Definition: Refers to a variety of different feelings, states and attitudes that ranges from interpersonal affection to pleasure. A feeling of strong or constant affection for a person: attraction that may include sexual desire or a romantic relationship. A profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person such as a parent, child or friend.
I normally post every Friday morning, I find it only fitting for this week to choose the word LOVE since this year it is February 14 and we celebrate Valentine’s Day and my second grandchild’s 3rd birthday. Happy Birthday Liam Jackson Montgomery, Gigi LOVES you to the moon and back! It was also the day my Mother and Dad got married and a few years later had ME…I LOVE you too MOM AND DAD, I am so blessed to have you both as my parents and all the wonderful things you have taught me, the advice and support you continue to give me, the wings to let me fly and to believe in me no matter what. You both are simply AMAZING…
Speaking of Valentine’s Day which is also known as Saint Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine it is celebrated in many countries around the world. It was named for a Christian martyr and dates back to the 5th century, and has origins in the Roman holiday. We mainly recognize it by sending or receiving flowers, box of heart shaped chocolates, greeting cards. Other symbols are doves and winged Cupids with arrows and hearts. How many of you remember growing up and having to make your Valentine’s Day box for your school party out of an old shoe box wrapped in white butcher paper and pasting hearts, paper doilies, hand drawn art with ribbons, bows and as I got a little older they finally came out with adhesive heart stickers? We would spend hours decorating them and cut a slit in the middle of the lid in order for all our friends to slip that special Valentine’s Day card in your box, you made the slit a little wider in hopes some would drop the little box of conversation candy hearts that had words on them and tasted like chalk or a heart shaped sucker and of course my all-time favorite Red Hots. You would spend time writing out just the perfect card for each of your friends. We still try to give the kids something small but special for this wonderful fun filled day we can show our LOVE. Happy Valentine’s Day to each of you!
I will never forget a life changing experience happened to me about thirteen years ago, I had the bright idea I always wanted to own a flower shop in my last halftime of life, as I LOVE to dabble in arranging flowers and putting gift baskets together. I was walking by our local florist and they had a sign in the window, “Help Wanted” for the week of Valentine’s Day. So I went in and applied…now keep in mind I am a wife, mother of three children still at home at the time with a full-time high demanding sales job that had an annual quota to meet. But you know I thought what the heck, this is a dream of mine it is only for a week or so I can fit this in with no problem. I was superwoman remember from my blog post in November? Needless to say they hired me on the spot and asked if I could start that day. I explained I already had a full-time job but could work after 5:00 and on the weekends. I also had decided I would actually take two days of vacation from my regular job on the 13th and 14th so I could be there all day. For anyone who has not worked in a flower shop let me tell you it is not all a bed of roses…well maybe it is but allot of thorns will stick you in many ways. I must mention to my wonderful cousin who has had her own shop until they moved and now working in another one you don’t get paid enough for what you do day in and day out! Believe me….I showed up at 5:00 p.m. and didn’t get home until after 1:00 a.m. for a solid week. The two days I worked all day we got there by 6:00 a.m. and got home at 1:00 a.m. with barely any breaks for lunch or dinner. They received shipments daily, so unpacking the flowers immediately, put them in water took time and especially the roses you had to unbundle, trim, cut the thorns off and my fingers were bleeding and had major calluses and band aides on both thumbs before it was all over. You have to keep the floor swept, make beautiful bows, arrange the flowers in various sizes and shaped vases. Taking orders by faxes, phone, emails, and customers coming in. It was CrAzY…but the most enlightening day was when I delivered the flowers we worked so hard in arranging and trying to make them just perfectly beautiful. I was given the business routes, the first stop I made was to tall office buildings, living in the city and being a delivery person I could no longer walk in the front door like a salesman or customer. This was right after 9/11 and all deliveries had to go to the dock area where shipping and receiving were handled with a guard checking your ID and marking where you were going. The funny thing I was driving my SUV and I pull up to a dock built for semi-trucks and have to park, I felt like a dwarf or midget; then I had to hike up a flight of stairs and ring a bell for security while trying to hold this huge vase of beautiful roses with a box of chocolates or stuffed animal attached and a clipboard so we had proof of delivery but the worse was when you had a balloon and the wind was blowing, if you had multiple orders to the same location you made several trips back and forth to the dock and your car…can you visualize this folks? Let me also tell you there are some really unique people in this world, I seemed to have had more unhappy customers than happy ones. People were either upset because of who sent them, or the fact they spent money when they told them not too, the arrangement was too small or too big, not the right color or had a stuffed animal they didn’t like or chocolates they didn’t want…the list went on and on. I have never seen so many ungrateful people on such a special day. I felt bad because the ones’ that placed the order and spent a favorable amount of money were just trying to show a little “LOVE”. Needless to say I was glad that week was over, I was exhausted, drained and realized I didn’t really want to own a flower shop anymore. I also have a deeper appreciation for the fresh flowers I receive on occasion and they do make me happy happy happy! A Big round of applause to all the floral designers and delivery folks out there, a job well done with very little appreciation!
The early part of this week Jack Frost was still visiting us in Northern Texas, so I usually retreat to my favorite chair in the corner of my bedroom in my yoga pants, fuzzy socks, and wrapped up in a blanket, it is so cozy “Takin Time Out” with a savoring cup of Hot Tea to warm my body and soul, Mmmmm! I thought about how impactful the word LOVE is and how lucky I am because each and every day I am able to give and receive LOVE from so many people around me. My home is full of LOVE, for the most part even with all the challenges I LOVE my job and those I work with, I attend a church and their principles are built on LOVING one another, I have several friends and neighbors I LOVE and actually we live in a nation that was founded on freedom and LOVE for one another. I truly think we take this for granted and at times we may not agree with the decisions our leaders make but we still have our freedom and we have the privilege and right to vote, voice our opinions, pray for them and we choose to accept and give LOVE how we see fit. Yes there is a cost and sometimes we get hurt by those we LOVE. I will agree it is not always easy, I love the quote LOVE is so easy to feel, so hard to explain, easy to get, so hard to let go, easy to spell, so hard to define.
LOVE is expressed as an action and experienced as a feeling. It includes compassion, determination, tolerance, endurance, support, faith and much more. I feel in order to truly LOVE one another fully you must learn to LOVE yourself first. I know many of you have been faced with difficulties through life’s journey whether is was in your early childhood, broken relationships or a parent walking out of your life through High School, College or as a young adult. Perhaps your marriage fails as the children get older or leave home. Losing a LOVED one to an untimely death and trying to understand why. Your heart is truly broken and you wonder how you can go on. Yes, you are left to cope and try to put the pieces back together. Acceptance and forgiveness is key and then you can choose to take a day at a time slowly LOVING yourself so you can learn to LOVE others more. As a Christian I feel only our heavenly father, along with faith and hope can help us through those unfortunate circumstances.
One of my favorite Christian authors C.S. Lewis, had a book published based on a set of radio talks from 1958 but so distinctly explains the types of LOVE. It is an insightful read and I encourage you to pick it up sometime:
The Four LOVES:
1) Storge-Affection is fondness through familiarity or brotherly LOVE
2) Philia-Friendship the LOVE between friends
3) Eros-Romance being in LOVE or LOVING someone
4) Agape-Unconditional LOVE Charity is the LOVE that brings forth caring regardless of the circumstance.
At some point I hope you experience all 4 but my favorite is probably the Agape LOVE…to truly LOVE someone unconditionally no matter who they are or the circumstances. This reminds me of our Heavenly Father and how he LOVES each of us unconditional no matter how bad we mess up, he never leaves or forsakes us. Scripture is full of the word LOVE, I googled to see how many times it is mentioned in the Bible, it is close to 500 but up to 700 depending on the version you are reading. That is amazing. There are too many favorite verses to list but a couple that pop in my head is the first verse I memorized, John 3:16 “For God so LOVED the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” The second Ephesians 4:2 “With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in LOVE.” There is actually a whole LOVE Chapter found in the New Testament
1 Corinthians 13 please promise me you will open your bible and read this chapter today it is soooo powerful and many lessons to a apply in our everyday living. One of my favorites from this chapter is verse 13 “And now these three remain faith, hope and LOVE. But the greatest of these is LOVE.”
A couple years ago I hosted a small one night “Takin Time Out” for ten beautiful women and we did “LOVING Well” retreat in a box written and hosted on video by the well-known author, teacher and Bible Study guru Beth Moore. Taped at a Living Proof Live event, Beth discusses how some people are a JOY to LOVE, how some people are DIFFICULT to LOVE and how we all deal with some people who are humanly impossible to LOVE. (Anyone come to mind?) In all of those relationships one truth endures: We will never be able to LOVE until we have been LOVED well. And only God can ultimately give us the complete LOVE we so desperately need. Another great option to consider for a short 4 week in home bible study series or weekend retreat with a group of special people who want to take their LOVE to another level. Check it out.
This is a topic I could go on and on about…I may have to do another blog post down the road on this wonderful word. But it is getting late and I have made a commitment this year to LOVE myself more and “Takin Time Out”, to rest, read, reflect, eat healthier, intake more water and become more aware day in and day out. I hope you too have made a list of opportunities for you to work on this year…breathing deeply, choosing a word that speaks to your soul, lightening your load or perhaps it has the word LOVING in it? Like…LOVING a little bit more, LOVING a little deeper or maybe even showing those who are a little more difficult how you can change and LOVE them too? Forgiveness maybe? Perhaps it is learning to accept more LOVE not just give it away? What comes to mind when you think of LOVE? Does it hurt or does it make you feel happy, silly or giddy? Does your body tingle? I hope each of you this week while “Takin Time Out” will find time to do what makes you happy, be with who makes you smile, laugh as much as you can, breathe deeply, forgive no matter what and LOVE as long as you live! Until next time my dear friend I LOVE sharing tidbits, tales, tea from Texas with each one of you…YOU ARE A TRUE BLESSING!