Sunday, February 13, 2011

And the Greatest of These is LOVE!

Well, it's been two weeks since my last blog post and I'm still trying to figure out what direction to go. I'd LOVE suggestions! But tomorrow's Valentine's Day. Cause for celebration, yes? Eh, not really in my house. What?! What romance writer DOESN'T celebrate the holiday of LOOOOOOVE and ROMANCE and blabbity blabbity blah?! Well, this one. Sorry to disappoint. Tomorrow I do NOT want chocolates or flowers or any gifts at all. (However, I will take a home cooked dinner or the dishes to be done, laundry folded, etc.) BUT, I DO CELEBRATE LOVE. Real love, not Cupid love. The 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a, 13 kind of love.

"Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails . . . And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love."

One of my talented writer friends, who has become a respected advisor/crit partner while I'm writing The Heart's Lullaby, recently wrote an article for Reflections in Hindsight blog ( and I was so touched by it, I sought and was granted permission to repost. I just love how candid she is about how her idea of love and romance has changed. See if you can relate:

"I was 21 when I met the man who would eventually become my husband. Poor guy. I was every emotionally bad thing there is about 21 when he met me. You couldn’t have created a more moody, self-centered, no-self-esteem heroine if you tried. And yet…he loved me. The problem is, I didn’t always see it.

If you had known me in my younger years, you’d have had the “privilege” of being acquainted with the world’s most hopeless romantic. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that I became a romance writer. I had notebooks full of ideas about perfect dates, perfect songs, perfect this, perfect that… My best friends would call me and say, “Tell me a story.” For hours, I’d sit on the phone with them and weave these crazy romantic stories about the guy of their dreams (usually named Danny, Donnie, Joe, Jordan, of Jon. It was 1990. Think about it.) By the time I met the man who would become my husband, my sense of what made “true love” was fully formed… or fully DEformed, which might be the better word. I wanted flowers, reading poems to each other in the park, and slow dancing on the deck in the moonlight. (And for the record? My thirty-seven-year-old self just gagged.) Oh, and after growing up in a military town, I also wanted a civilian, thankyouverymuch. There was this ideal in my head, and my poor husband met none of it.

Funny thing is… He was nothing that I wanted, and everything I needed.

The man I married is a skydiving, Harley riding, farm boy turned soldier. (He just read this and said, “Gee, honey. Throw ‘beer drinking’ in there and you’ll have the perfect redneck.”) We’ve been together 16 years, married 14… He has sent me flowers three times. Twice while he was deployed to Iraq and didn’t have any other choice. He has never slow danced with me anywhere outside of a dance floor, would rather eat chicken than read poetry (My boy does not eat chicken anywhere for any reason or for anybody), and couldn’t make a romantic mix tape if you have him the list of songs you wanted on it. And you know what? I don’t care. His “love language” is all him, and it’s all wonderful.

I put him through the ringer before I figured out how much he loves me. I used to sulk over not getting flowers. I called him unromantic and maybe even cold. But then I really figured him out, and he is the most romantic man in the world. He may not bring me flowers, but he brings me good ink pens (which I love) and Vanilla Coke. He once made me a CD with a song about chimpanzees on it because we used to sing it together in the car. (And hon, that’s more romantic than the sappiest love song out there.) He may not lay on a blanket in the park and read poetry to me, but he signs onto Skype at 1:00 AM Afghanistan time and stays up all night long just to talk to me about nothing, because he wants to see my face and hear my voice. (That right there is enough love to bring tears to my eyes.) And he talked me into riding that Harley with him. Me. The girl who used to be the biggest ‘fraidy cat in the world. I sit behind him, and after a while, when we really get to cruising down a back road, he’ll rest his elbow on my knee. That’s the definition of our marriage to me, his elbow on my knee. Think I’m crazy? Well, I know this… There is not any other person in the world he’d do that to. I’m the only one. So there’s something magical and totally romantic about helmets and boots and riding jackets and a V-twin engine that speaks love to me. When he’s in Iraq or Afghanistan and I drive down the road and hear a Harley pass, it’s almost like I hear a whispered “I love you” in that roar.

Yep. Love languages are all different, and I thank God for teaching me how to translate my husband’s. He is the bravest, most loving, most giving, most amazing man in the world. It terrifies me to think what I would have missed out on if I had continued to insist love looks like my high school fantasies did. God’s grace brought us together, and God’s grace has kept us together. Thank God for grace…"

What really struck me in this article (besides the elbow on the knee thing *sniff, sniff*) was when she said, "It terrifies me to think what I would have missed out on . . . " Isn't that the truth??? On Valentine's Day I think about the love I have for my husband, my children, my family and friends . . . and then I think about the love my Lord has for me. He loves me so much he stretched his arms out and DIED for ME! And it truly terrifies me to think what I would have missed out on if I never knew His love and accepted his ultimate Valentine's Day gift of everlasting life.

To find out more about my dear friend, Jodie Bailey, visit And if you have any suggestions for this blog - what you'd like to read about - I'd love to hear it! Either leave me a comment or send me a message through email or on facebook.


Ramona Richards said...

The idea of you and Jodie working together should send the Enemy scrambling - 'cause REALLY good things will come out of this.

BTW, someone pitched me a story this weekend about how a postman helps put his love's stories together with a publisher...and I started laughing (which I had to explain to her.)

And I put out a fleece about true love....

Jodie said...

I am behind on reading the posts in my blog reader (WAY behind, as you can see) and I just saw this. You are truly an amazing friend and God is doing amazing things through you!!!

And Ramona, if you see this... thanks! Praying for you and whatever your fleece may be!