Wednesday, February 15, 2012

a love worth fighting for...

valentine's eve...dizzy with excitement...
i know, i know.  for many it's unimportant, unnecessary, a sorry excuse for a celebration...
around here it's a big deal.  
around here it's about love {or is it?}.
monday night i floated down the stairs after children's bedtime...pulled all my pink and red and glittery treasures out of hiding...went to work.  i even took pictures for you...
hearts and love notes tucked in my guy's gym bag.
craft preparations for lucy's preschool party.
sweet custom cookies from milk and sugar cookie company for some of our favorite friends.
it was joy for me...all the preparations.

before i laid my head to rest that night i thought of one last thing i would do.  during morning bible time with the kids we would read paul's words to the corinthians on love...the ones about patience, kindness...  yes - that would be a good start to our day.  a good reminder that when we choose to focus on love we focus on Him.  when we receive love well we can share love well...
in between scrambling eggs and placing them on heart-shaped plates and putting on socks and shoes and packing backpacks and loading cupcakes into car  - 
remember that...don't forget.

but the morning got away from me.  the time i had seemed not enough.  little legs moved too slow and breakfast preparations took too long and mommy patience started to wear thin.  if one more person ran giggling in the other direction when i said 'come HERE'...were we really on our 3rd time out before 9am?  we should have been out of that door 10 minutes ago but i'm setting another 3 minute timer.  
it's valentine's day...we are supposed to be focusing on LOVE here people!

 i felt it well up in me...that anxiety, that stress, that feeling that begins to shellac my heart turning softness into stone.  i kept it inside...that's where the damage is primarily done.  deep breaths and the little ones won't really see the monster under the surface.  
grace enough for them...but not for me...why can't i accept it for me?
loading everyone in the car.  double checking my list.  going back for things forgotten.  isn't there something else i'm forgetting?  all the while the fire inside is burning me...it's painful.  why can't i fight it off?
keep fighting...for the softness...the love that must still be there somewhere...

pull out of the driveway {20 minutes late} and the song begins to drift softly...bursting up underneath the noisy ruckus in the backseat...volume up...
{warning :: if - like me - too much movement/activity can distract you from the lyrics of a song you might want to close your eyes for this one}

and there it is...
it's not my love i'm fighting for...it's His. 
mine is so easily angered, so fleeting, so conditional.  
His is strong, gentle, unchanging.
it doesn't start with me.  it starts with how HE loves us...
oh...how he loves us...
radio off.
quiet.
i knew i was forgetting something.
the bible lesson.  
it wasn't for the kids it was for me.  so as i teach it to them from behind the steering wheel...the patience, the kindness, the slowness to anger, the truth to be rejoiced in...the words needed for me today as much as they were needed for the corinthians all those years ago.
i re-teach it to myself.
these afflictions eclipsed by glory.
oh...how he loves us...