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LOVE


I asked some readers for topic ideas for the blog today.

"Love" was my favorite.


Hmmm. Kind of a big topic.


After about three full minutes of googling celebrities' definitions of love, I can confidently tell you two things:


1) Celebrity quotes are a terrible idea to use as an entry point for a blog post about love.

2) Divorce and suicide rates are likely high among celebs BECAUSE of their definitions of love.


Something Christina and I read to one another on the day we got married at our teeny wedding was Paul, the author of the famous letter to the Corinthians' definition of love.


"Love is patient and is kind; love does not envy. Love does not brag. Love is not proud. Love does not behave itself inappropriately; it doesn't seek its own way, is not provoked, takes no account of evil; doesn't rejoice in unrighteousness but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails."


As a kid raised in the church and a relatively conservative family, this writing has always been my go-to when pondering love. What is clear to me from this letter is that love is selfless.


"My loves." All experiencing a range of very different emotions.

 

Love is a currency needing continual circulation through each of us as a community. Things stop working well when it is not reciprocal or uneven. Being selfless within a one-sided selfish relationship spells nothing but drainage and disaster. Christina and I understand that the value of our commitment to one another lies within our unending willingness to get up and try again. Things go best when the mentality is "what can I do for you today?" over "I need this from you today." Love is taking care of one another as yourself.


My love for my children, at times, has required much of me as a father. It has put me in situations that a single person without children could never comprehend. A few weeks ago, I spent my first night with four children diarrhea-ing and puking in unison. I am SO proud that Christina and I handled it like absolute veterans together. The way we did it? At the first signs of puking, we took a moment to prepare and affirm one another. We promised that we would do everything possible that night to laugh off the inevitable distress. We would help one another through what would be a completely sleepless night of doing laundry, showering off children, and assisting with post-puke sips of water. Gross right? I'm not done yet. Love doesn't brag; well, let me brag about how much I love my children while simultaneously discouraging any youngsters out there about ever considering five children. At roughly 3:00 am, when all but one of our children had puked twice, I declared a family-wide puke truce cease-fire. I firmly stated that all sick children were now double puked and had my fatherly permission to resume sleep in the first warm batch of blankets just retrieved from our precious, precious dryer.

About 5 seconds later, 1.5-year-old Columbia ralphed all over my hairy bare chest. I cleaned it off, at this point, half-heartedly due to absolute exhaustion. The moment I set my head back down, Faye shot up and yelled, "I'm gonna puke!" As I shot up, she shot out, right into my face, point-blank, and there was NOTHING I could do but yelp and run to the shower and then whimper and laugh at the absurdity while she finished off on the now hot (and wet) blanket. Straight back into the washer it went.

*I love them all so much.*Twitch*

By the way, they are all doing much better. It was an excellent old-fashioned 24-hour flu that ripped through all of us. It took nothing more than a tiny piece of our souls and left us, parents, with a semi-permanent eye twitch due to the trauma. Let's call it a wink.


While true love is full of sacrifices, love is also fun. I did find one quote that I liked during those three minutes of googling:

"You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams." -Dr. Seuss

Haha. Oh boy. I just realized how funny that quote is when contrasted against my previous paragraph. I'm going to have to leave this just the way it is.


So, while cheezy celebrity quotes about love may not be the best way to open a blog post, it feels just right to end it with the irony of that one.

The same sickness-ridden night that will go down as one of our worst will also be remembered as a grueling night fueled by love, a feeling, a choice, a commitment to selfless giving.

 

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We are here to learn. We are here to give. We are here to receive.

 

We are here to love.



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