we think maybe they don’t love each other, trust each other, or care about each other enough to get married.

Marriage as ordained by God is a spiritual connection that is grounded in faith not government. Faith in God, faith in each other and faith in your choice to be together.  It is not based on the human’s faulty idea of marriage that is a contract and dictated by social norms. It is the choice and promise of commitment to that one other person is what is important. Love and devotion do not require a piece of paper or even a ceremony. Ultimately, that is between the couple and God. Only God knows our true heart (1 John 3:20).

A marriage license is just a piece of paper. If there is no love there is no point.