Lately, I’ve thought a lot about Love. February seems to do that…and being pregnant. The word itself has become so commonly used, but do we ever stop to think about what love actually means to us?! According to Webster’s dictionary there are 9 different definitions of love, nine! Maybe thats’s why they say love is a universal language.
I won’t list what all nine say, but let me tell you the ones that resonate the most with me.
1) strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties.
2) warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion.
4) unselfish loyal and benevolent
These are my 4 favorite ways that love are described. Being pregnant has made me really focus on the love between One Cute Cowboy and I, and the love we already have, abundantly overflowing, for little bear. It also has made me fiercely protective of that love. I guess you could say like a Mama Bear, I want to protect and nurture and make the love I have for Little Bear prosper, but I also feel that strong intuition to protect the love between One Cute Cowboy and myself.
That “warm attachment” mentioned above, has been like red-hot attachment lately. We’ve been savoring these last couple months as just “us” and cherishing one another for what we’ve become as a couple, and what we’ll soon be–parents! We’re wanting to make sure we’re setting a strong foundation of love for our Little Bear to look to when everything else seems to falter. We want him to know how deeply his parents not only love him, but love each other. I think it’s important for kids to see that.
Which brings me to the number nine definition of Love–God. I can’t help but think it’s that red-hot attachment that He has for us as well. He wants us to know His deep love for us, and to share that love.
Now a minute to brag on my loving husband. I’m strong-headed (so is he) but he lovingly takes me in stride when my temper runs over. He is my supporter in anything I set my mind to. He is my rock, he is my shelter. He is quite simply the love of my life, and soul-mate. I can’t imagine going on this journey with anyone else in this world. Our love isn’t perfect by any means, but we’ve learned to love through the imperfections.
” It’s not a walk in the park to love each other, but when our fingers interlock I can’t deny, can’t deny, you’re worthit. ‘Cause after all this time, I’m still into you.”–Paramore
We’ve been on many adventures together, but we’re getting ready to embark on our greatest adventure yet, there’s not a doubt in my mind that you’re my One. Happy Valentine’s Day, My One Cute Cowboy! ❤️
This was actually a post I had planned for the day after Christmas, but I had some technical difficulties and couldn’t get it posted. So as we look into the new year, here is a few thoughts I’ve had.
What exactly does it mean to “keep the Christmas spirit?”
I hate when Christmas is over. I get the Christmas blues every year. There’s all of this fun and exciting build-up—playing Christmas music, watching Christmas movies, getting and decorating the tree, pulling out all of your favorite decorations from storage, and making your house into a winter wonderland. Finding just the right gift for the ones you love, lighting the Advent wreath, preparing to celebrate the birth of our King! There’s all this build-up, and Christmas Eve comes and the magic is palpable, then Christmas morning is finally here and the festivities of the day begins! Then in the blink of an eye, it’s all over. The lights come down, the wrapping paper gets picked up, the family goes home, and once again, your heart waits for the next Christmas to come.
So my question to you is, how do we keep that Christmas spirit all year long? How do we keep excited and passionate about giving to others, our appreciation for the small things, our waiting for the King?
This year it seems like it went even faster than usual, and I’ve found myself stuck with this question. I want to keep the fulfillment that Christmas gives me in my heart all-year round.
My mind keeps going to Proverbs 17:22, “A merry heart does good, like medicine.” Surely part of the key of keeping Christmas, is keeping a merry heart. But that’s sometimes easier said than done. You get cut-off in traffic, your boss is on you about this or that, your day just doesn’t go “as planned”—it’s hard to keep that merry heart in difficult times.
So I’ve been thinking of how to keep a heart for Christmas all year-round, and this is what I’ve come up with:
- Immerse yourself in scripture
I’m one of those people that always likes to know more. I want to know facts and details. I used to love Paul Harvey, “and now you know, the rest of the story.” One thing I’ve thoroughly enjoyed is the “subtext” in my Bible. For most verses there’s a footer at the bottom telling details about what the scripture might be pertaining to in that time, going into further explanation of the verse. I think one way to keep a fulfilled heart is to read scripture everyday, and for me, dig even a little deeper to find what the scriptures are actually saying.
I guess you could say this goes hand-in-hand with reading scripture, but I find when I start and end my day with prayer, I keep a more mindful heart (and mouth for that matter) and reflect more upon the happenings of my day-to-day.
- Continue to Give
Now, don’t get me wrong , I’m not saying buy gifts for everyone you know or love all year long, but have a giving heart. Maybe that means giving your time to someone to listen, maybe it’s giving someone a helping hand at the grocery store, and maybe it means to simply give–whether it be to your church, someone in need, the homeless, or something else entirely, but don’t let the Christmas season be the only time you “give” during the year.
- A Christmas Reminder
I challenge you to keep one small Christmas decoration/ornament out in a place where you’ll see it everyday to remind you of the joy and peace that comes with Christmas. The picture above is a candle One Cute Cowboy got me our 2nd Christmas together, and I plan on keeping it out even after I put my other decorations up, to remind me to keep the spirit of Christmas in my heart all year long.
I hope you had a beautiful, joyful Christmas and pray for many blessings to all of you through the new year!
Happy New Year!
Last week I mentioned on my January Mood Board that I’d been reading Chip and Joanna Gaines’ book The Magnolia Story that One Cute Cowboy got me for Christmas. I finished it this past weekend and it left me inspired, driven, and with a sense of things are going to work out the way God has them planned.
For those of you who aren’t addicted to HGTV like my husband, and have no idea who Chip or Joanna Gaines is, they are a married couple that have a show on the HGTV channel called The Fixer-Upper. They live in Waco,Texas and buy and restore or “flip” houses in the area to make them the dreamiest, most amazing houses the buyer could imagine. They’re endearing, and you can tell they work hard, but have so much fun doing it. Their chemistry is palpable and by the end of the episode you can’t help but feel like you’d be great buds with both of them. If you’ve never caught a show, I highly recommend it. Tuesday nights at 8:00 central time.
Back to the book. I had a bit of an epiphany while reading Joanna’s words, she reiterated time and time again that it was she and Chip’s trust in God that led them to where they are in life now. She would voice her dreams and the desires of her heart to God (and Chip for that matter) and though it might be immediate or in time, God bestowed those things upon her. Now, I know this is no new revelation, that trusting in God brings great things, but for some reason, reading her words, and hearing it in what seemed like a friends voice, it made new sense to me. Speaking, out-loud the desires of your heart to God. I know I’ve prayed to God for things to happen, or not happen. For this or that to work-out, but have I ever just dreamed out-loud to God? I know when I was in college, one of my professors were alway saying, “Be sure people know your dreams. Tell everyone you know what your dreams are! You never know what could happen because of it.” Why not tell the one person who can literally make anything happen?! Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve prayed about the desires of my heart to God, but I guess I’ve always figured he knows my heart and deepest desires, why speak them all to Him? Reading Jo’s words only made me realize, yes, He most certainly knows our deepest and truest desires but He also wants a relationship with his children. He wants us to speak to Him like we would a loved one, because He is love.
It’s a little bit hard for me to put into words how this epiphany has changed my way of thinking, and somewhat changed my dialogue with God. But this brought something new to the table for me. I feel like this book has only enriched my relationship with God. Not only has it made me start looking at things in a new light, I feel energized after reading this book. It was inspiring. I think Chip & Joanna are just inspiring people in general, but this book really makes you start to examine what you want out of life. What are you striving for in life?
I highly highly recommend this book. It’s a fast, entertaining book that will only leave you with a smile on your face, and I pray some hope in your heart. I know it did mine. You can even buy it on iTunes for audio for you non-book-readers out there. Go check it out, I promise it’ll be worth your time.
I’ve had a heavy heart in July, as I assume most of America has. I find myself in continuous prayer and thought. But I do see the hope in America, I see the good, and even though the media never concentrates on the good happening, look for it, it’s there. One of my favorite quotes is one of Mr. Rogers’ he said, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” So I encourage you to not only look for the helpers, be the helpers. Be the good. Here are a few things inspiring me this month. What keeps you inspired?
“I hope you find someone who is brave enough to enter your storm, and respects you enough to love the size of your waves. I hope you find someone who will relish the calm you can have, and who is eager to set sail on the expanse of your mind. I hope you find someone that can’t escape the love they have for you, because now they have you in their very blood, always reminding them that you are the only sea worth exploring.”
—T.B. LaBerge // Unwritten Letters to You (via kvtes)
This sets the tone for me for February. Any picture you can click through to its original website.