“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)
To live as if this day was your last, that is such a great anthem to tuck in your pocket and carry. It certainly would change the way I mother throughout the morning … Thanks for these words of encouragement 🙂
Love this! “To live free, we stretch in areas where we can easily settle or slide backward. Where we discover the power of more.” Wonderful. I shall meditate on this. Thanks.
Thank you for this post Suzie. I am touched by your words.
If only we would all give, forgive, and love. Imagine the difference those three acts would make in our world.
Blessings on your day!
Love this! “Is it possible that bitterness has no room to live when giving and loving crowd it out?”
Giving and loving creates joy in my heart! Someday sit just comes natural and other days I must be intentional. May our love abound daily!
“Is it possible that bitterness has no room to live when giving and loving crowd it out?” Absolutely, Suzie! The only way to live fully.
Linking up my post for the bloghop: When You Love More and Give More, You Live More – https://www.juliesunne.com/love-more-give-more-live-more/
I love this!
I’ve recently had a similar conversation with one our children concerning making friends. You often have to give of yourself first, more, etc. before you find a friend. Plus, a giving attitude is simply more fun, joyful, and is a lighter load for life.
Your post and the conversations are reminders to apply it in my own life as well: praying with others, sending words of encouragement, and offering praise. Thanks, Suzie.
This is a beautiful story that illustrates something crucial, Suzie. I find that when I’m focused on ME, how others aren’t meeting MY needs, or taking ME into consideration, bitters grows inside FAST! But when I start reaching out, loving and serving others, seeing THEIR needs and hurts, bitterness slips away without my even noticing.
Thank you for your post because I really needed to hear it. I had surgery on my back in August and I have actually been hibernating in my house. I’m in pain still, especially in the mornings when I used to get going and do things and spend time doing things at church and just being around people in public.
I’ve been depressed because the metal they put in my back protrudes in several places which shows unless I wear loose clothing and I am also very limited in what I can do. It is even hard for me to pray. I am making a promise to myself to get up and if I have to sit, I’m going to spend it in prayer and listening to hear what God has to say to me. I already read all my Christian books and blogs but I need to put the books down for a little while and read his Word. And I need interaction with others and help them even by cheering them up which I used to do everyday. You have opened my eyes to the wrong direction I am heading. God bless and thank you all so much.
The Pastor from the chapel i used to attend send me your web site. I do not attend now because I have had to move away – due to my husbands actions that have caused a complete marital breakdown. I am trying to hang in but struggling and my bitterness is increasing and making me unhappy. Your words have touched me and inspire me to reach out to God and trust in him and follow the ways of our Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you