This past Labor Day weekend was wonderful.
But it went by so quickly, it was almost a blur.
Isn’t that always the way when we are with the ones we love?
Saturday evening, my kids and I attended an outdoor barbecue at the home of some dear friends. It also served as a surprise engagement party, where I was asked to give a little speech about what love means to me.
And it is short. But it sums up exactly how I feel:
When I was a child, love brought me comfort and safety. My favorite childhood memories include camping with my family, playing on the farm with my cousins, and sitting in my dad’s nook while our family watched The Muppet Show on Friday nights.
When I was a teen, love brought me butterflies and joy. Holding hands in church with my guy and watching him have a conversation with my grandpa during the Sunday potluck was about the best thing I could possibly imagine.
When I was just out of college, love brought me to the mission field, feeding hungry children and playing the guitar for them as they danced around me, singing in a language I did not speak.
In my late twenties, love brought me my first child. That moment was the first time I really ever understood how much my own mother loved me.
In my early thirties, love brought me a special needs child, and taught me how to unconditionally love. I have learned how to love more from my children than any other relationship in my lifetime.
Love is in the way you live. It’s in the way you give. It’s in the details of caring for someone enough that you clean up after them. Giving them little surprises. Sharing your unique weirdness together. And ultimately seeking to meet their needs as you would your own.
Until the past few years, I waited all my life for my special someone.
Now that I’m in my 40’s, I’ve grown enough to see that I have had a lifetime of special someones. And that the one person who needs my love and care the most is me.
To me, love is simply allowing myself to be fully present in the moment, experiencing every bit of joy, servanthood, and gratitude that I can.
I wish the same for you.