Tuesday, July 3, 2012

" . . . Love Until It Hurts . . ."

My Nana
John 15:12
My command to you is this:  Love each other as I have loved you.

I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love. ~Mother Teresa

During their teen and early adult years, my mother and her sister have many friends who love to hang out at their house.  And, it's not for the sake of their company alone.  It's to spend time with their mother, Gladys, my Nana, for hours on end.

Crowded at her kitchen table lit by one cozy lamp, the girls chatter or giggle or cry with abandon.  Nana listens to it all with interest and empathy.  Never in judgment.  Accepting each girl for who she is and where she is in the moment.  Loving each one unconditionally.

Loving until it hurts . . .

And, especially for the girls who have a difficult time talking to their own mothers, Nana is a God-send.  No matter what news they bring to her or questions they need answered, they know that Nana will genuinely listen and answer truthfully, knowledgeably, and with kindness.

Mom often recounts one of her favorite stories of a gathering at Nana's table.  Her friends are all in their twenties, and many are married with children or have babies on the way.  They are sharing stories and laughter and coffee when Barbara, one of Mom's best friends, takes a turn toward the serious.

"Tell us, Gladys," she says, "you raised three children.  What advice would you give to us about raising our own?"

The kitchen is silent.  All eyes are on Nana.  All ears yearn for her words of wisdom.

Nana looks at each of them, smiles, and states matter-of-factly, "Teach them right from wrong, and love them to death."

"I remember thinking at the time," my mother tells me, "why couldn't she come up with a better answer than that?  It seemed way too simple.  Not advice at all, really.  Then, I had you, and I realized this was the wisest advice my mother ever gave to anyone."
~
Will you love today until it hurts?

Will you join me in prayer?
We ask, Father, that You help us love one another as Christ loved us.  Let us love until it hurts, until only love prevails.  Even when it hurts so much, may we, like Gladys, always show love to others freely and unconditionally.  Amen.  

36 comments:

  1. Was given that advice too. It's helped me all through these years though I can't say there were no skirmishes. There were a lot but in reality, it also taught me what love is really all about.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Anne!
      Glad you had good advice, too. There is never any one answer to child-rearing, but loving them as Nana advised is absolutely key.
      Blessings to you!

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  2. I love the simplicity of this advice. Sometimes one part or the other is difficult to follow but it does give one a foundation to build on. Love the old picture!

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Lynne!
      Yes, the simplicity harbors a vast complexity of what we all face in raising children. But, the love is an absolute necessity. Glad you enjoyed the photo - Danny did some doctoring on this one. :)
      Blessings to you!

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  3. Agree with Lynne...reminded me of my own granny.Nice post.

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    1. So glad you stopped in, Janu, and glad this reminded you of your own grandmother.
      Blessings to you!

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  4. That picture of Nana is so lovely. I promise to love until it hurts. thanks for this.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Adriana!
      I'm glad you will love until it hurts. :) And, thanks for the kind words about the photo.
      Blessings to you!

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  5. You're so blessed to have a saint as a grandmother :) You are as wise.

    It's a very good reflection esp. at this time. I do need to come back to what Jesus said about loving...and I think your nana has exemplified it in her life.

    I pray with you...is it too much to ask for such love?

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    1. Thanks so much for coming by, Melissa!
      Yes, I believe my Nana was a saint. She faced many struggles, but always with a smile and a positive attitude. She did exemplify how Jesus taught us to love.
      Thanks for praying with me - it is not too much for ask for. :)
      Blessings to you!

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  6. My parents did the exact same thing, they taught us right from wrong and loved us unconditionally. Beautiful post, Martha...

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    1. Thanks for visiting today, Sulekkha!
      How wonderful that your parents modeled this exact behavior. They were so wise to do so!
      Glad you enjoyed the post.
      Blessings to you!

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  7. Nana was a wise woman. She reminds me of my own mother. All the teens in the neighborhood came to her with their troubles, knowing that she wouldn't judge...only love.
    Beautiful post Martha.

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Leah!
      Yes, she was, and such a saint. How neat that is that your mom had the same effect on the teens in your neighborhood. Everyone needs someone they can trust and pour their heart out to.
      So glad you liked the post.
      Blessings to you!

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  8. I strongly feel I needed this today very much Martha. Thanks for such a beautiful reminder of what I need to do the most - Love unconditionally.

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting today, Me!
      I'm gratified to know today's post met you just where you are right now. And, we all need the reminder from time to time that our love should always be unconditional.
      Blessings to you!

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  9. Nana sounds like a real blessing. Teach them right from wrong, and love them to death. What better advice could there be? I never knew either sets of my grandparents, as both maternal and paternal were all gone by the time I was born. My mother was my example of loving til it hurts. That woman truly walked the talk.

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    1. Thanks so much for dropping in today, Debra!
      Yes, my Nana was such a blessing to all of us. I'm sorry you never got to know your grandparents, but that your mother more than made up for it in loving you and others.
      Blessings to you!

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  10. I really enjoyed reading this mom! I had never heard this particular story before about my great-grandmother. I can see why Nana would have thought it was too simple of an answer before having kids of her own. Then you realize that your kids are going to be their own people and that they are going to make mistakes because you can't shelter them from everything. If you have loved them and taught them right from wrong then you have given them the foundation they need to become good people.

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    1. My dear Sarah, that is what life is about; it is all we can give,all we can believe, all we can create, and the only foundation we can provide. Your Great-Nana had it down pat. Remember this always in raising Virginia, and you will be blessed. I know you will teach her right from wrong.
      My love and blessings to you always, dear daughter!

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  11. In Jesus name, AMEN! Great advice and very wise. Beautiful story!!!

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    1. Thank you, Lisa Marie, for stopping by!
      Yes, my grandmother was a wonder and a fountain of sage advice. I've yet to know anyone like her in my lifetime. Just hope I can hold a candle to her flame.
      Blessings to you!

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  12. Giving unconditional love seems easy when all is going well, it's in the tough times when our loved ones are making choices that we don't seem to agree with that it gets hard. Thank you for sharing the wisdom of your Grandmom with us, Martha. She continues to bless us through you. ♥

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    1. Thanks so much, Corinne, for stopping by!
      You are so right. When things are going swimmingly, it's easy to love others. It's in those tough situations when we need to love until it hurts even when it takes everything we have to do so.
      My Nana was a gem. As I said above, if I could only be a candle to her flame, I will have led a worthy life.
      Blessings to you!

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  13. Simple but very wise advice indeed. The love 'em to death part is often underemphasized... or at least showing the feelings...

    Great post!

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting today, Rachel!
      I agree - we can't love our children enough. I was fortunate to have such a wise Nana!
      Glad you enjoyed the post!
      Blessings to you!

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  14. Oh my, what a timely post, Martha. Yes, love until it hurts. Love unconditionally - wrap those who hold your heart in so much love that they might squirm and laugh in slight protest. It...love...is the lasting beauty of this world. It will inspire beautiful memories that we cherish forever.

    Grandmother wisdom is always so strong, don't you think? I know my own Granny had equal wisdom and I find myself quoting her often to friends. That wisdom lives on long after those loved ones have left us. The love remains.

    Blessings, sweetheart. <3

    - Dawn

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    1. Thank you so much for visiting with me today, Dawn!
      Oh, yes, love is what it's all about! And, there is nothing better than grandmother wisdom, especially when we can pass it on to others. She was an extraordinary woman and I wish I could have spent more time with her.
      Prayers and many blessings to you, my dear!

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  15. A beautiful post...Nana was very wise indeed! This reminded me of my own grandmother who passed away...She was wonderful to talk to, didn't judge and always provided warmth to a conversation.

    I've been away but am catching up on posts. Hope you've been well!

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    1. So wonderful to see you here, Jessica, thanks for coming by!
      When I wrote this, I did think about your recent reflection about your grandmother. Yes, they do sound so much the same in many ways. We were very fortunate to have such great women in our lives.
      Blessings to you!

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  16. That looks like a really fun place to celebrate the 4th. :)

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  17. I think as mother that's a daily possibility, although I haven't had to feel this sort of challenge since my daughter passed through the edge of rebellion someone unscathed. We both suffered during those couple of years. I know there is more of that out there for me but I am betting I'll get through it. On the other kind of love, well, that's a story I can tell but not today. Wonderful post as always, Martha. You always leave me thinking,

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Brenda!
      You are not alone in that mother/daughter struggle, believe me! My daughter and I certainly had our moments as she was growing up; it was sometimes difficult to like her, but I never once stopped loving her! You will get through it! :)
      Thanks for your kind complements and so glad you enjoyed the post.
      Blessings!

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  18. I love till it hurts, in fact that is the only way to love, that is true love

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    1. You have a great and wonderful capacity to love, Nikki. It shines in your posts.
      Thanks for stopping by today.
      Blessings!

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