In Living Color

colorI so enjoyed my Mother’s Day yesterday.  After a great service at church celebrating lifechange, we continued our 10 year tradition of Jeff and the girls ordering curbside takeout from Outback and eating at home with our comfy clothes on and feet kicked up.  No crowds, no fuss…just like I like it!  The girls’ greatest gift to me, honestly, is just to leave me alone.  I LOVE being a mom, but I love days of solitude, too, so they rested, I rested – win, win!  There were gifts and hugs that filled the day, as well, yet as I look back on yesterday, the one thing that pulled most at the heartstrings of this Mama was a little from 7 year old Quinn.  I love this age she is in right now.  She is carefree and full of wonder. She is the type of child that cannot tell you enough how much she loves you.  Her honesty and just plain old “realness” continually reminds me to live life to the fullest.  She took that love and wrote me one of the sweetest, and laced with a little humor, letters that taught me more about life than I probably ever really teach her.

 

Dear Mom,

Happy Mother’s Day.  I hope you have a “terifec” day.  I love you with all of my heart. Without you colors would not be colorful. Everything would be white.  So do you love me? If you do I love you too! Love, Quinn ❤

Looking past the part that has her only telling me she loves me only if I love her first, It’s the “without you colors would not be colorful part” that has me thinking.  I often tell others that I don’t want to live a life of acting like I need accolades.  I want to be driven by the fact that if no one ever sees how I love others, and I never receive one thank you, that I would still love exactly the same. I want to simply live a open, honest and REAL life.  In Quinn’s childlike take on life, she really hits the nail on the head of living a life that is real and driven by love.  In her heart, she equates love from me as filling her life with color.  On a coloring page of black and white, it’s the colors we add that make it a work of “art”.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t like living in the gray areas.  The gray is what seems to most define society.  There’s a comfortability of not committing to being one way or another because either it will make you unpopular or a an extremist.  Dwelling in a place of mediocrity is often where we settle.  For me, Quinn’s very unexpected words to me had a very big impact, and have reminded me to never give up on living  life that is driven by full out LOVE.  If I’m being honest, I would always tell you that is how I think I’m driven everyday, but the truth is I often settle back into that place of “Oh, just let someone else love that difficult person” or “I’m too busy to love them today”. I could give a litany of excuses as to why loving completely and fully just doesn’t always happen, but I read the words of my child and where else do I really want to live?

Back in October, my closest friends surprised me with a 40th birthday party.  I knew the party was coming only because as a part of it, they told me I was to go out and buy a new outfit and the only stipulation was that I HAD to buy an outfit of vibrant color.  At first, all I heard was, “Yay, I get to go shopping,” but then I went out in search of the outfit and I wanted to gravitate back to my comfort zone of black shirts and jeans.  It’s what I like to wear and feel best in, but no, they told me vibrant, along with dressier, so I found myself completely stressed and uncomfortable.  I didn’t know why, for one, they wanted me to get such colorful clothes, and two, I just didn’t want to have everyone’s focus on me.  I’m not the one that needs to be the center of attention contrary to a lot of my life placing me in front of people.  I finally, after much struggle, found a very bright hot pink outfit.  If you know me, you know I have a hate relationship with the color pink.  Even at my girls’ baby showers, I requested no pink.  I’m not the girly girl.  So, this outfit was definitely out of my comfort zone.  As we arrived at the party, I have pretty much figured out that because Jeff is wearing a white shirt and black pants, which he never does, that I was going to find the rest of the party doing the same.  I was right.  Every guest had on white shirts and black pants.  I was the ONLY one in color.  Awkward.  And then my friends speak words of encouragement and wishes over me, and guest after guest speak of me living a life of love.  They see in me what I often can’t see in myself as ever being enough.  I choose often to live in the place of if I just love simply I’m not loving fully.  How wrong I am, and how wrong you are, friend if you live in that place with me.  That gray world we live in is hungry for color that only love has the right colors to fill.  I pray that you not become weary in the “doing good”.  For those of you surrounded by unlovely people day in and day out, you may quite frankly be the only person that shows them a true picture of love.  For you that just feels like you are not making a difference, you are. Period.  I cannot tell you the times I have felt worthless in my attempts to make any impact in anyone’s life, but then I meet someone years later and they simply say, “Thank you for loving me when I was most unlovable.”  The question lies here…”Are we willing to love fully when we NEVER get any response.”  It goes back to Quinn for me.  There is absolutely NOTHING she could ever do to make me love her less.  She is my baby girl.  She had my heart before she was even born.  That’s every single person we pass everyday.  Before they were ever born, they had God’s heart.  He loved them in FULL color, and absolutely nothing they ever do could make Him love them less.  I don’t want to live in the world that’s just white.  In full color, in full love and completely consumed with the love He has for me is the only thing that will turn a gray world toward Him.  Who is it that you need to love more fully today? Whose life would say “without you like would not be colorful”?

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