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Posts Tagged ‘Unconditional Love’

A few years ago, my mother’s heart was stretched, torn and worn in a teen challenge. Teen Challenges are a journey, both to the teen and the parent, a faith journey, an unconditional love journey. I created 27 Unconditional Love Rules during that journey to help keep me loving, believing, speaking faith and hope.  For the last few months, I’ve wanted to whittle those 27 Unconditional Love Rules into a leaner, stronger presentation to encourage other mothers facing Teen Challenges to not give up hope in God’s plan for their teen’s life, to walk and talk faith when there is no evidence to support that faith, and to love unconditionally when no merit for it exists.

Introduction

Unconditional Love, True Love, lives in a real world, with real challenges and other real emotions. It is incredibly beautiful Unconditional Love. But it takes lots of strength, courage and faith. A little humbleness, too. A little taking the back seat sometimes and a lot of never giving up! Unconditional Love is all encompassing. It loves your husband, your children, your friends, God – even strangers. I would not want to live without it.

Even when someone does something expressly against your wishes, like dump the chicken noodle soup down the side of the sink without the garbage disposal, does not wear their seat belt when driving without you, or gets a tattoo, Unconditional Love loves.

Unconditional Love sees your child (whether little, teen or grown), spouse or parent through God’s Eyes.

If you cannot see it now – ask Him!

He will show you through His Eyes!

It is life changing!

Changing how you think, the words you use, the feeling in your heart, the expressions on your face!

Believe me! It is liberating.

Kind of like God handing me His glasses with Hope and Faith Lenses

letting me see

what God sees

and

it

changed

everything

Unconditional Love knows how I love is not determined by success or failure
Recognizing that sometimes failure is the biggest step to success,
resulting in my needing to step back,
take my hands-off
hold the tears inside
staunch the fear that tries to rush out with a mental and emotional tourniquet
choke off words that do not need or are not ready to be said
believing that failure is sometimes the gas to the engine of success

How do you  know when you are loving unconditionally? Unconditional Love is like invisible ink. While the invisible ink is made visible by heat, another chemical or ultraviolet light, unconditional love is made visible by uncomfortable situations resulting in pain, disappointment, anger from another’s behavior. So how do you know when you love unconditionally? When you are uncomfortable, don’t really want to, aren’t feeling it, but choose to love anyway – then you are loving unconditionally.

PPPPSSSSsssssssttttt. . . . Unconditional Love – the God-kind of Unconditional Love is not reserved just for your very favorite people. It is a type of love that is like a Spring Rain, showering on everyone who comes into contact with you.

Unconditional Love is found in a Mary Poppins-Bag-kind-of-heart that is deep enough to fill with love for as many people, not as it can hold because the Mary Poppins bag is bottomless, but for as many people as you choose to love. It is priceless!

Unconditional Love grows, and groWS, and gROWS and GROWS

over days, with months, years

in sunshine and storms

if we let it

if we don’t hoard it

Then it grows, re-seeds, spreads like buttercups in a field

Unconditional Love is a choice.

Choose Unconditional Love

  1. Unconditional Love Rule #1: The Greatest Sacrifice of All
  2. Unconditional Love Rule #2:  Tear Ducts Required
  3. Unconditional Love Rule #3: Always Finds A Way
  4. Unconditional Love Rule #4: No Condescension Allowed
  5. Unconditional Love Rule #5: Wait with Grace
  6. Unconditional Love Rule #6: Drags Unwilling Feet
  7. Unconditional Love Rule #7: No Complaining Allowed
  8. Unconditional Love Rule #8: Releases
  9. Unconditional Love Rule  #9 Stops Talking
  10. Unconditional Love Rule #10: Meets Others Where They Are
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A year ago when I wrote this post, a son went from cap-and-gown to boots-and-uniforms. the  My prayers went where I could not. They still do. Parenting is a faith journey. Sometimes it is a hard faith journey – but a year later, looking back, a years worth of journey has seen prayers answered and good changes that do a mother’s heart glad. A year later is sometimes an encouraging place to be. Please enjoy with me a post about unconditional love in the journey.

Unconditional Love recognizes that there are roads loved ones must travel alone.

Maybe  over 100 years ago, people understood those kinds of journeys much better, the literal journey helping to better understand the figurative journey. When you stepped out the family door to start a journey, communication and physical contact was like disappearing into thin air. Parents did not consider it lack of love from their off-spring or even rebellion battling for independence. It was just life in a revolutionary country known for pushing the boundaries of existence.

Meriwether Lewis was only 26 years old when he was commissioned for the Lewis and Clark expedition. It was a journey his mother didn’t take with him.  Or Benjamin Bonneville who, according to a list of notable West Point graduates, “explored and mapped the Great Salt Lake and the Green, Snake, Salmon and Yellowstone Rivers.”  Then, there is Davey Crockett who ran away from home at age 13 before returning at age 16. All left home, going into places where communication with parents was minimal or non-existent. Unless communication occurred via letters, contact over long periods of time was practically non-existent.

All these men left home and by leaving home became men strong enough to carry the burdens of great responsibility.

Lewis and Bonneville left home out of logical design. Much smoother. Much friendlier. Probably leaving hearts warmed with pride and eyes threatening tears at a son going out into the world – to continue life’s journey.

Crockett left out of passion. Probably leaving a mother’s heart frantic, filled with despair, and maybe a little broken-ness inside. He returned 3 years later, to fulfill his obligations, making things right – and went on to become a national hero.

Yes, even today sometimes, we have to let loved ones travel alone, without that mama contact, without the safety-net, without help or words of love and encouragement that are bursting from a father or mother’s heart; sometimes without closure. Sometimes those journeys are fraught with mortal and spiritual danger. Sometimes it takes that kind of journey for them to finally recognize and embrace the person they were designed to become. Unconditional Love lets go like that.

We are spoiled today with instant communication. Everything is at our fingertips. However, growing into maturity is not an instant thing. At times like this, when our loved ones are on unreachable journeys, prayer can reach them, touch them, love them for us – when our words and our arms cannot. When we cannot sustain relationship, prayer still loves.

“So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.” (Ezekiel 22:30)

Our children, regardless of age, need us to “stand in the gap” before our Father, even when they are adults and in charge of their own spiritual health – we need to encourage them through prayer.

21 Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.”

 23Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”

 24He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”

 25The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.

 26He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”

 27“Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”

 28 Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.(Matt 15:21-28)

A  mother interceding for her children through prayer. Touching their lives more effectively through prayer than with a hug or with words. Prayer can go places you cannot. Prayer allows a mother or father to connect when a child’s journey does not allow connection.

Letting go is a growing thing: a faith thing: a prayer thing – sometimes a necessary thing.

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Tonight, a little worn out from my new job, cooking dinner, washing a bit of dishes – and I just wanted to write and go within myself. Unleash the thoughts bottled up during work.

My little guy, he came in as I sat down. “Can you help me now?” he asked. “Help me clean my room and move the bed. I’ve got the Lego’s picked up.”

My illustrator, he likes his room organized. Sometimes, it explodes with all his creativity – and he just needs companionship to muddle through it.

I left my quiet time, fenced in those racing ideas – and followed my son, my illustrator. Not as though I had lost something or as though something was taken from me. Interaction was intentional, focused – on his words, his ideas, his goals – and the being together, the interaction.

In the fasting of self, true love grows, with seeds left over for sharing.

Unconditional love fasts self and counts it blessing.

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Unconditional Love cries – because sometimes it just has to. . .

God knew we would need to cry. He created tear ducts, after all. Sometimes great joy and great sorrow so threaten to burst the seams of our mortality that without these tear ducts, we would explode.

He knew there would be times of weeping, even wailing – in darkened closets so our children don’t hear or within the arms of our loved ones. He tells us so (Ecc. 3:4).

He knew there would be days our souls would scratch with the emotional sackcloth of grief, humbleness, and, yes, even repentence. He said so (Psalm 30:11).

I am not talking about crying over the big things like death, just the living and growing things, as simple as word and action challenges with our children.

For you and for me, we cry – sometimes over the same things. Sometimes it is the straw that breaks the camels back that starts a torrent of tears. That straw for me might leave you incredulous, “You’re crying over that?” The straw that breaks you might lead me to look askance, “You’re crying over that?” That realization humbles me – different catalysts might cause that breaking point where our heart angst moves those tears inside out.

But I bet the underlying reason for all those tears – is a mother’s love.

Because mothering is not always easy. Mothering hurts – and unlike childbirth, there are no pain medications offered for day-to-day mothering to help minimize or control the pain.

Except for these tear ducts.

In the last few years, there has been something new mixed in with my tears. Prayer. Scripture. Murmurings of faith. Instead of turning my grief, my hurt, my over-whelmedness inside, I turn it out  – my prayers spoken in tandem with those tears,  “Lord Jesus, Have Mercy on Me. . . .Greater is He that’s in me than He that’s in the World. . . The Lord is my Rock, my Fortress, my Deliverer. . . Deliver me. . . Deliver my child. . . Be with me. . . . Be with my child. . . .”

Because if my spirit is so grieved, then how must my child feel? be? need? I cry because there is a need – something that affects not only their now but their tomorrow. And inside me, maybe it’s the helplessness, the over-whelmingness, the solution blindness, the hurt, the frustration, the cross-eyed exasperation – and the straw that broke the camel’s back – it bubbles up like a shaken soda pop – and overflows into the messiness of a wailing soul evidenced by these tears that slip through those ducts that God made just for such an outpouring of need. . . for Him.

“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book” (Psalm 56:8)

Unconditional Love cries to release the pain in our mother hearts. Those tears are not all about us but also for the one we cry for, cry out of love for. When we cry out of love, not selfishness, I think, God honors those tears, that unconditional love that fill us to the brim so that it overflows through out tear ducts.

Sowing love through tears. Sowing prayer through tears. Sowing hope and faith through tears.

Yesterday, I cried over a straw-that-broke-the-camels-back reason. And God collected those tears in His bottle, recorded the story of each tear – and the prayer, the faith, the hope prayed with each tear – those tears will be answered with songs of joy, each wail will have the opportunity to turn into a song to which we dance with joy.

God was prepared for those tears. He was waiting to collect them. He wants our hearts to love like that.

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