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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Love Like a Hurricane?

"We've been through a lot together, and most of it was your fault." So reads a pillow that I bought and now has a place of honor in my husband's and my bedroom. I laugh a little every time I see it. I have quite a talent for blaming Mike for everything.

Just this morning, I was about to read my daily devotional, and suddenly it dawned on me that in all of my unpacking over the past 3 weeks, I hadn't found some of the things I treasure the most: a collection of whole conch shells and driftwood that our family collected over many vacations to one of our favorite places, the Outer Banks. Cape Lookout, Outer Banks, to be exact, the place where Hurricane Irene made first landfall (kind of ironic when you think about it, isn't it??). Suddenly, I was obsessed with finding those shells. Ever become obsessed with finding something? I was convinced they had been lost by the movers, or worse yet, thrown away by my husband.

I searched high and low in the house- the garage, the basement, anywhere there were still boxes. NO SHELLS. First I shed a few tears, then I let anger take over. Really, Mike, I thought to myself, don't you know better? I imagined him finding the box of shells in the attic back in Georgia and thinking they were useless, that they didn't need to be moved anymore, after so many moves with the Army. Those shells even went to Germany and back. How could he throw them away now that we had finally settled down?

Somewhere in the runaway train wreck of my angry and hurt emotions, God got ahold of me. I decided to let go of my gotta-find-it obsession and go read my morning devotional. Maybe it would speak to me. Yeah, it spoke to me. Like a lightning bolt.

John 15:12, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” (NIV)

That's very hard sometimes, isn't it, especially when we have started fretting? One of my favorite verses is Psalm 37:8 : "Cease from anger and forsake wrath; Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing." When I fret, I usually start casting blame on someone else. My mind runs in the wrong direction, and there is no love to be found. Oftentimes, the people I want to throw stones at are those that I care the most about.

So, I decided to forgive my husband for his wrongdoing. How magnanimous of me! Except I remembered one place I hadn't looked for the Outer Banks box of treasures.

The enclosed patio.

Now, if I had thought about how my organized and smart husband's brain worked, I would have looked on the enclosed patio FIRST. I went out on the patio and looked on the stand where I used to display the shells and driftwood. Guess what? There was the box, with each shell individually wrapped. My husband had done that, I am sure, because when I packed the shells, they were loose, able to shift around and break.

Had the Holy Spirit not whispered to me to spend time with God this morning, I might have gone in, woken my husband up and demanded to know where the shells were. Pretty embarrassing when I think about it. Thank you, Lord, for one little victory at a time getting ahold of my mean girl.

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