Love 
 
Love is a word that many of use in so many ways throughout our lives.  It seems that sometimes we use it so often that we lose sight of "Real Love".   Yesterday, my Kindergartner brought a card home with these statements... "Love is Serving God....Love is Sharing....Love is Helping...Love is Praying...Love is Taking Turns...Love is Giving"   
If only we all could remember to live by these basic "rules" of Love, what a better world we would be living in.  
Of course we know that Jesus LOVES us, but we will never be able to understand the amount of LOVE He has for us.  His LOVE is greater than we can imagine and is Unchanging.  No matter what we do, how we act, or who we have become, HE LOVES YOU!  He created You and has great plans for you.  Believe in His LOVE for You and Believe that you are perfectly created in His Image.  In order for us to be able to give LOVE to our spouse, children, family or anyone, we must LOVE ourselves. Many of us struggle with this often and sometimes daily.  If you do, take the time to bring it to prayer.  Ask God to help you LOVE yourself and and ask Him to help you become who HE created you to be.  He LOVES you, my friend, and He will show you...You are beautiful, You are unique, You were created with a purpose and You are LOVED :)

Mother Teresa has said that if we want peace in this world, we should start by going home and loving our families.  Whether you are married, single, have children, no children, - you are called to LOVE.  One of the Greatest Commandments Jesus gave us is "Love One Another, as I have Loved You."  We all have heard this over and over, yet we forget.  In the daily hustle and bustle of work, homework, after-school activities, etc., we forget to LOVE.  If you are married, the best gift we can give our children is to LOVE each other.  On days when there is tension in our marriage, the arguing seems never-ending, the kids are out of control - defiant, disrespectful, and we are ready to sell them on Ebay for FREE - we need to LOVE.   All of these are signs that we haven't taken the time to LOVE.  Some easy and FREE ways to LOVE.... 
Pray - Everyday Pray for your family.  Pray that God will protect them, bless them and guide them.  Thank God for them, let Him know that you treasure each member of your family and want to LOVE them more. 
Give a hug - a real, hard, tight hug & a KISS!  Here are just a few benefits of hugging - More upbeat moods, Reduce heart rates, Lower blood pressure, Reduce levels of cortisol (stress hormone) if they are over 20 seconds long, Increase levels of oxytocin (bonding hormone), Boosts the immune system, Builds self esteem, and Alleviates tension and releases endorphins. (happinessweekly.org)   I am making a goal to tightly hug each of my children and Ricky at least once a day.  Now, that's a lot of hugging :)  
Time - In our fast-paced world of technology, activities, social media, our time seems so limited.  I heard a psychologist talking on TV the other day saying that our children can benefit greatly from just 10 minutes of undivided attention a day!  In this 10 minutes all technology would be off and any other distractions removed; therefore we use those 10 minutes to LOVE.  Ask specific questions about their day, ask if they have any concerns they would like to discuss, praise them for at least 1-2 things they did that day, share a highlight from your day and so on.  Yes, it would be great if we can give each of our children 10 minutes a day; however, if you are like me and have 6 blessings, sometimes it's hard to find an hour daily to spend with each child.  My goal is to spend at least 10 minutes a day with them, even if its not one-one.  Prayerfully, I ask God to help me find time in my week to spend 10 minutes with each of them one-one.  

There are so many ways we can share our LOVE!  I am so thankful that if I forget how to LOVE or actually forget to LOVE, I have a God of infinite LOVE to help me get back on track! 

"It is not what to do, but how much love we put into the doing. We can do not greats, only small things with great love." - Mother Teresa