I love daisies. They are simple, but beautiful. They grow gracefully and don’t need much care. But this little daisy isn’t quite thriving at the moment. It’s in a large pot just off of our front porch and isn’t amidst lots of blooms. In fact, it is the only one blooming. It has lost a petal or two and the green leaves at its base are looking kind of brown. Poor thing looked like it had been through a pretty rough patch. In a world where daisies remind us of ‘he loves me’, well, this one might be the poster flower for ‘he loves me….not.”
It’s amazing the power of love. The beauty of being known and appreciated for who you are. It’s a true gift that keeps giving, because being known and loved, well, it can so inspire us to do, be, and give. It can fill a void and encourage a heart, this being loved. And it should. But there are times in life when, well, our list of hard might just outweigh the good. We might feel like we’ve pulled off that last petal of the daisy, and we end up on ….”not”.
Many a marriage will end on the “not”. Divorce rates are pretty high. We all know that. And it’s easy to try to sum relationships in a list of why and why not we should or should not stay married. We weigh our thoughts, our concerns, our decisions on what is seen and heard and felt and can count things off like a list of, well, this must mean he loves me, and this must mean he doesn’t. Or worse, If he loved me he would…do this or that. Or if he loved me, he wouldn’t do this or that. And with each “not” we can end up feeling a bit like a bare daisy, vulnerable, unappreciated, and quite less the picture of what a fresh and life filled daisy is supposed to be.
I’ve seen many a person base a whole lot on the stuff that can be counted off like petals. But my thoughts today? That love…true love is full of the ‘he/she loves me’ petals, AND the he/she loves me NOT petals. Because we are not perfect. None of us.
I can remember having a crush in my elementary school years that even traveled on up through my middle school years. This guy was fun and funny and beautiful and Greek and had crystal blue eyes. I was one of many girls who probably had the same crush by the way. But, I can remember my pre=adolescent self sitting on the kitchen counter talking to my mom one day and saying, “He’s just Perfect” lol. And my very wise and not so at the moment discreet mom said, “being with somebody who is perfect would be really hard because you’re not…and you’d always feel like you had to measure up.” Well, that got my attention for sure. She didn’t mean this as a slight, though it did kind of take me back for a second. But she was wise to acknowledge that it’s not about having this picture perfect man, but about meeting in the middle with the perfections and imperfections and…..growing together. Yeah, ‘perfect’ would be really hard. I’m thinking it’d be hard to relate….because am aware that I am so not.
But love, well, I don’t think it’s a thing to be counted and measured with a count of pluses and minuses. Love is not a keeping of scores. Nope. It’s a give and take. But that’s the thing…the give and take,that is. Hopefully it’s not a lopsided “give-give-give, take” or “take-take-take-give”. Hopefully there’s a giving and a taking, a gift that’s mutually beneficial on so many levels. But if it’s not…. well, here are some reminders of some other “nots”… (taken from that beautiful Love chapter in I Corinthians 13) Because it’s important to not make excuses for others…and then sit there feeling like a petal-less daisy. Nope, gotta call a spade a spade and a heart a heart. Gotta call it like it is if we’re gonna grow in this dance called love. So, here are some of the ‘nots’.
Love does not envy.
Love does not boast.
Love is not self-seeking.
Love is not easily angered.
Love keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil.
None of us are perfect, that’s for sure. But sometimes, when a daisy is feeling a little on the loves me not side, well, it’s important to remember what love is, and what it’s not. Forgiveness and mercy can go a long way, but clarity of thought and mind are quite crucial in distinguishing what should and should not be tolerated or seen as okay, that’s for sure. In this fragmented world, there are so many who are heavy on the loves me not. I work with so many children and families who feel so disconnected and struggle with the acceptance and hope that comes with just knowing you’re loved and you belong. And maybe that’s why I’m writing this…because I see a lot of searching eyes that just want to connect with someone whose eyes look back and let them know they are not alone, they are loved and they belong. They see a lot of the not and it’s confusing…because they see it from the very ones who are supposed to be the “He loves me” ones.
I love that no matter the love me nots in our lives, there is always one we can run to for that sense of hope and belonging, for a greater love than any of us can conceive of. He loves us with an everlasting love, not because of our merit, but because of His, not because of what we have or haven’t done, but because of what He has done. In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus knew He would be taking on all of the reasons why God should ‘love us not’ , and the cross paved the way for a garden of daisies that simply say He loves me and that is all. He loves you. No nots. Just, He loves you. It is just ours to acknowledge and accept the gift. What a beautiful gift that is. It makes daisies resilient to the nots.
So, I don’t know if you’re single or married, divorced or engaged, remarried, or happily flying solo. But I do know that regardless of any relational status, sometimes life can beat us up a bit and make us feel like my pitiful little daisy. I’m hopeful that God’s Word can refresh and rejuvenate that sense of hope and beauty that comes from knowing you’re loved. Period. I need reminders about lots of things, like when appointments are, where I put my phone (ask my kids…they call my phone to find it regularly!) and that He loves me. Period. The Bible says that He loves us with an everlasting love. It says ” For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” And it says, “forget not….forget not His benefits. The New Living Translation says, “Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me.” Psalm 103:2 I forget a lot of things in a day, but I’m determined to forget Him not… because He has not forgotten me…and loves without the nots…. That kind of love can be like refreshment (or MiracleGro 🙂 )that makes a daisy bloom beautifully no matter the soil where it is planted. Thankful for that.
Blessings to You and Yours ~
P. S. Forget Not <3.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:4-6
God is not mocked. What we sow we reap. and…what others sow they reap… (Galatians 6:7)