So let’s talk about Christmas Break. Because LORD KNOWS you are as tired as I am if you were stripped of your blessed kid-at-school-time. Don’t get me wrong here- I freaking love my girls. But I noticed that my heart sure has gotten ugly and selfish since Ella started going to school full time, leaving me with a glimpse into the world of actual “me time” during nap time. Now that school has started back up, I feel like I’ve gained a bit of footing back and like I can actually handle life again. Am I an awful mom? Probably.
Anyway, over the break I often found myself saying, “HURRY UP!!! or “FASTER! FASTER!” to my girls. Like did I give births to mutant children who have slowly turned into sloths? It’s the worst. I’m not in denial about it- I seriously struggle to be patient. I would never dare to call myself a patient person. Never. And if you’ve been reading along with me for a while, I’m sure you can understand why this word on going slower is really such a challenge for me. A great and healthy challenge, for sure. But man patience is hard.
I know that Valentine’s Day is still a bit away, but it is Ella’s absolutely favorite holiday. Just the other day she told me, “I just love Valentine’s, mom. Because it is a day when everyone is kind and happy and there are no problems in the whole world.” Luckily she couldn’t see my face when she said that because I had a look of bewilderment written all over me. Like where the heck did she get that nonsense from??? My girl- she’s 5 years old and already a total romantic.
I spent the better part of my twenties as a Jr. High Pastor. Boy did I have the grace for those awkward, hormone filled kids. Over this Christmas break, I’ve been thinking on an exercise I used to do with my Jr. Highers and it’s really been challenging me. I wanted to share it because it’s such a great teaching for kids of any age, but I’ve mostly found it to be great for ME and my selfish and at-times-ugly heart.
I’m sure you’ve read/heard of 1 Corinthians 13- the “Love Chapter”. I mean who hasn’t? It’s become such a widely known verse, recited at every wedding and more. I don’t know about you, but when someone does a teaching on such a common verse (John 3:!6, anyone?) I basically check out, close the tab, stop listening, etc. I just tend to feel like I can’t possibly hear something about it that I haven’t heard before. And that’s why this concept really caught me off guard- it was such a different spin than I’ve ever heard before and it really cut right into this ugly heart of mine.
The verse goes a little something like this:
Now what if we take out all the “love” and “it” words from this verse? It looks a little something like this:
If you are familiar with this verse at all, I’m sure that you can’t read this version without automatically inserting “love” right back into it. It’s like literally impossible for me to not see it in the blanks- I’m just so familiar with it. But here’s the part where it gets interesting:
What if you were to enter YOUR NAME into those blanks?
When I first did this, my heart sank on the very first line. I couldn’t even write my name into the first blank (____ is patient) because OH MYLANTA I AM NOT.
I decided to show you what my name in this looks like. It’s simply an honest evaluation of me and my heart- not some “beat myself up” thing. Though up against such bold statements it really might seem that way. I’m just gonna close my eyes and plug my ears while you read this.
Man. This post really feels like a downer right now.
Don’t leave though! I have such great news!
There is one name that fits into every one of those blanks seamlessly and perfectly. One name that is sweeter than any name. One name that brings redemption to my short comings and failures. One name that makes me feel at peace and hopeful.
Ah. Man. I love this.
I love this because so many people have this twisted view of who Jesus is lately and it’s the worst. Jesus IS love, friend. I could read this all day every day and never get sick of it. It fills me with hope and peace and reminds me that I can do it. That I can simply ask Jesus to live in my heart, breathe His Spirit into me and give me His strength to do these things when I just can’t even.
And the fact that Jesus is patient? Doesn’t that just quiet your inner insecurities? To know that wherever you are at- Jesus is patient with you? To see that He is not easily angered and keeps NO RECORD of wrongs? Amazing.
I need these reminders in my life. I need to remember who my King is and who He’s asking me to be. I need to be reminded that when I am not enough for my husband, my children or others- He is. I need to write these words in my mind, on my heart and see them on my walls. And I need to live my life- without the heaviness of thinking I can BE all these things- but rather knowing that Jesus is the one who IS all these things. And that amazing Guy lives in me.
Friend, wherever you are today- you can trust Jesus to be the Love you need. I don’t know what that means for you, but I think that you know what it means for you. If you’re lonely- He’s the Love you need. If you’re tired and spent- He’s the Love you need. If you’re at your wit’s end- He is the Love you need. If you think that you just can’t love anymore- He is the Love you need.
So today, this week, this year: let’s actually let Jesus be the Love we so desperately need in our lives. Let’s quiet our busy lives, turn off the distractions, quiet our thoughts and just ask Jesus to come. Come be what I can’t be, Jesus. Come be the Love in me. Come be the Love through me. Come help me love when I just can’t anymore. Come move inside of me and help me be patient when I am just DONE. Come help me to use kind words when I’d rather tear someone apart. Come help me to put others before myself and let go of the list of hurts in my heart. And come help me persevere like only You can.
This is your year, friend. This is your year to shine and grow and love more deeply than you ever have before. You can do it. Because He always comes when we ask Him to.
I am a total Silhouette fan. Like for real- I have used the heck out of my Cameo machine for the past few years and this Christmas I was given a Mint… I can’t even. I love being able to create whatever the heck I want. It’s the bomb dot com. (This isn’t a sponsored post, by the way. I just really freaking love them.) I am dreaming of the day I can justify buying a Curio because then I’d be a legit Silhouette addict.
I’m so aware that not everyone has a cutting machine, so don’t worry- if you’re a non-silhouette haver this craft is still for you. If you do have a cutting machine, I am giving you this free SVG file to make it that much easier. You can also purchase this vinyl decal on my Etsy shoppe for an incredibly easy and sweet project. (<– coming soon!)
If you do have a Silhouette/cutting machine, simply cut this bad boy out of your favorite colored vinyl (or oh my goodness, have you seen these beautiful options??)
You can even cut this out on cardstock or patterned paper and glue it to a back ground- the sky’s the limit here. Think on what colors you want it in- for example, is it just for Valentine’s Day decor? (So you can get fun pink + red patterns to play with) or are you wanting it up year round? I need to have this reminder up on my walls for more than just Valentine’s Day, so I’m going the simple style it’s in right now.
Next, you’ll need to find a frame you love. This file is meant for an 8x10 (which you can totally change in your Silhouette program), so 8x10 is what I’m going with.
If you have a Silhouette, go ahead and cut this bad boy out. If you don’t have a Silhouette, you can print this onto paper and cut it out with an exacto knife. OR you can just use this little Printable I have here for you. Who has time to cut something out with a tiny knife, anyway?
I’m also cutting one out to put on my mirror as a nice reminder… and probably I should just put one over my kitchen sink, in front of my stove and all the places that I lose my patience. Kidding. Kind of.
Where will you put yours, friend?
Love to you this Valentine’s Day. This is your year!