Sunday, February 14, 2010

Loving Others

It has been a hard year so far. I gave birth to my second daughter, Lina, in December, and now my husband and I have two kids under the age of two in a small, one-bedroom apartment in New York City. Being an introvert and having worked from home the last five years, I have been used to having a lot of “alone” time. Now with two kids to take care of in limited space, I often find it hard to have room to breathe. Each day feels like a race to get everything done, to make sure both kids get fed and get naps, to wash dishes and clean up after a toddler and cook meals, to do work for my business and to keep up with friends and family. By the time my husband gets home at 7:15pm, I am ready to collapse. Only I can’t. My two month old needs to nurse, my two year old needs a bath and to be put to bed, and my husband is hungry after working hard all day and missing his lunch break.

I feel overwhelmed and tired. In the midst of all of this, we are trying to buy into a co-op in New York City which will give us more space but which is currently causing quite a bit of headaches with mortgage applications, delays in move-in dates, and second thoughts on our part... “Can we really afford this? Do we really want to do this?”

This morning I realized that something needs to sustain me on a daily basis or else I might sink into a hole and not reemerge. I thought about the things that give me joy, and I thought about how God wants me to use my life to demonstrate His love for others. In an attempt to fight against the desire to get trapped in an inward-focused trap, I am going to try to deliberately do or give something that goes a little bit above the norm to someone else each day for the next thirty days. I expect that some gifts or deeds will be geared toward my husband as I think I need to express my love for him more than I have been. Others will probably be geared toward friends, family, my two children, the random stranger on the street.

To start off today, I decided to give something to my wonderful godmother Joy. I stopped at a lovely flower shop on the way to church called Surroundings Flowers (photo above from their website) and picked out a single beautiful long stemmed rose for Joy. A simple gesture to tell her I loved her and appreciated her. My heart instantly felt lighter when I saw her surprised face at the sight of the rose. I think today’s goal was a success.

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