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

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.”