Saturday, February 12, 2011

Gift of Love. Lifetime Devotional.

{This blog is apart of the “What love really means” inspirationals 
given by some wonderful bloggers, & wonderful women.}

“No matter what happens, 
you reside in the presence of Love.
Every breath you take fills you with 

grace and divine sustenance.
Breathe in the goodness 

and dare to believe it is so.
Love is your home.”

For those of you whom regularly follow a story unfolding, you will already know we were expecting our rainbow baby. Definition of a rainbow baby; A baby born after a baby lost. A rainbow comes at the end of every storm. But let me share something with you. Just because God shines his heavenly “promise” on the horizon, doesn’t always mean that it has stopped raining outside. We have all witnessed the vibrant colors, while cold water droplets still cascade down all around us.

Last week our hopes and dreams of another pregnancy came to a close. Atleast for the baby anticipated October 3rd. I’ve realized something through our brief rainbow journey…

The moment you experience a positive pregnancy test, you love your unborn baby. A child you are unsure whether will be a daughter or a son. A child you have never seen in person. A child you have never touched; never held. But regardless, you love them. We can love the idea of a life so very much, even if they never get to be. We also expected Savannah’s life to be healthy, long, and full. She presented us with a life “unexpected.” But we don’t count her life to be those eight short days. We loved her loooong before she was born into our physical world. When she was just a life we dreamed about.

We as humans are lovers. We are capable of loving unconditionally and fully. But also as mere humans, we are sinners. Which means our God given gift of loving others, is tainted. We all have a tendencies to be very selfish people. My husband and I have a wonderful relationship. It has always been good, but in the beginning it wasn’t as easy. Because in the beginning I was selfish. I thought that my marriage would be flawless once all my needs were met. I never stopped to consider the fact that my spouse had needs I was failing to meet as well.






Then God entered my world. Now I understand that all of my readers may not be Christians. Please, don’t stop reading just yet. I may dedicate my life to the Lord, but my advice here isn’t excluding my non believing followers either. Whether you believe it or not, God is hard at work in each and every one of our lives.

Once I began reading, studying, and memorizing my bible and bible scriptures, I realized all of my relationships hadn’t been tended and nurtured in ways that show my love in a deep, selfless manner.

Love shouldn’t and doesn’t stop with our husbands and children. Yes, aside from God, our husbands are the most important relationship in our lives. {If they aren’t you need to do some soul searching because they should be. Ladies our children even need to take a backseat to our marital relationship!} We are supposed to be extending our love and compassion to all though…. All of mankind. Just like Gandhi once said, “be the change you want to see in the world.”

Divorce rates in America are 41% for first marriages. {According to divorcerates.org} And they continue to sky rocket. There are hate crimes taking place all around us. Whether it be from hazing in schools, racism, religion, or just evil, what some might consider harmless, judgments. They are in every town. Every state. Every country. And we are all to blame. Our culture and society are a product of it’s own environment… Our judgments rather than our love.

Let’s stop and take a moment. Think back to the last negative thing you either thought, gossiped out loud, or spoke directly to someone. Those things are very easy to remember right? That is because sinful behavior, such as talking badly about someone, is our first nature.

Now… take a moment and think of the last time you stepped out of “convenience” to show true, honest love. I am talking about things that require a little more effort than a quick “love you” as you rush out the door. Gestures that require a little more effort. Though you may still find the answer to this question, lets be honest, it wasn’t as quick was it?

“Be kind and compassionate to one another,
forgiving each other,
just as Christ forgave you.”

-Ephesians 4:32

Love can be extended in the little ways. Those are good. But lets take it a little further, shall we?…

What about the little old lady struggling with her groceries in the parking lot? Sure, she may not be your mother, your grandmother. You have places to be and errands to run. But what is really preventing you from taking a few minutes to help her? Serve her? Love her?

What about your neighbors? How well do you know them, if you know them at all. Maybe you do know them very well… Why not whip up a batch of cookies and take them on over, what ever your relationship may be. What is preventing you from reaching out and loving them?

Or perhaps, you could pick up a card for your husband just to say, “I love you.” {Any other day than Valentines day of course. And it doesn’t count if you are expecting anything in return. Ever.}

These small gestures may not be acknowledged at first, but they begin to make huge impacts. I think you are catching what I am portraying…

In honor of Valentines day this year, I am asking {maybe begging a little} all of my readers to love someone… well, everyone in some unexpected way. Not just on Valentines, but throughout the year. You’ll find if you do, your own heart will soften. It will become easier for each of us to love one another, without the effort involved. It will become easier for us not to judge others based on the mud on their shoes, or the story they may carry on their shoulders. We can start a ripple in the water. After all, we can be “the light of the world.” -Matthew 5:14 

Galatians 5:13 tells us to, “serve one another in love.” By helping or serving each other, we are making a choice to love that person in that very moment. It’s not always easy since this love I am talking in reference to must be extended to our “enemies” as well. Savannah has shown me so many things. After saying goodbye to her, and saying goodbye to what we thought would be our rainbow pregnancy, I now know that life really is short.  We are only given so much time, and never guaranteed another breath. I know what it is like to, “love with a love that is more than love.” I’ve watched life slip away before my very eyes; In my very arms. A love that was taken to the grave…

So now, I want to know in my life I gave myself graciously to the best of my abilities. That I asked forgiveness in all areas that were due, and that I forgave those in my life whom deserve my divine forgiveness as well. I was forgiven by the one that I disappoint everyday. But I am also loved and cherished by the same man. I think I can choose to give these same blessings, considering I didn’t and don’t deserve them. My life may last seventy more years, or I may join my daughter tomorrow. Until then, I choose to love this life I’ve been given.

In wanting to share with you a book that helped me see the ways to “love” God, my husband, my children, and others, I welcome you to enter in my “gift of love” giveaway.

“A Woman After God’s Own Heart.”
Author: Elizabeth George



This book will share & help you with many things
including,

A heart devoted to God.
{Growth in understanding,
loving, and trusting the Lord.}
A heart that loves our husbands.
{Finding a deep commitment to
honor, love and serve your husband…
Even if your not married, this can
Help for marriage later down the road!}

A heart overflowing with motherly affection.
{Shepherding our children,
Loving our children, and caring for them.}

A heart that makes a house a home.
{Tending to our homes.
And enjoying the chores!}

A heart that cares.
{Reaching out to
encourage and love others.}

Plus much much more!!

To enter, all you have to do is either follow my blog or A Story Unfolding’s facebook fan page and leave a comment sweet nothing at the bottom of this blog, with your name and email address and which site you are following. Then, I will contact the winner via email on Valentines day! It is that simple!

::Please only submit if you are deeply interested in being
“A Woman After God’s Own Heart.”
That way others who truly want to read it, have a fair chance!::
Thank you!!

Also if your heart has been inspired to “love” this year, please share your future stories with me at megan_3457@hotmail.com!! I would love to read and share your testimonies!

…& feel free to share this challenge
with others.

17 comments:

Deanna said...

This is beautiful, I would truly love to read this book. Your post today was definitely a moment of reflection for me, thank you for that & the opportunity to win! I am following your blog now as well as like you on Facebook! my email is deanna at riversrally dot org

thinking of you and your family. thank you for sharing!

Danielle said...

BEAUTIFUL and inspirational. Well done sweet girl.

Mattie said...

What a beautiful, heartfelt post. I would love to read this book. Doing random acts of kindness in memory of our babies is one thing that always makes me smile.
I'm a follower here and on fb. my email is beautywillrise(at)yahoo(dot)com.

Melissa said...

Lovely post.
Never been more homesick...

follwing here.
Melissa @ lislorang@hotmail.com

Heidi said...

I wish you the best on the rainbow baby journey......

Beautiful addtion to a great run of love posts. I am having such a wonderful time "meeting" other BLM bloggers!

ginatoothe said...

i really enjoyed your post today Megan. i would love the chance to win the book. i follow your blog and also your FB page. You have such a beautiful family and you are a beautiful lady. You inspire me with your faith. my e-mail is ginatoothe@yahoo.com

Natasha said...

What a great post...truly inspiring to read. Thank you for sharing this with us. I am a follower here and on facebook. I would love to read this book! My e-mail address is aidensmom112@gmail.com.

Also I'll be keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers...much love on your rainbow baby journey. I hope to be there soon!

Melissa said...

I just found your blog through the Love blog posts and I would love to read this book. I just started following you here on your blog melissamterrill (at) gmail dot com

Serenity's Mommy ♥ said...

I love you! Such a beautiful post! In tears over here (as always after reading your writing!) <3

Stacey said...

Of course I follow you on fb and "LOVE" reading your blogs. I have been really depressed later and didn't want some love blog to read today but I am glad I did! It is very moving!!! I would love to win this book sbogle81@gmail.com

Jennifer said...

I so enjoyed reading your blog on love today! It is so beautiful! I would love to read the book also. I am now following your blog. I also want you to know that you are in my prayers. God bless you mama!

klarsen said...

Beautiful, heartfelt post. It is always nice to "meet" other Christians along this difficult path and you will be in my prayers, Megan. I already followed you on FB butnow I follow your blog, too :) Would love to read this book!

Lots of love,
Katy
(klarsen17@yahoo)

Caroline said...

Beautiful post & following you now.

My email is rmjccroley69@gmail.com

Kelly @ Sufficient Grace Ministries said...

What a beautiful post! I loved reading your thoughts on love. This life is short and we do need to love intentionally those God has given us to love. Thank you for sharing your heart. I am so sorry for the loss of your Rainbow and your sweet Savannah.

Praying God's continued peace and comfort for your family,
Kelly Gerken
Sufficient Grace Ministries

Trena said...

An amazingly beautiful and inspiring post. Thank you so much for sharing and thank you for the comment you left on my last blog post. It helps so much to know that I am not alone in the way I am feeling. I am keeping you in my thoughts and I am praying that we both get out rainbows ♥

This book sounds amazing and I would love to win it. I am always looking for ways to get closer to the Lord.

((hugs))

Raquel said...

I would love to read this book. It looks like a great inspirational book. I will following your blog. My name is Raquel and my email is rcalderon2629@gmail.com.

Holly said...

All it takes is a moment each day to show someone a little love. Can you imagine if everyone did this every day?