As a mom to all boys, I’m used to Love Bumps…squeezes, shoulder taps, pokes, and more recently lifts over their shoulders as they have grown in stature. Boys show affectionate in all kind of bumpy ways. I’ve developed some good reflexes and tolerance for these unique gestures of affection.
This week I noticed I have some physical “evidence” of Love Bumps from my head to my feet. Literally.
I helped my mom move and got a busted lip from a floor lamp landing on my face. Ouch! I’ve been sporting a bruised and scratched lip all week, but really it’s just another type of Love Bump received by helping out a loved one.
I’ve got a few Love Bumps and Scratches from doing various household chores for my family, loving them through dishwashing, meal preparation and putting away endless groceries that come in nefarious packages that leave multiple paper cuts when you finally succeed in opening them.
A couple of purplish bruises on my shins are fading from some recent mother-son basketball shootouts that got a little rambunctious.
I stepped out of the shower this morning and found a greenish bruise on my foot — another Love Bump, which I figured out was from a heavy lid my hubby dropped and bounced off my foot last night when he was unloading the dishwasher for me, a colorful echo of him showing love through action.
These outward signs of Love Bumps are a reminder of the ways we love others by lending a helping hand. Some of our other Love Bumps are less visible; we may be bruised in spirit. We may be weary prayer warriors lifting up the same prayers over and over, trusting for a positive shift in a situation or healing in a tense relationship.
If we are in the nitty gritty of life with each other, we are going to sustain Love Bumps from time to time. These incidents give us a shared story and a connection that we may not otherwise have.
So, march on and steady yourself for your next Love Bump.
(Watch out for those trickster lamps though!)
“Dear children, let us not LOVE with words or speech
but with ACTIONS and in TRUTH.” I John 3:18
This morning I went for a walk in the neighborhood. It was blustery and cold. Since it was also trash day, some lovely aromas greeted me and some extra barriers were in my path, including a couple large boxes hinting strongly about who got a big screen TV just in time for Superbowl weekend.
My spirit was downcast as I was missing my girlfriends who have been my winter walking buddies for years. Four pairs of running shoes sound more confident than mine alone. I trudged uphill against the wind, listening to their vox messages and holding them close from afar.
My heart was heavy as I prayed about a 3-week-old struggling in NICU, a friend wrestling with relationship hurts, another friend with a parent in the hospital, and one of my parents making a big life transition. I pressed on and rounded the corner.
Piled high on top of a trashcan was a bag of leaves with a note attached: “Just to say: Thank you!”
It warmed my heart and lightened my spirit to see someone reaching out to a hard-working stranger. Not a typical “love note,” but one with heartfelt sentiment just the same.
As I continued my walk, I thought about how this kind gesture may brighten the day of the intended worker, yet also each person passing by on the way to work or school today.
Sometimes we don’t know what to say or do to help someone who is hurting or struggling. If we are able to reach out just a little — even a small gesture with a simple message, Love Wins. Every time.
“Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34
Love one another.
Love won another…
When we think of joy, we often think of a child’s beaming face on Christmas morning. All of the anticipation that has been building is finally at its peak. That little body is all atwitter ready to leap into the magic of Christmas. Each of us probably has some keen memories of Christmas mornings past, some that were fulfilling of all the hype and perhaps a few that were found lacking.
How long does that intense feeling of full joy last? Are we able to summon that same level of anticipation to see what our heavenly Father has in store for us each day…
or does our joy feel like it’s in bits and pieces?
As adults we seem to catch glimmers of joy yet somehow that robustness of childhood joy eludes us. There are many references in the Bible about having a child-like faith. Perhaps the concept of unbridled JOY is a natural unfolding of that child-like faith: grab it with intensity and don’t let go!
“Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for JOY and be glad all our days.” Psalm 90:14
Maybe we need to follow our children on this one…
–to discover the joy unfolding all around us, in the big and small details of everyday life
–to embrace the messy
–to surrender our agenda
–to adopt a child-like curiosity and anticipation of good things to come…
Seeking joy throughout the year…
in the ordinary days,
not just dusted off at Christmas timewhere can you find YOUR joy today?