2016. just love.

From where I’m sitting, 2015 has about 3 hours left.  2016 is within view.  My friends across the ocean have already welcomed it in.  We’re next.

And with a new year always come new resolutions.  Many are available to chose from.  Lose weight.  Be healthier.  Read my Bible daily.  Workout.  Save some money.  Wander the planet a bit.  Run a marathon.  Have a baby {not me, of course!}  Stop smoking.  Give up a bad habit.  So.  Many.  And the sad thing is, so many will set their resolution & WholeFoods and the gym will all be ridiculously busy for the next month, and then we will all just give up.  I mean, has anyone ever sat on December 31 with 3 hours left in the year & thought, “I nailed that resolution!”  I know I haven’t.  So much so, that I gave up making resolutions many years ago.  That whole hopes up, lose enthusiasm, fail cycle is exhausting.  Better to not even get on the wheel.

Thing is, so many of the resolutions I’ve set in the past were all about me.  {So much of everything is always all about me.}  I’m pretty good at disguising it, of course, to not make me look so selfish, but really…  And then when failure came a knocking, it’s also about me.  About how I’d failed.  And then I could dwell on how much of a loser I am.  Again all about me.  Oooooo so hard to be human.

This year.  Different.  At least I hope.  This year.

just lovejust love.  Because can you go wrong setting a resolution to love others better?  And lest I get confused on what love is, a little review.

Love is… patient.  Patient with the moron on the highway going 45 in a 60.  {Perhaps I should start with not referring to him as a moron.}  Patient with the protester blocking the road.  Patient with the child who just spilled sticky juice on the freshly mopped kitchen floors…again!  Patient is remembering that I’m not perfect either & we all need a bit of grace.  Bite that tongue, count to ten, think, pray, proceed with patience.

Love is…kind.  Kind to the friend who spoke sharply by offering soft words in return.  Kind to the woman who is frazzled with the project by assisting & helping.  Kind to the new waiter who is still learning by giving him a tip even though his service was lacking.  Being kind is speaking and helping in a manner that you would like to receive words & assistance.  Soften the tone, slow the motions, think, pray, proceed with kindness.

Love is…not envious, boastful or proud.  Celebrating the wins of others.  Sharing in their successes.  Forgetting your own wins, not always sharing your successes, not wishing their stuff as yours.  Funny thing, the more grateful we are for the amazing things in our own life, the more able we are to celebrate the amazing things in other people’s lives.  And if we remember that the amazing things are not all our doing, but come from above, we are less likely to get too boastful or proud.  Be grateful, remember where to focus that gratitude and celebrate others!

Love is…not rude.  Not being rude with the lady in line who was rude first.  Not being rude with sarcasm and eye-rolling.  Not being rude when rudeness might prove a point.  Rudeness seems most prevalent when one person perceives that they are above another person.  Status seems to dictate rude words, rude tones, rude motions.  Not being rude often means remembering that the ground is level at the cross, I’m no better than anyone else.  Look into another’s eyes, see them as an equal, think, pray, proceed without rudeness.

Love…does not demand it’s own way.  In other words, it puts others first.  Sometimes that means sacrifice.  Sacrifice of time, sacrifice of money, sacrifice of comfort, sacrifice of status {perceived status anyhow}…it means setting aside me for another.  Consider another’s needs, consider the cost to meet that need, pray and often step aside.

Love…keeps no record of wrong.  Pretty self explanatory.  But just in case…Let.  It.  Go.  She said something awful to you & lied about you & made you look like a fool.  She apologized.  Let. It. Go.  He forgot your birthday & forgot to change the baby’s diaper & always forgets to pick up his socks off the bedroom floor.  Let. It. Go.  God isn’t keeping track of my wrongs {hallelujah!} He threw those away in the ocean somewhere.  Why in the name of all things good should I be keeping track.  Let. It. Go!

Love is intentional.  My nature is selfish & usually love is reserved for those who I perceive as easy to love, which really means they love me & treat me well.  But I want to love the people who don’t treat me well.  Those who are hard to love.  Those who are different than me with different thoughts, priorities, beliefs and life.  I want to love those who I have no business loving, except that I’m told to by the One I follow.  I want to intentionally love.  To recognize when I’m not being loving, make an adjustment and love better.  I won’t get this right all the time.  I’m destined to fail.  But that’s ok.  Unlike the diet resolution, I see hope to throw myself back on the track when I fall off & love better tomorrow.  After all…Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

 

Happy New Year!  2016!  just love.

 

 

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