Well it’s Monday and I’m here, chipping away at the goals and setting things in order.
One goal for the year is my ONE WORD focus. In some ways I like this whole idea because it brings focus where I need it. In other ways it is ugly difficult. I’m circling a mountain; learning ONE WORD well before moving onto the next big hill.
This year, through so many confirmations and seemingly continual bombardment of this issue, my ONE WORD has come down to LOVE.
I considered LOVE for last year but settled in a different area. This year LOVE came back around and I knew I was swallowing the horse pill of LOVING WELL.
It’s not really my favorite and I’m thinking it’s goin’ be a tough year.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude. 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. Love never fails. ~~~ I Corinthians 13:4-8
Ugh… that’s a pretty tall order. Living that way feels like moving the attention off what I want and instead placing a big emphasis on serving others. You would think for someone who lives their life in the ministry this would be a made-easy microwave dish.
But that would be an incorrect assumption.
I struggle in this area.
One thing my mama taught me growing up is: “You can always be kind.” It was drilled in my head.
- Neighborhood kids not playing well…. Mama says, “Be kind.”
- Kid at school everyone else makes fun of… Mama says, “Be kind.”
- Cashier at store… Mama says, “Be kind.”
So it’s not an issue of whether I can be kind. I can be kind. I can put my smile on and speak kind words. Mama taught me well.
But am I loving?
- Am I loving well? – OR – Am I easily angered because things in my day are not going my way?
- Am I loving well? – OR – Am I keeping a tally mark record of how many times that person has backed out, cancelled or reneged on a commitment?
- Am I loving well? – OR – Am I expecting someone to be something they simply are not?
I keep wrestling with this statement: Love them for who they are; NOT who you wish they would be.
My expectations can be my biggest frustration.
Frustration is the gap between expectations and reality.
When my expectations are one thing but the reality of the situation is another the frustration gap is huge.
I’m learning to glean from past frustrations; evaluate why I am frustrated and then make adjustments. If I want frustrations to be less I either have to change my reality or change my expectations.
I can’t always change my reality. I can’t change other people or change their actions. Instead I’m learning to love them for who they are; not who I wish they would be. At times, the struggle is real.
Another big question in this LOVE area is: What does love require of me in this situation?
- In this situation, does love require me to be kind?
- Does love require me to be patient?
- Do I need to be protecting, trusting and hoping in this situation instead of complaining, doubting and expecting the worst? (probably.)
I’m thinking LOVE is going to kick my butt this year.
I’m not sure what I’m going to look like at the end of this ONE WORD – LOVE year but I’m hoping the dark circles under my eyes are lighter and my heart is softer.
One has nothing to do with LOVE and the other has everything to do with allowing God to do His work in me.
What about you?
- What are ways you have learned to love well?
- What’s your ONE WORD for the year?
Have a happy Monday, friends! See you Wednesday!
Linking up with: InspireMeMonday