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It’s (still) time for love!



He is good and his love endures forever. Psalm 136:1

He is good and his love endures forever. Psalm 136:1


You’ve made it more than halfway through February, one of the most complex months in North Texas and one of the best months of fun, joy, hope and yes, love.


If you’re anything like me, February is one of those months that keeps us guessing. The luster of the holidays are gone and many new year's resolutions have failed. And in north Texas, it’s supposed to be transition to spring - or is it?


Let me explain. I’ve now lived in the Dallas/Fort Worth area for over 30 years. I can’t believe I’m actually saying that, but I drove down I-75 from Springfield, Missouri to downtown Dallas for my first job in August 1993. What a ride it’s been. After growing up in multiple states around the nation, I can truly say I’m a Texan now and for sure the adage is true, “Life’s too short not to live it as a Texan!”


Aside from August with its most sun blathering and oppressive days of the year, I find February to be the most complex month of the year.


It’s full of the first signs of temperatures warming, sun peeking, and one can even hear a few birds singing if we listen closely enough. In all of these whispers, there is the hope that spring is near, rainy days are passing us by and it’s time to love!


We tend to get so excited and put away our sweaters and coats and then all of a sudden, the weather forecasters show up on our TVs, advising, “Hold on tight folks, there’s a winter storm warning on the way!”


Even after 30 years of living in DFW now, this lack of predictability just baffles me. How in the world is snow coming down when we are ready for spring? But indeed, the weather forecasters are often correct - it happens every few years or so- somewhere around Valentine’s Day or near that week, we get blanketed with a fresh batch of ice and snow.


Sometimes it’s deeper than others, like the year our oldest son was one and our little dog Gideon was about two. Blanketed in deep snow, I still remember them both bouncing and running through the white powder together. The years of playing have gone by quickly.


Since then, I can think of many Februarys with snow days that brought so much playful fun.


But I can also think of the February just a couple of years ago where the frigid temps shut down our power grid, many were without heat and power and suffering in the cold. I can think of being iced in without a place to go.


I can even the year our charity hosted the Cupid Dash with torrential rains! I can remember lamenting, “What in the world?! How are we supposed to host a 5k in this?! It’s supposed to be spring, isn’t it?!”


So why all of this talk about snow and ice in February? Well friends, our theme this month has been “It’s time to love” and it is. It’s time!!


And this is more than your normal February and post-Valentine’s message.


I want to speak to you from my heart as a mature Texan now having experienced many snows and ice storms in a month that seems like it should be spring.


I find love can be a little like February! It’s complex. Whether it’s a relationship at work, a friendship, a daring new dating relationship or marriage- It can start all sunny and birds are singing. There is warmth and joy and hope is rising! We begin to put away our sweaters and make plans for the rest of the year!


And then bam, ice or conflicts hit, a wintry mix shows up and we are stuck inside wondering “how did we get here?”


Sometimes we are blanketed with a fresh batch of snow and grace abounds, it’s time to play and enjoy the relationship once again. Sometimes the power is cut off and relationships are broken forever.


The longer I live, the longer I realize this quote to be true, “Life’s beauty is inseparable from its fragility.”


In the middle of some of our most beautiful seasons, we often experience pain. Just when we are ready for spring, another winter storm hits.


In love, we often think relationships should be like a Hallmark movie- girl from big city meets boy from small town.  They go through a few rocky beginnings but eventually get their idealized start. Everything is coming up roses! The bills are all paid, they understand each other perfectly, their kids must have no issues and even their parents are ever the supportive grandparents.


Of course, we know this idealized image just isn’t so. Some of the greatest relationships endure the most, get stronger through pain, experience conflict and hopefully grow. And some just don’t work out at all. Life isn’t a perfectly wrapped Valentine’s gift. It can be messy, complicated and hard.


Whether it’s a winter season raining on your career, maybe a sales slump or a difficult boss or not knowing what to do next. Or it could be that wintry mix comes into your life in the form of conflict with staff or challenges with the bottom line. Maybe your landlord increased your rent this month or your taxes went up on your home. Perhaps customers aren’t signing up for what you’re offering, or you are just stuck with apathy and indecision. Maybe the love in one of your closest relationships has grown cold.


Today I want to release you to know it’s time to love! No matter the external circumstances, storms and weather that comes into our lives, love is truly a decision and a gift we give to ourselves and others.


You’ve made it through this much of the love month already, and this year, thankfully, no wintry mixes have appeared in DFW.


No matter what the month of February symbolizes to you, whether it’s a date night on February 14, a Valentine’s Day party for your kids, sweet memories of your mom taking care of you and making things wonderful as a kid, I hope you’ll remember that no matter where you are it is okay.


According to “Love One Another,” a study by Don McNinn, True Love:

Accepts.

Prefers.

Greets.

Encourages.

Comforts.

Carries Burdens.

Forgives.

Admonishes.

Prays.

Waits.

Honors.

Offers Hospitality.

Lives in Peace.

Cares For.

Confesses Faults.

Is Devoted.

Serves.

Is Kind.

Spurs to Good Deeds.


For the rest of this month, no matter the weather, let’s be particularly sensitive to encourage one another in love. Find time to self-reflect and determine what you need.


Take some time for yourself the rest of this month and take some time to show yourself and others love.


Accept that love is going to include many sunny days but some wintry mixes as well. There might be storms and ice and power grids lost.


But above all else remember, I Corinthians 13:13, “Love never fails.” If you aren’t being loved as you should, I encourage you to set some new goals and move to a better atmosphere of growth. You have what it takes.


No matter what, know God loves you. He is good and his love endures forever!! and I love you and I'm so grateful you're a part of this community.


If you didn't get a chance to join us for our Lunch & Learn in February, try to join in March 20. These gatherings are our gift to you - a free way to get connected to other like-minded high achievers.


It's time for love!! Still!

Jill


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