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“love your neighbor as yourself.”

A phrase memorized early on.  A sentence engraved and recited.

Love others.  Treat them how you would like to be treated.  Respect them as you respect yourself.

But I pose the question: how do you love others when you’re struggling to love yourself?

This winter has been difficult for me–I’ve shared a bit, and I’ll tell morebut there have been days I’ve struggled to love.
I felt as if I was running out–clearly it has to run dry eventually, right?

I pour myself into my daughter and husband–
all the while frustrated with myself for not having it all together–
this image of the perfect wife, mom and woman I try and try to be.

And in that frustration, I realize I’m not loving the ones I love most very well,
because I’m not loving me.
I’m not allowing myself to be loved–by anyone.

It’s easy to smile.
To carry on.
To hold your head up.

And at the end of the day, I realize how selfish I’ve been.  How inwardly focused I’ve been, idly watching as walls form up around my heart.  All the while I hear His voice telling me I am worth it.  I am beautiful.

I am worthy of love.

When I believe the truth, the lies begin to silence.
When I let love in, it only has one way to go: outside of myself.

That’s the way love is shared–it’s multiplied.  It’s a growing, living, beautiful, and contagious thing.  It doesn’t run out, it doesn’t give up, and it doesn’t grow tired.

and it is patient as we learn.

share the love 2013

I am so blessed the gorgeous ladies teaming up for Share the Love asked me to join them over these past 2 weeks.  I wasn’t as obviously involved as I wanted to be, but I pray what I’ve learned somehow encourages you.  It’s because of this effort to look for ways to love others that made me realize how much I was blocking love out.

We did get the chance to Share Love with others over the past 14 days.

From buying coffees for a group of homeless down our street, to sending off some random gifts to friends, to spending intentional time with neighbors, and being kind to strangers, we worked on loving intentionally–and we have no plans of stopping anytime soon.

I am so thankful love is patient, because I am one tough student.

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on Harlow // shirt | // pants | Old Navy {} // shoes | RileyRoos {similar}


be sure to check out the lovelies linking up today for Share the Love!  I can’t wait to see what you’ve learned and how you’ve loved.



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