Love One Another

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA“Love is all you need.”  “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” “I will always love you.” “Love one another as I have loved you.” 

Love comes in many shapes and sizes.  There are many types of love and many things that define love.  As you know, we just celebrated the big love day of the year, Valentines’ Day. Well, it is a day that stores and restaurants try to make the big day.  We are encouraged to spend a marked up amount on flowers, eat out, and spend a lot on cards.

That is fine but why not enjoy a home cooked meal with our mate and children?  Why not enjoy our own tradition of handwriting a special card?  Why not have both of you sign the same card as Kirk and I did this year? And, why not remember to love and show our love each and every day?

Don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed the fun of Valentine’s Day, the fancy dinners out, and the dozen red roses. There is nothing like that in the early stages of a relationship. But, more importantly, I like when Kirk gives me flowers just because, or has asked if I’d like to eat out after a tiring day at work, or wants to have a date night in the middle of the week.

I also like to do special things for him just because. And I like that we tell each other I love you every day.  And, we tell our son that as well. We also regularly demonstrate love to one other by the things we help with around the house, the projects, and the teamwork.

Before meeting Kirk, I had many years without a special someone. it could be tough at times but I did my best to enjoy time with my friends and family. I also learned to love myself and figure out what I wanted in a relationship. That was a blessing and helped me appreciate my relationship even more.

At the top of the blog, I listed a few quotes about love.  Here are my thoughts on them.

  • Love is all you need.  This is from a great Beatles song that I really like.  To me, we need more than love to have relationships work.  We also need trust, honesty, forgiveness, and patience.  Clearly love needs to be part of it since without it, it is very hard to have the rest.
  • Love means never having to say you’re sorry.  This was made famous in The Love Story movie.  I totally disagree with this sentiment.  To me, love means saying sorry often and as needed. Not so much that it means nothing, but enough to show we realize when we made mistakes.
  • I will always love you. This is from one of my favorite Celine Dion songs and is lovely. I agree that you can always love someone. However, you may not always like them and can get frustrated with them. True love means sticking with them through it all and always being there for each other. And loving unconditionally.
  • Love one another as I have loved you.  Christ told us to do this and I think we are lacking with this at times.  We seem to be a society of mistrust, gossip, and a lot of negativity.  I hope and pray that we can get back to truly loving others and wanting the best for each other.  People often try to take credit for another’s accomplishments or blame people when something doesn’t work out.  None of us are perfect and we all make mistakes. My hope is that we can find a way to be more loving and kind.

Love is an amazing gift and something that is rare and precious.  It is to be treasured and respected.  It is to be given freely and without expecting anything in return.  And, it is to be given without condition.

The loves in my life are:

  • My husband who I cherish
  • Our son who is a gift from the Lord and a blessing each day
  • My parents who taught me what love means
  • My siblings and their spouses who I adore
  • My nieces and nephews who I am fascinated by
  • My cousins who I have shared so much with
  • My aunts and uncles who love me like their own
  • My grandparents who I miss each day and loved talking with
  • My in-laws who welcomed me into their family
  • My lifetime friends who I have laughed and cried with
  • My newer friends who I am enjoying getting to know
  • My friends from work, school, and church who are so special
  • My loved ones who have passed and are still missed

I wonder if I will truly remember to love as Christ loved me.  I am going to do my best to do just that.  My prayer is that we all have love and can truly love others.

February 14 – Love

POD_3-7-2014_FlyHi and Happy Valentine’s Day.  Today’s Photo Challenge is Love.  How fitting for a day all about love.  My photos are of my two greatest loves — my wonderful husband and our amazing son. These two men mean the world to me and I am so glad to have them as my family.  I love them very differently yet both fully and with all that I am.

So it got me to thinking, how can you illustrate or define love? As you know, there are many types of love and definitions. We love our mates and children differently, we love our families and friends in other ways, we love our pets in a different way, and there is our love of God and our faith.  All of these loves are valid and real to us.

To me love is — given every day, compassion, forgiveness, honesty, kindness, generosity, patience, partnership, unconditional, raw and messy at times, beautiful, passion, being there for the good and bad in life, support, and forever.

There is a line in the movie “Love Story” that has always bothered me.  “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”  I totally disagree.  To me, love means you should say you are sorry.  Not too much that it means nothing, but when needed it should be said.

We all make mistakes and hurt one another.  Yet, because of love we can say we are sorry, change our behavior, and forgive one another.  And then you can move past the problem and continue to love.

One of the best descriptions of love is in 1st Corinthians 13: 4-8. Kirk and I had this read on our wedding day.  It meant the world to both of us.  This is from the New International Version of the Bible:

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast. It is not proud.  It is not rude, 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.”

Isn’t that beautiful?  If only we could love others that way.  We are called by Christ to love others — including our enemies and those who seem the least lovable.  All of us need to be loved by someone.  My hope and prayer is that we can be more loving to those around us.

Today I am thankful for:

  • My husband for loving me as I am and being an amazing partner in all things
  • Our son who is the light of our life and an amazing gift
  • My parents who taught me what love is all about
  • My siblings (and in-laws) who I love to be with and admire so very much
  • My cousins who are true and real friends
  • My in-laws who are a wonderful addition to my family
  • My aunts and uncles who have taught me so much
  • My friends who I treasure — both old and new
  • My grandparents who demonstrated their love for one another
  • My nieces and nephews who enrich my world and are great friends to Ian
  • Our school and church friends who mean so much to the three of and who are teaching Ian so many things
  • Our community and neighbors who make us feel truly at home

May you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day full of love!  Whether or not you have a special someone, I hope and pray that you will know that you are loved.

Happy Father’s Day to My Wonderful Dad

SRP.42_Patti_and_Bill.1968There is a quote which states, “Any man can be a father, it takes someone special to be a dad.” — Author Unknown

That is my dad — special and unique!  Happy Father’s Day to you Dad!

I am sad that we can’t be together to celebrate this special day for you.  Please know that I am thinking of you and look forward to a celebration very soon!

I thank the Lord for my dad!  He has taught me so much and is so loving!

Here I am with Dad in Mission Beach, California when I was a baby.  I loved the water and sand then and still love it today.  And, as I written before, I have many great pictures and memories of my dad with me and my family as well as with dad and the next generation.   That is truly special!

SRP.72.Bill.Mairzy.Patti.late1960sThis next picture was on the porch of the beach house when I was a little older.  I am pictured with both my parents.

This house has always been like a second home to our family.  We are so very blessed to have this location.  Thanks to both of my parents for enabling us to be able to have these vacations.  They are such a huge part of my childhood memories!

Patti_Dad_2006This photo is of the two of us in 2006 at the San Diego airport.  As you can see, the family really loves that city in California.

Dad has always loved me and my brother and sister and for that I am truly and deeply thankful.

One time when I was in college a friend of mine told me how unusual it was that dad truly listened to me and my siblings.  Until hearing that, I had taken him and his attention for granted.  It is sad to realize that not all kids have that.

I was and still am so fortunate to have a great relationship with my dad.  We live only 30 minutes away from one another so there are lots of get-togethers and I love that.

Dad is one of Ian’s favorite people to play with since Dad gets on the floor with him and is at Ian’s level.  It is beautiful to watch.

My dad truly knows what is important in life and savors the time he has with his family.  He is kind, patient, loving, very intelligent, caring, concerned about others, enjoys reading, drinking his morning coffee, biking, traveling, watching sports, playing with and walking his new dog Riley, listening to and singing music, eating ice cream, and is interested in current events.

He had two amazing careers and was wonderful with all of his co-workers or students.  I worked in the same building as him for several years.  It was an honor to talk with my co-workers about him.  They thought the world of him and how fair he was with everyone.

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERANow he is crazy about all 5 of his grandkids.  He loves to play with them and interact in their various activities.  In this picture, he and Ian were enjoying smores together.

Thanks Dad for being you!  I am so very blessed to now be friends with you and have you be a fantastic grandpa to my son.

Thanks also for loving Mom, Cindy, Richmond, and me so much.  Thank you to for welcoming your daughter-in-law and two sons-in-law and all of the kids. You have truly taught us the model of a fine man, husband, father, and grandfather!

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Happy Father’s Day also to my wonderful brother Richmond who I love very much!  Also, to my father-in-law, cousins, brothers-in-law, uncles, and friends, Happy Father’s Day.   And, another special wish to my husband, Kirk.  Yesterday, I wrote a special Dad’s Day wish to him.

For those who have lost your fathers, may you remember them fondly.  For those who still have your father, may you be thankful for the time you have and appreciate the relationship.   May you have a wonderful and very blessed Father’s Day!!

Whole Lotta Love

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAThis week I have felt very loved!   And, that is something I am very thankful for!

I hope that you too have a whole lotta love in your life!

Here is a picture of my family at the restaurant where we had lunch on Valentine’s Day.  We all wore red and enjoyed our lunch and our afternoon out.  A change in the routine was just what we needed.  It was fun to enjoy a relaxed lunch, talk a walk, shop, and enjoy being together.

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAMy husband gave me the teddy bear with a rose that Ian is holding in the above photo and a card.  We will go on a date sometime soon but decided on Valentine’s Day that it would fun for our family unit to be together.

We enjoyed our special time out, but I like even better the fact that we always tell each other we love one another.  This morning, Ian woke me up and gave me a big hug and said, “Mommy, I love you so much.”  What a great way to start the day!

From Ian I received a sweet card and these three items that he made at preschool. He had fun making all of them.

About the picture he painted, he said, “Look Mommy I included some flowers for you.”  Isn’t that the sweetest?  I also like the puzzle heart that he made and the beads and design on the other heart.

Ian decided to name my new bear “Chocolate.”  I told him that sounds good to me. After all, we all like chocolate.  Dark chocolate with mint is my favorite and peanut butter with chocolate is Kirk and Ian’s favorite.  How about you?!

We regularly tell each other throughout the year, not just on special days as we celebrated this week.   Special days are great but more importantly is just living a certain way.

All in all it was a great day full of love and spending time with two of my favorite guys!

Thank you Lord for the blessings you have given to me!!

The Greatest of These is Love

Our Wedding DayHappy Valentine’s Day to you!

There are many things I could write about Valentine’s Day, but the main one is that the day is all about love.  Love is a beautiful and wonderful thing.

I love the people in my life.  They include my husband, my son, my parents, siblings, in-laws, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and friends.  All of these people are dear to me and well loved.  Each one holds a special place in my heart!!

The best definition of love to me is the Love Chapter in the Bible — 1st Corinthians 13.  At my wedding to Kirk, this chapter was read.  It was meaningful then as it is now.  The picture is from our wedding.  As you can see we look like kids.

This chapter is quoted below from the New International Version——-

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

“If I give all that I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

“Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, 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.

“But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; and where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

“For we know in part and we prophecy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.

“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.  When  I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.  Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.  Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

“And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love.  But the greatest of these is love.”

I especially like the part that says — love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Think about that — always loving like that can be tough at times but that is exactly what love is.

On this Valentine’s Day, I hope you can appreciate this kind of love if you have it in your life.  If not, I hope and pray that you will find it one day.  God Bless!!

Merry Christmas to You!

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAI wanted to wish my friends, family, blogs followers and readers a very Merry Christmas!  Hope you have a very blessed holiday!

A few Sundays ago, our Pastor told a story in his sermon that is what I think the holiday is all about.  An autistic boy had a part in the Christmas play.

He played the inn keeper and was supposed to tell Joseph and Mary that there was no room for them in the inn.

Instead this boy said, “I know what I am supposed to say, but Mary and Joe, there is room.  Why don’t you take my room?”

Isn’t that the sweetest? This boy knew that Christmas and Christ are about love and helping others!  May we all live that kind of life!!

This Christmas Eve and Christmas, I look forward to time with family and dear friends, good food, baking cookies, going to church tonight with my family, cookies and hot chocolate after the service, watching Ian open his gifts and stocking on Christmas morning, and the love of the Christ Child!

Here are a few quotes about Christmas:

  • “The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.”– Burton Hillis
  • “From home to home, and heart to heart, from one place to another. The warmth and joy of Christmas brings us closer to each other.” — Emily Matthews
  • “The joy of brightening other lives, bearing each others’ burdens, easing other’s loads and supplanting empty hearts and lives with generous gifts becomes for us the magic of Christmas.” — WC Jones
  • “For centuries men have kept an appointment with Christmas. Christmas means fellowship, feasting, giving and receiving, a time of good cheer, home.”– W. J. Tucker
  • “At Christmas, all roads lead home.”– Marjorie Holmes
  • “Christmas is the season of joy, of holiday greetings exchanged, of gift-giving, and of families united.” –Norman Vincent Peale
  • “Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.”– Laura Ingalls Wilder

May you have a blessed and wonderful Christmas!  Remember that Jesus is the Reason for the Season!!!

The Hiding Place

“This is what the past is for! Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see.” — Corrie ten Boom

This was a quote from “The Hiding Place.”  I remember this book growing up since my mother had a copy of it.  We were always quite impressed with this woman who was such a pillar of Christianity.

Last night, I was again reminded of how truly amazing she was.  The Insp network aired “The Hiding Place” movie, which was released in 1975 by the Billy Graham Association.

Although this is an amazing movie about Christian faith and Christianity, it is very hard to watch.  I shed a lot of tears over what happened to ten Boom and her family.

A short synopsis from IMDB (an Internet movie database) states, “Suspected of hiding Jews and caught breaking rationing rules, they (the ten Boom family) are sent to a concentration camp where their Christian faith keeps them from despair and bitterness.  Corrie must learn to forgive.”

When I started watching the movie, Corrie, her sister Betsie, and their father Casper and some other family were running a clock shop in Holland.  They later started assisting Jews when the Nazis invaded their country.  They hid them in a portion of their house and allowed them to live with them.

Then, one day, they got caught.  The entire family was kicked out of their house for alleged crimes and their home was boarded up.  As they were being driven away, Casper tells the Nazis that if he is allowed to stay in his home to die, he will open it to as many Jews as he can.  Needless to say, the soldiers don’t like that comment at all.  But, what a powerful thing to say as he was being whisked away with nothing.

This family truly lived and practiced their faith each and every day.  This was shown both before and after they were taken away from their home and business.  They were then separated for a while.  The sisters are eventually reunited and find out their dear father had died.  They are subsequently sent to a concentration camp with many other women.

The women were crammed into train cars with almost no possessions and transported for a few days without food or water.  They were then crammed into rooms and forced to work without adequate rest, water, food, or medication.  Each day, they are given one small portion and one small bowl of soup.  They are treated as animals, well worse than any animal should ever be treated.

It is painful to see people being treated like less than a person.  No respect or dignity was given to these women who were accused but not convicted of crimes.  The hardest thing to realize is that so many people went through this — men, women, and children.  And, to realize that this movie was a true story and actually happened to a family makes be tear up just thinking about.

I truly do not and cannot understand hating someone that much.  How can you treat another human being so cruelly?  It makes no sense to me and I must say I am thankful that it doesn’t.  This movie shows so well what happens when evil takes over and the love of God is not present.

And, yet is was present for Corrie and Betsie — despite all they were dealing with, they prayed daily and read their Bible, which they snuck into the camp.  I was in awe of being able to still believe in our Lord despite everything.  They both realized that He loves us no matter what and is always there to help us through whatever trial we are going through.  And, they discuss the fact that He too was beaten and suffered and died on a cross.

Corrie does tell her sister at one point that she hates the Nazis, but she still prays for them.  As scripture says, we are to love one another and pray for those who persecute us.  These incredibly strong women did just that.  What a powerful lesson to learn from them.

If women in that situation can believe that, surely I can do the same.  I must say that hearing such an incredible testimony has strengthened my faith and appreciation for all the freedoms that I have.

The fact I have food, water, can read my Bible, and worship as I do are so precious and wonderful and amazing gifts.  May I never take them for granted.

I hope that you too can realize how much God loves you and will be there for you no matter what.

Some quotes from the incredible Corrie ten Boom:

  • “Even as the angry vengeful thoughts boiled through me, I saw the sin of them. Jesus Christ had died for this man; was I going to ask for more? Lord Jesus, I prayed, forgive me and help me to forgive him….Jesus, I cannot forgive him. Give me your forgiveness….And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world’s healing hinges, but on His. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives along with the command, the love itself,” from “The Hiding Place.”
  • “Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.”
  • “What wings are to a bird, and sails to a ship, so is prayer to the soul.”
  • “You can never learn that Christ is all you need, until Christ is all you have.”

The Ability to Forgive

“To err is human, to forgive divine.”

This morning I saw a story on the news that gave me pause.  A woman was explaining a situation she was in that in her mind was unforgivable.

I can totally understand how she would feel this way.  You see, her daughter was killed in a hit-and-run car accident.  And, her daughter was pregnant at the time of the accident so she lost two loved ones.

She did say that the man who caused the accident ran from it, went home, cleaned up his car, and then went on with this life with no apparent thought or conscious about what he had done.  She mentioned that she could have forgiven him if he had owned up to what was done but instead he ran away.  Thankfully he has been arrested for this crime.

I feel truly awful for this woman who lost so much in such a senseless act and can totally feel for her.  As a mother, I could not even imagine the pain of losing a child.  And, I too would be truly devastated.

The fact that she even said she might have been able to forgive is amazing to me, considering what happened to her family.  Forgiveness is truly one of the hardest things ever in life since it means having to come to terms with something that is often the absolute worst in one’s life.

Can we truly do this as Christ calls us to do?  Can we forgive someone when they have taken something away that is the most precious thing in our life?  Truly we don’t know how we would feel until we are in that situation.  And, sometimes it takes years, if it can ever be done.

And it also made me stop and think, are there things which are unforgivable?  What do you think?

As I mentioned, we are called by Christ to forgive one another.  But that is a very difficult thing to do.  To let go of the pain and the anger is a real challenge.  And sometimes it takes each and every day for years to see if we can forgive.  And sometimes in life we may never get there.

But I think the thing to remember for our own sanity’s sake and our own well-being, is that we do have to try.  Otherwise we can be eaten up by the hate and the anger and the loss.  And that is no way to live.

My own family has been dealing with a terrible loss which is very hard to forgive and let go of.  We are struggling with it each day.  My sister-in-law was brutally murdered during a home invasion while my brother-in-law (my hubby’s brother) was away on business.  I wasn’t very close to them but still feel the loss and have seen the effect on our family.  During the crime, my niece was seriously injured but thankfully and amazingly did survive.

She and her father have been a true inspiration to me as they have dealt with this horrible situation.  They are coping the best they can and have even started a scholarship for nurses in my sister-in-law’s name that is helping people in the profession that she loved so much.  Wow, what a great thing to focus on.

They also worked to change the law in their state for such a crime to include the death penalty as a punishment.  This wasn’t in place at the time.  However, four young people were found guilty of these crimes and are in prison for a long time to come.

I don’t have the answers to forgiveness but know beyond a doubt that it cannot be put into practice without God’s help.  To do this on our own with our own human minds just doesn’t work.  Do you have thoughts on this?  Please share them.

Here is a quote that sums up to me in a nutshell what forgiveness is.  It is from the http://www.livelifehappy.com web site.

“Forgiveness isn’t something we do for other people.  We do it for ourselves to get well and move on.”

If you are dealing with a situation that to you seems unforgivable, my hope and prayer is that you can remember a quote like that.  It may just be what you need to hear.  I know that it has been for me.

What is a hero?

There have been two articles recently about people who the media are calling heroes in the midst of unimaginable tragedy.  Yet neither of them is calling themselves a hero.

That to me is amazing — as are they.

First was the assistant coach of a football team at a school in Ohio.  He helped students during a school shooting.  He truly risked his safety to help the students and helped during an event that could have gone a lot worse.

But, when talking to the media, he said no, he’s not a hero.  He added that he wished he could have done more.

Wow, humility and wishing to do more when you already have done so much!  What a gentleman.

And, then there is the mother who lost parts of both of her legs while protecting her children during a tornado that destroyed her house.   Knowing a tornado was coming directly at her house, this amazing lady wrapped her son and daughter in a blanket, then put her body over them to protect them.

She was interviewed this morning on the “Today Show.”  She said, I am not a hero, I am a mom. She explained that what she did was instinct and like a mother bear protecting her cubs.

Again, wow!  This woman is so humble and now injured and her entire life changed, but she feels blessed since her children and she and her husband are all alive.

Both of these stories brought me to tears and stirred emotion.  Yet they were also so compelling since neither person thought what they did was heroic.  What amazing people!

Too often I think we praise people for the wrong things and celebrate behavior that really isn’t very heroic at all.  Stars of all kinds are called heroes and love to bask in their glory. Yet, is what they do truly a heroic thing?

Isn’t it refreshing to hear of people who aren’t basking but instead saying, I should have done more, and this was an instinctual thing that was done? I think it is.  And, I think that these people and the many more like them should be praised and celebrated as people that we can truly learn from on how to behave.

Merriam-Webster defines a hero as “a man admired for his achievements and noble qualities and “one who shows great courage.”

To me, both of these people showed great courage, as many others so.  For example, this is the same as soldiers do when they are in a foreign land fighting for our freedoms;

  • Or as a fireman does while running into a burning building to see if anyone has survived and then to help them in and run back in to fight the fire;
  • Or as a policeman going to work each day not knowing what dangerous or troubled people he or she will be called on to assist;
  • Or as a doctor traveling to a dangerous country to help someone in need;
  • Or as a missionary and/or the Red Cross going to a country that is dealing with a natural disaster to witness and help clean up the mess;
  • Or as passengers on an airplane that decide to crash it instead of letting it land somewhere where more destruction can be done;.
  • Or as a spouse caring for their dying loved one and supporting them the entire time throughout that journey and the person dealing with the prospect of dying and leaving behind those most cared about.

There are many more examples of being a hero and of showing courage.  Those are just a few.  I’d love to hear from you and know your thoughts.  Please comment and share them.

I wonder if we can live as these heroes and show great courage? It is certainly something to emulate.