Wednesday, August 22, 2012

nine loves

I think the word love is tossed around a lot.  By everyone, including me.  Really casually.   "I love this picture!"  "I love your hair!"  "I love wine!" I say things like this all the time without even thinking about the word.  Better to say "love" a lot, than "hate," right?

I've done posts about "loves" before, including beauty products, baby items, paint colors...but this time, I'll take it a bit more seriously.  Some of what I write you may find trite, or not agree with, and that is okay.  I am okay with differences and disagreements - just keeping it honest.

I decided to think about what truly makes my heart melt.  What brings tears to my eyes when I even contemplate its absence?  What makes life meaningful for me?

Nine loves, in no particular order:

1. My family...I love them all, but specifically writing here about the one I was born into. Dad, mom, brothers and sister.
this was almost four years ago...the fam has grown since then!
there is nothing like having a sister.
I love that I have siblings, and even though we all are scattered in different parts of the country now, the times when we do see each other I feel the love. I don't know if everyone feels this way about their parents and siblings.  I just know I am forever grateful that I have these relationships.  That I have the memories I have growing up with such a close family.   Those moments growing up - Christmas Eve, every Sunday crammed into a church pew together, camping trips, vacations, and even just simple times, like at supper, eating together.  Those moments are what makes me want to have more babies - my experience with family.  Well, at least one more baby.  Someday.

2. My husband...this guy.
The fact that God led us to each other and made us for each other overwhelms me every time I think about it.  Sometimes I come across letters {yes, handwritten letters, despite the fact that we both had email} he wrote me in college, while we were broken up.  Just telling me what he was up to, things he was excited about, people he met.  In these letters he would crack jokes, keep it really casual, and at the same time, without really saying it, let me know that he still cared about me.  Every time I read these letters I sob.  Literally break down with emotion.  Why?  Because I think about how at any time during one of those breakups he could have met someone else and fallen in love with her.  Or just gotten sick of writing me letters.  But those things didn't happen, and I am thankful for that every day.

3. Work...I know what you are thinking, no one loves work.  But I do.  Work gives me a sense of purpose, a goal, and keeps me focused.  You know what 'they' say about idle hands?  I believe that.  I particularly love working as a stay-at-home mama.  Don't get me wrong:  I loved working outside the home, too.  There were only two jobs I held that I didn't like - anything fast food-related and when I was a high school teacher  -- the rest were awesome.  I was a retail worker and manager for ten years, and then worked in the temporary staffing field for three years.  I loved the people, dressing stylishly for work every day, making money and how busy I was.  Sometimes I miss having a job outside the home...but then I think about how much I love what I do.  I genuinely love "homemaking."  I think this word conjures up different images for different people.   For me specifically, being a stay-at-home-mama and homemaker {two separate aspects of my job} Mama means: making sure baby feels safe, teaching baby, loving baby, nourishing baby, setting an example for baby, keeping baby clean.  Being a homemaker {to me} means: keeping the house tidy/organized, cleaning the house regularly,  providing healthy and delish food in said home, staying within our financial budget, being a helpful/loving wife, making the house a home, keeping myself healthy and happy so that I can do all these things.   I am certainly not successful every day at all of these things -- but I like striving to be the best at what I do.  As with any job, I make goals, prioritize, hold myself to high standards, and reward myself when I deserve it!  {Glass of wine each night?  Don't mind if I do! Hubby takes baby while I spend Sunday afternoon shopping or a Thursday night out with girlfriends? Um, yes!} Also, as with any job, I have to devise new and more effective ways of doing things, manage my time wisely, adapt to changes, etc. I love work because it makes me think, makes me extend myself, puts me outside my own head, and it is rewarding, whether financially or otherwise.

4. My kiddo...this guy.

I always thought - well, before I had a baby - that I could never love a person as much as my husband.  Even after I had the baby I worried that I wouldn't have enough love for both.  That my marriage would suffer, or I would be a bad, selfish mama.  As time went by, ever so quickly, I realized that your capacity for love expands a thousand-fold when you have children.  You become more loving, not only toward your little one, but for other people and other babies.  It is hard to explain...but I think most parents know how I feel.

5. Jesus.  As someone who deals with anger and depression issues, I can tell you this one thing:  I could not have this life I have today without my love and faith in Jesus Christ, and His love for me.  I would be an angry, sad, shriveled little nothing without this love.  I would be lost and broken.  I would be literally cut and bruised.  I would not look at the future with joy and calm and peace.  Without this specific love there would only be me and this world, and that is a disturbing and lonely thought.   No matter what your beliefs or who/what you put your faith in -- I hope it makes you feel this kind of love.

6. Pregnancy.  I simply love the process of making a baby.   Okay, I'm not just referring to the act of sex {which is kind of, well, awesome} but the start-to-finish process of creating human life.  Controversial, maybe, but I believe life begins at conception.  I believed this before I had a baby, and am even more passionate in this belief now.   After feeling my body change completely only weeks after conception.   After hearing the heartbeat, strong and steady, when he was only a teeny tiny little speck on the radar.  After seeing arms and legs and fingers waving, at 12 weeks.   Thinking, that is my baby.  That is, without a doubt, a human life.

 I don't write this to convince anyone of anything - just to express what I personally am convinced of.  Also, I don't write this because my pregnancy was a breeze, all roses and sunshine and gloriousness.  Nope, it was your pretty standard, nauseous constantly for the first half, pretty uncomfortable for the second half, kind of pregnancy.  I am thankful that there were no complications, but I definitely didn't escape most of the symptoms.  I still loved it.  Yay for babymaking!
enjoying the thirty-six week bump.
7. Being alone.  If you know me, you know I need my space.  I am an introvert.  I love quiet, personal time.  No matter if I am running, writing, shopping, or even something trivial, like the dishes, I place a high value on my alone time.  I think a lot, meditate, plan and pray during this time.  When I am deprived of it, I get agitated, at best.  Of course, there are many times I do genuinely enjoy socializing and can be very talkative, engaging, outgoing...but I prefer these social interactions to be well-planned out and sporadic.  I enjoy them more that way.
Source: via Lacey on Pinterest

8. Fresh air.   One of the reasons I love running, camping, and hiking is because it gets me outside.  I blame my Dad for this.  He ripped us out of Mom's arms at the age of three and took us out into the wilderness....and all four of his kids became nature lovers.   I am forever indebted to him for that.

9. Movement.  I think the bodily function that would be the hardest for me to lose would be the ability to walk.  I am constantly moving.  I find it quite hard to rest.  My mind especially.  But being able to run and be active calms my mind.  I hope I never have to deal with long-term lack of movement...but I realize it could happen, so I try every day not to take my body for granted.

Well, there are my deep thoughts for the week.  
What do you love?
Linking up again here...