loving fearlessly

29 weeks there. Picture on the left taken on Sunday, picture on the right taken on Saturday. Proof that angles + color choices matter. (& no I have no issues with my size. Just pointing out the obvious!)

30 weeks here. I could literally be pregnant forever. I honestly can’t wait to snuggle her chocolate cheeks, but am not quite ready to wrangle 3. I’ve heard that after 2, adding more isn’t really a big deal. I also heard that year 3 was worse than 2, but that hasn’t held true at all. So, so much for that.

At 30w, I’m feeling good, looking good, & enjoying this pregnancy. Still avoiding the issues I had during my pregnancy with the twins, thankfully. Pregnancy absent of swelling, major inconsistence, pain, sugar cravings, & exhaustion has made this pregnancy a lot easier. I’m taking my supplements daily + am so thankful! I did have some minor swelling a couple of days last week, but I was also on my feet a lot more and hadn’t drank as much water as I usually do. But, compared to the girls’, this is incredible.

There is a quote that says “Relationships teach us how to love & love better.”

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 teaches us that: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, 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……..”

Loving that way is the only way relationships are maintained…….. even while creating + maintaining boundaries. A relationship between two people who are constantly sinning towards each other by intentionally or unintentionally offending is hard. And, can easily get to the point of unbearable.

Over the past few days I’ve been hurt-ing out of exhaustion. Being tired mentally + emotionally…. tired of carrying all the things. The load gets heavy & those silent tears fall on the days you just can’t & your baby sees you + says “Mama, you cying? You ok? I wipe it.” Which put the biggest smile on my face + at the same time reminded me that all the things I’m carrying just or not, right or not is for them. Doesn’t make it easier, don’t make the load lighter but it gives a little bit of perspective. Also the fact that Jesus is not only watching & my struggles matter to him, but he is walking with me, strengthening me, & offering to carry my load.

It also reminds me that so much of who these girls are & will be comes from lessons that are caught and not nearly as much as are taught. They mimic my facial expressions (Lord help them), they repeat the most random things you say, they imitate how I worship in the car, they know how to do so much because they watch what it constantly done in front of them on a day to day basis. For much of their lives, they have been visual learners and they’re little copy cats. They copy each other & they absolutely copy their mama + their daddy. (Lawd help! Lol)

Over the weekend, the Lord dropped a thought in my lap that I had to deal with. This thought made me recognize that yes, while relationships are naturally hard because we are sinners, they’re made to harder because we do not (ahem, I do not) copy our Father.

The thought:If two people claim to love the same God, why can’t they get along?

How is it that we can love & worship & desire to be like a God of unity & reconciliation who is patient, enduring, forgiving, gracious, kind, fiercely protective of us, always encouraging, always giving second chances, always has a posture of ‘come on back’, who never leaves us, & whose presence brings out more of his qualities in us………. but constantly be at odds? Why aren’t we copying our father?

Now, understand that I’m a firm believer in boundaries & maintaining mentally, physically, & emotionally safe spaces. So, aside from the extremes………….. why?

I don’t know what the actual answer is. lol. As I believe that our answers vary because we all struggle with different things. I believe that a person can exacerbate & trigger certain behaviors, while others can much more easily handle those same issues that won’t cause as much friction.

But, at the end of the day, our selfishness, our desire to have our own way, our fear & disbelief that the Lord really won’t win the battles of spiritual warfare, our hardened hearts, our unforgiveness, our arrogance, refusal to grow & mature, to listen, to change, to give up ground, to be considerate………. the waiting game of “you go first”, being tired of….., always having to be right, not doing our parts, not operating in our roles, not turning away from sin, & not being loving or respectful kills opportunity for unity exist. Kills the desire to be one. Totally disrupts the healing + reconciliation process. Relationships are hard.

… and then we hurt. And, we heal. We learn. We grow. We become better. But, because we are sinners engaging with other sinners, the threat of brokenness and hurt is always present. And, where there is a threat there is fear.

1John 4:7-21 is hard to swallow.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 19We love because he first loved us. 20Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.21And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.

Thankfully we serve a God who is who + what he says he is. He is love. He is the perfect example of 1 Corinthians. He is that example moment by moment and if we are truly abiding in him, how he is showing us to treat others should be caught, right? He is the example of patience and endurance – we see it in our own lives. His love for us is faithful and never fails. That kind of love takes on a lot, it keeps giving, it keeps holding on, it closes its eyes and takes a deep breath & says “Okay. That wasn’t it. Try again.” It doesn’t wear thin or roll its eyes. And, God says if you don’t (vs can’t!) love like that, you cannot love me. But, if you love me, you can absolutely love that hardhead, selfish, stubborn, never wrong, petty, struggling with all the issues, and can’t get right person over there…………… because I loved you & you’ve been and are that, too. With a perfect love. That constantly welcomes you back. Constantly forgives everything everytime. The best part? HE is the reason our relationship with him is in tact, yet WE are constantly offending & sinning against him. ugh. Eye roll.

He expects us to catch these lessons. To learn when we are taught, when we read, when study. He expects us to look like him. To sound like him. To do what he does. To be his copy cats. To be salt & light, not only in the world but in our relationships with each other as Christians. To cover a multitude of sins. We should be different. Our relationships should have more depth, greater longevity, more joy, more compassion. They should be safe places. Each of them. Not just the ones that are easy. Not the one that we will have when the right person “who gets us” comes along. Not the relationship that will work out when they get themselves together………… When we have the posture of Christ that says “You mess up, I’m here. You get it right, I’m here. I will make sure our relationship remains in tact…. and, if you choose to go, you are free to go. But if you ever want to come back, I am here with open arms, ready to reconcile & continue to love.” I believe that’s what made the prodigal son so thankful. He realized that he could return & that he would be met with Love. (And, I’m sure boundaries & natural consequences – I mean….. no more inheritance. Ouch.)

I had to take a break from the conviction of all I just wrote….. lawd. They’re cute, right?!

I do not relate like that at all. It’s become more and more difficult for me to love in that way over the past few years, but that doesn’t change the standard, expectation, or truth. I’d dare to say it’s a faith issue, believing that God will work it all out for my good when I am so vulnerable. goaling to be a woman worth copying, one my girls want & strive to be like.

These girls are my joy and I’m so thankful the Lord blessed me with them. They are so happy and love so well. But, I truly want them to love each other (& their sisters) like Christ loves them as they go through life. And, I want them to relate well. To be encouragers + to see the best in each other and others. So I have to give them something to copy. Not only when it’s easy, but especially when it’s hard.

Heavy thoughts.

Deep conviction.

Lots of work.

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Comments

  1. Virginia Redwine says:

    YESSSS! Something worth copying is a great way to look at life! They are always watching the good, the bad and all the in between! I love it, my friend!

  2. ‍♀️ I’m one of the ones in your recent blog you were talking about when you said some may think you write too much. Not in the way you said … like you tell too much of your business; I actually love your transparency. It’s the transparency that show us your joyful thankful side and describes your struggling side with your words. It’s an authentic transparency that appears to come natural to you. For me the too much was in the length of the posts (‍♀️ mainly because I’m on autopilot so that’s definitely a me issue). Anywho I said all that to say THIS POST WAS EVERYTHING!!!!! I recognize this one. This was one of those “this post is for me” but what’s makes it everything is It’s for all of us too. Thank you thank you thank you for this #truth. I will definitely use this as a study tool against my spiritual goals to be more like Christ. And I know you said it’s different for everyone but if everyone is like me I chalk it up to me just not having a pure heart and Lord knows that’s my prayer, desire, and my heart. I want to be able to “just do it” like Nike. Until then I’ll pray to live more intentional. Sorry for the thesis but this one here really blessed me.

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