This is a re-posting of a blog I wrote Sept. 12, 2014.
I was thinking this morning about loving the unlovable. Who are they and how do I love them?
Some say the unlovable are those difficult to love because they are different in personality or life circumstance. For me though, it is far easier to love someone at a distance (stranger or acquaintance) that I don’t understand or even disagree with, than to love those near to me who have hurt or offended me, even in a small way.
During my morning devotions today, God was reminding me of this sin struggle, this lack of love. He was bringing to mind specific people I have not loved well. I was reflecting on my interactions with some of these people and feeling a little defensive, thinking I had not really been unloving to them. Then the Holy Spirit (as He is so faithful to do) showed me the reality hidden behind my own denial…
He started by reminding me that I am honest.
Some might think my honesty is a mature character quality, but to be honest ;) I can’t help it. It’s just who I am. I remember a night in high school when my mom was questioning me about something. “Did you ….?” she asked. I looked at her (heavy with guilt) and said “No!... yes (hanging my head).” My lie lasted about 1 second. I just couldn’t do it.
My honesty goes much deeper than simply speaking the truth though, and this is where it can get ugly. You see, I wear my thoughts and emotions on my sleeve. Actually I wear them on my face. If you know me, you can testify to this. I use to joke about how I could never be a waitress because I couldn’t handle the stress so every customer that irritated me would see it all over my face! I’d certainly go broke for lack of tips!
This unavoidable honesty means I can’t just "put on a happy face". The Bible says, “Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.” (Matt. 12:34). In my case, “Out of the overflow of the heart, the face scowls…or glares…or grimaces…or rolls its eyes…” You get the picture.
So, the Spirit opened my eyes to see that there are people in my life, whom I have failed miserably to love…and they have no doubt seen it on my face.
I am sad. Sad to know that I have used my silence as a defense. I have believed that if I was not speaking unloving words, then I wasn’t really being unloving. I have convinced myself that these people I struggle to love are surely oblivious…and now I am faced with the reality that these people are probably all too aware of my attitude toward them.
As I write, I find myself confronted with the reality that much of the “Love Passage” (1 Cor. 13) speaks of attitudes of the heart, not actions or words.
"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.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, 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." 1 Cor. 13:1-6 (emphasis mine)
So I find myself going back to the original questions...
Who are the unlovable and how do I love them?...and I realize - I am the unlovable. I am ungrateful and unpleasant and unforgiving and unkind. I am broken.
I am the unlovable…and Jesus loves me.
Jesus loves even ME!?!
So how do I love as Christ loves?
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God…No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.” (1 Jn. 4:7, 12-13)
“So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit was is contrary to the sinful nature…But the fruit of the Spirit is love…”(Gal. 5:16-17,22a)
Oh Lord, may I remember the great love you have for me, inspite of me. And by the power of your Holy Spirit living in me and remembering your ongoing grace toward me, may I love others well, completely, from deep in my heart...and may that love shine beautifully from my face.
When we first started touring, it felt like a fun adventure! It was tiring and so much work, but we all loved the challenge! The boys have always been so flexible, so truly the greatest challenges were for Josh and I. The boys quickly learned to meet new people, enjoy new scenery, and sleep wherever we ended up each night.
However, the chaotic life we live began to take it's toll quickly so we worked to put routines in place wherever possible. Our "normal" didn't look anything like anyone else's normal, but we learned to expect the unexpected and find routine in our busyness.
Being given a place to call home, though, has opened the door for a whole new way of doing things. Which is good, because we're all feeling a little weary of the touring life and craving some predictability and stability. Don't get me wrong, we still feel the call to continue this touring ministry, we're just also so grateful for a home to go to in between traveling.
So, as our winter California tour drew near to a close and we were all beginning to show signs of stress and fatigue (read: irritable Mommy and disobedient boys), Josh and I began to pray about and plan schedules and routines to build some discipline into our lives and the life of our boys when we got home.
This past Sunday evening, we had a family meeting to discuss our new homeschool and chore schedules. Believe it or not, we were ALL excited to begin to follow the new schedules. Josh and I are looking forward to having some order to our long daily "to do" lists and the boys are excited to know what to expect as far as schoolwork, play time, and chores.
Monday morning started off well with morning chores and homeschooling, but by lunch time Noah was moping and Caden said he didn't have energy to walk to his bedroom to play. . .
That's right! We're sick AGAIN!!! By bedtime last night, both boys had high fevers and Josh and I were beginning to feel crummy. This morning, instead of heading next door for my ladies' bible study, I raised the quarantine flag above our house, took some tylenol, and went back to bed!
So, although I had the best of intentions regarding our new routine, I have yet to truly try it out to let you know how it's going! :) I'll keep you posted, but in the meantime, I think I'm going to go take a nap!
Two weeks ago today, our family spent two days at the coast celebrating Thing 1's 10th birthday. We explored a lighthouse, saw whales spout and heard baby elephant seals cry. We saw dozens of sand dollars and played in the sand and surf for hours! God cleared away the rain and the weather could not have been more perfect! It was an amazing little family vacation! God is so kind!
After we returned to our trailer from our little beach adventure, we finished out our California tour with a very busy few days. We ministered at a couple churches, moved our trailer twice, moved out of our trailer and got it settled in southern Oregon and then drove the rest of the way back to Seattle to spend a few days with my family.
Last year a new March tradition was formed! In honor of T-1 and our nephew's birthdays, "Unkie" Josh takes the boys on a LEGO store adventure!
Thursday evening we had a big March birthday party, celebrating the six March birthdays in our family. Although, the main birthday dessert was ice cream, we did have a small cake for candles. We decided to "live dangerously" so we put 169 (the total of all birthday candles necessary for the 6 birthdays) matches around the edge of this cake, lit one and watched the flaming dominoes effect!
Friday morning, we got up early and drove home to the ranch! We were all sooo excited to be home and I think our Curly boy was pretty excited to have us back! The boys didn't waste any time getting outside to play with him.
Now you know what we've been up to! :) I'm so grateful for this beautiful place to come home to! I look forward to the upcoming weeks! Tomorrow, I'll give you a peek into our plans for the next few weeks while we're here at home!
This week we will drive
Then, we will hug and laugh and party with my family for two days.
This will be followed by more driving!
Unfortunately this means one very specific thing for You, my friend!
I will NEGLECT you!
I'm soooo sorry! I stand here with my head hanging in blogger shame!
But wait! I can explain! I'm sure you'll forgive me when I do.
You see, I do not have a mobile hotspot, so blogging while driving is . . . not possible.
And then, I will be surrounded by adorable little munchkins who call me auntie and beg to be held and played with and read to. And my arms will insist on lots of snuggles. And I will only have a few days and then my heart will have to break with goodbyes!
There see! You understand now right?!
So, take this time to enjoy a little break from my ramblings, BUT DON'T FORGET ABOUT ME!
In the words of Arnold Schwarzenegger,
"I'll Be Back!"
Hi! I'm Sarah
I'm so glad you stopped by! I pray you find encouragement and a reason to smile while you're visiting! If this is your first time on my blog, be sure to START HERE.
“This is what the Lord says, he who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it—the Lord is his name: ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’
(Jeremiah 33:2-3 NIV)
Leviticus & Mark
(the Bible in a year)
Five Children and It
(family read aloud by E. Nesbit)
Middle School: The Inside Story
(by Cynthia Tobias and Sue Acuna)
All Things Gardening, Soil, & Chickens
(not a title, just a list of my current library search topics)