Love

Love: a strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties

barefoot Summers - mine were dirty but not THIS dirty...as I recall??: “Mommy.”

A mother looks down at her three-year-old son. Dirt is smeared across his face, though a brilliant smile shows his baby white teeth. His once yellow shirt, is now covered in splattering’s of strawberries, purple paint, and something else that she decides is better left unknown. “Yes, sweetie?”

The toddler raises up his chubby arms – asking to be held.

She complies, settling him onto her hip.

Golden curls giving him an angelic appearance (perhaps she is biased, though, she concludes humorously, her little one would certainly be one of the most mischievous of all the angels), he wraps his arm around her neck and lays his head down with a heavy-breathed sigh. “I love you mommy.”

~~~

Love:  the object of attachment, devotion, or admiration

“No.” The college undergraduate frowns at the poor, pitiful looking faces. She shakes her head, Baby Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppies! (Breeder: Chadwick Cavalier King Charles Spaniel's):: brown locks falling over her face. Pushing her red-rimmed glasses back up the bridge of her nose, she sighs. Why did they have to look so utterly adorable? Cute little cinnamon rolls…she thinks.

Two puppies, bounding over each other in their haste to get her attention, wag their tails impatiently. The smaller one’s chocolate eyes look up at her as if to say, pick me! I’m right here! The bigger one, not to be outdone, puts its white paws up on the glass – head cocked to the side as though it knew this made it look priceless.

“Oh who am I kidding?” mumbled the twenty-year-old, “I love you both!”

~~~

Love: warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion

Tutu Dress Yellow Princess Belle: “Daddy.”

“…”

“Daddy.”

The father drags his attention away from the newspaper he had been reading, turning to look at his eight-year-old. She has on a yellow gown with a cut, pasted, and crayon-colored paper crown on top of her head. Sassy as always, one hand is on her hip – lips pressed tightly together. “What is it Bella?”

She comes closer, placing both hands on top of his forearm. Her facial expression is utterly serious as she leans in to whisper in a not-so-quiet way. “You’re supposed to dance with me. Since I’m the princess, you’re the prince.” Tone confident, she waits for his reply – dark eyes blinking.

He chuckles to himself – though quickly stops when he remembers how seriously she takes this. “Why, I would be delighted to princess!”

A bright grin stretches itself across her face, and she has to use every measure of eight-year-old self-control to retain the dignity of royalty. Minutes later, when the music from Beauty and the Beast drifts through the kitchen, and she is held in his arms – head upon his shoulder, her childish voice says, “Love you daddy.”

~~~

Love: a beloved person

“How could you do that?”  he yells, dragging a hand down the side of his face. What on God’s A grey and white kitten resting on its owner's bed.: good green earth had she been thinking? She could have been killed! Not to mention, that her car was pretty much totaled.

She huffs in annoyance. “It was nothing, and I am perfectly fine.”

“You almost weren’t!”

“But I am!”

“THAT’S BESIDES THE POINT.”

“WELL, I WASN’T GOING TO LET THAT KITTEN GET RUN OVER.”

He groans loudly, running a hand through his black hair. “How are you such an idiot….”

She glares furiously at him, blue eyes sparking despite the fact that a gash of blood is still dribbling onto her skin. The gray and white kitten, held securely in her arms, makes itself smaller as though it realizes it is the topic of this…unfortunate conversation. “Why do you even care!?!?”

Before he even realizes what he is saying, his mouth is already open. “Because I love you!” 

~~~

Love: an assurance of affection

senior photography. twins. laura benitz photography. senior portraits. st joseph mo. country: “I swear if they ever – ” The eighteen-year-old grits his teeth together, infuriated by the fact that some people seemed to think it was a peachy  idea to make fun of his sister. He had several choice words for them, and all one-hundred-percent of them were words that were probably better left unsaid.

His twin sister, glanced at him, sad smile on her face. “It’s fine, we’ll both be gone next year anyway.” She tucked a red curl behind her ear, the afternoon sun casting a glow onto her freckled face.

Suddenly, he wrapped her in a tight embrace. “Don’t believe them, ok? You’re the best person and friend I know.”

She nodded against him, pushing back the tears. “Thanks…you’re pretty awesome yourself,” she stated, adding softly, “I love you.”

“Love you too sis.”

~~~

Love: the fatherly concern of God for humankind, unselfish loyal and benevolent, concern for the good of another, an assurance of affection.“Let Me Sing Your Goodness & Greatness In Thankfulness To Your Name. In Jesus Name. Amen”:

Psalm 116:1, “I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy.”

“I’m sorry Lord, I should not have disrespected You like that.” Her eyes filled with tears, fear wanting to grasp hold. Why had she said that? The peer pressure…she should have been stronger. And now, what if He did not want to forgive her? Sure, she knew that the Bible said He forgives…but this? She was not certain, why would He want to forgive her when she had disrespected Him, even after He had died for her?

“You are forgiven.”

Romans 8:35-39, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. ”

He was angry. Angry at God. Angry at Him for taking his mother. How could someone who claimed to literally BE love do that? He sure as heck did not know. And he was hurt, pained, and angry over it.

“I know you are angry, but I see past that. I see to your hurt, your tears, your struggle with wanting to know why. My child, even if you do not want to talk to me, I am here with you – amidst your pain, amidst your struggle. My love is still here.”

1 John 4:18, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.”

Stupid. Ok. Sure, she had been at school all day and then rushed to work her job after that, and then needed to complete all of her schoolwork, and maybe it was midnight…and most people would probably call it quits (or think she was crazy), but she had not read her Bible at all today. Actually. She had not read it in three days, and boy was she feeling guilty for it. Never mind the fact that she was doing her best.

My daughter, I see how hard you are working – and how much you desire to please me. Your high expectations and perfectionism are wearing you down. Rest in me and let my peace become the rhythm of your life.  

Isaiah 49:15-16, ““Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.”

He threw his books down, having just returned from work. Shaking his head, his heart felt God's love for us is unconditional and undeserved. Because He truly loved us and knew that we were worth it, He suffered and died for us on the cross. All of God's children are of importance! Trust in Him, and let Him lead the way.: lonely…empty…forgotten. He felt like no one really saw him for HIM. He was just another face in the crowd. Another number.

You are not forgotten, my son. Even if other people may pass over, neglect, or cause you to feel insignificant, you are not. You are my child, part of a royal priesthood with a legacy of brothers and sisters who have gone before you. You are mine, and I love you.

Zephaniah 3:17, “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”

She was excited! And happy! For one, she had been surprised with an adorable black kitten with white paws (already named Mittens, of course) by her boyfriend. Yep. He was the best. Secondly, she had been praying for a while that she could manage to find a job – and TADA, this morning she had gotten the call. Today. Was. Awesome.

I love to give my children good gifts, daughter. Take care of Mittens, he has a bit of a mischievous streak.

John 15:9, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.”

For some reason, the past few days he had been feeling depressed. He shouldn’t be – by all worldly standards at least. He had a wife, two children, and a good job. What was wrong with him? “God,” he prayed, “I-I’m not sure what’s up with me lately, but I just need to know you are here.”

My son, I am here. You have been worrying and fretting over the future. Rest in my love. You are safe.

maybe I can get my brother the blacksmith to make some of these ❤ for me! #OliviaGarden #BeautyTools: 1 John 4:9-10, “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

 

 

Family. Friendships. Pets. In our world, there are so many wonderful, different forms of love. Yet, the greatest of all of this is the love of our Savior, who loved us unconditionally without receiving anything in return and to such an extent, that He died on the cross – still knowing that many would choose to reject Him.

This Valentine’s day, let us remember the true meaning and definition of love: Jesus Christ.

Note: the definitions for “love” came from Merriam-Webster.

Romantically Inclined

As I sat reading through a romantic book one warm, summer day, I began to wonder…what is it about these stories that causes us to love them so? It could not be the plot…for a plot in itself does not serve to penetrate your soul. Though characters quickly become memorable, they could not be the single reason either – for standing alone the most they can do is amuse our mind and heart.

I cannot believe it has taken so long to create this show. It is absolutely incredible and creative and I'm addicted ..:

Perhaps it’s the setting. But then again, a setting’s purpose is to accentuate…not only to be read as a place. Similar to spices, description and detail are tools a writer can use to give their story that final pizzazz. There are many building blocks in a well-written tale that one could argue are the bottom, corner-stone of why so many people enjoy romance novels. I would wager, however, that the true reason is much deeper than that.

 :

I believe, in every woman’s heart, there is a great desire to be adored, loved, and sought after. I think so many, if not all, of us long to be treated as a treasure – one which has an immeasurable amount of value. And it saddens me readers, truly it does, how far the world has gone to completely disintegrate this picture and the value that is a human being. The majority of movies that flood out of Hollywood and other massive, secular companies scream the components of lowly conduct and behavior…and neglect to follow up with the consequences of such actions. They muddle together the belief that women are strong and equal, by pairing it with sexual scenes and conduct. How much lower can your value go, than when you are so desperate for appreciation and affection, you are willing to be an object of use rather than what was meant to be a beautiful act? It has warped this until so many no longer question it.

Women are strong and on equal standing with men…yet, I feel sometimes in our world today there is an extremists view of this. They do not seem to believe that it is acceptable for a woman to be protected or sought after. Why has the storyline of the prince rescuing the princess commonly turned into one that is not ‘modern’ or ‘equal’. Where is the wrong in someone loving you so much that they will do anything and everything to get you back? I do not understand where the view has come from that this is weakness. It is anything but. I do not see it as the man thinking he is better, I see it as a person who is so totally in love with his girl that he will scale any walls, fight off dragons, or even take the brunt of the spear because he values her life to that degree.

x:

This is not to say that women cannot defend themselves, but I find it purely rubbish when people take it to the extreme. If they do not have a problem with a woman rescuing a man, then please enlighten me why they have an issue with a man rescuing a woman? Quite ironic, apparently.

And I believe that the Lord has put in our hearts, a desire to be chased after and adored. He is, after all, the most profound example of action determined by love. He has said,

“For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.” ~ Deuteronomy 20:4

“I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” ~ Isaiah 41:10

“Do not be afraid for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep water and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown!” ~ Isaiah 43:1-2

Above all, He gave his own life for us, knowing that he would be rejected and despised. If that is not love, then I don’t know what is.

I believe, we read romance novels and books then, because the imagery of someone truly, completely loving us – faults and all, so appeals to our hearts that we are desperate to have more. We feel the need to have that hope, that there really are knights in shining armor and princes in disguise. That true, committed love is still alive amidst all of the turmoil that comes with separated families, divorce, and cheating. We need to know that and so we read continually of the love between two broken souls and how they come together as man and wife.

Image result for snow white and prince charming season 1 gifs

And the truth of the matter is, there is someone who has perfect, unfailing love. The kind that doesn’t shy away when trials or hardships come (thank heaven!). I mentioned Him earlier – Jesus, and it is completely remarkable that He loves such beings as us.

~ Southern Dreamer