Love is…Advent Devotional Week 2

Love is… Advent Devotional Week 2

The small decoupage plaque hung on the wall in my parents bedroom. There were four cartoon like boys and one girl painted on the plaque below the inscribed words “Love is marrying a man with five children.”  Marrying a widower with five children was a life change requiring devotion, work and sacrifice for my second mom. Not everyone has faith (or sheer stamina) to commit to such an undertaking even for a wonderful man like my father.

In not such a dissimilar way, my husband, by marrying me, a paralyzed woman with a high level spinal cord injury, has more than demonstrated a great heart of service, commitment and sacrifice. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure my mom was blessed and my husband is blessed in both tangible and intangible ways….not just in spite of their situations…but because of them. For that I am most grateful.

In pondering the advent of Christmas and the theme of love for this week, I appreciate human examples that help me glimpse the true love of God and inspire me toward that great love. I see them all around me when I choose to stop and look and appreciate. It’s so easy to be tainted by the negative and destructive voices and actions that are so prevalent in our society….and in our own lives.

Why not choose to see each day with grateful, compassionate eyes and fight against the negativity of this world and the lust for earthly comforts that do not satisfy?

In fighting this negativity, I’m adding an emphasis on “no complaining words”…a kind of “complaining” fast so to speak. Who knows, maybe it will change the way I’ve been handling health issues and other frustrations recently. Words have power. Words matter.

Last night, after bemoaning to my husband about the slow and uncomfortable healing of a wound, I caught myself. Stopping, I realized that if I wasn’t complaining I might be crying (Ah! The ways we cope). But you know what? I may have needed a few tears and a hug of comfort to acknowledge that sometimes life and love are tough – and I’ll venture to say my husband may have appreciated that hug much more than the complaint.

How about you? How are your words? Especially to those who are closest to you?

Father, help us embrace your unending love for us and freely share it with others, always using our tongue as a weapon of blessing.

“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power….to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.”  
Ephesians 3:17, 18 NIV

May we speak the truth in love and may we love with ALL our words as we prepare to celebrate the Savior’s birth… ~Madge