Love Reflections

How much do I cherish and seek after love? What am I willing to lay aside in order to receive love more fully? (What would possess a person to wear shoulder cut outs in a snow storm? Am I proud of how quickly I am distracted from focusing on Love? Nope…I am shameless; and in that lies my redemption.)

I am unflinching in my confession that I have no hope of ever being kind, unselfish, or loving on my own. Instead, I admit that there is not a shred of anything good in me, except by the Love of God.

Yesterday, I was very upset with my dear husband. I felt that I deserved an apology, I felt that it was delaying beyond what I wanted; so I prayed out my feelings (and my opinion) to God. I told Him that I wanted an apology. I prayed that God would “move his heart to see his error”. (This sounds absolutely awful as I type out the reality of yesterday, but, it’s what I did.)

Anyhow, as I am praying for my husband to be convicted in his spirit for offending me, I felt like I was being asked a personal question.

“Gracie, did you apologize before I died for you?”

Gulp.

Then I remembered the following:

I am giving you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too are to love one another. By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you have love and unselfish concern for one another.”

JOHN 13:34‭-‬35 AMP
http://bible.com/1588/jhn.13.34-35.AMP

Hmmm…

How have I been loved? Oh, that’s right, Jesus didn’t just forgive me before I apologized; He took the consequence that I had chosen, before I chose it.  Additionally, He prayed on my behalf, seeking forgiveness for me, before I apologized.

“Just as I have loved you…”

Before an apology.

Before repentance.

Before I even knew that I had sinned.

Ouch.

Instead of simply praying, “Father, forgive him for he knows not what he is doing”, I was also praying;  ” Father, forgive me, for I know not what I am doing. ”

Yesterday I was reminded that I was not reflecting the Father’s love.

What does my story have to do with you?

Are you reflecting His love?

Are you, like Him, praying that the Father forgives them, for they know not what they are doing?

If not, may the Father forgive you, for you know not what you are doing.

<3,

Gracie K.

Lightbreak in the Burrow 2

Lightbreak in the Burrow

A blur(t)

Fast, rapid-fire words flow from my lips; often before I think them through.

I have been described as “having no filter” between my mind and my mouth.

I was nicknamed “Lippy” at a summer camp that I worked at.

I have been called “sassafras”, been accused of having “diarrhea of the mouth…it just runs…”,

and been told (my personal favorite in the echelons of ignorance) that

“a submissive wife is a quiet and unheard wife”.

That one garnered a quick-witted sarcastic retort which did not exactly produce a godly response.

I do some volunteer work which involves meeting in a Board Room to check in with executives.

In the last month, I have started to notice that within that setting, I have a “Professional Opinion” and a “Personal Opinion”.

I am truly grateful for the chance to serve in an environment where both opinions are valued highly.

At home lately, James and I have been caught up in a cycle of disagreements.

It was frustrating.  I felt that my opinions and feelings were being ignored, and he felt attacked by my opinions and feelings.

I met with a friend recently so that she could give me “outside” eyes into our struggle.

***Note of caution. This was NOT a bash-my-spouse meeting.  It was an intentional and heartfelt plea for someone who is not going to necessarily take my “side” in things.  I wanted an honest opinion and honest advice from a woman who would tell me directly and kindly if I was out of line.  I sincerely wanted to see what was causing the friction in my relationship with my husband.Because I sought an unbiased opinion, I avoided any family members, or anyone who I felt would be clouded by their loyalty to me.***

So, there we were.  I began to re-tell her some of the conversations that we had had, and also how dumbfounded I was that James felt hammered sometimes by my attempts to explain my perspective so that he could understand where I was coming from.

She looked at me and said, “Gracie, do you tell him everything about how you feel or do you tell him the main point about how you feel?”

I answered, “He’s my best friend.  I tell him everything so that I don’t hold anything back from him.”

She leaned forward a bit, and gently said, “Do you remember the story about the angel Gabriel visiting Mary the mother of Jesus?  Do you remember how it describes what Mary did after the angel had spoken to her? ‘Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.’ “

“Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart”

“It’s okay to hold things in your heart and pray them over, just you and God.  It’s not dishonest, it’s wise.”

Since that discussion, I apologized to James for not discerning what was important to tell him, for overwhelming him with an unintentional deluge of blinding emotions and opinions to sort through.

I began to pray through how I feel, to ask for wisdom in seeing why I feel that way, and also to ask for discernment about whether or not I truly need to feel heard about it…or if it’s simply a situation where I am grumpy and just want to wench about things.

When we were first dating, I was aware that a single man doesn’t want to spend time with a grumbling and negative woman.

Over time, I got comfortable with James.  It’s great that I trust him enough to tell him my thoughts; but I forgot to respect the fact that as a man who loves me, he deeply desires to see me happy.

When I complain, it can easily convey the message that he failed to keep me happy.

The truth is that I am overwhelmingly happy, I just wanted verbal affirmation that he hasn’t stopped cherishing my feelings.

So now, I write him a note and try to phrase it positively.

For example, instead of a paragraph about how I feel that our schedule is too packed for us to be alone together, I try to simply say something like, “I really enjoy being alone, just the two of us. We haven’t done that yet this week, I have free time on Tuesday after dinner…would you please take me out of the house so I can catch up with my hot husband?”

It seems a bit awkward at times, but he genuinely wants to spend time with me too, and this is a kind way for me to ask him for what I would like while also being aware of his feelings.

Additionally, writing down my thoughts has served to give me a filter for my words, so that I don’t unintentionally offend him.

It gives me time for clarity. so that I can define what the real issue is.

I love my James.

He matters to me.

It seems only natural that his feelings should matter to me as well.

a blur(t) defined (c)Gracie K Harold 2015

a blur(t) defined (c)Gracie K Harold 2015