The Hardest Person to Embrace

I see the moon and the moon sees me.

God bless the moon. God bless me.

-Nursery rhyme

//I bought a bouquet of muted fire. Orange roses for $3.99. For a whole week, I’ve been longing for them. I passed them by last week because it felt like a waste when I didn’t need them. Oh, but I do.

I need them dearly.

This week was my birthday. Thirty-eight years is beautiful, my friends. I love being this age: caring less what others think, slowing down just a tad, and still feeling like a total goober when I want to. (I get the biggest kick out of making my kids squeal and giggle right before bed time.)

I love the rest I feel settling into my beautiful bones. I relish the satisfaction taking the nap on a perfectly sunny day. I love writing in the middle of a March thunderstorm. I drink buckets of coffee, dream big dreams, and try to let things go.

There’s this one thing

Jesus said, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list.

But there is a second to set alongside it:

‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’

This one lesson. This second thing after the first one: loving myself.

I can’t love you unless I love me.

We all love ourselves, right?

As a kid, I did most certainly. I thought I was queen of the neighborhood and Barbie doll’s biggest rival. But years of pouring out my life, losing myself, wandering in the desert, and searching for my true home, I realize the truth. Loving others well comes after I learn to love myself. God already does. //

I’m still working on it.

A big thunderstorm is coming in a few minutes. I love it: the rain, the clouds, the green surging up from the ground as water pours. Maybe I will eat a piece of dark chocolate and cut the stems of the roses sitting in the porcelain pitcher and smell them until I know the words by heart:

…These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them. (MSG Matthew 22:39)

May the hardest person to love be the first we embrace.

May God’s words hang on my outstretched hands, my beautiful bones.

Retreat + Freebies for You

This post is part of Five Minute Friday. Check out details for the upcoming retreat.

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March 24, 2017
  • JeanneTakenaka

    Christina, what a vibrant post! And those roses? Beautiful. I love that you gave this gift to yourself. 🙂 I’ve always been a believer that we love ourselves. We make sure we feed ourselves, get enough to drink, sleep some (probably not enough 😉 ). But, do we love ourselves as God does? That got me thinking. I haven’t always loved myself that way. But when I began to see, and to grasp the depth of His love for me, it made it easier to like me and see myself through His eyes.

    Great post, my friend!

  • Sarah Geringer

    Beautifully written as usual, Christina! It’s taken me many years to truly love myself, and since learning to do so, I am able to love others better. Happy birthday to you!

  • Yay for 38 and marvelous mojo!!! Hope your birthday was fabulous, Mandy.

  • Emma Hughes

    I feel like I’m sitting next to you, waiting for the storm, pricking my finger on the wild roses. Your words have such power and vitality!

  • So beautiful and truthful. Sometimes we love ourselves just by letting God’s love permeate us, like that rain or the smell of those flowers.

    • Yes, the senses are one of the best way to experience God. Thanks for stopping by, Jeannie.

  • Shauna Blaak

    Oh, my! Christina, this has taken my breath away. That was not what I was expecting when I read the title, but Yesssssss, it’s so true! I’m in the final stages of writing my first book, a study into IDENTITY and motherhood (regardless of her age). I’ve been mentoring and walking with beautiful mommies who can barely stand to look in the mirror for the self-loathing. You’ve hit the nail on the head, my friend. Loving ourselves is just as righteous an endeavour as loving our creator.
    Loved this: “May God’s words hang on my outstretched hands, my beautiful bones.”
    Thank you!
    Shauna Blaak

    • Oh, what a work you are doing, Shauna! I’d love to know more about your book. Identity was my word for March too! Not just a coinkidink!

  • Tara Ulrich

    Wow! I’m speechless. I am participating in a Lenten devotional and today’s prompt word was “commandment.” The text was this very one you mentioned about loving our neighbors as we love ourselves. Some days it’s easy to love my neighbors but not so much myself. I need to keep working on it too. I wrote about this in a post directly after my FMF post. This blessed my soul today friend. Thank You! I’m in the 6 spot this week.

  • Carol Emmert

    Learning to love ourselves, with all our imperfections and quirks does take some maturing doesn’t it?