"It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it's not
particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there -
fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives,
boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. [...] If you look for it,
I've got a sneaky feeling you'll find that love actually is all around."
The above is one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite movies. And it is a quote I have been thinking about a lot lately. The media and society often tell us that love has to look a certain way, sound a certain way, and be a certain way. But just as there are billions of people on this earth, love looks, sounds, is a billion different things. It may not be "particularly dignified or newsworthy", but love can be found in the smallest of actions, in fleeting glances, and in moments often overlooked by ourselves and most certainly by others.
I see love in so much of my life.
MacKenzie shows love by grabbing our faces and looking us in our eyes then getting embarrassed by such a blatant show of emotion and buries her head deep into our shoulders. She shows love by helping with chores and tasks around the house and asking if "She was a good helper". She shows love by grabbing her favorite book and inching closer and closer to you as you read it until she sits, limbs everywhere, delighting in every word.
Keegan shows love by grabbing your hands and putting them in her lap, or around her shoulder, or by lacing your fingers with hers, lightly stroking them as a reminder that you are there. She shows love with her peals of giggles that she gives freely to anyone and everyone I think in part because she things much of life is funny and in part to make others feel good about themselves, like her laughter is a reward for all the world to cherish. She shows love by unabashedly proclaiming it, for her family, her friends, and interestingly enough, a certain boy or two in her Sunday school class.
Johnny shows love in his own way, with his smile that is too big for his face, where if you didn't know better you could imagine him screaming "I'm going to eat you!" He shows love by reaching out for your face, in the little baby way, with eyes full of wonder, looking like "Is this person real? Because I think they are pretty amazing." He shows love with snuggles meant just for the people he loves, relaxing his muscles, settling into his favorite crook under your neck, placing his hands on your side or on your chest.
Love between Matt and I is often times found in those fleeting moments. A quick kiss of a greeting at home or an unexpected lunch out as a family. A grin and hidden laughter at something our wonderful kids have done that we may not want to necessarily encourage with blatant display of humor. A quick brush of the hands stretched out to touch each other as we sit on opposite ends of the couch with our three kids nuzzled between us as we watch a family movie. Or even a resounding and affirmative "I love you" at the end of a disagreement, an assurance that despite our differences, it is worth working through together.
Lately, because I am so thankful for the time and resources to do so, I am working on exhibiting love for others and gladly receiving it in turn. It has been a love-fest around here lately, over and over friends have posted examples of love on Facebook and through text messages. A quick trip to the grocery store for a friend with sick kids. Picking up coffee and a favorite candy for a friend having a bad day. Random play dates which leads to wonderful Mommy time as friendships are furthered at all ages. Bringing over lunch or dinner for a friend in need.
And as it is with women of a "breeding age", always looking for love in a new person. Sending text message of love and prayers. Praising steps in adoptions and squealing with delight when pregnancies are announced. Counting up expecting friends and wondering who will be next, always speculating on every mention of feeling under the weather or frequent trips to the restroom. Sitting with friends watching their bellies move with new life. Worrying with friends desperate to be in that position themselves.
It's all love being exhibited in a thousand different ways. We show love how we can. Sometimes we need more love than we can give, sometimes we are blessed with boundless supplies and energy and it spills out for others to lap up. There is an ebb and flow and I have found the more you give, truly give, expecting nothing in return (except for maybe a smile and a hug), the more you get. Your own stores of love are rarely depleted when you give, love has the tendency to multiply in that way. Often we are asked if we ever slow down, and we do, but much more than that, the more we give to others, especially in building and maintaining relationships, the more fulfillment we receive.
So we work to continue to love, our family and our friends and I think you will find it, all around us.
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
-1 John 4:8