Vallette Family

Vallette Family

Friday, October 9, 2015

Love is an Action

"Stop talking about love. Every (idiot) in the world says he loves somebody. It means nothing. It still doesn't mean anything. What you feel only matters to you. It's what you do to the people you say you love, that's what matters. It's the only thing that counts." -The Last Kiss

I remember watching that movie and hearing that quote. It hit me like a lightning bolt. I heard it at a time where I still had alot to learn about love. I heard it and it made me IMMEDIATELY think of the people in my life who said they loved me, but didn't live that love out. The people who thought love was a feeling. I spent exactly zero minutes thinking about how I was guilty of that.

That's what I want you to do with this article. We all know other people who have flaws, who make mistake after mistake. I bet we all know someone who could be better about living love out--not just professing it. But, just for today, just while reading this article, I want you to turn it inward. I want you to look at how YOU could improve. Look at how YOU can live love out.

Marvin and I have been married for a short 4 years. We're still in the butterflies stage. I still love him in feeling. He is still my favorite person. I still enjoy spending time with him. I love kissing him. I love being around him. I always like him. I think he's cute and funny and great and I can't get enough. People say that it won't always be that way. I have to take their word for it because they are wiser than I am. I hope they're wrong, but I'm preparing as if they're right.

One of my biggest fears is that when all the sparkle and confetti fades, when I stop LIKING Marvin so dang much I'll be too weak to LOVE him in action. I pray for that now. We pray for that together--that we'll be strong enough to work together when it's the last thing we want to do. 

Children help you exercise your love muscle because they're easy to love some of the time. They're cute and cuddly and they look just like your spouse and they have all the cute quirks that you enjoy and they're funny. They love you and want to hug you. Some of the time it's difficult. Some of the time they don't listen no matter what you do. Some of the time you just want 30 minutes to yourself and they just want more and more and more of you. I can't imagine how hard it must be to LOVE in action a bratty teenage girl who thinks you're just about the dumbest human being alive because she's 14 and she knows it ALL, duh, just like we all knew it ALL at 14. 

Love is not wanting to color, but doing it anyway. Love is being exhausted and wanting to stay home alone, but inviting someone who feels isolated over anyway. Love is wanting to give someone a piece of your mind, telling them how wrong they are, but being kind instead. Love is feeling frustrated inside, but sharing a smile outwardly. Love is accepting people for who they are and where they are, even though you wish it could be different. 

Love isn't a feeling, guys. Maybe there's a time when love and feelings coexist (like right now between Marvin and I), but that's not what love is. Love is DOING. Love is GIVING. Love is ACTION-- when the last thing you want to do is act.

St. Clare of Assisi said: "Love that cannot suffer is not worthy of that name."

I leave you with the following most famous scripture passage, but I ask you to look at it with different eyes. Look at it like it's the first time you're seeing it, and ask yourself: are you love? is the way you're treating others love? do your actions say love?

"Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Jumping Through Hoops to Find God

I spent alot of time during and after my conversion jumping through hoops to be close to God. I read Christian books, recited rosaries, made weekly confessions, attended daily morning mass, etc. and it was so fruitful. So, so fruitful. It was a period of time where I really fell in love with God.

If you truly seek God, He will reveal Himself to you. God had revealed himself to me and it was awesome. I was in love. It was where the foundation for my faith was laid, but it wasn't sustainable. There were diapers to change and babies to rock. The time for ALL GOD ALL THE TIME ran out--life was waiting.

Time passed and those same things that brought me peace and made me feel so very close to God lacked the vibration that once accompanied them. I was bored. I didn't feel close to God. I was going through the motions. I kept pushing myself anyway. A rosary a day! No matter what! Rosary! I told myself it was the sinful part of me that was relying so much on feeling. Keep praying those rosaries. Keep on. Ignore feelings! Feelings are human and sinful. 

And then I just couldn't any more.

I had to stop. And I had guilt when I stopped. And then (eventually) I learned something: like all good relationships, our relationship with Him changes. 

I don't go to daily mass anymore. Dane wouldn't allow that. I don't pray a rosary every day because you know what I learned? My relationship with Him doesn't depend on me! I was giving myself so much power and not trusting in Him at all. He loves me without the rosaries. He's with me without them. My relationship doesn't look the same today as it did a year ago, and I hope it won't look the same a year from now. 

These days I do a bible reading and prayer every morning. I use a prayer journal to pray because I'm a writer and it helps to keep my mind from wandering, and my husband and I do couple prayer at night. We do family prayer and I make a habit to pray a Hail Mary when I have a judgmental thought (think:Wal Mart). I ask the Holy Spirit to guide me when I'm in a situation where I might be tempted to gossip (which is a problem for me). I ask for help when I feel myself losing my patience with the kids. 

So, here's the difference, where before I made an effort to have ALL GOD ALL THE TIME, now I make an effort to live my life and leave an open door for Him. I try to make my life a prayer. Sometimes it's a sloppy one or a quick one or a chaotic one, but He doesn't mind. I ask for His help in the mundane. "Help me not to yell at Dane for being an insane person."

I remind myself that I don't have to jump through hoops to find Him. He's with me-- all day, everyday. Waiting for me. He's with me in the laundry. He's with me when I pass someone walking on the road who needs helps. He's with me when the opportunity to bad mouth someone comes up. He's with me. He's meeting me day in and day out and I don't have to jump to find Him. My life is a prayer and so is yours. Remember that.