"Follow God's example, therefore, as dearly loved children of God, and walk in the way of love, just as Christ Jesus loved us and gave up himself for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (2 Timothy 1:7)"
My sweet husband gave me a simple silver bracelet with part of this beautiful verse on it that has become my anthem for 2013: "Walk in the way of LOVE"
But, what does that look like?
What does love look like?
I'm a photographer and I think about this a lot. I get a huge thrill when I can click the shutter and freeze love in a photograph. I know it when I see it, but how do I walk it? How do I share it?
I can laugh with my oldest while he watches Sponge Bob, admire Minecraft creations made by my second-born, doctor beanie babies endlessly with my littlest, and do my best to have dinner planned and ready (most days) for my husband - without complaining or making them feel like they are interrupting my life. Those are all ways to walk in love with my family.
I can smile and say hello to strangers on the street, ask the grocery clerk how their day has been (and really listen), take a meal to a family who needs a blessing - all with a happy heart. These are ways to walk in love with the world around me.
I have discovered, however, that I will have no love to give if I have no love for myself. If I don't truly believe that I have something to offer those around me, that I am loved and worthy myself. If I feel dry and empty, then all those actions can become hollow, forced and filled with bitterness.
So I'm trying to replace the fear and anxiety that cripples love with things that grow love.
Taking pictures used to be a joy for me, until I learned too much and began to only look at them with an eye that was way too critical. I am giving myself loving permission to take one picture a day that I love, that pushes me creatively or moves me emotionally, and post them on my blog (beckythomasphotography.com) once a week.
Will you join me? What can you give yourself permission to make room for in your life, to re-energize your love tank and renew your creative juices? How will you let that spill over into the world around you?