_Love like Esther.
In a me-centered culture it can be hard to put others first. We are constantly exposed to messages from different mediums to buy the bigger house, the faster car, the nicer clothes, the best vacations and so much more.
The paper cutout on the left of this photo is from some scrapbooking set that I had bought many years ago. As I am sure you can guess, the original words read "Do what makes you happy". I pulled it out and thought that this is the way I used to think. Sure, I didn't mind helping people here and there as long as I wasn't too inconvenienced. Love in our home is not uncommon but are we willing to take it to a whole new level?
We meet with a super special group of people (kind of like the A team... without the violence, 80's hair and connection to the military police) every 2 weeks to study the Bible, share our victories and struggles, learn things about each other and laugh A TON. We are currently in the midst of 1 Corinthians 13.
You guessed it. Notoriously known as the LOVE chapter. You may have heard it at 1 wedding, or 10. You may have seen the verses as artwork in homes. What is interesting is if you take it into context- Paul is actually talking about the love within a church. Of course it is not wrong to apply it to marriages and other relationships but he defined it within the unity of God's people. This is how we are to love others...not just our spouses.
While we were in discussion; such a good point was brought up. So often, we see love as a feeling. We see love as the "Hallmark channel" love. Do I FEEL happy and cared for when I am around someone. Trust me, I love a good lifetime or hallmark movie as much as the next person. I have literally cried at Disney movies...…… I love all the feels. The feels aren't necessarily bad. But I would challenge you to look at love as something different. My title already gave it away...
Love as obedience.
Since we have already discussed on numerous occasions that love is an inconvenience, I would like to introduce love as obedience.
I didn't have any of those warm, fuzzy feelings when I first texted my Dad. I did not love my Dad. However, if we look at love as obedience to what God calls us to do. Then yes, I did love my Dad. God called me to initiate contact with him. I ignored him just like Jonah, (thankfully I haven't been on a boat within the last few years to have a similar outcome) and then I obeyed just like Jonah. Oh friends, love is so much more than feelings.
Start with obedience, God will take what you have and help it multiply.
Now we've covered that love is inconvenience, obedience and costs much. It's so tough! Just yesterday, I had wanted to join a super amazing dream team of women professionals encouraging and giving tips on how to grow a blog (just like mine!). The finances are different in our home than they used to be. Without financially supporting my Dad, I would have been able to go in a heartbeat. Ugh. I sulked. I groaned. I complained. I wanted a different outcome besides "we can't right now". I feel God is calling me with this blog to grow and inspire so many more. But I had to realize that God has the capacity to grow this blog, with or without the super amazing dream team of professionals. Better yet, by saying no and sharing a little bit of why- spreads the testimony of our story.
I meet with a beautiful soul every other Friday and she is my spiritual mentor. She said to me last week that "when we obey God, he not only opens the door but he also blesses everything that goes through it". I hang tight to this friends. I have been blessed. I am blessed by you all joining me on this journey. I am blessed by the support of friends, family and even that amazing dream team of women professionals have continued to offer their expertise.
I pray that you will see love as obedience and that your doors will open a floodgate of blessings in your life.
Do what makes others happy instead. Let's turn this world upside down.
_Love like Esther.