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Wife, doggy-mother, Jesus follower, CANCER FIGHTER! Just enjoying each day as it comes and remembering what is really important - family and GOD.


Monday, July 16, 2012

Love Never Fails


 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

This was our message yesterday in church. I have to say, when I saw this was our verse for the day, I smiled. This is one of my absolute favorite verses in the Bible. Although Justin & I chose not to have this verse read during our wedding - it still is one that serves as such a reminder to me of what love should really be. I expected the Preacher to give a sermon about love and its beauty and how we all are so blessed by the love of Jesus. I was looking forward to having a "feel-good" sermon that would leave me warm and fuzzy.

However, he took it a little different path than what I expected. And I liked it. A few months ago, Justin and I both read the book Crazy Love by Francis Chan.  I highly, highly recommend it. It really gives you an entirely different perspective about what it means to truly LOVE Jesus with all your heart. As excerpted from the website, "God is calling you to a passionate love relationship with Himself. Because the answer to religious complacency isn't working harder at a list of do's and don'ts — it's falling in love with God. Because when you're wildly in love with someone, it changes everything."
It is true. When you are SO wildly in love, you will do anything. As the Preacher described it, when you are that in LOVE, you will drop whatever you have for the other person. You will drive hours to see that person just for a short time, because you cannot bear the thought of being away from one another. (Which, by the way, is why my vehicle has 160,000 miles on it!! Driving back and forth and back and forth from St. Louis to home for years.) You will do anything it takes just for a few minutes.
Why aren't we like that with God? Clamoring to just have a few breathless seconds with Him every day? Why doesn't our heart beat uncontrollably and we feel the little butterflies at the thought of spending time with Him? I don't know, honestly. But I want to feel that. I need to feel that. I pray all the time. Literally. I have never been one to only pray once a day. I pray at work before I answer the phone or visit with a client, that God will speak THROUGH me and that I will do His will in whatever I say. I pray that Justin has a good day, a safe day. I thank God constantly for the fact that Justin is His miracle and his body is healed. I pray for a baby and our home to sell. But I need to start taking that time where I just focus on my relationship with God each and every day. Even if it is just a few minutes where I focus on nothing but Him.
At the end of the sermon, the Preacher had us all look at 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 and place our name into the verses. So instead of "Love is patient, Love is kind" we instead said "Claire is patient, Claire is kind." 
Claire is patient. Claire is kind.
Am I? I do believe I am kind. I have the biggest heart. But patience? That is a downfall of mine, for sure!
Claire is does not envy, she does not boast, she is not proud.
Again. It caused me to step back and think. I am probably one of the least boastful and proud people I know - at least in my profession. But what about envy? As we embark on this journey to start a family, I have felt envious of others. Of those who have children and don't appreciate them. Of those who think "oh, I'll just have another baby" without even stopping to look at the repercussions. Of those who get pregnant and think "oh my gosh, WHY did this happen now?" And that is NOT, I repeat NOT, the person I want to be! I want to be happy, joyful, excited for anyone who experiences that blessing.
Claire does not dishonor others, is not self-seeking, is not easily angered, and keeps no record of wrongs.
Do I forgive? Realize that everyone is human, a sinner, and mistakes are made? Let it go? Sometimes I fail at this. I try. But I also sin. I heard some comments made about/towards me by someone that I love. I was upset. Hurt. Even angry. But I made the conscious decision to just let it go. Move on. Keep no record.

Claire does not delight in evil, but rejoices in the truth.

I need to remember this. Cast away the devil and remember to focus on the good.
Claire always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Claire never fails.
I am a fierce protector of what is good in my life. I have an enormous amount of faith and hope in the good. But am I always a beacon of that hope? Do I fail at shining down God's love on others?
I definitely have some praying and thinking to do. What do you all think? Be honest with me - where are my downfalls? What should I strive to work on? Am I seeing myself clearly, or do I present as someone completely different? How do you feel when instead of seeing Claire in the blanks, you substitute your name? What about your spouse's name or the name of a significant other? 

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