This morning I was surrounded by love.
It started early this morning, before the rest of the world was awake, my room still dark. I got a nudge, and I'm learning that when God nudges you listen, even if it's 6am and you'd much rather be curled up in bed enjoying those last few hours of sleep before your morning class.
And so I did. As each name came to me, I prayed. As I prayed, I felt such gratitude for the people I was praying for. I remembered moments, moments that would seem small to anyone else, and I saw in them beauty, remembering vulnerability and strength. And I felt blessed.
I heard sounds I usually am not awake to hear. The coffee pot starting to brew upstairs. the morning songs of the birds, greeting a new day. I saw the sun creep into my bedroom window, lighting the room bit by bit.
And I was surrounded by love.
Later this morning, I was checking my emails and one message continued to come up: love.
"Love. Say it. Say it now. Don't worry about what happens next, just say it."
"What are you willing to do for those you love?"
"Offering yourself up for love. Allowing yourself to be used. You are the offering."
Breakfast prepared lovingly, set out on the table - an offering of love.
Conversations before work and classes began, sharing time and stories - an offering of love
Bird's songs bringing my mind to the beautiful early in the morning - an offering of love.
These offerings, so beautifully prepared, and I feel inadequate to receive such gifts. How am I deserving of these offerings?
And so I add my humble offerings, offering myself to love.
Text messages sent out to friends, whispering the words "I love you. I am grateful for you" - an offering of love.
The soft 'thank you' said to teachers as we finish out this year - an offering of love.
Taking a moment to write down these tiny blessings, and expressing my gratitude - an offering of love
On this Monday morning, in the last week of school, on the 9 month anniversary of when I got diagnosed, I am learning about love.
Each tiny blessing is a soft love song and on this day I have been given ears to hear it.
May, each day, we offer up and receive love. Love isn't meant to be kept, hidden away safe. Yes, there it is safe from harm, safe from being damaged and tarnished and ruined. But if love is kept sheltered, locked up, it can never grow. If not noticed, appreciated, offered and received, the heart cannot flourish and thrive, becoming beautiful.
Take a deep breath in and receive this love that has been given to you.
And exhale, offering up your own love, your life, who you are, and let yourself be the beautiful in the world.
The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love, and be loved in return.