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jconlee

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I can’t think of a more protective love than that of a parent. As parents, we want to protect our kids from pain. For my fellow adoptive parents out there, we want to shield them from rejection and the pain of abandonment – which I fear is not only impossible but inevitable at least on some level. As Beth put it, it means “I’ve got your back”. David and I came up with a motto early in our courtship, “you, me & God”. I think of it as our take on Ecclesiastes 4:12 – Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Beth and I are continuing our look at love. What does it mean to rejoice in the truth? I can tell you what it means to me where I’m at in life right now. I cling to God’s promises – because they are truth. The truth is truth no matter how I feel. It remains steadfast and unwavering regardless of circumstance. The truth is the truth no matter what you or I happen to believe. Truth conquers doubt. I cling to God’s holy word – because IT is truth. It’s my lamp. It’s my road map. I rejoice in this truth, and in it I experience but a glimpse of God’s love. I say a “glimpse” because my human mind is too small to ever fully comprehend who God is. He is too big. Unfathomable. Rain or shine, the truth remains. Constant. There is love in that.

I didn’t think I was the gloating type. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy hitting my husband with an “I told ya so” when appropriate. Not exactly kind or loving, huh? Gloating is what Beth & I are looking at today. At almost 19 years of marriage, I’m guessing I’ve said it thousands of times. The worst part of it is that it changes nothing! It doesn’t turn the clock back. It doesn’t make things better. In fact, depending on the situation – it can really hurt someone’s feelings. Honestly, I don’t need to be right. I don’t have to win. What’s the prize? A ribbon that says “congratulations, you’re a jerk”? So, this is me. Trying to be better. Because love doesn’t gloat, so neither should I. Especially with the one I love most. **No Beatles cover this week. I’m just tired.**

I think it’s safe to say that most of us have a list of people we wouldn’t want to run into at the grocery store. Today, Beth and I are talking about having a “record of wrongs” as we continue our study of love in 1 Corinthians 13. I don’t consider myself a grudge-holder. But I’m noticing as I get older, I don’t care to rebuild bridges that others have burned with me. I’m a “forgive and cut them loose” type. I don’t beg people to stay in my life. Especially those who hurt me. All of that is fine and good, unless you are keeping a mental ledger of who has done you wrong. The fact that I always return to is that if the Creator of heaven and earth can forgive- why can’t I? If He can cast things into the sea of forgetfulness, then why do I…

I’m unsure of when it happened. But I’ve been super grumpy lately. Everything kind of annoys me. And when I feel that way, I tend to retreat because I don’t want to subject others to my poor attitude. Maybe it’s sleep deprivation. Maybe it’s the demands of wifedom & Motherhood. I wear irritable like a classic black dress to a party, but I’m not wearing it well. It doesn’t feel good. Beth and I are continuing our look at love based on 1 Corinthians 13. This week is about not being irritable. I want my love to not be so easily irritated than it has been lately. So, as you’re sitting at the Thanksgiving dinner table, try not to let certain family members bug the crap out of you. Don’t let anything get in the way of you being grateful. Not on this holiday – and not on any day. Lord,…

Beth and I are continuing our look at 1 Corinthians 13. Today we’re talking about what it means to be self seeking. I’m so tired and worn out as I write this. Sunday’s have become the hardest day of my week, and thus I’ve dubbed them the new Monday. My kids gave me a run for my money and I acted like a crazy person at church. I was so wound up, I could barely speak to anyone. What’s interesting is when you pray for God to give you children for the better part of a decade, you experience tremendous guilt on days you want to rip your eyelashes out one at a time. At least, that’s how it is for me. So atop my frustrations, add guilt. It’s like the poop icing to a cake made of poop. All that to say – Motherhood is not self seeking. There’s nothing…

Beth & I are continuing our love series in 1 Corinthians 13. Today, we’re talking about how love is not rude. To put it simply: don’t be a jerk. Don’t be the kind of person who constantly corrects others, needs to be right or knows everything. You can be right – or you can have friends. I used to think that being assertive or direct was rude. Then I met people who could be those things in a loving and kind way. It is possible to be a professional in the corporate world and be successful without be rude! I’ve seen it. I admire it! It’s effective. Rudeness is really just a poor excuse for someone without social skills or it can expose someone with an agenda. Relationships shouldn’t be transactional. Don’t have an agenda in your relationships. Just love. Here’s this week’s Beatles cover. ​[wpvideo YY6GtFSF]​

Beth & I are looking at arrogance today in the love chapter, 1 Corinthians 13. I used to believe confidence was a form of arrogance. That somehow knowing who you are in Christ and walking in that truth makes you stuck up. I couldn’t be more wrong. It is actually the opposite. There’s a humility found in walking in the fullness of the Spirit and embracing who you are in Christ. There’s a freedom in knowing you’re nothing without Him. Arrogance is an outward response to a deep rooted insecurity. It causes people to puff themselves up to the point they believe their own hype. Lack of confidence can breed arrogance in the form of a false humility. That then turns into bitterness, which can become arrogance in the form of entitlement. It’s like when you feed a Gremlin after midnight. So what’s the answer? I don’t know. To be…

Beth and I are continuing our look at 1 Corinthians 13. Today, we’re talking about boasting. In this golden age of technology, where every hiccup and fart is documented on social media, there’s an onslaught of “humble bragging”. It seems like everyone is doing something cool. Living the good life. The best restaurants, concerts, vacations, schools – you name it. I think it’s easy to let our social media become a highlight reel. But what if we were honest – with ourselves and others. That our Snapchat’s of life aren’t always the real picture, but a filtered image we want to project. What if we were real? ​[wpvideo 8Xd9I4zt]​ ​​

When I say “green eyed monster”, I’m not referring to my husband. Im speaking, of course, about jealousy. Beth and I are continuing our look at love in 1 Corinthians 13; what it is and what it is not. And – it is not jealous; it does not envy. I’ve been debating what to write here for days. I didn’t know this was an issue for me, but here I am. Years ago, maybe even as far back as my childhood, I’d pray to be able to sing like other people I admired. I often found myself jealous of their ability to do what I love better than me. One day, I felt the Lord nudge me and I realized that every time I was envious, it was no different than telling the Lord the voice He gave me was not enough. That was a long time ago. What I do…