Thursday, February 2, 2012

Love Month

Babies went down early. Hubby and I pulled out paper and scissors - a morning surprise for our sweet girls. White snowflakes and red hearts, symbols of winter and love.

We woke before the sun, wandered downstairs, bellies growling for eggs. Tim and I smiled our secret to each other. Wait to see who notices first.

Standing in the kitchen, peeling a pomelo, feel the tiny one brush my leg as she races past to see what joy is taped to the window. She squeals a cry to her sister to enjoy what she's found. Big sis runs in. She's long past walking toward something exciting. Ooo, Pretty!

What is it? I ask as they stare.

She points to the big red heart. It's Daddy. That's how little girl daddies should be known.

Whoops. Little fingers don't understand frail paper. First snowflake rips. We reach for tape. They might not last the afternoon.

They might also be the only snowflakes we see this unusually tepid winter. The 65 degree January weather brought smug nods from climate change worriers. We're a quarter of an inch above sea level (give or take). If they're right, they should move inland. I digress.

I am a staunch un-observer of Valentine's Day. No special dates or flowers; no anti-parties either. It's just February 14th, two days before my dad's birthday, the day my grandfather died years before I was born. Every year, it sneaks up on me, then slips past without another thought. So why now?

While we were still weak, at just the right time Christ died for the ungodly... but God shows his love for us in that while we still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

I once heard this verse described thus: Christ suffered the cross while we were still shooting God the bird.

The Lord has blessed me with His word of grace. I need a spoon. Is there such a thing, a Bible spoon, scripture ladle? I'm using shelved grad school skills to hold fast to truth: index cards, memory cues, practice aloud. Must no lose these lessons to the dust of untouched journal entries.

Romans 5 was simply in my reading plan today. Without knowing me, Ann Voskamp blogged love yesterday. My February BSF parenting prayer: Love for my spouse modeled for my children. God is laying hints so loudly even this half-deaf woman cannot ignore.
So hearts go up to remind me to pray for love, practice love, praise God for his love. Redeem a Hallmark holiday to be a lesson in the "greatest of these" gift.

This love month, to memorize and meditate on the "never stopping, never giving up, unbreaking, always and forever love" of God:

If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? Who is to condemn? Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? No, in all these thing we are more than conquerors through him who loves us. For I am sure the neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:31-39

As I learn to love my neighbor, my family and friends:

Let love be genuine. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Romans 12:9-10
Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments are summed up in this word: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. Romans 13:8-11

Paper hearts, illuminated by the southerly sun, point me to the God who did not spare his only son in his love for us.

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