Friday, January 11, 2013

Day 13 Love in Action

I'm currently reading the book  Love Does by Bob Goff which is a lot about love in action.  I really like the book.  It was actually a Christmas gift from our good friends to my husband, but I hijacked it and in the moments before bed, when Sully is asleep and I have a few moments all for me, I crawl under the covers, turn on my book light and read about Bob's life- all his crazy antics and how he chooses to live life loving others because of the way He's been loved by others and by Jesus.

I got to experience some love in action on Wednesday and I wanted to share it.  I had one of those days.  You know the kind I am talking about.  Well,  you definitely do if you have kids!  It was this kind of day:  Wake up, dress, get the baby up, feed baby, pack up baby and run to WalMart (even though it's not remotely close to your house because you have a gift card), grocery shop, wait in check out line for twenty minutes with a baby that is now tired of being in the carrier and just wants to be able to roll and kick freely, because there are literally only two cashiers and one of them is the express lane cashier, finally pay for groceries, drive home only to realize you NEVER used your gift card, change baby, get baby settled in bouncer so you can start to make lunch because friend and kids are coming for a play date, in the middle of making lunch stop to feed the baby, friend comes, try to keep making lunch while your baby is screaming, put your baby down for a nap thinking that is what is wrong, come downstairs, attempt to keep making lunch which is of course a new recipe you want to try but is demanding way more attention than you thought it would, in your head consider trashing recipe and serving peanut butter sandwiches just so you can sit down, realize your baby has been crying for ten minutes but you couldn't hear him over talking with your friend and the television, head upstairs to get baby, change baby and realize he's pooped all the way up to his ears, so you strip the baby getting poop everywhere and you start to run a bath.  You yell down to your friend to take the chicken out of the oven when the timer goes off, bathe the baby, re dress the baby, throw the poopy clothes in a plastic bag and throw it on the floor vowing to get it later to wash and shout.  Bring baby downstairs, feed him his bottle while everyone else eats lunch then you eat lunch only to realize that you need to leave for an appointment you have except that now the baby needs to eat his baby food, feed baby sweet potatoes, there is no time to wash his face so you pack him in his carrier and head out the door with a somewhat happy 4 1/2 month old who has sweet potatoes crusted to his cheeks.

Ok, I'm tired just typing that.  But that was my day.  And right in the middle, between giving Sully a bath and feeding him a bottle, I was holding him and I had stooped down to look in the fridge for something.  As I stood up my back hit one of the shelves on the fridge door at just the right angle and the entire shelf came off of the door and with it all of the condiments (and there were a lot) came tumbling to the ground.  It was a moment when you can choose to laugh.  Haha, isn't that funny of all the times for that to happen.  Or choose to cry because, seriously, you just can't handle one more thing.  I would have cried.  It was that kind of day.  I know it might seem silly since clearly people, including myself, deal with much more difficult days all of the time.  But emotionally and physically, I was exhausted.  And I would have cried.

But love stepped in.  She stepped in in the form of my good friend who happened to have to encounter my crazy day since she is the one that came for a play date.  She looked at me and didn't even stop to think.  She just stepped in and told me to go and feed Sully.  She stepped in and attached the shelf back to the door.  She stepped in and put back every condiment and rolled up the little rug where the olives had spilled.  She stepped in and acted.

sweet potatoes everywhere!  
And I couldn't have been more blessed in that moment.  I'm learning that love does.  It acts.  Love doesn't stop at the niceties that we try to put up.  It doesn't stop at the, "Oh, no, I wouldn't want you to be bothered," or the, "No, I'm ok."  Love acts.  It gently barges down walls and stands in the gap.  It doesn't always ask for permission.  Love looks at a situation and sees the need and then meets it.

Just like my friend did.  She could have in that moment asked me if she could have helped me.  And maybe I would have asked her to put the fridge back together.  But honestly, I probably would have told her it was ok and that I would do it after I was done feeding the baby.  Haven't you done that before, too?  Guess what?  When we do that- when we choose to either try to do life all by ourselves or handle things alone not only do we miss out on being loved and blessed but we rob others the opportunity to love and bless.  It is a two way street.

So, here is my encouragement to you and I'm saying it to myself, too.  Let's choose today to be honest, to stop trying to handle everything that comes our way by ourselves.  It's not the way God intended for us to live.  Let's let others help us.  It doesn't mean we are less than or weak.  Not at all.  I believe when we start to do life with others, letting them act in love and choosing to act in love ourselves, we become stronger.  And we will be a blessing and be blessed.