I am 36 years old. When I was a child..or even a young adult, I would've imagined my life to have looked a bit different at the age this relatively ripe age.
I imagined that I would be madly in love with a dashing gentleman. I imagined a fairy tale marriage, everything nice and neat and cozy..in a warm little package that looked like a big, white house..with a picket fence.
I imagined that I would be able to stay at home or take a day to shop.
Things haven't turned out that way.
Life is never cookie cutter.
Life is never really shoved into a nice, neat present wrapped up to look like our expectations.
Expectations are killers of love.
Instead, love is taking what we have been given and making the most out of what we have.
I've been thinking a lot about love lately. After all, it is the most important command in the Bible.
"Love your neighbor as yourself and love the Lord God with all of your heart." This is no simple command. It's easy to love those who treat us right, but what about the ones that don't?
That can be a bit more challenging. Turning the other cheek means that eventually you will get slapped in the face. It's inevitable.
I wonder if that is why Christ said the path is narrow?
Because sometimes it is hard to love..when your face still burns red and there is a huge handprint that looks like the past....it is most challenging and difficult to love.
I still try to be friends with my husband. I still struggle to try to love.
But through the struggle, I see my own weakness and my own faults.
I see the beast of expectation, looming over me like a moon.
And the moon?
I have always wanted it handed to me, wrapped up nicely on a silver platter.
I thought I was a candiate for it. My pain made me worthy of it, somehow.
But I am learning that it doesn't.
I am no more worthy of the moon than the person sitting next to me. My neighbor.
Love is handing the person sitting beside you, the moon. even when you want to keep it all for yourself, because you feel like you deserve it somehow.
Humililty is saying..maybe instead of wishing for the moon, I will bend my restless knees, get down on this cold floor and wash your feet.
That's what Jesus did. The night before he died. He didn't expect the moon, even the day before he was hung on a cross. No, he got down on his knees on a cold floor and washed the feet of his disciples.
Because he loved them, he gave them the moon.
A moon clothed in the beautiful white linen garmet of sacrifice.
a moon that looks like love and a candle that can never be put out.
a moon that had no expectation of love..other than to freely give it..
a love that turned the other cheek..even as He bled and suffered for people who would never love Him.
The other day I was thinking about love..about how, in order for it to work in it's fullest capacity, it has to be returned.
marriages..love...true love..takes two.
Two people who have commited to a lifetime of loving and carrying one another's cross. Sometimes, it has to start with one..but eventually, it must take two.
Two people passing the moon back and forth..balancing it between four hands and twenty fingers.
The other day I read something about trust.
Trust is the most expensive thing in the world. It takes years to earn and only seconds to lose.
The truth is that I have lost trust in men. A part of me wonders if I will ever be able to balance the moon... in hands that proudly wear a wedding ring...
But I wonder if it even matters.
I am happy. Today is my birthday.
I choose not to see the red cheekmarks from the past..from all of the times I turned the other cheek..
I choose to at least try to have no expectations of love..even though that is easier said than done....
and I choose not to worry...to cast all of my cares upon Him and trust that He knows what is best for my life.
Life may not look like what I imagined what it would look like..but it is still a good life.
What did you imagine your life to look like? Today, forget about your expectations. Count your blessings.
Today I am grateful for two amazing boys.
I am thankful for a job that allows me to travel.
I am thankful for iced coffees, the smell of the ocean,
a mother who makes peanut butter and banana french toast,
a father who builds treehouses..
a husband who tries to be nice to me, even though I may never trust him again,
I am thankful for words, beautiful words..
I am thankful for the moon that shines in the darkness and gives character to the night.
I am thankful for Jesus..hanging on that cross for a world that largely doesn't even love Him...
Well, Today, I'm just thankful..