double the love

babiesinheartThis is the girls’ first Valentine’s Day and I am over the moon about celebrating with them. Everything is so much more exciting with babies … double that excitement with twins! We had this mini photoshoot and while I’m very proud of the pictures I took, the garland I made, and how everything came together, I also see looooots of room for improvement.
And, the way my hobbies are set up – I’m going to get a lot of practice!

… and, don’t judge the paci’s. (smile.)

moving on…

During our struggles with infertility, what made me the saddest was the idea that I would never be able to experience all of the things I’d envisioned doing with my kids and family, that I wouldn’t be able share the things that I love with them and vice versa…. that I wouldn’t be able to experience the joy that children bring to your home. So, now that these sweethearts have graced my life, I want to celebrate them and play and share and experience and teach and learn and grow with them as much as possible.

One of the things I want to teach them most is how to love like Christ loves us. I mean, He’s going to teach them…. but I just wanna play TA, and be the example. Kinda like a class pet. I want to be one of the ones called on to show and lead and to help.vday1

A friend’s Insta post caused me to really think about how our culture loves and responds to certain behaviors….. very “He did this so i’m not cooking… or doing that” and “I’m not going home because she’s nagging.”  So, I got to thinking about how our behaviors are so rooted in fear and pride that we can’t love like Jesus. Jesus could love the Pharisees and Judas (of all people) because his behavior was based on their crowd approval or their day to day choices. Jesus treated people the way he did because of His love for God and seeking his approval only. Christ teaches us to serve as unto God…. not until we get what we want, not when we feel like it, it, and not quitting if someone does something we don’t like or when our feelings get hurt. Jesus knew that people are just people. We aren’t perfect. We make stupid mistakes, we make emotional decisions, we get tired, we yell, we get frustrated and we SIN. We do some very opposite of awesome things and say some very opposite of loving things because we are fallible. But, not unlovable. Not unworthy of a second or millionth chance. In desperate need grace and mercy.

This kind of love is completely countercultural and down right difficult at times. It requires humility and a heart for God. It requires constant prayer and sacrifice of ego. This kind of love is invaluable. It can’t be measured. And, it teaches others to love in a way that lasts.

*** What it isn’t is an invitation to be a doormat… it takes a mighty strength to love another this way, a strength that won’t allow you to be treated any kind of way, and a strength that will let you communicate that in the best way. lol. get me?
(I’m learning, too!! Boundaries aren’t always easy to establish!)
Jesus didn’t play. You don’t have to either. lol***vday2

Even if relationships end or change, even if you have to walk away from a toxic situation….. loving like this will never be a waste. It leaves the door open for a reconciliation of friendship and relationship (even if it’s on a different level). Loving like this will heal and strengthen. It’s accepting when you fail and encouraging when you’re vulnerable. It’s a love that doesn’t humiliate or tear down. A love that softens hard conversations and is open and inviting. It’s courageous.

This is love.
The kind of love I’m learning and becoming excellent at. A love I am constantly praying for. The kind that is the standard for my behavior, it shows me where I’m failing miserably at. Because I’m a person. It’s the love that forgives me and gives me grace. That gives me twelve hundred more tries. The one that comforts me in my brokenness and celebrates in my success.
This love is Jesus.

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… hearts are for loving

share the love

The world of adoption is a beautiful place. And, I belive God gave women “something” that drives it….. our husbands love it, just the same but there’s something about a women, a mama, that just pushes this thing forward like nothing else in the world. These mamas I’ve met over the past few months as we jumped into this new world are some of the most amazing women I’ve ever had the grace to meet. My goodness. These women love the Lord, understand and love the concept of adoption in both “real life” and by the foundation of Christianity. I mean, if we’re believers we’re all adopted, right?! (scream!!!!) And, what I love most about adoption is that you get the chance to adopt interracially! .. and, what does that look like? Multiracial families in the world that are apart of a much mroe huge, enormous, impactful multiracial body! (WHOA!!!!) … And, I’m pretty excited about that. If God blesses us with the little lady we’re hoping by the grace of God to adopt, we’ll be apart of that group that’s showing God’s LOVE to the world. A love that is not based on color, ethinicity, background, or hair texture! lol… seriously.

Adoption is all about love….. a love you cannot hide from, a love that just makes you so much more passionate about life. It changes you.

                                                       Love changes you.

So.
One of my fellow adoptive mamas, Jenna (blog, Instagram: jenlknight), is in on a LOVE challenge started by Lyndsay (blog, Instagram: lyndsayalmeida)…. For 14 days in February. From today until Valentine’s Day, they, along with 13 other ladies, have challenged us to love on people with our talents, treasures, time, and words. And, I will add along with that – testimonies.

We as Christians have the opportunity to SHOW Christ to the world in very tangible ways…. well recieved ways that prompt further questions of “Why are you doing this??” vs bible beating and sin bashing that pushes people away from such an amazing, forgiving  Savior.

How do we show Christ? By being super spiritual, serious folk who care judgy and have our noses in the air? NO WAY! By doing what he did and LOVING on the world! The difficult, the tiny tots, the eldery, the ORPHAN, the mailman, the classmate, the student, the neighbor! By smiling and the stranger in the store, saying hello, sharing a kind word to someone you know needs it even when you don’t feel as if they deserve it. THAT is how!

A few of my love in action acts will be:
* intentionally checking on someone I normally wouldn’t
* slowing down enough to celebrate each of my students in special ways (handmade gifts, treats, rewards, extra hugs, etc)
* serving my husband
* giving deserved yet unexpected words of encouragement to those around me
* putting others feelings above my own in moments of frustration
* taking time out to CALL friends and family (vs texting, Tweeting, or Facebooking!)

C’mon and join in on the fun! Share the love!!! When posting on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter use the hastag #sharethelove2013 so everyone can see how you are sharing Christ’s love to the world!

…here’s to using the month of love to form an intentional habit of loving people! I can’t wait to see how God moves this month!!! FEBRUARY is going to be big!

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