Joyful Words Blog
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path.
– Psalm 119:105
– Psalm 119:105
Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, it is not rude, it is
not inflated. 1 Corinthians 13:4
October, the tenth month, is my favorite month of the year! I always get a little giddy when it’s time to flip the calendar from September to October and a little blue when it’s time to flip from October to November. I love everything about October; the weather, the colors, the smells, and the tastes. Let’s face it…you can buy apple cider any time of the year but it tastes better fresh from the orchard in October! It’s fun when it starts to get cooler and you get the box from the store room that has the sweaters and sweatshirts in it…it’s like shopping for free and everything seems new. The happiest and saddest things in my life have happened in October and through these events, this verse from First Corinthians comes to life.
Twenty-one years ago tomorrow (October 5th) I married the greatest guy EVER! His love for me and our three children overwhelms me on a regular
basis! He’s gentle and kind and humble and honest to name just a few of his attributes…all demonstrated in his quiet, inconspicuous way. It’s the
understatement of the century to say that he is the biggest blessing God ever plopped in my lap. Through this blessing came three more blessings and words can’t even describe how amazing it is to see how God can multiply the love you have in your heart and make it big enough to share with everyone in your house…even when they’ve just trampled on your last nerve and eaten all but the last five Cheerios and put the box back in the cupboard! I guess that’s where the “love is patient” part comes in. I LOVE my life! My family, my home, my job, my church, my town, all of it, but I’m reminded in the tenth month of each year that it was one of the saddest Octobers that allowed God to lead me to all these blessings.
Early in the month more than twenty Octobers ago, my Mom lost her battle with brain cancer. She was teaching and loving right up till the end. I remember during those last couple weeks of her fight, she would ask me to hand her the wooden box that contained her collection of note cards so she could write thank you notes to people who had touched her life or helped her family. She’d ask me to finish some of them for her but I had to promise to use only the words she told me to use. She said everyone deserved to know about it if they were appreciated. In those notes, she would point out something lovely about that person, like their smile or their friendly nature. She spent those last weeks being anything but rude, or inflated. I asked her one day if she ever asked God “Why me?” She honestly admitted that she had asked that question a couple of times but she said the better question was,“Why NOT me?” I can hear her voice say,“What makes me think I’m so special that something hard and sad and painful shouldn’t happen to me?” Now that was “love is not jealous” in action.
Twenty some Octobers later, I see how the sad connects to the happy so flawlessly only God could have done it. See, the truth is, I loved my mother
with all my heart and I don’t think I would have moved 800 miles away to
Michigan if she were still in Kansas. God knew…He knew that the sad chapter in my life would have an amazingly happy ending…He’s that good and He’s that loving! He even handled the travel arrangements that got me to Michigan. Through it all, I have learned to trust because I have seen and felt the way God cares for us with elaborate and intricate detail. Recognizing God’s love means understanding that you have the experiences in your life in God’s perfect time… for good reason…and they are YOUR experiences. Don’t be jealous of another person’s life because it seems easier than your own. You don’t know what you don’t know…God’s got a journey for each of us and we can’t look jealously at the “blessings or good life” of others because we have no idea what strife might have led them to it. Imitating the pure love of God means celebrating blessings and comforting sorrows with all those God puts in our path. Life on earth is a delicate balance of both! It’s October…the best month of the year… so run out and love somebody in First Corinthians 13:4 style today!!!
A seed to plant: Follow my Mom’s example of loving kindness and send a note of thanks or appreciation to somebody who has touched your life. For extra credit, send it handwritten and mailed with a stamp!
Blessings on your day!
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Sheri's writing can also be found at Faith Catholic Publications and on CatholicMom.com