(A REFLECTION AND A BENEDICTION)
Monday, February 14th
As I write this Valentine’s Day post, my treasured relationships with family and friends are especially on my mind and in my heart…
This weekend, we finally had our Christmas family gathering! We have planned and postponed several family vacations and holiday gatherings in recent years, so this was the first time most of our family had been together in almost three years. I savored the moments, feeling so very grateful to have our dear ones gathered together once again.
In this pandemic time, I have been grateful for Jim, my husband and friend, as we explored new ways of living and being together, serving as each other’s only company for much of the time.
My heart has been with our mothers as they continue to age, for our siblings who help care for them, and for our siblings who have concerns of their own.
I have worried for our daughters and their families as they have endured the difficult challenges of school and daycare closures, additional work loads, and the almost daily undoing of plans. I have worried for our sons as distance and disease kept them so very isolated from us for so long.
Our spirits have been uplifted by our grandchildren, as we proudly admire the way our older grandsons have matured into wonderful young men, and as we happily delight in the innocent joy of our younger grandsons and granddaughter.
In recent months, we have begun reconnecting with friends, now that we have been vaccinated and boosted. I have relished our times together, grateful for the conversations and laughter that we have missed, relieved by the sense of normalcy returning.
So, today as I was journaling about the different kinds of love I feel – the different ways that I love the people in my life – I ended my reflections by asking God this question:
God of deep love, what would you have me know today?
Loving Wife, Mom, Grammy, Sister, Daughter, Friend,
Love comes in all different forms, doesn’t it? You experience the adoring, intimate, and partnering love of being a wife, the proud, sacrificial, and protective love of being a mom, the joyful and affectionate love of being a Grammy, the supportive, companioning love of being a sister, the caring, patient love of being a daughter, and the sharing, companioning love of being a friend.
Do you know that I love you in ALL of these ways?
Isn’t this so incredible to imagine? What a gift we have in our God, who loves us in every way! On this Valentine’s Day, we all can feel beloved by the One who loves us – perfectly and completely.
Thank you, God.
Your love is an infinite love.
Yet we are unaware
that you are here among us
and we lose our expectation –
of your presence and your promise
that you will always care
and miss your love that still abounds
in constant revelation.
Your love is an intimate love.
You know our deepest soul
and you long to partner with us
in prayerful exploration
of hidden things you will reveal
as you help to make us whole
in our journey of discovery
and mutual adoration.
Your love is a protective love.
You watch and guard and wait
for all of us, your children,
always carefully attending.
There is no place you will not go,
no sacrifice too great;
the immensity of your kindness
is beyond our comprehending.
Your love is a delighting love.
May we, your children grow
in joyful hope and peaceful love
from your genuine affection.
As you desire to be with us
we ask that you will show
us more of you; that we will keep
becoming your reflection.
Your love is a companioning love
and we have come to find
your patience and your goodness
as our trusted, faithful friend.
As you continue on with us
may we so humbly bind
ourselves as true companions
sharing love that has no end.
Photo by Karen