Happy St. Valentines Day to all of you.
For me, today is extremely bittersweet. Today makes exactly ONE month that I've been without my baby boy. The thought of that physically feels like someone is ripping my heart out of my chest. Knowing that I haven't done a bath, a dressing change, said night-night prayers, or kissed those sweet lips in ONE whole month seems so unreal to me right now.
A true nightmare.
But I'll tell you why today also makes me smile- because today is about LOVE.
And I know all about love. Tripp taught me love. He taught me love like I've never known it before. What I've learned MOST from him is unconditional love.
A love so strong that nothing can break it... not even death. A love that shines through pain, anger, and exhaustion, but also through times of complete joy and trust. Tripp taught me that every day counts- and that every minute matters. He loved me with his whole tired little heart every minute he was alive. Never once while he was alive did I think that my job as a mom was hard. I was doing what I was supposed to be doing- all I knew how to do, and all I wanted to do. He lead me through every day and every hour by showering me with love like I've never known before. He was wise and holy beyond his years. I believe that with all my heart. I believe that he knew exactly what would happen in his time here on Earth- down to the very last minute. I believe he carried out God's plan for him.
God's plan to show true LOVE.
All of us have said "I love you" to someone at least once in our lives, I would assume, right?
Well think about what that means. What IS the definition of love? The best definition I can think of would be the one we have heard over and over. It's the letter that St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians (possibly around 30 years after the time of Jesus) in efforts to teach us how to live our lives as God had instructed us.
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."
-1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Now... do we really love each other? Have we broken these verses apart and thought about what God is really telling us to do and how to live?
Are we really patient with each other, with our kids, with the person in front of us in line, or the person who cut us off in traffic?
Are we kind? Do we go out of our way to do nice things for one another? Do we visit our loved ones who are sick or homebound? Do we say nice things to each other or is all that comes out of our mouths ugliness and gossip?
Are we JEALOUS? Do we spend every waking hour wishing we looked like someone else or are we so proud that we think are better than someone else?
Are we so selfish that we forget about the feelings of others? Do we forget that we are here to get to heaven... not here to see how much money we can obtain in this lifetime, or how many friends we can acquire on Facebook?
Do we forgive (the hardest, most dreaded task we are ordered to do)? Do we skip family functions because we are still angry at Aunt Sally because of something that happened 10 years ago? Do we avoid a friend in the grocery store because of something that happened that has absolutely no meaning to us anymore? Life is SHORT, people... and life here on this Earth has one purpose and one purpose ONLY-
TO GET US TO HEAVEN.
Do we just have to love God and our spouse, children, and family?
Or are we instructed to love EVERYONE?
"The most important commandment is this: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."
Are our neighbors just the people who live next door? Our neighbors are anyone and everyone around us. They are the person in front of you in line, they are the person that cuts you off in traffic, they are even the orphans in far off countries.
Why are we wasting so much of our energy on things that just don't matter?
Why are we storing up all of the LOVE we have to offer? What are we waiting for?
Today- for me and for Tripp- do something SO special for someone that it makes God smile.
It doesn't even matter if that person appreciates it or not- just do it. Step out of your comfort zone! Pick up the tab/bill of a stranger, help someone carry their groceries, visit a family member that you haven't seen in years, or just simply hold the door open for someone.
What happened to the world when people did nice things for one another without needing anything in return? Pay it forward. Every action and every small deed counts. You never know when you are making a difference in someone's life.
And I promise you... that you will feel so good about yourself that you might even want to do something nice for someone EVERY DAY (gasp)!
And the next time you tell someone you LOVE them, think about what it means to LOVE them. Do you say it out of habit or because it's what you think you're supposed to say? And better yet, try just SHOWING someone you love them without even saying it.
Because, we've all heard it before... but it's so true:
Actions speak louder than words.
So make your time here on Earth worth something, because you never know when your time will be up!!
"And he said: 'I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven'."