Notes To the Ones...

To the ones who teach me love in belonging in the way you accept me into your lives. 

I should have no longer been received by you as our ties were seemingly severed. Yet, you continued to call me family. You light up when I walk in. Your smile, from ear to ear, hugely and definitely love. You hug like you haven't seen me in a long time, every time. 

Your heart unwrapped the depth and wideness of  how God wants us to belong. You teach me to make space in my heart for others who were not my family either and they became so. Wouldn't you know they brought more love with them.

To the ones who teach me love in forgiveness and helped set me free from that prison of bitterness. 

I didn't deserve that you would set me free of all I said to hurt you. All I did that put fear in your heart. How you felt unprotected, alone, and rejected by who I used to be. Your heart of forgiveness and reconciliation restores me. You unwrap love in God's grace and mercy in me and through me. 

You teach me to forgive and even understand that reconciliation may not always be possible. But, I thank God for us it is. I'm learning to give forgiveness freely and often.

To the ones who teach me to soar through your selfless life-words.

You write to encourage me in my interests and dreams. Your spoken words inspire me to stay true to who God has made me. 

I often compare myself, my God gifts and God dreams to others. You gently tell me what you see in me. You remind me that all I do is uniquely tailored by God. You tenderly keep me grounded on my adventures. 

You revel in the small and big wonders I discover. You celebrate in the simple and amazing joys I find. You unwrap the true meaning of being God's masterpiece by your transparency and solid counsel. 

To you who let me be imperfect in my frustrations, chaos, and in the "not-so-awesome" choices I might make. 

You set me free from pressure and expectations that are not from God. Instead, you unwrap the beauty of who He is in and through my struggles, challenges, downfalls, and outright sin.

You have unwrapped love in Jesus as my Redeemer, Savior, Friend, and lover of my soul...Just as I am. 

All of you have given me the gift becoming. All of you allow me to process and progress at my own pace. All of you give and teach me true love.

To the ones who are strangers in my everyday. You smile or nod. You might even say hello. You hold open the store doors for me. You pick up the napkin I dropped. You genuinely compliment me on my family, self, or an item you like. You write to tell me wonderful things and yet I have never met you. I watch you help someone else you don't know. I see you let another go ahead of you. 

You unwrap the mystery of love in how we don't know each other and yet you reach out and fill my heart in the everyday.  I learn to share that kind of love with others because of you. 

Soul Food:

Ephesians 3:16-19 ~ 

I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—
     not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—
that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. 
And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, 
you'll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus 
    the extravagant dimensions of Christ's love. 

Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! 
    Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! 
Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.

1 John 4:16-18 ~ 

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.   God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 

This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

With You in Mind: 

~ May you find ways to unwrap love by the example of others in your lives.
~ May you discover love in unique ways.