“What is  your favorite color?” my friend MarLo, asked.

“Green,” I said. “Like grass.”

And then I forgot about it.

Later MarLo handed me a beautiful green bag with a green ribbon and green tissue paper.

Grass green. Just like I love. 

Inside was a custom green pen created and designed by her husband.

I’m a Bic kind of girl, so this is a treasure. I am in awe of the thoughtfulness behind this beautiful, oh-so-personal gift.  I carry it with me to book signings. I keep it close.

But this isn’t just about a green pen.

MarLo’s story isn’t one that is easy. In fact, Marlo has lots of reason to not give. To not love more. Her story is filled with heartbreak and expectations unmet.

It’s one of hanging on to Jesus when the answer isn’t coming anytime soon.

She has every “right” to be bitter or angry.

Instead, she loves more. She gives more.

She carries this same “give more” outlook into other areas of her life and relationships and instead of bitterness or anger, the first thing you notice about Marlo is joy.

Is it possible that bitterness has no room to live when giving and loving crowd it out?

To live free: We love more, give more. 

Not to gain anything, but because something beautiful takes place inside of us when we do. 

Every time I hold that green pen in my hand, it reminds me to look outside of myself to see others. To love them. To give a smile, a hug, a card. To listen.

To be more like my friend MarLo, who has a lot of Jesus spilling out of her.

When we give more and love more, it opens the door for joy to take up residence where bitterness wants to live.



Quote: If today were your last, would you do what you’re doing? Or would you love more, give more, forgive more? Then do so! Forgive and give as if it were your last opportunity. Love like there’s no tomorrow, and if tomorrow comes, love again.  — Max Lucado

Today: In what areas does God want to stretch you to give or love more? What is one tangible step you can take today?

Scripture: And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight. (Philippians 1:9 NIV)