Hey there! Welcome to the adventure! Not so adventurous today, though. Grab a cuppa something suitable, and pick out a nice comfy spot. Today is just for fun. We’re still in February, still the ‘month of love’, so I’ll keep talking about love. Literal puppy dog love. I’m sitting here on the sofa, with my dog’s head stuck under my arm, in the crook of my elbow as I type this. She’s a good girl, and I’m gone a lot. Tonight she wants snuggles. I want to write. So we are. I know the drill. In a minute or two, she will start nudging me a lot, and licking my face. Then she will wag her tail. Eventually she will pretty much head-butt me. Then she will jump off the sofa, stand across the living room and do her best to make eye contact. I’ll finally ask her what she wants, and she will smartly jerk her nose in the general direction of the kitchen and the treat jar. Every night. And if I don’t get up quickly, she will lie down, then start the entire routine all over again in a few minutes. Hang on, I’ll be right back. 😉
She’s happy now. In a little while, she will want outside. Then in a little while longer, say around 11pm, she will be back up in my face telling me it’s bedtime. She usually ends up going to bed without me. I’m a night owl; she’s an old dog. I think she’ll be 12 this July. Gray around the muzzle. A touch of arthritis in one shoulder. Weather makes it act up. But she’s happy. That tail is always going. She loves me even when I’m tired, even when I’m cranky.
Then my mind wanders to love and how we give it and how we receive it and who gets it. There are lots of books out there on love and relationships. There are books on how to get out of a relationship. There are books on “Love Languages”.
My dad showed his love in lots of ways. He smiled at us. He encouraged us. He worked hard to provide for us. He made sure to spend time playing with us, too. He listened to us. He helped us when we needed it, corrected us when we needed that. He spent time with us, taught us to do a variety of things. He once explained to me how I should go about changing the u-joints in my station wagon. I gathered the tools, jacked up the car in the gravel drive, and changed the joints. I saved the old parts, lowered the car, cleaned the tools and put them away. And the car ran perfectly. He was proud of me that day, and I was proud of me that day. I think even my husband was impressed that evening!
Mom and I never had that warm fuzzy type of relationship. For many years, I didn’t know how much she loved me. She taught me to read, to sew. She taught me to do domestic chores right or not at all… sort of. More like, do it right or get out of the way while I do it. There was always some way to improve whatever I was doing. My friends who knew her always mentioned how giving she was. As I thought back, she was a giver. She just didn’t talk about it. Just roll up your sleeves and make the birthday cake. Fix the food for the relatives coming over for the 4th of July. Bake a batch of cookies for someone to enjoy. What I saw as a lack of joy or love, was actually just attention to detail that made it all come out well – love.
There’s someone else whose love I often miss or overlook. Jesus loves me all the time. Good, bad, indifferent, He loves me.
If you don’t know that He loves you, or think He doesn’t, please believe me when I tell you I know He loves you, too. He cares. He’s there for you. I’ve been pretty bad sometimes – and He never gave up on me and eventually His love won and pulled me out of a destructive lifestyle. If you can’t seem to connect with that love, find a pastor or priest. They can help you discover His love and help you get connected to Him in a wonderful relationship. It’s not about rules, or what we’ve done or not done. It’s about recognizing His love for us, and allowing Him to love us into better versions of who we are.
I think I’ll spend a few extra minutes telling Him I love Him, too. Sounds like a great project for February, the month of love.