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Framed In Joy, Melissa N Smith - Everyday Love

Everyday Love: a list of 20 ways love showed up

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We know the romantic comedy we watched on Saturday night isn’t the real thing, and we know that God tells us all about love in I Corinthians 13. I’m sure DC Talk and John Mayer are not the only musicians who sing about love being a verb. We model love for our kids and use our words to instruct them. Pastors preach about God’s love and how to love our neighbor. The messaging is there.

And yet, in our daily lives, what does love really look like?

As a compulsive list maker, I compiled a “Love is…” List. It’s simple, raw, and real. None of these examples are made up. Some are maybe a bit specific, while others are purposefully vague. Can you find yourself on this list?

  1. A care package left on my back patio full of notes and personalized prayers for my grief with “Friends” titles because you know it will make me laugh through my tears.
  2. Listening with compassion for the 5,000th time to my questions and hurt and doubt.
  3. My youngest son rubs my arm and prays over me when he sees my broken heart.
  4. Acknowledging how I hurt you and you forgiving me…again.
  5. Finding a crock pot of homemade soup and a handmade card on our stoop when our household was quarantined. 
  6. Remembering the pain you carry and giving you grace when, in your pain, you lash out and hurt me.
  7. Staying on the dark, hard paths of life together long after everyone has left.
  8. Sacrificing my time, my home, and my heart to help you fight.
  9. Laughing together through the tears because we both know it’s terrible but we have each other. And maybe singing the Backyardigans tune “Things Can Always Get Worse!”
  10. Speaking the truth to me when all I hear are lies.
  11. Cleaning up the kitchen even though it’s your least favorite job but you know I’m just done.
  12. A snuggle and silence at the end of a long, hard day.
  13. Believing in my dreams even when I want to burn it all down.
  14. The way your eyes light up in laughter and delight as I mess up the lyrics to a song again.
  15. A card and flowers remind me I am seen and known in the quiet places of my life.
  16. As the turbulence rocks my tentative calm, my daughter’s hand on my leg reminds me I am not alone.
  17. The joyful exclamations of celebration over dinner as we share the little victories: a test passed, an article published, a friend made.
  18. Fighting and praying through the conflict and trusting God for reconciliation.
  19. Listening to what I didn’t say and being courageous enough to bridge my silence.
  20. Though dancing is so far outside your comfort zone it has a different country code, you join my kitchen dance party with a shoulder shake, hip wriggle, and quirk of an eyebrow just to see our teenagers laugh with joyful embarrassment and my eyes light up with delight.

My list could go on. Daily, I add to it, little remembrances of God’s goodness at work in the world. Want to join me? Start your own list. Then, shoot me an email at [email protected].

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