Friday, August 2, 2013

If I Have Not Love...

Mom and younger sisters have been out of town. Somehow I got the idea that this would mean hours of rest and relaxation with my older sister in a quiet house. What it actually means is staying up until midnight every night to wash and scrub and cook and clean because you no longer have your little minions...I mean sisters to help you. I have been quoting "Cinderella" in my head all week.

  "And don't forget the garden. Then scrub the terrace, sweep the halls and the stairs, clean the chimneys. And of course there's the mending, and the sewing, and the laundry... "

  I had a funny Pinterest post for today, but alas! My computer is wackadoodle and the post has vanished. Oh well. I'll hopefully be able to re-compose it for next week.



A friend wrote her own version of 1 Corinthians 13 and posted it on Facebook encouraging others to do the same and fill in the blanks with their own personal struggles.

"If I have a perfectly organized schedule and always arrive on time, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I am the most practical and grounded, and always make the "smart" and "right" choices, and if I have all my crap together so that people think I am so "with it", but have not love, I am nothing. If I do, do, do until I crash and burn, and if I wake up early and stay up late to accomplish everything, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for calendars and routines, they will pass away; as for facades, they will cease; as for competing, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love."

I needed to write this today. I needed to read this chapter again and again. I have a big problem with ego. I have many insecurities about myself and so I hold on for dear life to the things that I am good at. I worship my qualities and hoard them and fuel them and present them as the pinnacle of worth and value. I am organized. Therefore, ye all must be at the same level of "orderly" that I am at. I can balance a thousand different things at once and get them all done AND on time. Therefore, ye all must be able to accomplish everything you set out to do in a timely manner. If you don't then I say "tisk tisk" with a disapproving look. And by "you", I mean my older sister.
We are such opposites and tend to butt heads every time some task needs to be done. We spent the week alone in a house together and many things needed to be done. I had a plan, and that plan was not upheld as law and that pissed me off.
I had a difficult time being patient and kind when she kept ignoring my suggestions. I boasted under my breath of all the ways that my plan was better than her plan (did she even have a plan?). I was arrogant and rude as I huffed and puffed and did everything on my own just to prove a point. I insisted on my own way and when it things didn't go according to my plan I was irritated and resentful.
Since I worship order, the fact that she leaves dirty dishes in the sink and can't complete a chore without checking her Facebook at least five times just drives me to the brink of insanity.
I am right. Period.
I have to be right. Period.
My way is best. Period.
I'm in a sticky place right now. Ego is getting in the way of love. My personal preferences trump love. Proving my "rightness" is far more important to me than loving her. It's not good. We need to find a meeting place where we can both be our Type-A-Git-Er-Done and Super-Relaxed-Chill selves, but be able set aside our preferences for the sake of loving each other. I need to not want to stab her in the eyeball with the dirty fork I found in the sink and she needs to understand that "order" means "calm" and "peace" to me. A loving compromise.
I see that. I get that. I know that is what needs to be done. Reading this chapter and filling it in with my struggles made me realize how deficient I am in love, and how important love is. It reminded me that I can be the best at everything that matters to me but that it is all worthless and ugly if not done in the name of love.


  1. Good job with a difficult subject. This is a huge one. I don't think it vanishes, I think we practice though. Starting with awareness--then going to acceptance--which I think you are at. She is who she is and you are who you are. Coming to peace with that (and stepping away from the dirty fork eyeball thing--which is a funny and eerily familiar though in MY head! LOL!) will be what comes next. If you substitute my husband's name for "big sister" and my name for yours---I could have written your post myself! (which made me chuckle and also realize I have some work to do myself...) My hubby and I talked about it and he told me each time I use the word 'should' as in "you should really...." or 'need' as in "you really need to...." he says it sounds like nagging and makes him dig in his heels and want to do the exact opposite of what I have suggested. I don't know how you get away from that. While I think I am being helpful...reminding, suggesting...he feels nagged and resents it and me. So big sigh on my end.....

    Hope you have a good time away!


  2. I think that this is probably a struggle for anyone and everyone who is in any kind a relationship: Husband/Wife, Sister/Sister, Mom/Daughter......

    I totally see what you are saying: Telling him that he "should" or "needs" to do something makes him even more stubborn *not* to do it. My sister adn I both do it to eachother. I point out an area where she needs to grow and she becomes even sloppier to prove a point. And, when she points out how I need to chill, then I just become ten times more OCD and picky just to make a point.

    You said that you don't know how to get away from that.

    I don't either. It's frustrating. But, I do think that love and humility have to be at the root of the "answer".