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Monday, February 10, 2014

Praying Dangerously February Week Two

Bible Verse Pictures

What's love got to do with it?

Who's singing the Tina Turner song along with me? :-)

Seriously though, as thoughts turn to Valentine's Day this Friday, my thoughts are turning to this question- how much of what I do is done with love?

What does love really have to do with it?

My days include teaching my children, laughing with my kiddos,  teaching high schoolers online, grading papers, talking with friends, praying, Bible study, fixing broken things around the house, exercise, training for a marathon, square dancing classes, writing, Writer's Club, grocery runs, church activities, bills, emails, meal prep, and occasionally sleeping...and sundry tasks that come up unexpectedly.

I'm sure your days are equally packed.

Have you ever considered what portion of your daily tasks are done with intentional love?

If I'm honest, too much of what I do is rote and required. I don't like that.

Thankfully, God has been changing this over the last few years of learning to be single.

For one, I no longer pay bills by rote. It is an exercise in faith and love and praise when the bills are paid and the pantry is full.

Grocery runs are a chance to crunch numbers and comparison shop to find a way to bring home a treat for my kiddos that makes them smile. Last week it was cheddar popcorn on sale that we enjoyed while laughing at a favorite TV show.

Family activities are chosen with care now. Not just because of finances, but so that the time we spend relaxing is really that- relaxing, a chance to laugh together and grow closer.

Home schooling is now a daily reminder that God provides. It's not a task but a privilege. It's always been a calling and a gift to me, but now it's even more. It's an act of faith and hope and joy to see God provide a way.

But then I think about things that have been a part of my life for so long that I do them by rote. Going to church, reading my Bible, sometimes even prayer.

There have been so many days on this path where I did these things because I had nowhere else to go, no one else to turn to.

And I'm so thankful that even when my heart hurt too much to be fully engaged, God met me there.

Now I'm finally at a place again where I'm doing these things because I love Jesus. Because I'm learning to be intentional and thoughtful and aware of what motivates me.

Of course there are still those days when I hit the alarm and beg for a few more hours sleep or a day when the responsibilities of it all don't rest on my shoulders.

And there are still days I sleep walk through, and when the day is over, I've never even thought about why I did what I did.

Then one of my kiddos stops me for a hug or a Bible verse breaks through my muddled mind or someone asks for prayer, and my heart catches- this is a chance to show love.

However you will celebrate Valentine's Day, I pray you view it as a chance to show love to someone- a child, a friend, a coworker, a stranger, yourself ...God.

Stop and consider that you are loved beyond your greatest dreams and childhood hopes. God knows all about you and rejoices over you and invites you to come and experience His forever faithful love. Each and every day.

I also pray you'll join me in considering what love has to do with it...every day.

May more and more of our everyday activities be transformed by the amazing gift and beautiful fragrance of love.

Love that makes even the smallest acts treasures.  

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