My husband and I have attended countless marriage conferences and retreats. We have participated in, led, and even preached a slew of marriage studies and sermons over the years. I am also well-versed in the 5 Love Languages and I do appreciate them for their practical application of showing love to one another. I tell you all of this not to boast but to explain that while those were all good things, they weren’t enough. But when the bottom dropped out of my 30-year marriage and everything was measured with distrust, my heart longed for a deeper understanding of how I might know my husband loves me. I was reaching for a handle that could help me distinguish between the expression of love and what love actually is.
Category Archives: love
I have a picture that says, “Until further notice, celebrate everything.” With so much negative in our world and in our personal lives, I’m finding it more crucial than ever to focus on celebrating the positive. It’s always a good idea to celebrate love.
Valentine’s Day comes around each year. In recent years, with social media and our self-imposed freedom to talk a little louder, this holiday has become quite the hot topic. As pink and red everything and all the chocolate, candy word hearts, and flowers are made available, money is spent, opinions are shared, comparisons are made, hopes are dashed, tears are shed, joy is found, expectations are met or exceeded, and often, expectations are profoundly unsatisfied. And then, on February 15th, we find ourselves either basking in the glow or wallowing in the sorrow.
The 2018 Lenten season begins tomorrow. While stricter Lenten observers might not be so keen that the two days collide, I find irony in the season beginning on the day in which we celebrate love. The day that many will focus on romantic love. However, I can think of no better love to focus on than the eternal love that was given to us on the living cross.
As it has been every year, my approach to Lent is organic. There are no Lenten police officers out there making sure we are not logged into Facebook or hiding in the closet with a chocolate bar or ticking the right number of boxes and doing the right things. No, that would be legalism and not at all what Jesus is about. There must always be a measure of grace. At least for me.
In the earlier years of our marriage, Valentine’s Day (aka Love Day) loomed in the horizon when the calendar flipped from January to February. We waited for the day clunking aimlessly around with our unspoken and residual unmet expectations. For years, we bought into the commercialization of the day. The 15th of February came with sadness, disappointment and hurt. Our “Love Day” wasn’t always a flop but I must say that chocolate was sometimes one of the few things that turned out right. Can you relate?
My husband and I have been married for nearly three decades. Over these years, we’ve learned a thing or two from the truest form of dumb luck, some things from wise counsel and even more from the school of hard knocks. Throughout the years and tears, one thing we have learned is that love is a verb, not a day.
I’m going to be honest with you (as I always am). This picture wasn’t taken on Valentine’s Day. I don’t know the exact day but this picture was taken in the hardest season (not exaggerating) our marriage has ever endured. I look back at it with wonder.
I shared a post recently over at RebeccaBender.org about how to choose to be a sacrificial lover. While I’m not great at it, I know how. It’s one thing to know and quite another to do. Can I get an “AMEN”? Yeah, I thought so.
I couldn’t be more humbled and honored to share this story of love, faith, loss, hope and miracles from Kelly Nickerson. Kelly is a new friend and I’m so happy to have her over at EPFH. Be sure to check out more of Kelly’s writing at KellyNickerson.com. She graciously welcomes us on her journey and shares from her heart to yours – and mine. Kelly, you are most welcome here anytime!
I happen to own a mind that is filled with fears and doubts and a frenzy of thoughts that need to be reigned in and quenched like an uncontained mental wildfire.