this is a picture of the wall art that hangs above a hutch in our dining/breakfast nook area (and my little munchkin with elmo).  i made it almost a year ago but just changed the colors in it to black, white and reds.  it's made simply and inexpensively with wood squares and letters, paint and scrapbooking paper. 
this piece is more than decoration though. it is supposed to serve as a reminder of one of the main values of our family/household. to love.  believe me, i need this reminder a lot.  what a seemingly simple word that is impossible for me without God, full of challenge and that leaves me in awe.
i love the following well-known verses in 1 corinthians 13.  they are for so much more than wedding ceremonies.  they are what those of us who claim to follow christ (of all sizes, stages and seasons of life), are called to day in, day out, everywhere, in everything and to everyone.  it applies to how i interact with my family at the breakfast table (even before coffee), and those beyond the doors of our home, from our neighborhood to every corner of the globe.


"if i speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't love, i'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. 
if i speak God's word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if i have faith that says to a mountain, "jump," and it jumps, but i don't love, i'm nothing.
if i give everything i own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but i don't love, i've gotten nowhere.  so, no matter what i say, what i believe, and what i do, i'm bankrupt without love.
love never gives up.
love cares more for others than for self.
love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
love doesn't strut,
doesn't have a swelled head,
doesn't force itself on others,
isn't always "me first,"
doesn't fly off the handle,
doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
doesn't revel when others grovel,
takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
puts up with anything,
trusts God always,
always looks for the best,
never looks back,
but keeps going to the end.
...we don't yet see things clearly.  we're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist.  but it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright!  we'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!
but for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly and the best of the three is love."

1 corinthians 13 (the message)

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