Going Home

The Gypsy Mama

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

Oh and Ahem, if you would take pity and turn off comment verification, it would make leaving some love on your post that much easier for folks!

OK, are you ready? Please give us your best five minutes on:::

Home…

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Home.

The word, to many, means family and friends because…

home is where they love you.

No matter how old, or how far away, one can always go home…

even if it is only in his/her memories.

Today on this five minute Friday I’ve decided to share some of my pictures.

Pictures of home.

 

 

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The Wonders Of His Love

The ceramic ornament slipped off the counter and hit the floor hard. Cracked. Broken. In pieces.102_4811

A cry escaped, as I stared at the crumbles and bits of what was left on the floor.

I had just gotten the decoration that day, from Day Spring…and I was disappointed at where my gift had ended up.

My kids helped me pick up the pieces. Super glued it back together. Fixed it.

But, the cracks are still visible. The heart is broken.

A reminder…

For the words on the ornament read, “Wonders of His Love”.

Oh yes, the wonders of His love. The words sink into my own heart.

His body was broken for me. His heart leaked for me, the sinner. The blood. His blood poured out.

All because of His great love.

I flipped the ornament over and looked at the spidery crack that ran through the printed verse on back.

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 1 John 4:9 NIV

Love Is A Great Gift

Holding hands“Love is never having to say you’re sorry.”

I don’t know who ever came up with that quote…but, just for the record I hate it. I completely disagree with the sentiment.

That statement is full of pride. The very thing that builds up walls and causes isolation, even within relationship.

Now, I cannot speak for everyone, but I know for myself that I am imperfect.

You heard me. Imperfect. I freely admit it.

Stubborn. Opinionated. Fierce.

Slow to boil, but when the steam is rising—step back or you might get burned.

Ugh. I dislike that about myself.

It has taken me years to realize that my gift of words can heal…or they can hurt.

And the choice is mine.

On Valentine’s Day everyone is talking about love. Millions of dollars are spent on showing each other how much we care.

Then February 15th rolls around and it is back to usual.

Relationship with any intimacy at all, is going to have times when the imperfect collides with reality.

Those times are the perfect time to say “I’m sorry”.  Those words have healing power, if said with sincerity.

Those words humble me.

Love in the real world is not some Saturday afternoon chick flick. It’s not the handsome guy on a white horse. Or even drowning in expensive chocolates……

Love is strong. And it is tough. And it is brave.

It is humbled. And it is servant. And it is forgiving.

Love is a great gift.

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Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.  Ephesians 4:2

 

 

Love Never Gets Old

English: a love heart in water

Love never gets old

My son’s words echoed in my heart just as soon as they left his mouth. Wisdom from my boy-man.

At the time, we were goofing around……as we have done ever since he was born, almost 17 years ago.

Times of silliness in amongst the trials of this life.

And isn’t that true? And what we all long for?

Love. Simply, love. The need for love doesn’t get old, or dry up, or go away.

Longing to know that we are valued, important to another. It is necessary… for truly

living.

Sifting through the day to day to find what is true. Real. Intangible.

Scripture tells us,  “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13 NIV

More than just an emotion that is fickle at best. More than slick advertisements, or self gratification.

Love is sacrifice.

Always.

It is in the giving away that love becomes real. It is in the laying down of personal gain, or self promotion that allows love to flourish.

Love is at it’s greatest when we are least.

Love is…

* holding tight to newborn skin and feeling your heart living outside of your body

* holding a hand when your dear friend just received news that would rip her world wide open

* appreciating what was done for you, to allow you to be where you are right now

* wiping tears from the face of a child that is hurting and just holding him/her

* forgiving those words that were said in anger, and realizing that sin is real and we all are tainted

* starting over because we all need a second chance

* laying side by side, and feeling the warmth that two bodies create

* touching a face and memorizing the contours in your heart

* knowing another intimately, and choosing to love them anyway

* saying “I’m sorry” or “I was wrong”, even when it’s difficult. Words matter and water runs deep, and it is never necessary to drown in that pride.

* sacrificing time, for time is all we have…and it is valuable beyond measure

* setting aside the “I want”  for the “what can I do for you?”

* being the servant and not always the master

* real…when one can look past the facade to the spirit inside

* reaching out and grasping for another that is stronger

Love is all these things…and more.

“Le Prix d’ Amour, C’est Seulement Amour.”   (“The price of love is simply… love.”)

Love In The Day To Day

Love for Arts

Today, at A Holy Experience,  Ann has her readers posting about the practice of love.

I just knew I would write this wonderful blog post about love! I thought maybe Hallmark might even want it for their Valentine card collection. Maybe I’d write something using the verses from the “love” chapter 13 in 1 Corinthians. The more I thought about my wonderful ideas on love, the more I felt drawn to write the real stuff. You all know what I mean. Not the Hollywoodchick flick” romance. Not the bouquet of roses and candy. Not the slick pictures in the magazines for jewelry companies. So, here goes. The real stuff. Not the fluff stuff.

Here is my take on love in 60 seconds. Ready. Set. Go.

The daily practice of love is usually not romantic, or cinematic…

nor is it cavalier or conceited.

Love can be gritty and hard…

Some days the walk is all up hill.

The battle is hard fought.

Love can be exhausting.

Miscommunication and boredom

march to the front lines ready to do battle.

Love must be tough…

if it is to survive.

Commitment, sacrifice, and sometimes…

hanging on with white knuckles and wobbly legs.

It’s not giving up, not giving in–

even when throwing in the towel might seem easier.

Love is messy, and crazy and frustrating

and serious, and funny, and happy and

sad.

Love is both time consuming, and energy renewing.

Some days it requires standing down and looking up,

on others, it is asking for a hand to hold.

It is fierce and all consuming,

soft and safe and starting again.

Love doesn’t give up.

 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.  1 Corinthians 13:13  NIV

In The Name Of Love

Holding hands

Image by QuinnDombrowski via Flickr

*I promise to love, honor, and cherish you; from this day forward until death do us part.

*Mommy, I love you very, very much. You are the bestest mommy ever!

*Love you, Mom! Love you, too.

*For God so loved the world

*Love you, babe!

*I think I’m in love.

*Don’t you just love that?

*Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

*What’s love got to do with it?

Love is patient, love is kind…

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Sometimes the word, love, is a scary word to utter. Unsure. Unnerving. A word that holds so much meaning, but will the speaker of the word have it returned back to him/her?

A mother and child. A husband and wife. A boyfriend and girlfriend. God to His people.

The world would have us believe that love is a fragile emotion, best not to use the word too often. On one hand, love is over simplified, and overused. Love hurts. Love stinks. Love breaks hearts and ruins lives. The world also says that love makes the world go round.

So, what is love?

4 Love is patient, love is kind.       (love allows one to try again, love treats others in a way that she herself would like to be treated…even if it isn’t returned)

It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. (love is humble and does not have a smart mouth)

5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, (love is giving up the spotlight, love is stepping down and letting the other person shine, love is choosing to make itself less)

it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. (love holds its tongue, love doesn’t roll it’s eyes, or attempt to cut another down, love should not hurt)

6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. (love heals the hurts, love triumphs in the truth, love stands tall and is not ashamed)

7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (love gives the benefit of the doubt, love tries harder, pushes farther, and longs for the best)

 8 Love never fails. (real love is what everyone craves, we all want it, long for it, live for it)

 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.                         I Corinthians 13 NIV

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Will you share the love?

You’ve Got Mail

Bonnie, over at Faith Barista says…. “It’s the month of classic June weddings. A reader who is single asked me how I met my husband. She said it always encourages her to hear the different ways God leads people to find true love.

In the spirit of encouragement, I’d love to hear from our community. Write on the topic: Finding “The One”. ”  

 
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It happened on August 6, 2005.

I was totally and completely unprepared….

At the time I had been widowed for 4 and 1/2 years. (see my story here) I had a son getting ready to start 5th grade.

I had turned 37 in May.

Life was busy. Happy. Things were good.

Life was normal on that day, nothing out of the ordinary, nothing to tell me of what lay ahead…

I sat down at my computer, to check my email. I saw a response from an online dating service I had signed up for. (which I had done on a whim) Before even signing up I had decided that I was not going to date anyone unless they lived within an hour of my house.  I mean, what was the sense, otherwise?

Then HE left me a message.

He lived in Texas, in a town outside of Dallas. He had one adult daughter whom he had adopted, and two children still at home. He was also widowed. (about his late wife)

He wanted to know me. This kind of made me feel like I was 17 all over again. “Wait, just a minute”, I thought, “I am 37. I am mature. I am a mom. I am not going to get excited about an email. So there.”  At least that is what I told myself.

I wasn’t so sure about this. After all this guy lived in TEXAS for cryin’ out loud…and I lived in Tennessee. The two “T” states, but other than that, not close enough. I waited to reply.  I thought about it.  I finally decided that we could at least be friends. We could both relate to widowhood, (there was a mutual understanding between us, in a way that is difficult to explain unless one has been through the death of a spouse) , had children around the same age, and we were both Christians.

So……

We became long distance friends. We emailed every day. Hundreds of miles apart, but close in heart. After several weeks of daily email and phone calls,he asked if he could travel to Tennessee for us to meet? Kids included. He drove hundreds of miles with a son, a daughter and a dog. They arrived at my house on a Friday afternoon in late September. This sounds hokey, but we felt as if we’d known each other for years.

After a whirlwind weekend of visiting at my home, attending my son’s soccer game, going out to eat,  meeting the family, and even some nervous reservations about how, or if, this would work, we decided that this relationship was worth pursuing.

So we did.

Five months later we were married. It was a life changing decision, but one that we are both glad we made. We will be celebrating our sixth anniversary this year. We tease that it feels like we’ve been married for fifty! We have no doubts that God led us to each other…even if our meeting and short engagement was a bit unconventional. We were both in our 30’s when we were widowed, living hundreds of miles apart, didn’t even know the other existed…until that fateful day in August. We both knew what we wanted in life, who we were interested in sharing that  life with, and that God was and is the One in control.

I love my husband and he loves me. Life has its ups and downs. We are parenting in a blended family. We’ve sold his house in Texas, and my house in Tennessee. We’ve built a house in rural Ohio. We’ve moved from Texas to Tennessee, and Tennessee to Ohio. My husband lost his job of twenty-two years right in the middle of building the house in Ohio. I resigned from my teaching job. We home school our three teens. My husband has a new job, working from home. We have three dogs, four cats, and a horse. Life is crazy and unpredictable.

But, I can’t think of a better place to be than with Scott……after all God brought us together, and HE is the ultimate match maker.