Thursday, March 27, 2008

Who Am I?

Two days ago I completed a quilt....and posted this photo to an online quilting group I joined over a year ago. Several favorable comments were received...and instinctively I knew which members would take the time to say "good job" or words to that effect.

And then it hit me...the need we all have for affirmation - for someone to say "good job" - that pat on the back - just to let us know that what we did matters.

Then I started to think about this need for affirmation - and thus began ....

Who am I?

I'm a person who is trying to get to know God. I finally admitted that a relationship with Him is something that I really want. This means putting more effort in getting to know who He really is through his Word, the bible.

I am a wife. A wife to a man whom I dearly love more each day. Not only do I love him, I admire him. And I am his beloved.

I'm a mom. Two grown children and one grown nephew. A mom who is a much better mom than years ago - and as I get older, the more I understand just how vital being a mom is.

I'm a daughter. No matter old I am, when I go home I am pampered by my mom & dad. I respect both of them very much - and they're both quick to say how proud they are of me.

I'm a sister. I have one younger brother and one younger sister. My brother lives in the same city as mom & dad, so I don't get to see him as much as I would like to. He's definitely one on my list of those people I look up to - for a multitude of reasons. My sister lives just a couple floors below us so the opportunity exists frequently for us to do things together. I also admire her greatly for her fortitude and for a number of other reasons.

I'm a friend. While I don't have many friends, I do have several - one whom I have never met. Hopefully that will change in the near future. I do have high expectations of a friend - and I hope they have the same of me. Acceptance - flaws & all - and will always be there to listen & offer advice if needed.

I'm a quilter. Oh yes - now I can admit this. Just by that one word - confirmation. I received words of encouragement and words of praise for the quilt I made. Sadly, I wish I could have believed I'm a quilter long ago as I love this particular part of me.

But most of all - I want to be thought of as someone who not only talked about God but walked well in His ways. I've still got a long way to go...but I plan on getting there with God's help.


The Four Letter Word

It occurred to me last night that love takes on many forms. There's love for God, love for family, tough love (which I've never understood), love for friends, love for a pet, love for a hobby, love for one's country .... and then there's simply God's greatest commandment - love.

Love is a complex word. How many times have we said "love you" when we end a conversation? How many times have we said "I love that car"? Or "I really love that gift you sent"? Overused? Perhaps. Underused? Way too many times.

While Riley is overseas, I sign my emails "From Your Beloved"....and that evokes an emotion every single time. Love you for doing what you believe in doing is not only right but approved by God, love you because I know what you feel for your family and country - and love you for the man you are right now and love you for the man you'll be tomorrow.

I tell my grown children "love you" when we talk to each over the phone. That evokes an emotion every single time. Love you for being there for me. Love you for being who are you. Love you for the tough times you're going through but still keep on pressing on. Love you for exceeding expectations I never put into words. Love you for raising an exceptional child. Love you even when you are being difficult.

I tell my parents at the end of my emails to them, "hugs and kisses". Hugs - another four letter word that evokes an emotion every single time. But I don't type the word "love" near enough. Love you for being my parents. Love you for being candid. Love you for writing that you'll be there for me while Riley is away should I ever need something. Love you for being healthy. Love you for saying you're proud of Riley and proud of me. Love you for loving each other and setting the finest example in the world for what a marriage should be.

Every morning I read Proverbs. While Riley was here, we'd read Proverbs together. While we were not always on top of the morning readings, we did pretty well. Now we read Proverbs separately and email each other about what verse or verses struck us the most. We include our son and nephew - a nephew whom we consider our second son. Reading Proverbs sometimes is difficult. There's a lot of wisdom in reading this book - and a lot of love. Love can come in the form of rebuking or cautioning and sometimes is just darn right painful.

I think I understand God's greatest commandment: love. Without love, there's no hope, no future, no relationship - just an empty void. With love, there comes wisdom, understanding, warmth, peace, harmony and comfort. Love your God with all your might and all your strength...but if I have not love, I have your neighbor as yourself....God so loved the world He gave his only son....

Love. What an amazing gift that God gave us. It has the power to heal, to comfort, to give joy ... and it's our choice to use that gift wisely or turn away from it.

I pray I always choose love no matter what the circumstance. How could I do otherwise?


Saturday, March 01, 2008

Two Halves of a Whole

I would venture to say that there are not many marriages today where one can say, I have found my soul mate for life, my other half, the one who makes me complete.

I've been that blessed - I did find my soul mate for life thirty-six plus years ago...and he still makes me smile in the darkest of moments. He is my anchor, my sanity-check, my friend, my hero and my love.

About two weeks ago, my beloved took a job overseas - a deep desire he's had for quite some time. We talked many days and weeks about this job ....what it would mean to him, how it may affect the family, how he had faith that all will work out as it's meant to be.

Seven plus years ago we purchased a building downtown and it's been the home of a chess club - a haven for many chess players. While he's been away, I have come to realize just how much work my beloved has done in addition to working eight to ten hours a day at his "real" job - all those extra hours promoting chess, working angles to produce (hopefully) increased income...and never complaining, not once.

These past few weeks alone, I've learned that we have two grown children who care deeply for their parents ...and have taken time to make sure their mom is well taken care of while their dad is away.

I've learned that while I don't have the same talents as my beloved (patience for one), I can do fairly well - even with chess players (!).

I've learned that's it's better to say no, not today - I'll deal with it later.

I'll soon come to the realization that I can say no - and not feel guilty.

I've learned that my beloved and I are two halves of a whole ... we do better together, but while apart, we're still able to grow - learn - and it'll be a joyous occasion when he comes home.