somebodylovesmeblog

Sharing God's love with the world, one heart at a time.


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We are Covered

While I was praying the sorrowful mysteries of the rosary, my mind was overtaken with some of my past sins.  The kind that fill me with shame…the ones that linger in my mind every once in a while.

After a moment or two of feeling that guilt and shame, a vision that I had a few months ago (while saying the rosary) filled my being.

In this vision, I was the guilty one, and just about to be punished for my sins.  I deserved it, for my sins were many.  Jesus was bent over me, with his eyes firmly and lovingly set on mine.  The whip started flying…I could hear the sound of the cords cutting through the air and feel them ripping into  Jesus’ body.  I could feel his spirit, smell his scent in the moist air and feel his body wince with every connection of that whip against his flesh. I felt tremendous fear, however, Jesus never broke His loving and merciful gaze that pierced straight into my soul.  He lovingly protected me from each and every blow, and my body was never touched.

At that moment, I understood the amazing love that Jesus offers to me and all of us.  He came to Earth to save us…to suffer in our place for the sins that we have committed and are still committing.  He has placed Himself between us and our deserved punishment…and is still there for us.

He covers us in His love, mercy, and in His blood.

We must always remember, that when Jesus was beaten, blasphemed, mocked and crucified, these atrocities were not forced upon Him.  He offered Himself for us.  His life was not taken from Him…He offered His Body as atonement for our sins.  His life was given.

Freely, and without reserve.

What are we willing to offer Him of ourselves?

That is something that we must all think about on this precious Friday, and on every day that we are blessed with.

What are we willing to offer Him?

 

And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”

In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.”   Luke 22:19-20

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  John 3:16

But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.  Isaiah 53:5

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Becoming Real

“Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.’

‘Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit.  

‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’

‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’

‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
― Margery Williams BiancoThe Velveteen Rabbit

Wow, after all these years of reading this excerpt from “The Velveteen Rabbit,” my heart still fills up and overflows through my eyes.

This beautiful story was one of my favorites since I was a little girl.  My sister, Patti, used to read it to me over and over again.  Sometimes I have to wonder how much I understood…which words reached out and grabbed my child self…how much did I truly understand?

Sometimes we don’t need to understand.  Sometimes love touches us in ways we can never explain. 

This world that we live in, is always attempting to teach us that real love is easy, always sexy, and  beautiful…according to the “world’s” standards.

We are led to believe that we all need to be “sexy” and are bombarded with companies that want to fill that need.  With skin care, cosmetics, hair products, books, health drinks, drugs, clothes, plastic surgery…the list goes on and on.

We are also led to believe that the moment our marriage (or relationship) is no longer as sexy as the world deems it should be, in order to be fulfilled and happy, we must leave that marriage.

Don’t believe the lie.

True love is not always pretty.  True love is not always “sexy.”  True love is not always easy.

However, true love touches us and fills us like nothing else.  It is the one thing that we are looking for and is always there right before our eyes.

We just need to open our eyes

To see the beauty of a couple working through struggles that are piercing their hearts like daggers…but they refuse to give up on each other, or their marriage.

To see the beauty of a family, engulfed in pain and grief, surrounding their dying loved one with love, peace, and comfort. And to see the beauty of a soul detaching from this world, and being drawn to another.

To see the beauty of aging, and to realize that those “old” people we are seeing, and sometimes ignoring, have a lifetime of wisdom and experience that they could share with us…if we would just take the time to listen.

To see the beauty in those with open hearts, and no matter what they are experiencing in their own personal lives, always have the time to give something of what they have.

To see the beauty of suffering.  Yes…suffering will always exist in this world.  The beauty comes in uniting our suffering with Jesus on the cross, looking past the pain and hardship, and seeing Jesus through it all.

To not just focus on the risen Christ, but on the real love and suffering it took to get to that place.  Jesus did not save us by the “love” that the world teaches.  It was not pretty, sexy, or easy.

What it was…was REAL.

What Jesus gave us is everything.

Do we understand what “real” and true love really are?  Do we truly understand?

Real is the suffering, and the giving, that eventually show up as “most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby.”

“Once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.

Being real doesn’t happen all at once.  “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept.”

Being real is the day to day infusion of God’s love, and the openness to truth and mercy.

Let us all strive to be real. That is what the world truly needs.


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A Box of Treasures

Yesterday, something rare happened here in San Luis Obispo, CA.  It was overcast…no sun at all, and lightly rained all day.  We desperately need the precipitation, so it was a very good thing!

The peaceful sound of the rain, and the cooler temperature brought calm to my spirit, and I decided to use this cozy time indoors to go through my box of old greeting cards.

Do you save greeting cards, notes, and letters that are sent to your family?  I always have, because I treasure all of them.

When we made our big move from the East Coast to the West Coast, I needed to do some major downsizing.  This was a painful process for me.  Layer by layer, I was able to sell, donate or give away more than half of our possessions.  It wasn’t easy, and I had a huge job ahead of me when I went through my cards and all the papers/drawings from my two sons that I had saved.  I managed to dwindle it all down to one box…which I haven’t gone through until yesterday.

Now I know that some of you completely understand what I am talking about, and some of you just can’t understand why greeting cards or letters from years ago would be so treasured.  Some people believe that cards are a waste of money and meaningless, and others believe that cards are a waste of resource and bad for the planet.

I believe that cards and letters can be life changing and sometimes even life savers. 

There is a specialness about receiving personal cards, notes, or letters, whether it be through the Post Office or personally delivered.  There is the immediate feeling of happiness in knowing that someone is thinking of us, and the anticipation while opening.

Any greeting is wonderful and appreciated…whether it is an email, text, or a card or letter.  However, a physical card that has been lovingly made or chosen for the recipient…or a letter written and actually signed by the giver…becomes a treasure. 

Those treasures actually touched the senders’ hands and remain a tangible reminder of their love and concern for us. 

I consider a box of old greeting cards and letters to be quite like a diary.

It is a timeline of a life.

When my mom passed away, I had the privilege of going through her cards…she kept EVERYTHING!  I learned so much about her and my dad, as I read all of the cards and letters that she had kept through the years.  The ones that really touched my heart were the sympathy cards she received from so many when my dad passed away.  I felt a reverence as I read each and every card and letter that she had kept.  I kept only a few, however, felt that I respected her memory by reading about her life through the words of concern and love from those who loved her.

Yesterday turned out to be an enlightening day for me.  I reread all of the sympathy cards sent to me after my mother’s death.  When first received they were comforting, however, at that time I was kind of going through life in auto-pilot.  Yesterday, the pouring out of love and condolences from friends and family’s correspondence, literally warmed my heart and brought tears to my eyes.

Sometimes it is easy to forget the great love that is present in our lives…there is so much darkness in the world.  These little, tangible reminders re-ignite the flicker of light and love in our hearts.

There were cards over the years from my friends, family, and husband that fill my heart just thinking about them.  Old love letters from my hubby before we were married…and then personal notes and cards from him that document our growth as a couple. Wow!

Cards and notes from my mom and dad, and my mother in law, in their handwriting that I will never be able to see from them again.  Words of love, appreciation, gratefulness, and wit, from my sons through the years.

You can’t put a price tag on those things, and the memories and feelings they evoke.

I have also saved thank you notes.  You know, when I feel the call to send a note or card to someone, or gift them in a particular way, I just send the love, and then put it out of my mind.  Reading the thank you notes helped me to remember all the times that God has led me to send a gift, letter, or card, only to find out that it was a time when they truly needed to know someone was thinking of them.

Isn’t God amazing?  And isn’t it amazing to be blessed with the opportunity to become a vessel that He works through to touch someone in our lives?

We are all interconnected in and through Jesus.  We are all parts of the same body…the Body of Christ.

It is a privilege to reach out to others, and a blessing when others reach out to us.  That privilege and blessing has One Source…Our Loving God.  May we always be open to His Presence, Love and Mercy.

 

“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another.”    Romans 12:9-16

Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.  1 Peter 4:8