To love; is it the desire of the weak, or is it a characteristic of the strong? Or is it both? Well I say love makes you strong, love armours you with resilience and persistence when all around you seems to be a battleground. Find something or someone you love and suddenly a hard quest or a seemingly insurmountable obstacle is seen as a challenge to overcome at all cost. Love; it makes weak men rise up and do things they never thought they could do, or desire to do. It makes damsels smile with pride and respect for the man who is willing to prove his love to her. It makes lovebirds sing and creation burst with colour. Love; they say it makes the world go round! What do you say it is?
Depending on what you believe love to be, will determine how you love. How you love others is the very oil of friendship, courtship, family life and relationship. Upon love, hangs every other action, deed, desire, hunger, thirst and accomplishment. You will endeavour to do great things for someone or something you love. Yes you will do many things for less than love, but in the end you will still do something because you love what you do or you love the one you are doing it for. Many have done a difficult or unloved task, simply for the joy they see on the face of the loved-one it is accomplished for. What a motivator love is.
So today, in defense of love, I say LOVE in such a way that the world takes note, sits up and recognizes a different kind of love they have not beheld before. Love dangerously; in such a way as to walk where there is risk, where there could be pain or gain. Love extravagantly; count nothing as too much to endure. Leave nothing unsaid, unknown or unspoken. Love valiantly; whether it is returned, received, appreciated, applauded, or sought for ~ choose to love with honesty!
The world needs love – we see it in the love God has displayed towards an uncaring world. Yet we did not love Him, He chose to love us. To love someone who loves you back is easy to do, depending on how genuine your love is. But to love those who do not want your love nor see any value in it, is a task only the strong can do. If you know you are loved by a Greater Love, a source far more magnificent than any human love, then you can give love knowing He has you covered, protected and guarded. To love with unconditional love, is truly a love that loves in all weather, all conditions and all challenges.
Today I defend love. I believe it holds some of the most extraordinarily mysterious qualities I have ever known. Love heals and hurts; Love makes one sad and happy; Love lifts you up and can let you down; Love fills you up or leaves you empty. Love is truly one of the most incredible gifts we can bestow upon another soul.
Today someone is watching how you love, choose wisely and graciously. Today a friend desperately needs someone to prove to them that love carries weight and a legend all of its own! Today how you love makes a difference to the hurting around you. No matter how you perceive or have experienced love to be, you can still choose to defend it based on what you believe love should be. You are the only one who can determine what kind of ‘lover’ you will be!
LOVE; Guard it, treasure it, redeem it, communicate it, risk it, prove it, speak it, display it, fight for it, embrace it, protect it, safeguard it, live for it, die for it, celebrate it, validate it, cherish it, define it, sacrifice for it, heal with it. Do it! It is those who love, that know how to decorate their own soul, grow their own garden and appreciate the art of loving. Loving is an art, but that artist lives in each one of us waiting to be displayed in your own sweet beautiful way!
Live in defense of love! Love heals! ღ
Somebody is waiting to be loved the way you love, so Love Out Loud! ღ
Good Monday morning to you.. .. .. I like Monday’s, I guess they just feel like the first page of the book of a brand new week, and brim over with new possibilities. Of course it is better if it is sunny,
but as I look out my window, the rain is teaming down softly and gently. Actually it makes a change from the Indian Summer we just had this past week. Today, rain is absolutely perfect for what I need to do! Clearing presses, preparing bags of clothes for the charity shop, and generally trying to declutter my life of clothes and books that would be better with someone else who needed them.
It is funny when you start to rummage through old boxes and bags, the things you find: memories! But also among all of the memories I found many of my handwritten journals, ‘Precious Moments’, “Holly Hobbie”, and “Camo Girl” themed notebooks, full of my many letters to God.
Since I was a child I loved to write, and finding all of these etchings and heart-to-paper thoughts just overwhelmed me with the goodness of God in my life. Among the boxes, I also found my safely kept “Love Is” collection – I remember as a young pre-teen I discovered these romantic little cartoon characters on the crossword page of the Irish Independent, and from that day I saved a little of my pocket money so I could always buy that Sunday newspaper, purely to read that cute caption and cut out that little cartoon. I found them all safe and sound, although a little discoloured. I then came across my hand painted island pictures, tropical beaches, butterfly skies, and dreamy horizons: I love painting!
Some of these things I will keep, some I will read and then carefully leave out to be shredded, but one thing I will always keep, is the knowledge that through all the years that these books and boxes represent, God has watched over me and cheered me on through every day. He roared from the sidelines as I ran like the wind though my cross country and sprint competitions – He shouted my name out when I won my first basketball trophy and art competition medals – He applauded my efforts as I worked and studied full-time in Theology College, and even saw to it that I won the beautiful ‘Dorcas Award’ – through all of these years He has been my Great Rewarder, my Faithful Encourager, and always my daily strength. Today I like to think of it as the “fist bump of God”. He has high-fived me and said “Well done daughter, I am so proud of you!” – The Great I AM is proud of me, and proud of you too!
Maybe you have never needed, or felt the fist bump of God, or the approval of your Creator? But to me His voice has been the sweetest one I know. On days when I thought the battle was too hard, or the race too long, He gave me my second wind and helped me win the gold. When decisions were scarey or people let me down, He never left my side and taught me a better way. When roadblocks and hurdles tried to throw me off course, He came along beside me and made the way clear. The fist bump of God is His acknowledgement that He not only sees your efforts, but you are also on His team, the winning team! A fist bump can also be a symbol of giving respect when it is due. It is commonly used in baseball as a form of celebration with teammates, and with opposition players at the end of a game.
According to St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz, the fist bump was created by Stan Musial. It is said that knuckle bumping started in the 1970s with NBA player Baltimore Bullets guard Fred Carter. Others claim it began with the Wonder Twins, minor characters in the 1970s Hanna Barbara superhero FISH cartoon Super Friends, who touched knuckles and cried “Wonder Twin powers, activate!” However, the “fist bump” or “pound” can easily be traced as far back as the late 1800s and early 1900s to the boxer’s handshake as a way to greet when hands are gloved. So it was the handshake of fighters, determined to find away to say “Well done!”Some fist bump to celebrate sports victories, to agree on a good point, or in a congratulatory way when you want to say “good job.”
Some say it is no different than a high five. Experts have said that it is not suitable for those in love to do as it is seen as a ‘we’re just friends’ kind of gesture, but in my opinion aren’t the best relationships the ones that have a strong friendship too? Either way, I am grateful for the friendship and the fist bump of God, for His accolades after every accomplishment, and for His tender, proud, kind, encouraging words that say, “Job well done!”
Someone gave me the following verbal fist bump today; “Denise, you are already amazing and will just be even more amazinger!” (I love new ‘made up on the spot words’) – God says we are just becoming more amazing as we let Him develop and change us!
Every relationship has its trademarks, those unique and memorable things that someone does that make you love them more, it is one of God’s trademarks to encourage us. Trademarks are the unique things we find so endearing about others, and soon after we meet someone we learn to love their quirky ways. God has His favourite things about you too. So as I embark on a new challenge this week, which will take me through a few months of intense study, I am already aware of the fact that I will need fist bumps all the way through, and when May finally gets here, I will again here God say, “Job well done Nisey!”
God doesn’t want to be a silent partner in your life, your job, your career, your relationship or marriage, personal life or business ~ let Him speak the loudest! Let Him be the most important fist bump you get, hear Him say “Job well done!” And while we are at it, let’s not be afraid to fist bump each other, verbal or otherwise – find a way to say “Good Job!”
Remember, a fist bump says = “We’re in this together!”
Quite a few years ago, as I was completing my R.T. and I.A.C.T. training to qualify as a counselor, I remember a remarkable story being told by one of my lecturers about a “word of mouth” story she had heard a few years previous herself. Just this week it resounded in my heart and I thought I would share it. At the time we were discussing the different types of people one can meet in this colourful world of ours and the many people we met as counselors. We greatly desired to show unconditional love and warm support to the hurting but also wanted to become better ‘lovers’ of people and help them through their pain. That particular day my lecturer asked the class the following profound question; “Are you a strawberry or a slug?” ~ Those in the room all looked at each other in amusement and became intrigued by her question.. .. .. Many times since that day I have remembered our answers and our descriptions of these two “personality types”. Do you love strawberries? When in season they can be the most luscious of fruits and are remarkably good for the body too. I love the sweet ones, but I absolutely struggle to eat them if they are slightly bitter or too acidic; my facial expressions completely change when trying to swallow a strawberry that is not sweet!
These are some of the nutritional facts about strawberries; Delicious and nutrition-rich red coloured strawberries are among the most popular berries in every country. They are native to Europe, however, nowadays the berries are widely cultivated as an important commercial crop in many temperate regions all over the world. Botanically, the plant is a runner (creeper); and belongs to the family of Rosaceae, of the genus: Fragaria. They were once seen as an exotic fruit, and when out of season can be quite expensive to purchase, but most would feel they are worth the extra financial sacrifice. These berries have a taste that varies according to origin, and they can range from quite sweet to acidic. The strawberry features a red pulp with tiny yellow coloured seeds piercing through its surface from the inside. Their top end has a small, green leafy cap and a stem that adorns the crown. Each strawberry features a conical shape, weighs about 25g and measures about 3cm in diameter. There, I guess you probably have never thought about a strawberry in such intricate detail? They are delicious when served alongside the right dessert or dipped in luscious melted dark chocolate, ice cream or fresh cream. Wild varieties are sometimes available at your local farmer’s market, and are quite delectable!
The strawberry is low in calories (32 kcal/100g) and fats, but are a rich source of many health promoting nutrients, minerals and vitamins essential for maintaining optimum health. They are considered a power food and have potential health benefits in fighting cancer, aging, inflammation, and neurological diseases. Fresh berries are an excellent source of vitamin-C (about 98% of RDI), which is also a powerful natural antioxidant, and a vital component in helping the body to digest and use its iron intake. See, strawberries really should not be lived without; their presence is beyond brilliant and so valuable to our health. (even the acidic ones – note to self!)
“Doubtless God could have made a better berry (than the strawberry), but doubtless God never did.” ~ William Allen Butler
So are you a strawberry or a slug? A “giver” or a “taker” type of person?
A “strawberry” person adds a certain kind of precious sweetness to your life. When you meet them they are a joy to be around and seem to add to the atmosphere in a colourful and creative way. They want to give more than they take, and there is a sense of kindness about the things they do. They aren’t perfect in all they do, but even in failing or falling they bounce back with a sweet endeavour to improve and grow in their love towards others. Strawberries are lovely, charming and their smile lights up the room. Like the fruit, these “strawberry’ people are greatly pleasing and quite delightful to behold, or have in your life. They are naturally good at drawing out the best in you, the strengths in you, the dreams in you. They have a natural, genuine and tenacious ability to treat you like you are worth a million dollars and invaluable in the contributions you can bring to this world. While they still have their own needs and can share the deepest chambers of their heart with you, there never ceases to be an unconditional positive regard about them. They strive to maintain a sweet unity in pursuing life’s dreams together. These “strawberry” people are rare and unforgettable, yet it is a beautiful compliment that all of us can aim to cultivate these traits in our own lives. They make you feel like you can conquer any mountain, all of your fears, every doubt and achieve your deepest aspirations. To them life is all about mutual giving, and we know that it is more of a blessing to give than receive; indeed in giving we receive a hundredfold back in benefits and love. In serving others as “strawberry” people, we can be sure that when we leave this earth people will remember us with fondness, love, appreciation and delight. I want my epitaph to say “She was a strawberry!” ~ =)
“Strawberry” people are not perfect, as that is just not realistic, but ‘sorry’ is not a word they are afraid to use, and they seek to maintain peaceful harmony as much as possible.
We all know the “slugs” ~ they are usually people who are hurting or angry; and may not be aware their pain causes them to rob from you, steal your peace or remove your joy. They can be quite pessimistic or negative, and life around them is not always easy. They don’t bring health to your bones, and instead can be quite a challenge to walk the road alongside. But if you are a “strawberry” person, then you can help the “slug” person realise the better choices they can make. These “slug” people are usually the kind of ones who have no idea who they are, or how very valuable and precious they are. They cannot see their unique gifts or the beauty that is within them. Many of these types of people take and take from you, demanding more and more time, with very little regard or appreciation. It is quite sad, but usually their world revolves around their comfort and their own needs. We all know some people who are “slugs”, but if you fancy yourself to be a “strawberry” then why not try to help this person make the changes they need to. Of course we cannot change anybody else in this world but ourselves, but we can still choose to be sweet “strawberries” in a world that is growing more and more bereft of what true unconditional love and kindness is.. .. ..
We all have our “slug” days, but let’s at least try to be “strawberries”. =)
“Slugs” are destroyers of all that is sweet, yes it is the way they survive, but most of the time these sad and angry ones desperately want to be free to love without any fear, and give without any limit. “Strawberries” can help ~ by being sweet in the face of those who do not appreciate you; I know it is not easy, and being taken for granted is hard to take day in and day out ~ but there will be a sweet sense of peace in your heart as you lay your head on your pillow at night. There will also be health to your life, knowing that you are not caught up in anxiety and hatred. We all have the potential to be “slugs” ~ never seeing any beauty in the simple things around us ~ never taking the time to love others and really know them; but when the love of God and His unconditional acceptance penetrates our hearts and lives, we are changed. We realise that the love we give away to others is not ours anyway, that only for Him in our lives we would never know the real capacity to selflessly reach out to lift others up. I heard a phrase the other day that saddened me ~ It went like this;
“The less you say, the more people will listen!”
I pondered those words, and remarked to myself how so true it is at time, and how sad it is that our communities are becoming like this. When there is a deep need in a heart to be understood and cared for, the one depended upon may feel overwhelmed and choose to turn away. Do we truly only seek out those who have few needs and therefore avoid giving beyond our own comfort zone? Yes boundaries are healthy, but still we maintain the bond of love and peace as much as we can. It is a good question and I am not saying I have arrived there – some days I wish I were more of a “strawberry”, but I know that seeking to duplicate the sweetness of a strawberry in my personality, makes me a far nicer person to be around, even for me to be around too!
So the next time you sink your teeth into a sweet, ripe, delicious strawberry, stop and think about the incredible potential in you to be more pleasing, loving, graceful, understanding, patient, kind and tasteful in your world.
There are always far more reasons to give back then to hoard and take just for yourself ~ hearts that feel like “slugs” are waiting for the “strawberry” people to show them a better way, a far sweeter way.
Love is not a weakness, it demands the truest form of strength at times ~ It’s a commendable trait and distinguishes you in quite a remarkable and “sweet strawberry” way!
Have you ever wondered what a ROSE really means? If someone significant gives you a certain rose, in a specific color, what does that color mean?
Well over the past few days while watching a certain Elizabeth Gaskell 1800 period drama, I was reminded of this very thing.
So I began searching for the message behind the giving of a rose to someone…
Here are my findings… Coral Roses convey ‘Desire” Lavender Roses symbolize “Love at first sight and enchantment“ Orange Roses indicate “Enthusiasm, desire and fascination“ Pink (Deep) says “Thank You“ . . . it also means “I will wait” Pink (Light) Rose conveys “Admiration, gentleness, grace, gladness, joy and sweetness“ Red Roses symbolize sincere “Love, Respect, Courage & Passion” Red (Dark) Rose reveals “Unconscious beauty” Red (Single) means “I Love You” Red & White Roses together signify ‘Unity” Single Rose in any color expresses ‘Simplicity and gratitude“ White Roses express “Purity/heavenly, secrecy, silence, innocence and charm“ White (Bridal) Rose symbolizes a “Happy love“ . . & “I am YOURS” Yellow Roses indicate “Joy, gladness, friendship” and “I Care” Yellow Rose with Red Tip indicates “Friendship that is falling in Love”
The description after the color indicates how you feel about the person to whom you are sending the rose…
Here are some other rose color descriptions I found ~
The meaning of red roses is romantic love. A deep red rose is for lovers, a bright red rose signifies passion, while cardinal red roses symbolize desire.
Red roses that are fully opened are thought to mean “I’m still in love with you”, while a bouquet of red rose buds is an expression of first true love or a new love.
The meaning of red and white roses mixed in a bouquet, conveys the feeling of love.
Yellow roses mean friendship, happiness in the home.
Yellow roses can also symbolize or convey a message of ‘I’m Sorry”. The ‘Yellow Rose of Texas’ is often used for these purposes.
Meaning of White Roses
White roses symbolize innocence, purity, loyalty and sincerity. White roses are also the most popular bridal roses or wedding roses.
When white roses are mixed with red ones, it conveys the feeling of love.
The meaning of pink roses and many shades of pink of different color roses symbolize an expression of romance, beauty, elegance, joy and admiration.
Dark pink roses, or hot pink roses, also conveys the meaning of thankfulness. A bouquet of both pink and red roses symbolizes a romantic partnership saying ‘I will wait”
Orange roses symbolize great achevements in someones life. Orange roses are given at graduations and at job promotions!
The meaning of peach roses is to convey a message of appreciation and thanks. If you would like to thank someone, send them a bouquet of peach or coral roses.
The meaning of purple roses is eternal true love. And that“I will love you forever!”.
Lavender or lilac rose colors mean the beginning of true love…
Purple roses are most often used for wedding anniversaries after 25 years and beyond. They are also used as a memorial rose for a departed spouse.
Very deep purple roses are meant to be given for intimate personal situations.
Black roses symbolize death and sorrow and are often used at funerals, The meaning of black roses can bemisunderstood, so be sure you know the persons beliefs before you give or send red black roses.
I hope I have shed light on what different color roses symbolize.
If you know of any others, please feel free to add them in a comment at the end here…=)
Now, all I can think about are the specific roses I wish to send someone…how about you!