Don’t Let Your Love Go to Waste

Don't let your love go to waste

Sometimes we can’t be with the people we want to love.

Maybe it’s due to physical distance. Maybe it’s emotional distance. Maybe it’s just circumstances like jobs or schedules or something, like, say a pandemic.

But as the old 1970 Stephen Stills song says, If you can’t be with the one you love, honey, love the one you’re with.

Don’t let your love go to waste.

If you’re far from home and need parental guidance, find parent-substitutes who can fill in the gaps. They can love you and you can love them.

If you’re the grandparent who can’t be with your grandkids, find other people’s children to love.

If you need the support of a family but you don’t have that, find a set of friends to love and be loved by.

Don’t let your love go to waste.

There are many lonely people in the world. Sometimes we’re those lonely people ourselves. Other times we’re the ones overflowing with love to spend on someone else who is lonely.

Whichever category you fit today, give some love away and get some back.

Don’t let your love go to waste.


I’m grateful that God never leaves us without people to love and to be loved by. Share in the comments.

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When You’re Almost Out of Light

“I’m almost out of light,” he says. He’s sitting on the deck outside.

I want to add, “Me, too.”

Yet I don’t.

I hold it in. I say nothing. We’ve been in silent mode for about an hour already on this Friday night. He may have broken his silence, but I’m not ready to break mine yet.

But I do pull up a chair and sit outside beside him.

He is right. The light is fading. He finally closes his book. Not enough light to read by.

I look at the clouds, some dark, some wispy. All moving, all changing, leaving only pockets of light as the sun goes down in the west.

I shift in my chair and give a little. I speak. I mention I’ll go by the library tomorrow afternoon to return a book. He tells me about a frog he saw as he mowed the grass earlier.

Small talk. But it’s something.

The light continues to fade in the sky. A twinkle appears. I ask if it’s an airplane or a star. He says maybe a satellite.

Little by little, more stars appear. They’ve been there all along. They just couldn’t compete with the sun’s brilliance in the light of day. Now it’s their turn to shine.

He says he didn’t expect it to get dark so quickly.

Yeah, it can sneak up on you.

We don’t mention our heated discussion. We let it lie there, fade with the day.

It may rise up again in a new dawn, sometimes it does. But for now, we just let it go. An unspoken agreement as we stare at the stars and regain perspective of how small our problems are compared to the largeness of the universe.

I say I may go inside now and pop some popcorn. He says he may get a cup of ice cream. We enter the darkness of the house, flip a light switch, and resume our lives. Together, side by side.

Again in the light.

* * *

Relationships can be tricky. Certain issues we need to talk about again and again until they’re resolved. Other issues need to silently fade away and be forgotten. Wisdom means knowing which one is which.

As we get ready to touch our relationships with God and with other people in our Touch the Light 1 John 1 challenge, let’s notice God sending us sparks of light in whatever situation we’re in. Even on dark nights after the sun has set, the stars show up, one at a time, enough to see by until morning breaks again.


Which relationships are hardest for you? Share in the comments.

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If you’re interested in joining our 1 John 1 challenge to read or memorize or study ten verses, get details here and sign up today.

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Are Your Words Drenched with Grace?
—Grace & Truth Linkup

grace-and-truth-weekly-christian-linkup-its friday

“How on earth do we speak with grace?”

This is the question Laura Thomas asks of us. Listen to the answer in Colossians 4:6:

“Let every word you speak be drenched with grace and tempered with truth and clarity.” Colossians 4:6a

I’m featuring Laura’s post for our Grace and Truth linkup this week. Don’t we all need more reminders to drench our words with grace these days? To temper them with truth and clarity? I know I do. Laura reminds us that because we’re on the receiving end of grace from God, we need to be givers of grace to others. She specifically mentions three ways we can speak with grace.
  1. Speak forgiveness.
  2. Speak kindness.
  3. Speak gentleness.
Read all of Laura’s post here:

HOW TO SPEAK WITH GRACE

Which of the three ways do you need to practice more? Share your thoughts in the comments. Then add your own blog post link below.

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We’re still signing up members for our 1 John 1 challenge. For 6 weeks beginning September 12, you can choose whether you want to read it, to memorize it, to meditate on it, and/or to study it. Together. Details here. blank
blank 1. Share 1 or 2 of your most recent CHRISTIAN LIVING posts. (No DIY, crafts, recipes, or inappropriate articles.) All links are randomly sorted. 2. Comment on 1 or 2 other links. Grace & Truth linkup encourages community. 3. Every host features one entry from the previous week. To be featured, include this button or link back here on your post (mandatory to be featured, but not to participate). blank Grace and Truth_Meet Hosts We encourage you to follow our hosts on their blogs or social media.

MAREE DEE – Embracing the Unexpected Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

LAUREN SPARKS Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

LISA BURGESS – Lisa notes Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

TAMMY KENNINGTON – Restoring hope. Pursuing peace. Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

Now Let’s Link Up!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

On the Blog—August 2021

Here are brief summaries and links to all the posts on the blog in August 2021.

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7 Books I Recommend—August 2021

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.”
– Charles W. Eliot

Below are books I recommend from what I finished reading in August. 

[See previously recommended books here]

7 Books I Recommend--August 2021

 

1. The Comfort Book
by Matt Haig

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This is a small book, but it is very packed with nuggets of wisdom. Matt Haig shares his little notes and stories that remind him of light in the world and of reasons to hold on. I highly recommend.

2. A More Christlike Word
Reading Scripture the Emmaus Way
by Bradley Jersak

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Jersak aims to reconcile the “wrathful” God of the Old Testament with the loving perception of him in the Christian faith. He does this by pointing to Jesus, the living Word himself. I highly recommend this book if you want to understand more about the central tenet of Christianity: Jesus.

My review here of A More Christlike Word – “Is the Word of God a What or a Who?”

3. Dusk, Night, Dawn
On Revival and Courage
by Anne Lamott

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I love Anne Lamott’s writings, and this book is no exception. Her storytelling skills bring me into the moment with her humility, her insights, her humor. She doesn’t avoid the hard questions in life, but she also doesn’t provide quick, pat answers to solve them. She lets us stumble alongside her in all our humanity and our imperfect faith. 

4. Murder Your Darlings
And Other Gentle Writing Advice from Aristotle to Zinsser
by Roy Peter Clark

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If you like reading books about writing, this is the book for you. Clark not only writes about writing, but in each chapter he shares about another great book about writing. I loved reading about his favorite writing books and also getting life lessons along the way. (He also added quite a few titles to my to-read list.)

5. Scarcity
Why Having Too Little Means So Much
by Sendhil Mullainathan

scarcity

When someone doesn’t have enough (or even just perceives that they don’t have enough) of whatever (time, money, food, etc.), it changes their life in more ways than they realize. This book is a fascinating look at the psychology of how we respond when we think we don’t have enough.

6. Zero Fail
The Rise and Fall of the Secret Service
by Carol Leonnig

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I love a good behind-the-scenes book about the inner workings of a major business or government entity. This book is an amazing look at behind-the-scenes of the Secret Service since its inception. The stories told are riveting about the JFK assassination, the attempt on President Reagan’s life, the break-ins at the White House, etc., all from the perspective of the Secret Service. I hated for this book to end.

7. Four Thousand Weeks
Time Management for Mortals
by Oliver Burkeman

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If you live to be 80, how many weeks do you have? Just over 4,000 weeks. How are you spending yours? What I love about this book is it didn’t make me feel the need to be super efficient with my remaining weeks. Almost the contrary. It’s shifting me into realization AND acceptance that I’ll never get everything done. And that it’s okay.

My review here of Four Thousand Weeks – “How to Win Your Fight with Time”

Reading Now

  • American Dirt
    by Jeanine Cummins
  • How God Works
    The Science Behind the Benefits of Religion
    by David DeSteno
  • If God Is Love, Don’t Be a Jerk
    Finding a Faith That Makes Us Better Humans
    by John Pavlovitz
  • The Doubters’ Club
    Good-Faith Conversations with Skeptics, Atheists, and the Spiritually Wounded
    by Preston Ulmer
  • No Cure for Being Human
    And Other Truths I Need to Hear
    by Kate Bowler

What good book are YOU reading this month? Please share in the comments.

My books on Goodreads
More books I recommend


Search for the Light—Even in Your Chaos Friend

The Chaos Friend

I’m sitting in a folding chair in a big room. The speakers for the next Women’s Conference are being announced.

Through the long list of names, I only hear one name I recognize.

It is the one I would have least expected.

It is my chaos friend.

Her life, a series of hard circumstances and scarcity, began with learning disabilities as a child. Had she been in a different family at a different time, the disabilities might have been addressed. The poverty might not have been inevitable.

But instead, she bears the false stigma of “slowness,” a coinciding speech impediment, and a lifetime (so far) of lack. She’s had many ups and downs, actually more downs than ups, if you’re counting.

And they are inviting her to speak?

Do Not Gloat

I wake up. It was all a dream. The sunlight is streaming through my window.

But even in the light of day, even now weeks later, the dream sticks with me.

And the shock is wearing off.

I’ve known this friend for a few years. I’ve seen her get in some sticky jams. (I’ve even judged her for a few of them. Sigh. Shame on me.)

But I’ve also seen her bounce back time and again.

She lives rough, but she keeps moving forward. She endures hard breaks, but she keeps smiling. She leaves trails of mistakes, but she remains hopeful.

And I see it now.

Why, yes, she would make an excellent women’s conference speaker!

Despite her choices causing me frustration at times, she is a light in my life. She is another angle of God for me. She has as much of the divine in her as everyone else. She loves me. And I love her.

She walks in God’s light as far as her feet will carry her.

She exemplifies this truth:

“Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light.”
Micah 7:8

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Search for Light

As I prepare to spend time with God in 1 John 1 for 6 weeks this fall (“God is light” and “Walk in the light” and “He is faithful“), I hope to remember my friend with light, even in the midst of her often reckless lifestyle.

Perhaps what was only a nighttime dream in my sleep could become a reality for her in our wakefulness.

What we dream in the dark can come to life in the light.

Sometimes it’s hard to see the light. But the light is always here.

God is always shining. Even when our vision gets too cloudy to notice his brightness.

I want to see the light in dark spaces. I want to notice more light in already bright spaces.

  • Search for the light.
  • Greet the light.
  • Touch the light.

The 1 John 1 “Touch the Light” challenge resources are available beginning today. Sign up for yours here. You’ll also receive one email per week during the challenge with additional resources for 6 weeks, beginning September 12. Whether you want to read, memorize, meditate, or study his light this fall, you’ll discover a brighter world in the presence of God.

Do you have a chaos friend that shows you God, too? Thank God for them today. Share in the comments.

Free Resources for 1 John 1

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