liluga - love isn't love until given away

"Loving God means doing what he tells us to do, and really, that isn't hard at all." 1 John 5:3 NLT

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Merry Christmas!

It has been a busy November/December for me.  I have been busy sewing for a craft market I participated in and for Christmas gifts. One of the things I have been hand sewing are ornaments out of felted wool sweaters.  I also have been making journal covers and a couple of tote bags. (Any tips on taking better photographs?  I just can't seem to get it right!)

As the new year is almost upon us, I think of new year resolutions, and how they only tend to last a short while.  Last summer, I wrote about the word "promise", which kind of reminds me of a new years resolution.  We say things we intend to do, then never follow through. 

Having children has taught me many things I could have never learned in school.  One of those things is to never make a promise I cannot keep.  “But you promised to take us to Dairy Queen!” If I do not take them, not only will the kids be angry with me, but they will soon stop believing in my promises.  I came to the realization that it is so much easier to not promise anything, ever.  Instead, I tell my kids things like “perhaps we’ll go to Target on Wednesday.”  They hate when I use the word “perhaps”, but it keeps me out of trouble.

As a lover of words, I will often look up a word in the dictionary to get its true definition.  It’s fascinating to find the real meaning of the words we often use, and to see how the culture has altered their meaning. In my copy of Webster’s New World Dictionary (a 1998 edition I found at a garage sale) the word promise is defined as “an oral or written agreement to do or not to do something; vow.”   A vow is defined as a “solemn promise or pledge.”  Pretty serious stuff. 

I have a feeling most people today use the word  without much thought to its true meaning.  I think the current definition of the word promise should be “a word to use to get someone off your back or to win favor from someone; a light, fluffy word, not to be taken seriously.”

If my kids are bugging me to go somewhere, and I say “not today, but I promise I’ll take you tomorrow,”  I get relief for the day, but come tomorrow…  the kids do not forget.   Men promise to call a girl after a date, even when they have no intention of doing so. It’s a wimpy way to act, in my opinion. As for winning favor from people, think of politicians and their campaign promises.  And, of course, the wedding vow; words spoken without much thought to their true meaning.

I believe in saying yes when I mean yes, and no when I mean no.  It’s as simple as that.  Unless I am willing to stand by my promise and fulfill it, I won’t even go there.  As for my kids, they are learning to adjust to my non-committal ways.  Perhaps they too will learn to take the word promise a little more seriously.

“Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’  Anything more is from the evil one.”  Matthew 5:37

 Merry Christmas to everyone!  May the peace of the Lord Jesus be with you always!

Monday, November 7, 2011


Looking out my window today, it is rainy and cold. The wind is blowing the leaves off the trees and  I have a chill in my bones that will stay with me until the first warm days of spring.  Having grown up in the suburbs of Chicago, I always loved winter.  I loved falling snow, warm sweaters, and curling up with a good book and a cup of tea in the warmth of my home.   It’s not that I no longer love these things, but now I understand why older people retire to Florida.  Sunshine and warmth!  And as I get older, I need both more and more.  So, why do I stay living in the Chicago area?

It’s where I was born and grew up.  Where I went to college, got married, had my children, and sadly, where I got divorced.  Still, many people move from the places they grew up.  So what else keeps me here?  My extended family, good friends, my job, a town we love and schools my kids are happy at. And I’m not anywhere near retirement age yet. 

Contentment is the word that comes to mind when I think about why we stay.   According to Webster’s New World Dictionary, content, as an adjective, means “happy enough with what one has or is; not desiring something more or different; satisfied.”  Contentment is the state or quality of being content.  Instead of wishing for something I don’t have, or can’t have (such as Florida weather in Chicago), I need to be content, and HAPPY with what I have (including a forecast for a brutally cold and snowy winter).

So bring on the warm wool sweaters!  I’ll wait until spring to cut them up into liluga’s.

I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything.  I have learned the secret of contentment in every situation, whether it be a full stomach or hunger, plenty or want; for I can do everything God asks me to with the help of Christ who gives me strength and power.”
Philippians 4:12-13 NLT  

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Meet Ruby, a liluga key chain whose name means “red gemstone”.    I struggled a little with finding a name for her.   I thought about the verse in the Bible about a wife being more precious than rubies, and then it then hit me, she looks like a Ruby.

Ruby is made from a wool sweater that a friend of mine gave to my daughter.  When she received it, my thought was “that would make a great liluga!”  Several months, and a few washings later, my daughter gave it to me and said it was too tight for her. I told her I was sorry that it didn’t fit her anymore (NOT). 

Sometimes the opposite is true.  I have a friend who has given me several old sweaters to use to make liluga’s, plus I shop garage sales and resale shops for them.  Although my intent is to sew with them, I have pulled a few aside and put them in my closet to wear.  Can you blame me?  The winters are very cold here.

Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies.  Proverbs 31:10 KJV

What does it mean to have virtue?  The Webster’s New World dictionary defines virtue as “general moral excellence; right action and thinking; goodness or morality.” 

I pray that Ruby will always be a gentle reminder to her future owner to live a virtuous life. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

And the winner is......

A couple weeks ago I announced, on the Mary Jane’s Farmgirl Connection forum, that I was giving away a liligu to anyone who visited my blog. Thank you so much to everyone for visiting and for all of your kind and encouraging words.  It means a lot to me!   For the give-a-way, I received a total of 14 visitors who left comments .

My son happily volunteered to pick the name for me.

And the winner is………..


I am sending her Lacey, whose name means “joyful, filled with praise”.
“Shout to the Lord, all the earth;
Break out in praise and sing for joy!”
Psalm 98:4

I hope you all will come back and visit my blog to see what is happening in the wonderful world of liluga’s!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Fall Cats

Please welcome Faye and Fiona, the first of my fall liluga’s.

Since I am done having babies and since there are no new pets in my future, I am having fun naming my liluga’s.  I love looking up the meaning of a name and matching it to a liluga.  It’s important that the name fits the liluga I’m making.  When I was making the above cats, first the name Fiona came to mind.  Then Fritz (another boys name!) came to me.  Finally, I decided on Faye for the other cat.  Fiona’s name means “fair ” and Faye’s name means “faith”.  Two good virtues to live by, fairness and faithfulness.

It reminds me of how in the old testament, people chose baby names that had a meaning relating to the situation surrounding them.  For instance, when Jacob’s wives and their servants were having his children, each child’s name represented the situation their mother was going through.

But because Leah was unloved, the Lord let her have a child, while Rachel was still childless.  So Leah became pregnant and had a son.  She named him Reuben*, for she said, “The Lord has noticed my misery, and now my husband will love me.”  Genesis 29:31 NLT  (*Reuben means “look, a son”)

Keep reading the rest of chapter 29 and 30 to see not only the meanings of the names given to each of Jacob’s sons, but to see how dysfunctional Jacob’s family really was.  Makes me feel a little better when I look at my family!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Staying Focused

My Kitchen Window

I am having a hard time staying focused lately.  Actually, I have always had a hard time staying focused.  Too much going on and not enough time to do it all, nor the energy to do it all.  I have been busy lately with the usual; my part-time job at my church, working on my sewing orders, keeping house (hardly!), cooking (I could spend all day in the kitchen), taking care of the kids and doing homework for a writing course that I just finished. 

Now that I am done with my writing course, I have to decide where I am going to focus my career goals.  Sewing?  Writing?  Find another job outside the home? What is my heart telling me?

Truthfully, I want to write more and start submitting articles to different publications. I want to continue taking writing classes also.   I want put my sewing business out to pasture and focus on writing.  The problem is, sewing is bringing immediate income into the home and it could be a long time before I publish anything for income.  (Please note, I would still make liluga’s and other fun sewing projects, just not sewing as a business.)

My challenge to myself is to commit to writing one article a week and to submit it to a publication.  If I stay faithful to this, I believe I will be rewarded.  However, I will still have to sew to bring in the extra income.  How will I do this?  Lots of coffee and less sleep. 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Meet Lark

As I was making this liluga, I couldn't help but think of him as a little man (even though he has flowers on his legs).  I think it is the deep red color that makes him manly.  I decided to name him Lark.  The name comes from the bird, Skylark and it's meaning is "spiritual freedom".
I usually cut my liluga's out with the stretch of the sweater going horizontally, but I cut lark out of the cuff of an old sweater with the stretch going vertically.  As I stuffed him, he grew taller and taller.  I suppose that's better than getting fatter and fatter!
I have been taking a writing class through The Christian Writers Guild.  It has kept me busy this summer.  I have one more assignment to go, and hopefully I'll have more time for making liluga's and blogging after that.  What I'd like to know, is anybody out there?  If you are reading this, let me know!  I would love to hear from you.  The best way to reach me is at
So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don't get tied up again in slavery to the law.  Galations 5:1  (NLT)

Friday, June 24, 2011


One of my favorite web sites is  It is a virtual web store for artists to sell their handmade goods.  I find lots of inspiration when I go on there.  I happened to be looking at the different types of plushies other people are making.  I stumbled upon one store that sold miniature owls that fit in the palm of your hand.  Then I stumbled upon a store that sold little embroidered pillow key chains.  Both so cute!  It gave me an idea; why not make a mini-liluga key chain?

I sat down at my sewing machine and made my first one.  I loved it and attached it to my key chain.  I made another and took it with me to show my friends at Bible study the next morning.  Although they liked my bigger liluga’s, I was surprised by the excited reaction I got from them.  They loved it and all wanted one!   I gave my extra one to my friend Karen with the promise to make the others one also.

My brain is thinking; why not go with the mini-liluga’s?  There cuter, quicker to make, and fun to carry around with you.  Travelling love! 

To date, I have made 38 liluga’s.  Most I have given away, some I have sold.  I continue to pray and ask God who He thinks I should give them to.  Several people that I have given them to have told me that they keep them in a spot where they can see them every day and be reminded that they are loved.  It brings a smile to their face.  God has blessed me to be a blessing to others. 

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”  Matthew 5:6

Monday, June 6, 2011

Learning Something New

I have always loved photography and art.  Last month, we went to the Student Art Exhibit at the high school where our two daughters are freshmen and had their artwork on display.  I was amazed at the artistic talent of many of the students.  My favorites were the computer generated art, especially where it included photography.   Both girls had the opportunity to learn Adobe Photoshop this semester.  I actually have the program on my computer, but don’t have a clue how to use it.

For many years, l have been working on MS Publisher, so I thought I had enough basic knowledge to navigate Photoshop.  My first time trying out the program, and I felt like a foreigner in a foreign land not understanding the language!

So, I went to my favorite place, the library, and checked out a few books on Photoshop.  After a quick glance I figured out how to do a couple things.  The result is my two distorted liluga’s. 

While it's fun distorting my liluga's, I know one thing that cannot be distorted or changed.  God's Word.  Don't let the world add, alter or change what is written in the Bible. 

Every word of God proves true,
He is a shield to all who come to him for protection.
Do not add to his words,
or he may rebuke you and expose you as a liar.
Proverbs 30:5-6 NLT

Friday, May 13, 2011

Praise Him

A midnight view from my balcony

Last night, after lying in bed for a couple sleepless hours, I got up and sat out on our balcony.   I love being out on the balcony, it’s upstairs off of our bedroom and surrounded by trees.  It is a secluded place to retreat to, a little slice of heaven here on earth.  If we ever have to move, it is what I would miss most.
For several nights now, I can’t fall asleep.  It has been hot and humid and I don’t sleep as well if I’m not bundled under several layers of blankets.  So, at about midnight I went and sat outside and just looked up at the trees, the stars and the moon.  It was so peaceful .
Sitting there, taking in the beauty of the night, I thought I would try and capture the image on film (I still say film, even though I have advanced to a digital camera). 
“Praise the Lord, O heavens, Praise Him from the skies!
Praise Him, all his angels, all the armies of heaven.
Praise Him, sun and moon, and all you twinkling stars.
Praise Him, skies above.
Praise Him, vapors high above the clouds.”
Psalm 148:1-6 (The Living Bible)

Being outside, with a slight breeze blowing, makes me think of the Holy Spirit.  I don’t see the Holy Spirit with my eyes, but I feel him moving all the time.  It reminds me of one of my favorite verses:

“The wind blows wherever it pleases. You can hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going.  So it is with everyone born of the Spirit”.
John 3:8 (NIV)

It gives me great peace to know that I don’t always have to know what tomorrow will bring, I just have to trust the Holy Spirit to guide me where I need to be.  And knowing that the wind changes direction often, I find my life changing direction often also.  I can plan, but I never really know.  I am excited to see where my liluga’s take me.  They are a joy to make and a joy to give away, and I pray the Holy Spirit takes me where I need to go with them.  I will enjoy the journey!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Vintage Liluga

I have a basket of liluga's sewn and ready to go.  I gave only a couple away in the past few weeks.  I have two more cut out and ready to sew.  I have been using bamboo fiber to stuff them and I recently ran out.  It is more expensive than polyester fiber, so I wait for a 40-50% off sale to buy it.  It has not been on sale for over a month now.  I just received the new sale flyer from the fabric store and it isn't going on sale again.  What to do?  I searched the internet and couldn't find it any cheaper than the regular price at the store.

I'll wait.  Waiting is good. 

Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him.  Psalm 62:5

Friday, April 1, 2011

Loving Yourself

My idea with the ligulas’ was to give them away to other people who needed encouragement.  However, last month I wound up in a deep funk for several days.   Everything irritated me and I was very down on myself (it had a little to do with pms!).   I got to a point where I realized that I needed to give a liluga to myself.  
We are all trying to do so much these days.  I can’t love others until I love myself.  I can’t love myself until I love the Lord my God.  When a Pharisee asked Jesus which is the greatest commandment in the Law, he replied:

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Matthew 28:36-40

Love your neighbor as yourself.  I have to ask, how many people really love themselves?  I know there are hundreds of things I would love to change about myself.  My personality, my looks, my circumstances, etc.  Does this mean I do not love myself?   Does loving yourself mean you are happy with everything in your life?  Never being jealous of anyone else??   These are some thoughts that I have been pondering lately.
When I’m at a low point, it makes me think about my faith and my relationship with God.  Do I really love God and believe that He loves me?  Does my life reflect what I believe?  My heart wants to serve the Lord and to give to others.  I want to be able to serve because I love others, not because I think it will earn me brownie points with God.  Of course, in order to love others, I must love myself.  I have to be content with who I am in Christ and believe I am lovable.  Otherwise my service to others will be void of love.  And I think people can tell the difference.  I do believe that the more we give of ourselves to others, the less we think about ourselves and our needs.  Perhaps letting go of “me” actually helps me to be more content with myself and my circumstances, which results in my loving myself more. 
That said, I am putting a liluga on my kitchen window sill to not only remind me that God loves me, but to love myself.   

Monday, March 7, 2011


I am reading a book called “God’s Guest List” by Debbie Macomber.  She talks about all the people that God has put into our lives.  Some are always there; others are only there for a season.  Mothers, fathers, teachers, strangers, etc. - they all make an impact on our lives.  It got me thinking about all the different people God has put in my life.  Some have made a huge impact, others less so.
She also talks about how we can be an influence in other people’s lives.  When I am thinking of who to give my liluga’s away to, I limit my thinking to how I can make a difference in someone’s life that is going through a rough time.  But what about the people who influenced me?  Through this book, I am challenged to think of people who God put in my life for a reason and who made a difference.  People I want to say “thank you” to. 
It reminds me of the song by Ray Boltz,
Thank you for giving to the Lord
 I have a life that was changed
Thank you for giving to the Lord
I am so glad you gave
I am not very good at saying thank you to people who have reached out to me.  Sometimes I’ll read a book that really speaks to me, and I think that I should write the author and let them know.  Or I’ll hear a speaker on the radio who does the same thing.   Of course, I never follow through.  Writing a note to a close friend who does a kind act for you is easy.  Writing to strangers it more awkward for me. 
This week, my challenge for myself is to write a letter of thanks to a Christian artist whose music and message really spoke to me, encouraged me and got me out of a spiritual slump. 
It was the fall of 2006; I had been on my own with my three kids for two years and divorced for a little over a year.  We had been living in the bottom floor of a small, run-down (but charming) 100 year old house in town.  Although it was in a nice neighborhood, it was always a rental and completely neglected.  I only moved there because the rent was cheap, and it was close to my kid’s school.  The three kids were all together in the living room/bedroom.  I was in the small bedroom.  My only counter space in the kitchen was 12” x 24”.  After almost two years of being cramped in together, and many household mishaps (rain in my pantry from a leak in the upstairs shower, the plaster ceiling above our tub crashing down due to a leak from upstairs (never repaired), the ancient water pipes in the basement bursting and the land lord insisting on only patching them, etc.), I wanted to move. 
Everything else in town was so expensive.  But the house was falling apart and the land lord (who was an alcoholic) was not interested in repairing things properly.  I found someone who was moving and willing to rent her house to us, but it was several hundred dollars more per month.  My desire to be out of our home and the space and beauty of this other house made me disregard the huge jump in rent and move in to the new house.  Once there, I was sick to my stomach.  I couldn’t believe I took on such a big expense.  I moved in early August, and was really struggling through the first few months.
One day that October, while working from home, I was listening to Moody Bible Radio in Chicago.  They were giving away tickets to a live “Midday Connection” talk show featuring Sara Groves.  I called in and actually won a pair of tickets.  It brightened my day!
The week of the talk show, I was sick with a bad cold and cough.  But I wasn’t going to let that stop me from going.  I brought a friend with me and we drove the hour drive to Chicago and went to Moody Bible Institute for the show.
I wish I could tell you exactly what Sara Groves talked about that day, but I really don’t remember.  What I liked was that she was a simple person with a passionate heart.  What did affect me were the lyrics to her songs.  Each person attending that day received a goody bag with books and Sara’s current CD, “.  It was later as I listened to her songs and the words to her songs that I was changed and uplifted.
The song that got me most was “Just Showed Up For My Own Life”.   I really felt like I had been sleeping, going through a separation, divorce and life on my own with three young kids. I couldn’t see clearly and I was letting it all get to me and bring me down.  It was like a wake-up call to hear God’s voice and know that there was more to this life than what I was going through.
The other song that spoke to me was “It’s Going to be All Right”.  Yes, no matter what we are going through in this life, as long as you believe, it is going to be all right.  Cast your cares on Jesus. 
This small but impacting event encouraged me greatly.  Although it happened 5-1/2 years ago,  I believe it’s never too late to say “Thank You” to someone. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


I have just finished sewing a new batch of liluga’s.  They are sitting quietly in a basket in my sewing room, awaiting their new homes.  I need to pray to God about who I should give them to.  After I pray, I need to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit and be able to hear who He puts on my heart.  Listening isn’t always easy. 
I have been reading several different books on writing, and in one of them the author suggests a writing exercise on listening.  She recommends sitting with a paper and pen, and for ten minutes or so, write what you hear.  Here is what I wrote:
“As I sit here on this cold, winter evening, I have the Super Bowl and all it’s crazy commercials going on in the background.
I hear the heat blowing into the room.  I like that sound because it means warmth.  No blowing noise, no heat.  The sound is almost as loud as the T.V.  Ismael (my husband) has the volume low.  I can hear the roar of the crowd at the stadium.  The announcers voices are smooth and calm, unlike the soccer announcers on the Spanish stations.
The heat just shut off.  I heard Ismael swallow.  He is rubbing his finger over my leg, against the corduroy of my pants, making a swishing sound.
I can hear my step-son, Sebastion, going from his room to the bathroom, opening and shutting the doors.  The clock across the room it ticking.  Most of the time I don’t hear it.  Today I do.  Today I am listening.
Ismael just smirked at a commercial.  The air is getting cooler, but it is quieter.  Most of the time, I don’t listen.  My inner thoughts are louder than the outside noises.”
I did this exercise a couple of weeks ago, and as I reread it, the last sentence really jumps out at me.  I have a ton of inner thoughts going on at all times in my head, thoughts that block out a lot of outside noises.  Some of those outside noises are good and need to be heard.  Like hearing from God.  I need to shut off my inner voice and just listen.  I am going to do this exercise again, but this time I will listen to what God is saying.

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”  John 10:27

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Spring is in the Air!

liluga #20

We are having a beautiful week of warmer weather.  The giant icicles have all melted and the snow is slowly receding.  I have been busy sewing and made my first bunny-eared liluga.  Perfect for spring!

A little bit about my liluga's - each one is hand sewn with love and lots of detail. Each liluga is an original and is sewn with recycled (laundered and clean), natural-fiber fabrics. I try to use mostly cottons, linens and wools.  Their hearts are hand-stitched on, and each one has an embroidered, signature "L" on their behind.  I stuff them with bamboo fiber fill, which is eco-friendly and non-allergenic (just in case you want to hug your liluga!).

As I give away the liluga's to people I know, I have gotten such positive feedback from each person.  Little things can really make a difference!

Thank you for looking at my blog and have a blessed day!




Friday, February 4, 2011

Going Cat Crazy

I have been experimenting with sewing cats.  These two are a little fall/harvest looking.  I'll have to come up with some fun spring colors. (That's optimistically thinking that spring is just around the corner!)

We survived the blizzard!  It really wasn't so bad.  We measured about 16" of snow on our driveway.  The kids got two snow days out of it.  They wanted to stay home today, too.  Their thinking was, "what's the point of going back for one more day, then being off again for the weekend?"  My husband was a real trooper and worked hard to get the driveway and walkways clean.

Caleb in his fort

Our long driveway


I am at the library right now.  Currently, I do not have a computer at home that can handle the internet and we do not have internet service.  So, I come to the library to use their computers.  It works out pretty well.  However, my brother has hopefully found me a used laptop.   Then it will be "the travelling laptop".  I am looking forward to hanging out at the coffee shop and working on the computer.  Perhaps next time I write, it will be from my new laptop! 

Friday, January 21, 2011

Brrrr it’s cold outside!

Today it is about 5 degrees outside!  I am thankful to be inside a warm home and able to work at my kitchen table.  I mailed a liluga to Marietta, Georgia this morning.  I have an aunt who is in a nursing home, so I hope that this little guy will cheer her up!

I have been reading some great books lately.  One of which is “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan.  It is a book about falling in love with God, and living our life loving others as Jesus loves us.  It is challenging me to walk away from being a “lukewarm” Christian and live in closer obedience to Christ.   Another book that has a similar message is “Radical” by David Platt.  They are both excellent books that have you take a serious look at how our culture does “church”.  They are not “how to” books, but books where the authors share their faith and their passion for living as a Christian in today’s world.  If you feel stagnant in your faith and thinking there has to be more to it, I highly recommend each of these books.

I am still working on more ways to reach out to people in love.  Some ways are tangible*, such as giving away a liligua.  Other ways are less tangible*, such as spending time with a friend, listening to their heart over a cup of coffee.  Either way, giving away love takes thought, time and a surrendering of doing things for your self.  But, isn’t that what love is all about? 

* I found a copy of Webster’s New World Dictionary at a rummage sale and have been having fun looking up the meaning of many of the words we use.  I find that often we use words whose meanings do not truly match what we are trying to say.  “Tangible” is an adjective that means “can be touched or felt by touch; having actual form and substance”.  That matched perfectly with what I am trying to say!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year!

This is my latest batch of liluga’s.  They’re made out of a couple of sweaters (wool and cashmere) that two of my friends donated to me, and from a velour April Cornell dress I once loved.  Each liluga is unique, and, other than the bamboo fiber I use for the stuffing, nothing “new” is used to make them. I have a vintage button collection that I am finally putting to use as their eyes.  I also have a collection of vintage cotton and wool embroidery threads that I am using to attach their eyes and hearts, and to embroider the “L” on their behinds. Some threads are from my mother’s stash from when she was a young girl in Germany, and others are from estate sales.

I am having fun playing around with different shapes, sizes and patterns and seeing what evolves. Now I just need to wait and see whom I can give them to! 

In the meantime, I’ve been researching scripture and finding verses on love.  There are many, but a few really emphasize that we need to show our love through actions.
One in particular is 1 John 3:18 (The Living Bible):
“Little children, let us stop just saying we love people; let us really love them, and show it by our actions.”

If I look at my life and ask “how am I showing love to people?”, I am not so sure I could come up with many examples.  Being busy with a part-time job, a home-sewing business and taking care of a family of seven doesn’t always leave me with a lot of time to stop and think about love.   Or perhaps I do think about it, but I do not always act on it.  It’s easy enough to be nice and respectful to people, but much harder to do something special for someone that really shows that you love them.

I have two challenges this year for myself.  Both are based on becoming more like Jesus and following His command to love one another.  The first one is to reach out to people I come across in my “circle of life” with an encouraging word, and a gift of love through a liluga.  It will be fun to see whom the Holy Spirit puts on my heart to give them away to.  My husband, Ismael, and I also want to invite more people into our home for dinner and fellowship.  I don’t want it to be just about giving something to someone; I really want it to be about investing time in someone’s life.

The second challenge, which will actually be more difficult for me, is to find ways to show and give love to those closest to me, especially my husband and our children.  Why is that one harder?  I am not sure!  Perhaps because they see the “real” me, which isn’t always very loving.  I pray that the more I learn to love like Jesus, the less they’ll see the old me. 

Is any one willing to join me on this?  We can all use the support and encouragement from others.  Please send me an email and share your stories with me!

Philippians 1:11 (The Living Bible)
“May you always be doing those good, kind things which show that you are a child of God, for this will bring much praise and glory to the Lord.”