Love

I know that Valentines Day is right around the corner. But I don't think that Valentines Day is the only day that we should show love & appreciation to those that we care about. This weekend I tuned in to an International Local Livestream Conference called

IF:Gathering

. A gathering for women of all ages to unite & learn more about Jesus. Not just learn but to be equipped & unleashed into our very own circles of community. To prompt us to live a life around these questions: "If God is real then what?"& "What if we lived like Jesus?"

All weekend long we listened to beautiful women who've braved some hard times. We were led into prayers of confessions of things that we've held back in the dark spaces of our hearts. We dug deep and had some open conversations about who Jesus is to us. There were many tears of pain & suffering but also tears of joy & freedom. But the one thing that rang loudest through out the entire weekend was

LOVE

God is love and love comes from God. The testimonies & hope-filled stories shared this weekend were evidence of how much more real His love really is. "

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength." 

The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 

There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31) These are most important yet simplest commandments that the Lord has given us. Yet, we struggle with the most. To love. 

Love isn't just a feeling a boy & a girl have together. Love is forgiveness,humility, compassion, caring for another persons soul, and so much more. Christ came to walk the Earth and He loved deeply. He came to be the perfect example of love. He loved the unlovely, ashamed, cast-off, & abandoned. Love isn't just for those who are good looking, fit, wealthy, or friendly. Love is for all God's people. 

Every human being that has a heart beat, God loves. And as children of God, He has called us to love our neighbors. This mean's our family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, & many more. Whomever is in your life circle, God is calling you to love on them. Even to love the unlovable. Love the ones who can't love you back. This is not impossible. For God so loved the world that He sent His one & only Son. To die for our sins. God not only loves you individually, but He loves the entire world. 

Therefore, if we are made in the image of God, He created us to love well too. We love because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19)  Even criminals know how to love. Love exists in all of us but what good is it if we just keep it to ourselves? Lets share His love to everyone around us. Lets spread it to the ends of the Earth like confetti. For the best reason to celebrate is because of His great love. 

Love doesn't just flow from the words that we speak towards one another. Although that is the love language for many. We often hear,"You can talk the talk, but can you walk the walk?" We can speak of our love for other's, but what we do in our lives will reflect how true we are to our words. Love is evident in the way we move & touch other peoples lives. When we look at the life of Christ, "He didn't just come to talk, teach, or preach. He came to love through His touch, proximity, presence, & dignity."- Jen Hatmaker. 

Lets love intentionally. Lets love our neighbors well. Lets be the hands and feet of Jesus. Loving, even if they can't love us back. Lets love the unlovable. I'm sure we all feel unlovable at times. But God will never stop loving us for a second! He is madly, deeply, head-over-heels, jealously, crazy in love with me & YOU! What are some things we can do to show people that we love them? 

You have any ideas? I'd love to hear them!

How do you love your family & friends well? 

How can you reach your community & share God's love with them? 

Joy-full Weekend

This weekend was so eventful. Packed with so many great things. I went out with my sister for a Zumba charity fundraiser for a local children's organization. Got to see my nephews & hang out with my sisters. I had a long over due lunch date with a good friend. Dropped off starter kits at church  for the arrival of Refugees that will be arriving in our area. I had great conversations filled with laughter & tears over a delightful dinner with beautiful women. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone to be more intentional at church- catching up with fellow brothers & sisters in Christ.  

There are no words to describe how full my heart is in this current moment. If only I could just make time stand still. I feel as if I'm at the best time in my life right now. Everything feels perfect. It's impossible for perfection though. I know, I know. My weekend was packed to the brim but I don't regret any of it. As I'm typing this, I'm literally struggling to speak. I've somehow lost my voice from this awesome praise worthy weekend. Besides the soreness of my throat, I feel so optimistic & joy-full. 

I do not regret a single thing that I scheduled myself for this weekend. Why? Because every bit of it were the best decisions I could've ever made. To be in commune with people. To fellowship & hear what God is doing in the lives of others. In every moment of my weekend, I was just constantly reminded of God's unfailing love. 

Two big things also occurred this weekend though. Saturday morning I woke up to find out a relative had passed from her battle with Breast Cancer. Then, Sunday after church, Roger & I payed visit to our dear friends who are now new parents! Their baby girl had decided it was her time to make her big appearance into the world. 

From beginning to the end of this weekend, I've just seen God's gracious hands over all the overwhelming events that has happened. God calls us to mourn with those who mourn. But to also celebrate with those who celebrate.

"Rejoice with those who rejoice [sharing others’ joy], and weep with those who weep [sharing others’ grief]." -Romans 12:15 

What a blessing it is to be included in the beautiful picture God is painting with our very own lives. In a moment of grief & sorrow, God also gives us reasons to be joyful & celebrate! There is hope in Him alone. To love as He first loved us is hard. But we can begin following in His compassionate footsteps by asking God to give us His heart. To break our hearts for what breaks His. To love through His eyes. 

When people die, there is so much pain that no one but the Father can comfort. When we face what seems like the darkest season's of our lives, Jesus lights the way for us onto the Hope we can have in Him. When new doors open for us to walk through, fear & anxiety rushes in but God tugs at our hearts & says," Follow Me, & I will lead the way." 

In the midst of all that we face, I pray it may be a reminder to you that from beginning to end, God has everything in the palm of His hands. He is still in full control no matter what you face. He will raise you up & honor you. He will protect you from harm. He will heal the brokenhearted and He will be with you, holding you with a gentle & loving firm hand. 

Such beautiful promises. What ever season you are in right now, I pray that God will surround you with people who will love, embrace, listen, encourage, cry, laugh, celebrate, mourn, & pray with you. When you completely submit to Him, He will provide for you, everything you need. 

Including the very people or community you need to do life with you. 

How was your weekend? What season do you find yourself in right now?