Love is

Webster Merriam definitions of love:

a feeling of strong or constant affection for a person

strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties

warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion

the object of attachment, devotion, or admiration

unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another

the fatherly concern of God for humankind

a person’s adoration of God
The Bible’s definition of love:
1 Corinthians 13:4-8

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.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

My definition of love:

Love is the greatest gift God has ever graced the world with.

Love is the most influential, sacrificial form of affection one can give or receive.

Love is completely raw and real.

Love is serving out of the overflow of what God is doing.

Love is giving up some time to comfort a friend who is hurting.

Love is accepting people the way they are without judgement.

Love is choosing to see the good in everyone even if the bad outweighs the good.

Love is giving to others what they need before your needs are met.

Love is not the pursuit of power and knowledge, but the pursuit of selflessness.

Love is relentless investment in the friendships right in front of you.

Love is the key to a hardened heart.

Love is death on a cross for a people who deserved the pit of hell.

Love is Jesus. Jesus is love.

Without love, this world would be even more lost than it already is.

Love God, love others.

What is your definition of love?

How can you show people you love them?

Do it, say it. You never know when they will no longer be in front of you.

Characteristics of God

Brace yourselves. I’ve been reading. Basically that means I have A LOT of thoughts floating around in my head that need to be expressed. My hope is that anyone who comes across this post — or this blog in general– is encouraged by the topics I feel so strongly to write about.

ANYWAY.

I’ve been reading a book called, Understanding People, by Dr. Larry Crabb. I began reading this book last summer (2012) and unfortunately stopped after part 1. (sidenote: why do we put good books down that have the potential to teach us so much?? I hate that!)  Anyway, I picked it up again over Christmas break and now I’m wondering why I ever stopped reading.

It delves into the Christian and Biblical viewpoint as to why humans so deeply long for relationships. You hear stuff all the time from the pulpit about our longing for love and acceptance and how that is only found in Christ. I can almost assure you that those things only brush the surface of what that REALLY looks like.

This book gets down to the nitty gritty. While the first part is dense, it sets up the whole second part, which has already proven itself to provide awesome insights.

I am only a little over halfway finished but I just couldn’t help myself to write. I felt so inspired to write about something that I can’t get out of my head.

We’ve all been told that there is a “God-shaped hole” in all of us. In fact there is a song with that exact title. The greek meaning for this phrase is koilia, or hollow. I never really thought much about that phrase, because I never really thought about what it really meant.

Each one of us possess qualities of God. We all have some characteristic(s) of God that He instilled in us when we were born. But what about that so-called “God-shaped hole”. Why is it that we don’t know everything we need to know about God when we accept Him as our Lord and Savior? We are constantly longing and expecting more.

It is right to say that God is the only one who can fill that hole or void or hollowness. But usually we stop there. What part of God fills that void? Well of course all of God should fill the void, right?

We can not possibly fathom EVERY characteristic of God, but we can seek to fill that void with His precious qualities.

For the person who is bitter and cynical, the hollowness needs to be filled with the Joyful God (Psalm 105:43).

For the person who is overwhelmed with the weight of this world, the hollowness needs to be filled with the Overcoming God (John 16:33).

For the person who continues going back to their old ways, the hollowness needs to be filled with the Always New God (Isaiah 42:9).

Every person’s hollowness is going to be different than the person next to them. But since we are image-bearers of God we are given qualities that look like Him. How cool is that!

The unfortunate part is that we don’t possess every characteristic of God which is where our hole or void comes in.

We should strive to look like our Heavenly Father. Every characteristic He possesses is what we should long to have. I think God calls us to reflect on different characteristics at different times, but ultimately we will never have the hole filled until we reach the Gates of Heaven.

There will always be a characteristic or quality of God that should be explored to take on for ourselves before we leave this earth.

What qualities of God come easy for you? What qualities do you need to seek in order for Him to fill that hollowness?

God’s work is never done when we first accept Him. He’s only just begun to show us all of the characteristics He possesses that He wants us to take on. How will you look like God?

Do what you love and love what you do

This Christmas break I got to work a couple of different little odd jobs to make some money. I did a little bit of babysitting and also worked at a family friend’s company entering year end data. Through working these jobs I realized something. Whatever I do is going to have it’s shortcomings, whether it be a sore neck and eyes from staring at the computer all day or keeping kids under control in the classroom.

Yes, kids may be crazy in the classroom, but is that enough to throw in the towel and call it quits? For some, maybe it is. And they learn that in their first semester of pre-reqs then move on to something else. But I see so many people switching from major to major, career to career because it’s “not right for them”.

I’m not talking you switched from Civil to Industrial Engineering. I’m talking you switched from Music to Nursing to Education to Communication to Business to English to Philosophy. You get the point. I would tell those people, “PICK SOMETHING. You obviously have commitment issues and you don’t like something about these majors, but really? You’re like 26 now, let’s figure this out already.”

Yes, it can take time to find something you truly enjoy. But don’t mistake hardship for, “I’m not meant for this.” I wish I could say once you know what you want to do, you just know. But for some people what they ended up loving took a long time to get there because they persevered through the hardship.

This all sounds good in theory but what about the practical, less fun jobs that have to get done? Surely people who have to clean toilets for a living don’t love what they do, but it has to get done (not hating on these workers, just using this as an example). How can “doing what you love and loving what you do” be true for them?

With that said, there is no end all for careers (and that includes cleaning toilets). You don’t have to stick with one thing forever and ever. The saddest thing we are told in college is that we are picking a major that will set us up for a lifelong career. To some, that statement makes no sense. Duh, that’s what college is about.

Yes and no. On the one hand I’m paying a crapload of money to be here so I should be studying something I’m remotely interested in making into a career. On the other hand, I am 21 years old with so much life ahead of me. Where is it written that I have to do exactly what I got my college degree in for the rest of my life? People get stuck in this mentally and never even think to explore their creativity and interests.

Right now I want to be a teacher. At some point I’d love to go to Hillsong School in Australia to study worship music. I’d also love to flip houses and get into real estate. Eventually, being a wife and mom would be pretty cool, too. And then whatever curveball God throws in there that I wasn’t expecting.

My point is, explore your options (because that is what the college years are for) but don’t just keep moving on from major to major, career to career,  just because it gets hard. We like to escape when things get tough but that’s the most rewarding part of anything, overcoming the challenge.

Any career you choose will have aspects that are not fun or exciting. It’s not always gonna be a promotion and praise all the time. So find something you truly love. Find something that you just know is right for you. Find something that clicks with you. And when the hardship comes (and it will) you have to remind yourself WHY you chose what you chose. It’s all about perspective.

Do what you love and love what you do. It really is that simple.