Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A test of me - post Valentine's Day sugar high and all...

So Valentine's Day came and went.... ate a lot of candy.  We all did.  And I saw a sky writer try to leave a message for someone over our neighborhood that day ... and the wind was blowing so hard it ended up looking like the word GOAT.  And I can only imagine the disappointment of the sweet couple staring at the sky waiting on love to appear in the clouds. And some guy demanding his hard earned money back - or another fly over.  

David and I were at the kids' middle school the other day, involved parents that we are.  Selling Valentine teddy bears.  And the 12 year old gave us a cool little head nod and went and ate lunch.  Then he ventured closer later - like we might bite.  But at least he did.  Big brother walked right by.  Acting like he had never seen us before.  And I felt like a stranger in a foreign land - not speaking or understanding the language of the modern teen - with no guide to assist.  Because he snubbed us.  And later he told me that it was the most embarrassing day of his life seeing his parents at his lunch time with a table full of teddy bears.  (Just trying to spread some Valentine love to the kiddos. And earn some much needed $$$ for the PTA.  My sister in law told me about a time she picked up her kids from school wearing a gorilla costume.  Give that some thought.)

But it really seems to me the world goes crazy at Valentines day.  The traffic at lunch time that day was insane... and I guessed it was every man in town trying to find a last minute gift for his lady love before she figured out he hadn't done it yet.  So carry on, men, and God speed to you everywhere. 

I've actually never been a big lover of Valentines Day.  Give me some candy and I'll definitely eat it.  Give me some flowers and they'll be the star of my kitchen table.  But give me real, day to day love -  every single day of the year - and you'll have my heart.  I'm pretty easy that way.  

My gift for the day of love?  My fella straightened the house while I was at work and then took me out to lunch.  He said some sweet words to me, bought me a big piece of chocolate cake for dessert and promised he would wash the car later.  THAT is totally my kind of gift.  (And I got a new dishwasher right before Christmas that covers gifts for all the major holidays for an entire year.)  Sure signs of love. 

I heard a sermon not long ago on the love verses -  love is patient, kind, never fails.... the verses that people so often use in weddings.  But this lesson was different.  It wasn't a test of love to see if it passes to move forward.  It was, instead, a test of me  - my thoughts, intentions and actions - to see if I am a loving person.  A wholly new perspective during this season of candy hearts all around.  

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 

So here's the test.....

Am I loving to those around me?  Am I patient with those in my life?  Am I selfish, angry too often, and way too good at remembering wrongs?  Maybe, maybe, maybe, maybe, and yes...to all the above. 

If I were to answer all of those test questions honestly, it would show that I can be selfish, super great at reminding people of past arguments and mistakes, short tempered, mistrusting, and scared of not being loved.  And pretty high maintenance.  

And in thinking about the whole idea of love.... the idea of praying for my family is right in the center.  And that includes just as much praying for me.  Not praying to be loved.  But praying to make me loving.  Praying that I can pass the test.  That I can meet the needs of my family even if that means waiting a while for me.  Even if that means that the selfish part of me has to be hidden and restrained. 

Because she is definitely in there.

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