Love for many is elusive. We find infatuation quickly and jump into relationships based upon infatuation while professing we have found true love. True love exists however few understand what this is.
Infatuation makes our hearts beat faster and our minds to go to mush as we get caught up in a whirlwind romance often driven by the flames of physical passion and desire. We crave the burning chemical rush from the flames of this passion and believe we have found our soulmates. We come from a space where our own needs and physical desires are met. These self serving emotions are just as quickly snuffed out and we are left wondering what went wrong. There is no foundation for infatuation, it is fleeting and built from nothing. Infatuation hits quickly and dies faster. We pick up the broken pieces left over from our crushed expectations and move on to the next adrenaline rush of emotions believing this time it will be different.
The world sees this as love. We hear continually that one can fall out of love. I argue this is impossible. One cannot fall out of love. We fall out of infatuation.
Love is different. When love is real it is service. It is kindness. It is compassion. It is not self serving and driven by the whims of change. It is not fleeting and it does not die. For when love is real, our desire is to serve others that we love, not for them to serve us.
YES we can love someone whom does not love us back. This is common and happens often. The greatest love stories are those that both parties have placed the others needs before there own. They serve one another.
There are many stories told of couples when one becomes ill and the other one steps up to serve them and care for them. It is clear that their bond and love they share grows during these difficult and trying times. Their love grows during this season of service and caring.
We often hear of a mothers love for her children. WHY? Because when the children are young they are fully dependent upon their mother. Their mother loves them and this love grows as they continue to serve them. Children learn to love their mothers as they in turn serve their mother as they grow. Children desire to please their parents and in so doing they serve them, this service develops love.
There are many that will argue that in just as many cases that one person serves while the other one takes. While this is true, look at the one that is always the one that is the most heartbroken when a relationship ends. It is ALWAYS the one that served and gave the most to the relationship.
True undying mutual love can only be attained when both parties make the other a priority and serve them without expecting anything in return. True love is service.
Anyone who goes to a foreign country to serve for any reason always comes back with a love for the people and culture in which they served.
If you are struggling in your relationships and wonder where the magic went, try genuinely serving each other and be amazed at where this will lead.
Every single person is born with the exact same innate ability, none of us are exempt from this gift. We are all given it in abundance and all parents especially reap the great benefits and rewards of this gift given at our birth.
The gift we are all given is that of UNCONDITIONAL LOVE! Children joyfully share this gift with all they come in contact with. Even as small children, when nurtured, this gift grows abundantly and limitless, when not nurtured, this gift dies quickly.
A small child is able to do what few if any adults can do, they separate the deed from the doer. If a child doesn’t like the meal prepared for them they will refuse to eat it, it does not impact their love for their mother or father preparing that meal. A child does not base their love, nor withhold their love based upon a parents status, employment, education, wealth, physical appearance, nor any other reason.
A child simply loves, without conditions.
Sadly as we grow we lose this ability to love unconditionally. We replace unconditional love with that of unconditional judgement. We apply conditions to those we love based largely upon what we want them to be. Many times as adults we stop loving another person because they will not be or do what we desire them to be.
This conditional love is in direct conflict and opposition to the true nature of love we are born with.
We can learn much from children, learning to love as a child loves will improve every relationship in our lives.
Marriage is hard work. There are many challenges that couples face and these challenges can bring with them much discord and disharmony. From household chores, to time management, to children and the in laws, many of the most common reasons why marriages fail is because of the work involved in keeping your love alive.
If you want to find happiness, joy, love and peace, It’s time to Just Give up!
Give up your need to be right all the time!
Give up your selfishness!
Give up your need to control!
Give up talking and start listening!
Give up the games!
Give up the friends who create interference!
Give up the laziness!
Give up your unwillingness to forgive!
Give up the boring routine!
Give up being so stubborn!
Give up your unrealistic expectations!
Give up your annoying habits!
Give up your desire to be judgmental!
Give up your arrogance!
Give up anything that prevents mutual love and respect!
My life is amazingly happy with a remarkable woman as my wife! As we have learned in our relationship to give up the negative barriers that get in the way we have continually drawn closer to one another. Our life is more fulfilled and complete than either of us have ever experienced prior to our marriage. We find strength in our differences while confronting the negative pressures that I believe occur in every relationship. Our focus stays on the other one and not on our self as we solve difficulties that arise.
We have learned that for marriage to be successful, you first have to be willing to give up!
Life is an amazing adventure when you are able to journey through this existence with someone you love. The little things don’t ever matter and the big things all become little things. My wife and I do not always see eye to eye on things, in fact we are on opposite sides of the spectrum at times. We have discovered that most of the areas where we disagree really don’t matter anyway as most often they are political or social in nature and truly have no impact on our lives. I believe this is the way we have been able to build such a magnificent, loving and beautiful relationship over the years.
We have both experienced painful pasts where trust was violated and the journey back to being able to love and trust has been a difficult one for both of us. The honesty with which we communicate with each other, while not always easy has given each of us the ability to trust one another and in turn has allowed our love to grow.
The journey through life can be a challenge and sometimes painful experience. Understanding that we have each carried with us those heavy burdens also allows us to lift them from each other as we walk through this life hand in hand. While most of our goals and desires in life are the same, we share with one another the enjoyment of discovering the differences each of us bring. It is through our differences that we actually grow the closest, as we discover new things in life from each other, it also drives us to discover new things we can share.
Our life is perfect. We are different but equal. We share everything while enjoying things the other doesn’t. We explore this world together, parent together and dream together. There isn’t a single morning that passes when I don’t get to listen to my wife’s sometimes crazy dreams. We laugh together and we cry together.
The journey to find one another has been hard, filled with heartache and sorrow along the way. The darkest of nights have led us each to the brightest of days in our lives. The journey has been worth every step, and for this I am deeply grateful that we have been brought together.
My world is enriched, blessed and filled with love and wonder with you at my side, thank you my beloved wife for being the amazing woman you are and making a me a better man.
Many friends I know feel as though the commandments are antiquated, outdated and not relevant in today’s world. This belief seems to be prevalent in our culture, Each of the ten commandments have become glamorized through our movies and invade our homes daily through the internet, television and music. We are falsely led to believe that the only way to have fun and enjoy life is to break the commandments and live a life without rules or restrictions.
This is the greatest lie ever told to mankind.
Happiness, joy, and peace can never be found violating these laws of God. The commandments are not given to us to restrict our lifestyle, they are given to provide direction and guidance that will bring about that happiness, joy and peace we long for. Living a life in harmony with Gods law is the only way to find that deep peace that our spirits hunger for. God’s laws are not meant to restrict us, he has given these laws to enable us to know how to bring about true joy and happiness in our lives.
Those who live the way of the world rush from one placebo to the next in looking for the happiness they long for. These placebo’s deceive the individual into believing they have found happiness, only for it to be fleeting and without substance or staying power.
Those who do all within their power to live God’s laws find great peace and comfort in abiding these commandments. These individuals are not prone to the heartache that comes as a natural consequence from violating these laws. They avoid the emotional roller coaster that comes from chasing after one placebo to the next and eliminate much worry and stress from their lives. As a God who loves his children, these commandments are designed to bring about joy in our lives, God desires that we are happy and have joy, his laws are the road map leading to it.
As society tries to eradicate these laws from our lives, through countless legal actions and maneuvers there are those who desire all to lose hope and chase after these placebos instead of discovering for themselves the inner peace and happiness that can be. Man continues its assault on God’s laws. Making a law declaring something legal, will never make it right. Making laws declaring something right as illegal will never them wrong.
There is only one way to true happiness and joy. All others are a deception.
Children are born with absolute trust and faith in their parents. We as parents may or may not be deserving of such trust yet it is granted along with love unconditionally by these precious and tender souls. A child’s trust can never grow stronger than it is at birth, for it is perfect trust. The trust, love and loyalty of children are given fully and completely. It is in our actions as parents and not that of the child that will alter that trust, and nothing else.
As parents, we can continue to be deserving of that trust so completely placed in us at their birth that can last throughout our children’s lives, depending upon our actions. Our actions and not our children’s are critical for the continuation of that trust. A child will not stop trusting until we violate such trust, in fact I have witnessed many times how a child continues to trust even after repeated violations of that trust. Children are forgiving and loving, they desire the same. As we break the trust of our children, through our actions, words and deeds, it will permanently damage our children and their ability to form trusting relationships as adults. If we as parents destroy this amazing gift from our children, we create significant road blocks in their lives as they learn to trust others.
We are the first relationship that a child will have in this world, the magnitude of this is lost on so many. We set the stage for our children and their emotional well being from they day they are conceived. We determine if our child will feel loved and secure, or if they will live with uncertainty, fear and distrust.
This point has been driven home ever more deeply with the birth of our precious little girl. The past year we have been more aware of our promises to all of our children, the way we talk with them and our interactions with them. Unfortunately I have no doubt that as parents we have made some mistakes along the way and most certainly reduced the trust of our children. Thankfully for us, children are deeply forgiving and loving, they give us more chances to be better and to learn from our past mistakes.
As we recognize this extremely wonderful, unconditional love and trust from our children, we too can learn to love and trust as they do. Our children are greater teachers than we could ever become.
Oh how I have missed having my children with me. These past couple of weeks without being able to see them due to the Thanksgiving holiday was difficult for us. It is frustrating to think anyone would keep their child away from a parent, yet that is the unfortunate reality that my children and I face. It was 14 days since my last 4 hour visit, and I only had 4 hours to spend with them last night, 4 hours to last us another week.
These nights are about what the kids want to do. Interestingly enough they all wanted to go spend some time in our home. My wife was working late, so it was the 4 of us at home. Alexa and Londyn wanted to play together as they missed each other so much. The girls quickly took off to the bedrooms to laugh and giggle, followed much later my a game of hide and seek with all of them. My son Bridger wanted to shoot on his nerf hoop in his room, so we shot around for a little while, while our baby Bella chased everyone in the house in her walker.
The house was full of noise and laughter. A far cry from the normal silence we face when the oldest 3 are away with the other parent. I hunger for those moments of sweet music as the children laugh and play together. My home is meant to have the sound of little feet as they pitter patter across the hardwood, the giggles and the joy that comes from them when they are together. I treasure these moments in time as they are fleeting for us. Our children are growing so fast and these few opportunities go by so fast as I try to hold onto them and stay in the moment.
As our night was coming to an end last night, Bridger asked me about this blog. I suggested he write a story and draw a picture for it that we could post. He loves to write and draw, yet thinks he isn’t very good at it. As the eternal optimist and wanting to encourage him to chase his dreams, i posted his story last night to show him that people would read it and like it. Thank you for proving me right.
I was once told by someone dear to me, whom is married to his first wife and has raised their kids in a traditional family that I spend more one on one time with my kids than they do. This saddened me to think that could even be possible. I yearn for time with my children and live for these moments when I get to see them. I have spent my life wanting to be a great father and do the best I can with very limited opportunity. I truly live for these moments.
Over the years as I have pondered these comments, I wonder if the reason that was said was due to the fact that I give my children the attention they need when I have them with me. We pray, we play, we cry, we laugh and we love one another and spending time together, Maybe its because we don’t get the time we would otherwise have that we spend every possible minute together. Maybe others take for granted that time that we do not as a result of our limited time together. Maye our time together becomes more important because we don’t have tomorrow to ride bikes, play and laugh. We can’t procrastinate the time we spend together as a family whereas others might put things off because they can where we can’t. Maybe by putting things off, they never get to it? I have never fully understood his words, nor how it is even possible. I can only guess. I have learned over the years to always find joy in the journey.
The unlikely moments of school lunch are often the anchor to my children that keep us connected. As many who have read this series knows that except in the most extreme circumstances, my ex does not allow my children to call me. I am relegated to my one 4 hour visit per week and every other weekend, with exception to the scattered holidays we get together. My time with my children becomes limited and often times painful for us as we are apart. School lunch allows me the moments with my children to make up some of our lost time. I travel 25 minutes from my office to their school as often as possible to spend 10 minutes with each of them sitting at the lunch table with them and all of their friends. These moments are what I refer to as the magical lunch moments in our life. Simple and short opportunities for my children and I to laugh and talk about school and what is happening. Our time together seems to go quickly, yet these brief moments in time help secure our bond together. I live for the smiles I get from their shining faces when they see me standing in the doorway to the cafeteria waiting for them. They never know for certain what days I can break away from the office to have this time with them so it is always a surprise.
Over these long lonely years of missing my children, I have needed to search for the magical moments when I can make a difference for them in their lives, when I can show them how much I love and adore them. Our school lunches together has been one of these magical moments I search for. I learn so much about them as I sit and laugh with their friends at the table as we eat, they open up and tell me everything that is happening, they feel secure and safe, just like home. I discover the games they play on the playground with their friends and how they treat others as well as how the kids at school treat my children. I learn about the homework, the books they are reading and any issues with school and their sports. I treasure these moments with them and the opportunity to connect.
Our mealtimes have become some of the most amazing opportunities to connect with one another as we sit around tables talking with one another. My wife and I have found that our children thrive at the dinner table together. We talk honestly and openly about the things that are happening in our lives and it is an opportunity for our children, where they feel safe and secure in our home, to relax and truly open up to us. The other day while sitting at dinner together, my dear wife asked Bridger and Londyn what they liked most about coming to our home, with no hesitation whatsoever Bridger responds, “this is family.” WOW! The emotions I felt as I tightened my grip on my wife’s hand under the table were overwhelming. Finally! I received the confirmation that what we have been doing has been the right thing and we were making the impact we have been striving so hard for all these years!
These opportunities to connect with my children have provided anchors to my soul to help me through some of the dark times when they are away. This connection is what gets us through times like we enter now, as over the next month we will only have two 4 hours visits, 8 hours in 30 days of time together as a result of the holiday and weekend schedule and the conflict created with the holiday happening on my regularly scheduled weekend. It is times like this when our school lunches become ever more magical, precious and all important. The times that will anchor our souls as one.