Saturday, June 11, 2011

Who Do I Love?

Stephanie as she entered the stadium for graduation!
Before I actually get started let me apologize for my tardiness this week and for actually skipping last week.

Last Friday my daughter, Stephanie, graduated from High School.

We had a party before graduation, where over 50 people dropped by. We were pleased, but shocked by the number of people who came by!

We had a GREAT time! Thank you to all who participated in this special time in our lives!

This week I tried to collapse but I couldn’t because Colton left for a 10-day mission trip to Jamaica. So I helped him get ready to leave. Then we sent him off, with many prayers! So I am slow at getting this one out, but here it goes…………

Let me tell you 3 stories about love.

Yesterday I visited with a woman whose husband was severely burned in an accident 3 weeks ago. Everyday she sits in a waiting room, looking forward to the next 30-minute visit when she can she her husband. They occur every 3 hours through out the day. Some days he smiles, they laugh and talk during their visits. He has even recorded messages to his 4 precious children. Other days are not so good, he may be grouchy, or sleep due to pain medication or surgery where they have begun to graft new skin. No matter the situation, no matter the mood, this wife stands by her man at every turn. In the 3 weeks she has only missed a visit to attend a special activity for her children. This woman loves her man!

A friend I haven’t seen in many years began to post on Facebook that her daughter was very ill. I began to follow her posts. The first few posts went something like this, “Last week we took our daughter to the hospital after 3 days of stomach pain and uncontrollable vomiting. They are keeping her for observation.” Then those posts progressed to; “She has been in the hospital for 2 weeks. They are still not sure what is wrong. If she can keep food down they will send her home.” During all of this, the mom never left her side. Eventually the young girl (probably a pre-teen) was transferred from this rural hospital to Children’s Hospital in Dallas. The mom and the young girl stayed in Children’s for approximately 4 days. The doctors have found some problems with her gall bladder, but everything is treatable. All of this took place over about 2 months time. Imagine being this child’s mother. Watching her suffer in pain and not being able to help her. Taking her to and from the doctor or hospital, listening to the doctor and still no answers day after day. You feel so helpless. This is your baby. You love her with all your heart.

Colton at the orphanage in Jamaica 2008.
As I said above, my son Colton left earlier this week on a mission trip to Jamaica. For as long as I can remember Colton has enjoyed being around children and they have flocked to him. He has also had a heart for missions from at least the first time his older brother, Hunter, went on his first mission trip and Colton was too young to go. This is not Colton’s first trip to Jamaica. He was there 3 years ago. Just like last time, they will visit an orphanage. This is probably Colton’s favorite part of the trip. Playing with the children while meeting spiritual needs, by teaching Bible stories. Colton loves these children. He talked about them for a long time after he came home. He is so passionate about loving these children to Jesus!

These are three pure and true examples of love. Examples that probably tug at your heartstrings, and there is nothing wrong with that. God asks us to love our neighbor as ourselves. I believe that is what each of these people are doing. I also think there is one danger in loving people SO much! Now please read carefully! DO NOT misunderstand me!  Let me start by looking at the verse I just referenced.

Mark 12:30-32
30And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
 31And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
 32And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he: (KJV)

The first commandment we are given is to “love the Lord thy God” more than anything or anyone. WOW! Do I love Him more than ALL others in my life? Do I dedicate ALL my heart, soul, mind and strength to my God? I really have to ask myself these questions. I am such a compassionate person. I pour myself into the people in my life, but am I keeping my love and dedication to the people God has given to me in perspective?

Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for the people you have placed in my life, my husband, my children, the rest of my family and my friends. Help me to remember and keep in perspective that YOU are my reason for living. Without you I am nothing, I have nothing. Jesus, your son gave up His life for me! Help me to keep YOU as my number one love.
In Jesus Name,

Living in Grace,

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