somebodylovesmeblog

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


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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 the way 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, 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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Spirit…Not Just Personality

Out to Dinner Bernadette and Mom

Out to Dinner
Bernadette and Mom

God always answers prayers, although sometimes they are in ways we could not have imagined. I am learning to trust His ways, especially when we cannot see the answers, because He knows what we truly need, not just what we think we need or want.

When my dad was experiencing a decline in health twelve years ago, I prayed that he would pass away before my mom so I could get to know her. In my mind, I would be able to forge a “true” relationship with her, and get to know her as a person. I imagined long heart to heart talks over coffee and lunches, enjoyable shopping dates, being there to help her with household chores, and do all the things I fantasized were things that close mothers and daughters did together. I wanted to know her true personality, and I wanted her to know me. This was my prayer.

The Lord knew what my true prayer request was, even though I didn’t know the fullness of what was needed to fill that spot in my heart that was longing for my mother’s love.

He knew that I needed to know her spirit…her heart; not just her personality.

So the Lord placed my mother with Joe (hubby) and me, and she made her home with us for the past eleven years.

I wish I could say that all those years were a breeze, and that every moment spent together was quality time. I wish I could say that my heart was always right and that every thought I had was loving and peaceful. I wish I could say that we had long, intense mother to daughter talks that allowed me to know about her life, and that we chatted endlessly about mother/daughter things. Because those were the things that my mind had the capacity to wish and hope for.   I was looking for an illusion of what true love is.

God, in all His mercy and love, revealed to me what true love is all about.

He gave me eleven years of snippets and moments of love with my mother. He helped me to love my mom through our interactions, especially when my mind and heart were not in it. He showed Himself through her smiles, her patience, her love, her gentle spirit, her ability to take life as it was given to her, accept it, and offer it to God each day. I watched her as her health declined through the years, and she was able to do less and less. I watched her struggle to walk a few steps to the bathroom, then struggle to move in bed. I watched her struggle to just breathe. I knew in her last week on earth, that her suffering was united with Jesus, and that I was privileged to share in that beauty. That beauty was manifested in a love that permeated my whole being…an all-consuming love that was almost overwhelming in its intensity.

You see, God answered my prayers, although in a way far superior to what I requested.

I asked that He allow me the time to get to know my mother’s personality. What He blessed me with, was the opportunity to know her spirit. And her beautiful spirit is what will be a part of me, and all who knew her, forever.

Thank you, Jesus, for loving us so completely, that you know our hearts and needs more than we do. Help us to always trust in your mercy and love, knowing that your desire is for us to find peace and true joy in your presence forever.


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Real Love and Valentine’s Day

From My Heart to Yours

From My Heart to Yours

Valentine’s Day is a sweet reminder in our daily lives of the love that we are blessed with.  For me personally, the day touches my heart in a special way with gratitude for all the people that have touched my life… my family and friends, and especially my husband, Joe.

The special love I speak of is not the kind that requires red roses, diamonds, or chocolates.  Those things are nice and always appreciated, however, this is much deeper than any of those types of gifts can convey.

So Joe…this is my early Valentine thank you for the real love you show me each and every day; the way that you help me to see the beauty in myself.  That true love can only be inspired and sourced in the Holy Spirit…thank you for your faith and openness to be a vessel of His love.

Some of the ways you show me that I am loved:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not  proud.

You have a quiet confidence that allows you to be happy and supportive toward others.  Even when I am off track or floundering…you are my “even keel”. 

It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

Your deep, thoughtful desire to help, honor and respect all the ones God places in your daily life amazes and inspires me.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

When I get overwhelmed with the negative of an event or situation, you always help me to see past it and focus on the good.  Many times you help me see past my own flaws and weaknesses, and help me to see the goodness within myself.

 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

You are my safe haven in this life, and we are united in hope and perseverance to become the people the Lord intends us to be for his divine plan.

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.  1 Corinthians 13:4-8

The Lord has blessed us with Himself, and through his love, mercy and grace, the love we share will never fail.  You will always be in my heart… in this life and the next.

I love you, Joe!  And by the way, Happy Valentine’s Day!