Welcome! If you are visiting after reading my devotion, "Every Yes Involved a No," I'm glad you stopped by. I'm posting two thoughts today. The first are some goal setting tips, and the second is a devotional about love.
The best acronym I've ever heard for goal setting is to make them SMART.
S - Specific. Make sure your goal is very clear and focused. For example, "lose 5 pounds by Easter" is very specific. But "lose weight" is not.
M - Measureable. I can measure the goal to lose 5 pounds by Easter. Come April 4th, I can I'l know how I did.
A - Attainable. Is the goal realistic, safe, healthy, etc? For the weight loss, I think it is. If I had said "lose 20 pounds by Easter," that would have be unrealistic given my history, commitments and the reality of my life.
R - Realistic. This is connected with the attainable thought.
T - Timely. Setting goals with a deadline helps keep you motivated. You can always set a new one once you've achieved the first.
I hope this helps you with your own goals, now on to the love devotional, and some thoughts on Valentine's Day.
Valentine's Day isn't really big around our house. I won't get any flowers, cards or candy. And that's okay. You see, my "love language" isn't gifts. In fact, it isn't touch, words of affirmation, or quality time either. My love language sits squarely in the middle of acts of service.
When my husband picks me up a Starbucks on his way home from his morning small group, I'm filled for the day. I couldn't feel more loved than when someone picks up their clothes from the ground, joins me in the kitchen or washes my car.
Today, my friend Rachel Olsen is doing a blog carnival about love. I thought it would be fun to participate, so I'm sharing a devotion I wrote a few years ago, that really demonstrates love to me. The son in this devotion is now 14 and a freshman in high school. Since he's my height, he doesn't quite snuggle on my lap anymore. But he's still a hugger. With pleasure I share:
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38
My 9-year-old son Robbie was ready for bed. Complete with Sponge Bob sleep pants and slippers he climbed onto my lap with a blanket, ready for a snuggle.
In the January evening, my hands were quite cold; too cold to touch his warm skin, or so I thought. As he nestled against me, I tucked my hands under my legs to keep from touching him with my icicle-like fingers.
“Robbie,” I said, “watch out for my hands, they’re cold.” He ignored my warning and burrowed his hands down between the chair and my leg searching for my hands. “Really Robbie,” I continued, “I’m very cold.”
“I know Mommy,” he countered as he pulled my hands up and placed them on his bare chest. “I’ll warm you up.” He covered my cold hands with his warm ones and snuggled closer. Within minutes I could feel his warmth seep into my hands.
He got up once and when he returned he repositioned my hands back to his chest. I felt the coolness of his skin where my hands had been, and was grateful for his sacrifice. Within minutes we were both warmer than before.
I believe God used my sweet boy to paint a picture of the love His children should show one another. Do you have cold hands? Mine are warm; grab hold. Are you hungry? My pantry’s full, here’s a bag of groceries. Are you getting tired of packing? I’ve had a good night’s sleep, I’ll be right there.
A person who loves, sees a need, and initiates action, even when there’s a sacrifice involved. It could be time, money or our own comfort, like Robbie’s chest getting cold. The paradox of God’s kingdom is that when we give something up, God replaces it. Luke 6:38 assures that when we give, we will receive … “a good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over.”
As we live out the love of God, we should watch for opportunities to give to others with out being asked. It’s the mark of love to initiate selflessly. Thanks for the lesson Robbie.
My prayer for today: Heavenly Father, I praise you for loving us with such selfless love. You are wonderful in all your ways. I confess that I have not always loved others as I should. Please open my eyes to the needs of those around me so that I can show your love. In Jesus name, Amen.
In His Love,