Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Nurture, Protect, Love

                On my writing journey through life, my favorite moments take place when something triggers the muse giving me ideas which come alive in my soul.  I love to write numerous genres, anything from historical, fantasy, autobiographical, to faith.  Since I am writing this blog, I definitely look for sparks to share with my readers.  This morning as I read through a Bible study I am doing solo, the words kept leaping out at me.  I put asterisks by the items I want to work on later in my writing.  Suddenly, a passage hit my muse full force.  I would like to share the thoughts.
                “And a relationship doesn’t just happen.  It has to be nurtured, protected, and loved,” page 73, Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver.  This took my breath away.  As I have mentioned before, I struggle with relationships.  I expect those I am in a relationship to live up to these words just as I must live up to them as well, whether the relationship is between me and God, my husband, a parent, a child, a sibling, or a friend.  We fail in these relationships when we overlook one of the points.
                Nurturing can be the hardest of all three because it takes a great amount of sacrifice.  In the first years of my marriage, we struggled with some of the aspects of nurturing each other.  My interest in science fiction and fantasy didn’t really exist.  My husband on the other side read all the books and watched all the movies.  I started trying these venues of entertainment to give us a common idea to talk about.  Now, I not only read and watch fantasy, I also write fantasy.  We go to many science fiction movies though I still struggle reading the genre.  Now for his part, he knew practically nothing about Shakespeare when we met.  Except for small high school plays, he also hadn’t been to the theater.  To nurture our relationship, my husband started taking me to plays and watching the old classic dramas.  He has even read classics like The Count of Monte Cristo.  We have learned to nurture our relationship by sharing our interests.  If one of us hadn’t taken an interest, our relationship would be one sided and either have ended by now or be very miserable. 
                Our relationships with others and God should be handled the same way.  I know many people who don’t attend church or other religious functions.  This is something God asks us to do.  I need to attend church because that is His interest.  Granted, I love going to church, but sometimes I would like to sleep in on a Sunday, not have to go out in the freezing cold, or play in my garden instead.  But I need to nurture my relationship with God on His turf.  Of course, I expect God to do the same for me.  When I go for a drive or walk out in nature, I want God with me.  He is awesome at pointing out the beauty of the land to me.  He also throws in wild life.  This last year He sent me osprey and a kerron to delight in watching.  Of course, He helps me with my writing and finding things to write about.  He nurtures my interests.  Nothing is worse than being the only one nurturing in a relationship.  We nurture each other.
                Our loved ones need protected as do we.  Protection comes in many forms.  The one that comes to the forefront of my thoughts is speech.  All people, me included, talk badly about other people.  When I am frustrated about my husband, I will talk about my irritation about him to a friend.  We get annoyed with those we are in relationship with.  That is a fact of life.  However, I am wrong to say bad things about him especially if I don’t include all the good things about him.  Yes, my husband is horrible at cleaning house, but he is an awesome husband, father, and provider.  And watch out if anyone criticizes him in front of me.  I will protect my husband from all who try to gossip and say bad things about him.
                The same goes with God.  I need to talk up all the good God does in my life and world.  Hopefully, He is talking well of me as well in heaven.  I also need to defend God.  When people talk bad about Him or our relationship, I need to defend both just like I would if someone misspoke about my father, husband, or other loved one.
                Part of me wants to say it is easy to love those we are in relationship with us.  But really it is only easy to say we love them.  I also believe it is easy to feel the love of the person.  Even those I am not in a good relationship with, I love like crazy.  But love is more than just the speaking and feeling, it is also action.  Our love needs to go beyond ourselves to nurture and protect.  Without the actions, the love will not help the relationship grow or mature.  Instead it will stagnate and become a burden.  If I only went to church for God, I would feel let down by Him or the reverse if I only met God on my walks.  God and I both need to work on the relationship beyond our love for one another.
                Years ago I had a family member or two complain about having nothing in common with my young sons.  The comment irritated the living daylights out of me.  Really?  And I am interested in Pokémon cards?  Nope.  But I sat through quite a few episodes of the television show, listened to the nonstop chatter about the little critters, and even picked out a favorite of my own.  Why?  I wanted a relationship with my kids.  A while back a woman gossiped to me about my son and his supposed girlfriend.  This was news to me.  I didn’t know he had a girlfriend nor at the age of 13 or 14 did I believe he should have a girlfriend.  I called him right then and there while I ate dinner with her.  He chuckled and said the girls were saying it and he just wasn’t going to argue with them.  I informed the woman it was only gossip.  Yes, I love my children, husband, God, family, and friends and they love me.  But to make the relationship more, all of us have to also nurture and protect.
                Blessing to you all.

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