The word love is so overused. We love good food, we love to go to the library, we love swimming, we love to go skiing, we love our home, we love each other, we love ice cream, we love to be outside, we love Star Wars.....But love is so much more than a feeling. Love is a choice we make. We can choose to love someone, no matter what. I'm realizing this the older I get, that love doesn't just symbolize the good either. Love is so much more. Love is actually more present in what is hard, and difficult. Love is there in the suffering, and the sick. I'm learning better ways to show my love.
I was reminded the other day of advice I gave to a friend a long time ago. When getting up all thorough the night with a new baby, to practice saying, I'm coming Lord, when hearing her cry again. To come to that baby as if it was Christ himself calling out to me at 2:14am. That is love.
To clean the kitchen, again, for the fifth time that day. Making the counter shine because I love the people who are sitting there eating. That is love.
To sit up a good portion of the night with a child who is having growing pains in their leg. To rub that leg all night until they can finally fall asleep, and while I'm at it offer up the lack of sleep for the many who are suffering with cancer right now. That is love.
To let my tired husband head to bed at 7:30pm without harassing him to stay up and help clean the kitchen and put the kids to bed. That is love.
To patiently ask my children to not interrupt (for the twentieth time) and then to look directly in their eyes while it's their turn to talk to me. To listen to what they are saying. That is love.
To be patient with them when I didn't take a nap and am exhausted. That is love.
To say more sure honey and yes and you bet and I love it to them. Sometimes all they need to hear are those words. That is love.
I love TJ and our children. Desperately. I think because I love them so much is why is get frustrated and anxious and yell. I get scared that they are sick and my fear takes over, so I yell. I'm learning to recognize when this happens. To not let my fears control my actions. To let my love for them be greater than anxiety of them getting cancer, or not learning something in school, or not practicing their manners. I shouldn't just love them when they are respectful to each other and others, or when they are obedient and helpful. I need to show my love throughout the yucky stuff of parenting as well.
And well, she's just lovely to look at.
Last night I watched American Idol for the first time. There was a guy on it, who was getting ready to sing. They asked him how old he was and if he was married. He said that he is engaged, and then went on to tell a story about his fiance. They showed footage of him proposing to her and how excited they were, they were kissing and hugging, very obviously in love. Two months before their wedding she was in a terrible car accident and was in a coma for a month and a half. When she came out of it, she had severe brain damage. She is in a wheel chair and cannot walk or talk. He has chosen to be her care taker. He won't leave her. He said, I was ready to make vows to her for the rest of my life, the accident happened two months before I made those vows. What kind of man would I be if I left her now?
That is love.