Do you ever find yourself struggling to intentionally choose love rather than fear? Let this post open your eyes to the choices you are faced with daily.

Flaming Veils and a Quest for Love

 

“Be really careful with the candles girls, because those veils will go up in flames before you know it!”

The second graders looked back at their religious education teacher with wide eyes. They were practicing for their First Communion Mass, and they’d all walked into the church full of joy and excitement — finally they’d be able to take Communion like the big kids!

But I’m pretty sure many of them walked out of church that night robbed of their joy, nervous with visions of flaming veils and dropped chalices dancing through their heads.

Do you ever find yourself struggling to intentionally choose love rather than fear? Let this post open your eyes to the choices you are faced with daily.

The next morning, as we buckled in the van for school, my oldest son said, “I think I’m forgetting something. I just have that feeling. Oh wait, I think I’m just nervous about First Communion.”

Poor little guy. Our parental fear tactics were taking a toll on him!

On the morning of First Communion, I had fears of my own as I worried about preparations for Mass and the celebration party afterward. Would the food be ready in time? Had we remembered everything?

My morning prayer was bogged down with mental lists of all that needed to get done.

It was no small miracle when God’s voice broke through my noisy thoughts whispering to my heart, “Act out of love and trust today, not fear and anxiety.”

It’s no surprise that God’s parenting tactics were focused on love instead of fear. However, as it turned out, He picked a doozy of a day to challenge me to such a change in mindset.

Mass went off without a hitch. Even though I almost forget to send Anthony up when it was his turn to lead prayer (and we went the wrong direction after Communion) still, there were no flaming veils.

Do you ever find yourself struggling to intentionally choose love rather than fear? Let this post open your eyes to the choices you are faced with daily.

Afterward, we headed to the Rec Room to have my son’s celebration party. Things were going well. The room was perfect, and the food was delicious.

Do you ever find yourself struggling to intentionally choose love rather than fear? Let this post open your eyes to the choices you are faced with daily.

But then a family emergency came up–for once not related to Cooper–and it resulted in an unexpected trip to the hospital.

After that, the party wrapped up fairly quickly. We took the kids to the park hoping to entertain them while we waited for word from the hospital. But the afternoon got long, and the kids (and adults) got bored.

Typically, that’s when everyone would have headed home, but no one wanted to leave until we heard everything was okay at the hospital. So one by one we all sat down on the cold, hard cement park benches.

Do you ever find yourself struggling to intentionally choose love rather than fear? Let this post open your eyes to the choices you are faced with daily.

As we gathered, I glanced sideways, looking from one bored face to the next. I knew logically that I should invite everyone back to our house.

But we hadn’t been expecting company, and our house was even messier than normal with all the rushed party preparations.

Was I really going to have to invite fifteen people into our mess? Really?!

Surely there was another option.

That’s when the words from my prayer time came back to me: “Act out of love and trust, not fear and anxiety.”

The loving thing would be to invite everyone back to our house, trusting them to overlook the mess — not force them to sit bored at the park.

So I invited them, and everyone piled into our home. The kids ate chips and played cards. They had epic Wii battles and secret ninja missions in the back yard.

Do you ever find yourself struggling to intentionally choose love rather than fear? Let this post open your eyes to the choices you are faced with daily.

And in the end, I only overheard one of the kids walk into our toy room and declare, “Wow, this place is a mess!”

Not so bad, right?

The next day, I cleaned in a frenzy — the way I always do when someone accidentally sees our house in a state too messy, even by my standards.

As I stepped over a shriveled apple peel, I couldn’t help but wonder what our family thought after seeing our house this way. But in the end, I’m guessing they were just grateful not to be stranded at the park all afternoon.

Yes, they saw my mess. But they also felt the love of being welcome in our home.

Question for You:

Do you ever find yourself struggling to intentionally choose love rather than fear in your relationships?

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17 thoughts on “Flaming Veils and a Quest for Love

  1. This weekend I had someone tell me, “Let your mess be your message.” Sound like you did just that! Glad everything turned out okay and you were succeeded in taking a step of faith!

  2. We had a friend (4 years old) over for a playdate a few weeks back and he wanted to go to the basement but I said, “oh buddy, it’s too messy.” He responded, “I love messes!” I bet your family does too! I know I do. 🙂

  3. Oh that’s interesting. I’ve never heard that one before! I was definitely sending out a lot of “messages” that day then. lol

  4. Oh that is cute, I love it! Little kids are the best. So accepting and forgiving of our messes!

  5. I know God loves our real and messy. We are the ones that have such trouble with it. God blessed you immensely when He broke through your prayer time with a message that He knew you would need later in the day. I love how you followed His voice and followed your heart sharing your home with your family. Blessed to be visiting you from #TellHisStory.

  6. Yes! I’ve done the same thing–and I’ve always received a greater blessing than I gave. The whole messy house thing reminds me that my husband is bringing students over tomorrow for lunch–he’s cooking Cuban–and I need to clean up my messes–I’m still unpacking from two weekends away. It’s not about the mess in the house, though, it’s about the miracles God can work out of our mess.

  7. Well today I acted first out of fear and it was really really bad, and then the conviction came and I wrote out the love. So much better. (Also the first time I’ve posted two days in a row in forever. Bonus!)

  8. I had a very similar thing happen this weekend but I didn’t even think of inviting them into my mess until the whole thing was over and I had missed the opportunity. Next time, I hope I won’t. Thanks for the reminder of inviting others out of love. It’s a beautiful thing! (PS I love your writing style… very enjoyable to read! Thank you!) Stopping by from #tellhisstory

  9. Great post about living a life of giving, listening and loving.
    In response to your question about ever struggling to choose love rather than fear, I would say that daily I must choose to love twin sixteen yr. old boys that sometimes manifest mindsets that make me want to cuddle with fear and give up completely…
    BUT and it’s a bigger but than my posterior…I have learned and am growing stronger daily in letting go of what I want, think and could ever possibly do to ‘direct’ their thinking to truth. That’s God’s job~
    Loving them lately means that I ASK THEM the questions, work on NOT TELLING THEM WHAT TO DO CONSTANTLY, and listen to their thoughts and ideas when I would rather tell them to change their clothes or take a shower!
    Ok, enough ranting…
    Thanks for your post and the reminder to listen IN THE MOMENT.
    Blessings on your evening.

  10. It is so easy to get pulled into that “fearing place,” instead of the “trusting place.” We are either choosing fear or love. It is so true. Lord, help us to always grab hold of your love! Thank you for these words Jenni. God is working through you for sure. Cheering you on from the #RaRalinkup on Purposeful Faith.

  11. Yes, thank God that He broke through the chaos that is my brain sometimes. His grace is truly mind-blowing!

  12. Oh that is awesome! Sometimes we have a bit of a learning curve, don’t you think? Good thing we have such a patient teacher. And He’s already anticipated the dips and turns in the road we will take.

  13. Thank you, Rachel! Yes, I’m confident you will get another chance. God has a way of knowing how long it will take us to learn and giving us the chances we need to get there.

  14. Twin 16-year-olds, wow! Wise words, to ask questions and listen. But easier said than done when we have SO MANY good ideas of our own. Right?! lol So grateful for your comment and perspective, Daune.

  15. This reminds me of Mary and Martha ! Thanks for being a light in the darkness or rather showing others Gods light in this world:) needed to hear this article for sure💕

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