Monday, February 15, 2016

But The Greatest of These is LOVE

The next best thing besides Hallmark Christmas movies are Hallmark Valentines Day movies
I have always loved this holiday 
Picking out Valentines for my class was as exciting as making a list for Christmas
I am not kidding
I was thaaaat little girl
Always giddy with the idea of choosing just the right one from each classmate 
I drove my young self crazy trying to decide which one to give my crush that year

Do I go with the straight forward "I like you" then maybe he would ask to play with me at recess
Or be "friend-zone" and go with the "You are super cool"
Oh, yes, real drama for Valentines Day

Then I grew up and the holiday become full of red roses, chocolate and awkward stuffed bears
Girls are pretty easy, at least I am
Chocolate, dark chocolate, chocolate 
And maybe a red rose thrown in there

But lets be honest, this is my 9th Valentines Day without a "valentine" so those things don't come around every year so buying chocolate for myself has become my everyday Valentines Day tradition...

....And I am completely ok with that and here is why....

I truly do love Valentines Day
But this holiday means so much more than just decorating with red hearts, having a special someone to buy you presents, or bring you roses and take you out to a fancy dinner 
 (Dont get me wrong, the hopeless romantic in me does look forward to that!)

Valentines Day represents LOVE, right?
pure, sweet, overwhelming, passionate LOVE

All kinds of love that fill our lives
Love for family
Love for friends
Love for your significant other
ALL LOVE should be celebrated!

But, ALL those kind of "loves" stem from the most important love of all
all consuming
deeply passionate
never ending
forever forgiving and always flowing love from our Lord and Savior

"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son,
that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."
John 3:16 

God sent His only son to die FOR ALL OF US
And because of what Jesus did on the cross, because He gave the ultimate sacrifice 
He has showed us the truest, most passionate, sweet, pure, overwhelming love of them all

Because who He is  
Because His LOVE for us
When we love Him deeper, we love others better
Our love for others becomes more real and easier 
We can realize that we love not because we "feel" like it, or "have to", but because HE loved us first

Now THAT is something to celebrate with others or by ourselves on Valentine's Day, but especially every single day of our lives 

And here is why this year Valentines Day was probably one of the BEST I have ever had (yes, even without a Valentine) 
1) Hillsong Phoenix: Our Church just announced that we are the 16th Global Location for Hillsong church. THIS IS A HUGE DEAL PEOPLE! There are only two more in the US- New York and Los Angeles and now PHOENIX! This will most likely be another post because I am so excited, but today this was the perfect reminder of God's perfect timing and the little glimpse of His perfect plan over my life
2) Then after church, some of us went out to lunch, then I got to hangout with this chick for a bit! Brooke has come into my life through AdvoCare and now attending church with me. She is young, but passionate about life, being greater and believing deeper. She will do great things. LOVE being able to pour into her. 

So we found this which was so fitting for the day

3)  Later that night I went down to Chandler. My home away from home. Love this place. Love this family. These two Arizona "nephews" surprised me with white roses and hand made cards- melt my heart!

4) I stayed the night down in Chandler and got to hangout with this woman and her family the next day. We walked around the park, dreamed about neighborhoods and new houses and then went to lunch downtown Chandler. She is family and so thankful for her in my life. 

So, even on the sappiest, most romantic holidays of the year
Where I am surrounded by couples in love
(no joke, two of my friends got engaged this weekend!) 
I still have faith
I still hope
I still have love
"Faith, Hope and Love remain. But the greatest of these is LOVE."
Because I know the only love I need, the only one that fulfills me, today and everyday, does not come from any man, stuffed animal, fancy dinner, or red roses

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