The Power Of Love

The Power Of Love

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31

Love. What a weird concept. It can take so many forms, whether it is towards your family, your friends, yourself or a significant other, love is incredibly important and we can show love in so many different ways. We live in a world right now faced with so much hurt and suffering but contrary to what most believe, I believe that these circumstances leave more room for love, and the possibility of being transformed by it. The most important aspect to consider though is that "we love because He first loved us" 1 John 4:19.

Love Others

"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another" John 13:34

So if God so clearly lays out in the bible that one of his greatest commandments is to love others, why is it something we struggle so much with? For me personally, I struggle most with loving those who are different than me, those who have differing opinions. Sometimes I find myself asking God, "Really? You expect me to love her/him after they just did that to me?" But God's answer I know would be "Yes, I do" because I think we learn the most about ourselves and our world when we dive into loving others that are different than us. We begin to learn more than we ever knew before and loving others the way that God loves us removes separation between us and God and improves our relationship with him as well. So sure, those people that wrong you or have opinions that you know just couldn't be right are hard to love, but it is those that are hard to love that God strategically puts in our lives to help us grow and learn.

Love yourself

"You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you" Song of Solomon 4:7

Ahhh, the hardest one of all. God tells us to "love others as ourselves" but how are we to do that when we don't even fully accept and love ourselves. In society today, I feel as though we are raised to doubt ourselves, our strengths, abilities and attributes that God so clearly drew out for us but this is obviously not the way it was intended to be. This has to be the biggest slap in the face to God. Imagine if you put something together that you feel is absolutely perfect and flawless in every way, only to step back and hear that you created it "wrong" or "didn't make it ______ enough". I can only imagine how hurtful that would be. You were created absolutely perfect in God's image so start living it out and truly believing it. God doesn't view your lack of a thigh gap or crooked nose or cellulite to be imperfections, He seems them as special aspects that He specifically crafted to make you, you. Begin to love yourself, cellulite, dimples, and all, and you will begin to find it easier to love others.

You Aren't Called to Love Alone

"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love" 1 John 4:7-9.

We are called to love because God first loved us. As clearly stated in the verse above, love is from God. So when you do find it hard to love someone that may be different than you or has done wrong to you, remind yourself that your love comes from something so power, so almighty that it cannot be defeated. And therefore, you can love that person who is hard to love.

In a world faced with so much evil, harm and doubt, let us be reminded that God is love and because He first loved us, unconditionally and unshakable I might add, we are called to love others in the same way. However, we can't love others until we first fully love ourselves. We owe it to God to view ourselves in the perfect image that he created us to be, because anything less isn't fair to Him.

Cover Image Credit: Awakening The Goddess

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A Thank You To My Boyfriend's Family

Because you are so important to him, you are important to me.

This one isn't easy to sit down and write because nothing I could say would do all of you justice in the way that I would hope I could. These are just words, but I hope that I am able to always show my thank you to you by treating him like the prince he is.

I can replay the moment of meeting each and every one of you all over and over in my head like it was yesterday. I was so extremely nervous every single time and I was trying to gather all the "right" things to say that would leave a good, first-lasting impression and that at the end of the day, you all would like me.

I think one of the most important basis and hopes in my relationship is that my significant other's family likes who I am. This is so important to me because whatever is important to him is equally important to me and your thoughts of me are crucial to our relationship.

The second I walked in the door, I was overwhelmed—overwhelmed with such a love. I had no idea at that point in time just how much you would all mean to me and how thankful I am for all of you!

Thank you for constantly making me laugh and feel at home.

Whenever I'm coming over for a family gathering or just to hang out, I know right off that I am walking into a world of laughter and good times are right beside that. You are all so entertaining and always have a good story to tell me. I can't name one time where I didn't feel like I was home.

And I appreciate the sweet, embarrassing photos and stories about my boyfriend that you all share with me! Even if it is by a photo, I have a glimpse of what his life has always been like thanks to each and every one of you individually.

Thank you for sharing your special moments in life with me.

You don't ever have to, but you invite me anyway. Whether it's just a family gathering, a birthday, or a holiday, I am thankful to have spent those times celebrating these moments in life alongside such amazing people. It's humbling and heartwarming to be a part of memories so unforgettable that you all share and that you have welcomed me to be a part of. They are days that I will never forget and have a place in my heart forever.

Thank you for always being there for him.

Since we have started dating, I have watched the way that you guys love him. I have watched the individual relationships and moments that you share with him make a difference in who he is. I have seen you all love and support him, no matter what he was doing.

With everything that comes along in life, this has been a simple reminder of an unconditional, loving, sacrificing family that is also the best support system. You are not only impacting him, but me, too.

Thank you for welcoming me in like your own.

Whenever you have to brave up and meet your significant other's family, I can say, for myself, that I didn't know what to expect. As I'm sure, none of you did when meeting me. Today, I catch myself wondering why I even worried in the first place. You all have welcomed me in your own ways and made me feel right at home. It is not always easy to do that with just anyone, but you have all taken the time to get to know me. And now I know that if I ever needed anything, I can call one of you.

Thank you for letting me date him.

I am most thankful for this. Thank you for sharing him with me and giving me a chance to show you all how important he is to me. I never thought that I would luck out and meet someone as special, kind, and wonderful as he is, but I did.

You have supported our relationship, given me a chance to love him, and welcomed me to new adventures in love and family. I have the upmost gratitude for each of you. You are the most wonderful, welcoming, and loving family. I am overjoyed to be able to experience just a glimpse of this life with him and with all of you.

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5 Things You Understand if You Are The Baby of the Group

That's okay, have fun without me

If you are one of the youngest members of your friend group, then you know just how it feels when everyone starts turning 21. Here are 5 things that only the babies of the friend group understand.

1. Always the DD

Once your friends start turning 21 and decide to go out, guess who gets to pick them up? That's right. You. The one that still isn't 21.

2. The mom

You may be the youngest, but when your friends come back from a good night out, you are the most responsible and mature one of the group. You are the one that has to take care of them.

3. Being left out of things

Well, if you aren't 21, you can't go to that cool bar that everyone else is talking about or on that wine tour.

4. Home alone on the weekend

While everyone else gets to go out and have fun on the weekend, you get to sit at home in your pajamas, watching TV. Sure this isn't a terrible thing, but when you are getting snapchats, and seeing your friends post about the fun they are having, you feel left out.

5. By the time you turn 21, your friends are over the hype.

You are finally 21 and you invite all of your friends. You are so excited, and they are excited for you, but after that night, you wanna go out and have fun, but your friends don't wanna go out as much because the hype of them turning 21 has faded.

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