Love is Patient

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So it has been a while since I have been able to share my One Word Challenge.  I assure you that doesn’t go without many lessons in between.  I have been learning so much about myself and about others.  I have been learning about loving interactions as well as what love truly mean.  Love is not always a lovey-dovey feeling where you are constantly wanting to make-out with the person.  Love is not always liking the person either.  Love has its share of hardships and struggles, but love is always a choice.

There are many times to which I have felt I cannot truly love a person because they have hurt me so greatly.  Well the fact of the matter is, I too have hurt myself greatly.  It is a two way street and if I was truly going to hold myself accountable for something I did, not the other party, then I need to own up to it.  Honesty.  A big dose of honesty.  I have realized though in being honest with myself it makes everything clearer in a seemingly cloudy situation.  Relationships you see can be quite messy if you allow them to be.

Love is pretty limitless and straight forward you see.  It is our misconception to what WE think love is that makes it messy.  Can we actually conceptualize love?  I think we can start this journey by first and foremost choosing to love.  It is a paradox.  By choosing something we don’t fully understand–it seems a bit absurd.  We know what it takes to love by the examples set by those who have gone before us.  Take for an instant Jesus.  This man died for me.  If you look at the events surrounding His life, He set an example of complete and total love.  Look at who His best friends were.  They were sinners like you and I.  They were those who were cast aside, deemed unworthy of normal folks, and most of all looked down upon.  Sinners that didn’t deserve the attention of the others.  He surrounded those individuals with love.  You see, when it comes down to it, we are ALL sinners.  It is in our human nature.  We are always going to hurt ourselves and others.  Always.  So what do we do to start this journey of love?

1. Pray.  Pray fervently.  Learn who God is.  Learn who you are in God.  That is where you will really learn to grow in focus and in purpose.  Here too is where you will learn about your vocation (your duty and calling in this life).

2. Learn to integrate God into every decision you make.  If it is not out of love for God, rethink your decision.  This is where we give up our selfish ways.  We surrender our wants and desires for God’s Will for us.  Let go of anything holding us back.  Remember WWJD bracelets?  A constant reminder of our actions?  This is a really hard step.  It is extremely hard to fight against selfishness as it is written in our human DNA.

3. Talk to God about those who have hurt you.  Learn to love through forgiveness.  As you forgive others, God will forgive you.  That is an important part to this puzzle.  This becomes easier as you will grow in understanding toward others through forgiveness.  I have learned in this step a lot of times the person hurting is a misdirection their hurt on to you.  For right, wrong, or the other reason–we should try to see that and love them despite their hurtful actions.

4. Be honest with yourself.  If you know you are struggling with something….something embarrassing.  Something that you could never tell a soul about or you might just die.  Well guess what?  God already knows what you did.  It takes something of true humility to be completely honest with yourself and lay it all out there.  It takes true humility to own up and make up for what you have done.  It changes you.  It simplifies your decisions.  It makes things more clear.

It takes a lot of love.  I have chosen to love without placing limits on myself.  I have chosen to never hold back my love for anyone.  Love puts others needs before our own needs.  That one is a really hard one.  I will never stop witnessing to the love that God shows me each day….or trying to witness to that love.  I will never stop trying my hardest to demonstrate that same love to others.  I am not going to lie though and tell you I have mastered it because I am far from perfect.  It is hard being patient with my 14-year-old brother when he is being a 14-year-old annoying boy.  It is hard for me to love my sister when she is being dramatic about the rules my parents are placing when she can’t use my mom’s phone after 10pm.  It is hard to love friends who cannot tell you to your face they are moving and let you find out via Facebook.  It is so hard not yelling, screaming, keeping it all in perspective when it seems like hell has broken loose.  It is hard loving those who drive you bonkers!

It is hard to love your siblings all the time, but I am asked to love them regardless.  It is hard loving your coworkers when they purposely push your buttons just to see how far they can push until you break.  Love doesn’t break.  Love stays cool and keeps it in perspective.  Love overlooks all of the petty small things.  Love looks deep into the heart of the individual and connects continually.  Love makes all things possible.

Equally, love is patient seems to be a theme.  Love is patient, love is kind.  Love is being patient and kind with ourselves through the journey.  Love unites.  Love brings us out of our misery and what a beautiful blessing when we feel that love radiate from our soul.  What a beautiful notion to love all those who come in contact with whether that is an everyday occurrence, once a year thing or whatever it may be.  Love doesn’t mean you won’t get upset or angry.  Love doesn’t mean that you are going to like or agree with a person’s believes.  Love just means you are going to be available to help them at any given point if that is what you are asked to do.

When it comes down to it, love helps us get through a lot of bull-poo-poo.  It helps us work through our own problems and it helps us appreciate each and every creature or being there is.  It helps us more than we can realize.

Let us be brave enough to choose to love through our pains, sorrows, and hardships.  Let us love non-judgmentally.  Let us love without wavering.  Let us love as God loves us.

Hugs and blessings,
CatMan

Knowing when to call it…Putting God First

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This morning, I found this article to which really got me thinking.  Conclusion: Money isn’t everything if you aren’t happy or satisfied with what you are doing.  Offensive lineman John Moffitt of the Denver Broncos has decided after season 3 to retire.  Money wasn’t everything to him to sacrifice his body for the name of the sport when the passion or happiness factor wasn’t there.  Smart man.

http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-shutdown-corner/offensive-lineman-john-moffitt-walks-away-nfl-says-211429267–nfl.html

How many times have you sucked it up and thought you were doing something that you WANTED to do?  How many times have you realized what you thought to have been a very rewarding decision and choice really wasn’t what you thought it was?  The fact is, life is really about making every decision count.  We make right decisions and we make wrong decision.  Life is about learning.  Life too must be lived ON purpose.  If you don’t live a life worth your passion, sanity, and one that is desired then maybe it is time to look at priorities.

I was always raised to put God first.  As human beings….as selfish human beings…we always try to do it our way.  We try to make everything about what we want to get out of life.  That is a little backwards in my opinion.  Life really isn’t about us anyways.  Sounds like a contradiction, ehh?  Let me explain.  God created each and everyone of us with a specific purpose and need in mind.  He didn’t intend for money to be everything.  He should be our everything.  It is through our relationship with God that we come to know the person He created.  We find out about our strengths and weaknesses and just how much we should be depending on God for our guidance in this journey.  We will not find our way by chasing what we think will make us happy.  We will never be fulfilled by putting ourselves first.

Here is a really amazing blog post by Joyce Meyer’s Ministries to which explains what I mean.  http://www.joycemeyer.org/articles/ea.aspx?article=putting_god_first_in_your_priorities

When you put God first, you start to notice things that maybe you wouldn’t have even glanced or thought twice about.  Take for an instance, walking around.  Have you seen the same street bum begging on the corner?  Have you ever really thought about why this individual is there?  Or what their story is?  Or do you consider yourself an elite individual with your clique of friends only.  You keep a tight reign and no one else can be let in to the “inner circle”.  News flash…there is always someone that is feeling left out.  Have you noticed that person lately?  Have you taken into consideration their feelings?  Have you decided to do anything about it?

When you put God first, you realize that He loves each and everyone of us as though we are the only person that existed.  He never abandons us and many times falls quiet as to test us.  When you feel that He is the furthest away–He is simply right around the corner.  I think for me, one of the hardest things to realize is that Jesus is in every single person.  He is!  Have you looked deeply into a strangers eyes?  Have you ever just felt this calm love?  Or maybe not….I guess that would be kind of weird, right?

I do feel that when I am having a rough day, He sends little angels to remind me “Hey goof…life is not all bad!  I am still right here walking this road with you!!”  It never seems to fail when things go array, I am always exactly where I need to be.  Whether it is for my benefit or the other persons.

When you put God first, perspective comes.  It is not right away or with ease to which that happens, but eventually it will come.  When you put God first, your passions meet obedience.  We are so narrow-minded as human beings as to think we can put limits on God’s love for us.  God can do anything.  TRULY.  God will guide us toward our passions and love if we simply ask and follow Him.  This is a hard thing for an extremely independent little woman to get through her thick skull.  I need to stop whining and just go bring everything directly to God.  God has always been there consistently.  Why do I always forget that?

This week has been a stressful week.  I put a lot of this stress on myself without realizing my load is nothing compared to others.  My cross to bear, is my cross.  I need to remember not to push my cross on others as I do not want to tip them.  I am grateful that others allow me to vent.  I am grateful that I have such a support group and cheerleading section making sure that I am still sane.  I am so grateful for the reminders God places in my life to which keeps me afloat.  But, I need to remember to know when to call it for my sake.  I needed to remember that God comes first and know to call it quits to me being selfish.  It’s God’s will not my own.  He will always provide as long as I am listening and obedient to Him.

Today I want to challenge each and every one of my readers, do you truly put God first?  Are you truly seeking Him and His plan for you in each decision?  Are you using your gifts to the best of your ability?  Just look at yourself reflectively today.  Be thankful for who you are today.  Be thankful for where you are at on your journey.  Be thankful for your support group.  Becoming is a hard long road of faith.  The end result will be well worth its while!

CatMan