Sunday, February 13, 2011

Loving on God’s love this Valentine’s Day

Love it or hate it Valentines Day is upon us. And, just when I was forming my opinion of Valentine’s Day God told me, “I love you, isn’t that something to celebrate on Valentine’s Day.”  Yes it is! Then I realized that one of the greatest aspects of God’s love is that we celebrate (or dread) Valentine’s Day – the calendar celebration of love – because God first loved us. Humanity knows what love is (even in the most tainted sense) because the Creator loves his creation.

On the fly I don’t remember the first time I told Mr. Jonathan Fontenot that I love him but I do clearly remember the night I questioned my ability to love him (according to God’s description of love found in 1 Corinthians 13:4). Whenever I recall that memory a mixture of emotions rises in me: laughter, awe, and tearful joy. It was April 6, 2007 and I had decided to break down what love means and how I could successfully accomplish loving Jon. First, I read through the bible’s renowned love definition (as noted above) a couple times. Then I wrote each part of the verse on it’s own line (line one – patience, line two – kindness, line three…) making sure to leave enough room for journaling. By this time you probably get the picture, I was planning to tear this verse apart! I even used different colored pens! Well, after I finished journaling I sat back and cried (literally!). I thought to myself, “God you must be crazy! How am I supposed to do all this?” To which he replied, “I will help you, do not worry. Love him with my love.” Wow. Those words gave me enough confidence to eventually marry Jon and pledge to him my faithfulness. And today, in result of that experience, sometimes I’ll tell my husband, family, and friends, “I love you with God’s love.” No, it does not mean, “I don’t love you but at least God does!” It’s me admitting my inability give fully what is deserved, which is true love, but rejoicing that God can and does – and when I let him he’ll do it through me!

Loving someone (even your favorite person) is not easy but it is possible because of God’s love. God is on our side, especially when it comes to sharing his love with the world. Loving Jon was not a new idea I came up with. No, God already was in the business of loving Jon! Therefore, I found rest knowing that I was not charting into new territory but joining arms with God.

And to the same extent, noticing that you are not loved like others around you are loved is also hard (single, dating, or married). God’s love for us answers the question of whether or not we are worthy of love (Hint: The answer is we are! In fact we were created for it!). However, whether we feel unloved or abundantly loved by humans, we are completely loved by God. If you are waiting for a human to fill your love tank, you will be waiting an eternity. But today we can delight in true love by looking towards Christ. 1 John 3:16 says,  “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.” Love is not an idea God is simply endorsing it is his way of saving us. There is no greater love than God’s love. He created love and best exhibits it. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Taking the Y out of DIY

Some of you asked for pictures of the wedding lasso that I made and here they are!

After searching and searching online for a wedding lasso to buy for my friends (the now married Cesar and Erica Hernandez!) I decided to make one myself. Well, to be honest, Jon had to talk me into it first – The whole do-it-yourself aspect was pretty intimating! After getting God’s take [encouragement] on the matter, I take off for Michael’s (because if you have a DIY project that is the place to start). After gathering my material I go to check out. So I'm checking out and talking to the cashier about the project. She asks, “So you must have made many before.” “No, this is my first one,” I reply. Then she stops and looks at me with a very worried gleam in her eye and says, “Well, God bless you!” To which I reply, “Yes, God bless me!”

All this to say: DIY does not have to be an all-by-yourself project. If you are courageously tackling a project outside of your comfort zone, make sure you invite God along for the ride. I assure you, you won’t regret it. He is better than Martha and Rachel! I don’t turn everything I make into a DIY project, it’s a balance. However, I’ve noticed the more DIY I incorporate into my life the more fun I have! And it’s so full-filling. When I finished that lasso I felt like an accomplished artist. It adds memories and significance to the objects of our life.

On a deeper note: I may not weave baskets and sew my own clothes but my life is full of DIY and not in ways that I’m proud to admit. Just as Martha Stewart turns Thanksgiving into a DIY extravaganza so we turn life into a do-it-Myself (without God) marathon. We watch Martha and ask, “Are the embellished hand painted place cards really necessary?” when we should look at ourselves and ask, “Are all our worries really necessary?” Jesus told us to worry about today, for tomorrow will worry about itself. He asks us to consider the lilies of the field and then trust that we are more precious and cared for than them. He beckons us to forget our needs for food, clothing, and shelter, promising to take care of us if we will just take care of others. And if we must worry, he asks us to worry about the widowed, broken, and fatherless. When it comes to living life with Christ there is no such thing as DIY. Its do-it-for Christ, do-it-with Christ, or Christ-is-going-to-do-it-for-you!