I just got back from paradise. Aka Nevis Island in the West Indies. It was so good I had to get over feeling guilty every morning that I got to sit on this balcony. On this cushy chaise lounge. Enjoying the warm air. A gentle breeze off the Caribbean on my face. A whole pot of coffee with real cream. With my journal and Bible on my lap I was there each morning for a two hour stint, or when the coffee ran out.
We were there for on a reward trip for business where our every need was met before we even thought about it. Can you say bliss? We were also there to celebrate 33 years of marriage. I know, right???? Thirty three - how is that possible?! I don’t care how we got here I am just glad we did.
Actually I do know how, it’s totally a God thing and since it’s Valentine’s week I want to talk about Love. A four letter, one syllable, simple word. Then why is it so hard?
That simple word has been written, sung, and spoken about more than other word in the English language. Why?
It’s a loaded word.
A word that should be simple, we have made complex and with such broad meaning. It is used casually and seriously. We sing Love Hurts (Nazareth), Love Stinks (J Geils) - sorry I graduated in the 80’s. Even Winnie the Pooh tried to explain it.
Why do we overcomplicate love when it can be summarized in three simple words:
God is Love.
If you know God, you know love. This scripture explains it better than I ever could:
"Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails...But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.” -1 Corinthians 13:4-8,13
If you make a list of all the things that passage says about what Love is and what it is not and try to abide by it perfectly, I predict failure. At least for me - for sure by 9 am. Only God is capable of perfect love. We do owe it to him to try our best. To try and model our lives around the guidelines in scripture he has given us.
Love others even when you don’t like them. Love yourself, he made you. It’s called Hard Love and of course there’s a song about that too by Need to Breathe:
Hold on tight a little longer What don't kill ya, makes ya stronger Get back up, 'cause it's a hard love
I think of when my brother died and that line “what don’t kill ya makes you stronger” is so true. I feel like it did kill me in some way because a part of all who loved him died with him that day. When my brother died, we decided as a family to put these words from scripture on his headstone, “Love Never Fails.” There has never been a truer statement. As hard as any situation can ever be, love is the answer and will never let you down.
I took a picture of this beautiful painting inside an old sugar mill on Nevis Island. Nevis’s primary export was sugar, so yes, I was in the land of sugar. Most of the old sugar mills have been turned into historic sights or actual hotels and they are beautiful. It spoke to me that day.
So that’s my take on love after a vacation but I also want to share with you the love we experienced as a family this week.
Vacation came to an abrupt halt Saturday night when I finally got home (thank you snowstorm.) Otto was having surgery on Tuesday to have a g-tube put in which meant no more feeding tube. We were all so ready to be done with that thing and I know he was.
Over the weekend, they ended up in the ER with a feeding tube issue and he ran a fever. Monday, Abby came down with Influenza A and Mommy was no longer allowed to be near her baby. I didn’t feel good Monday night either and was positive I was getting sick. Tuesday came and Dad and Baby went off to surgery. I woke up feeling just fine. All went well and Otto is doing great. Abby is getting better, at the time of this writing no one else is sick, and God is good.
Friends, this family felt so loved this week. On Monday, when things started to crumble I reached out and asked for prayer for all and we received it. Feeling God’s love and spirit of peace embrace us.
I clearly heard God’s voice when I was sitting at my desk Monday with my head in my hands just crying out to Him, “Let my girl be at peace with letting Dad handle things and all of this being out of their control.” I might have prayed let her be too sick to even care( in kind of a roundabout way.)
It didn't work - but when I brought her some food on Tuesday, it was clear that even though it was hard, she was at peace. God nudged me to reach out for prayer and I did. The love poured in Monday and Tuesday! My phone blew up with supportive texts and we were covered in the love and peace that only God can provide.
Thank you for showing us so much love and support.
“Love Never Fails,”
Peace on your weekend, Sherry
P.S. I’m writing this on Valentine’s Day early in the morning. My husband just informed me he feels like crap… possibly a man-cold. The biggest challenge a wife can face. Happy Valentine’s Day… Like I said I usually fail by 9am. Starting over, again.