Thursday, February 8, 2018

Better Than Anything

I've fallen in love four times in my life. 

The first time was with the guy who became my husband. I met him when I was 19 and I wouldn't say it was love at first site, but more of that giddy, butterflies-in-the-belly nervousness of a new romance. He was a whopping six years older than me (which seems like a lot when you're 19 and 25), so I wasn't sure it could really work. But, it didn't take long for both of us to realize that our relationship was something special and it quickly grew into something much deeper than that initial slaphappy feeling. 

The other three times were when I met each of my daughters for the first time. Of course, I LOVED them as soon as I knew they were growing inside me. I wanted to protect them and thought about them constantly. They were literally with me anywhere and everywhere I went every second of the day. We had a connection, both physically and spiritually. However, it's a strange feeling to be so infatuated with a person you have never even met. With my first two, we didn't find out their gender in advance, so they didn't even have names. Until they did. Until they were born. When their tiny, slimy, red, wrinkled, writhing little bodies were laid upon my chest - that's when I was IN LOVE with each of them  - the same, but also anew every time. 

That feeling of being newly in love is overwhelming and powerful in the most wonderful and joyous way. It is also rare and exceptionally hard to replicate.That means, there are not many things in life that feel quite as fabulous as the sensation which engulfs you when you realize you have fallen totally and completely in love. There are, however, a handful of things that come somewhat close. 

Here's my Finish the Sentence Friday Listicle of things that are "better than anything except falling in love."
Children -  Some people don't particularly like young children and that's totally fine.  After all, they are germy, temperamental, and loud. However, they are also precious, innocent, and honest. They make me smile and make me laugh. They are where I see all that's good and pure in the world. I see God in their eyes and grace in their smiles. 
Part of my job is leading a weekly children's chapel with the preschoolers at our church. A colleague took this picture of me at this week's chapel. I hate looking at myself in pictures, but I don't mind this one so much because I see joy on my face. That's because, when I'm surrounded by children, their joy bubbles over into me.

Falling into a cozy bed at the end of a long day (or any day!) - I am neither a morning person nor a night owl. It's actually quite unfair and extremely counterproductive. I hate getting out of my warm bed in the morning and, by about 8:00 every night, I am ready to climb back in and snuggle down under the covers. Nothing feels quite as comforting as finding just the right spot with the covers pulled up under my chin. 

"This Is Us"  - Okay, I know this is a cheesy addition to the list, but seriously - there are not many things in life that make me feel all the "feels" the way this show does. No spoilers here, but if you haven't seen the last two episodes (post-superbowl one and the one from Tuesday, 2/6), then, brace yourself. Also, while I totally love Sterling K. Brown, I am wholeheartedly recommending Mandy Moore for whatever the next big acting award might be after her portrayal of Rebecca in these last two episodes! 

Getting a compliment  - Have you ever read "The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman? He proposes that we all have "languages" - Words of Affirmation, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, Quality Time, and Physical Touch - and that we use these languages to give and receive love. However, of the five, typically one or two are stronger in a given individual than the rest and that one primary language is the best way for us to receive love. (i.e. if your primary is acts of service, your partner should show love by helping you do laundry, cleaning out your car for you, etc.). (You can actually take a quiz HERE to discover your primary love language.)  Anyhoo, one of my primary languages is, obviously, words of affirmation. I love a good compliment from someone telling me I look nice, that I did a really good job on something, or that they really appreciate something I've done. . 

Food - The fact that food is on this list may be a direct correlation to my lack of success with dieting. Really, though, food can bring comfort and happiness. For some it may be a decadent piece of chocolate cake. Others might prefer a delicious bowl of pasta covered in your favorite sauce.  Still others might prefer a crisp, green salad with just the right touch of dressing. Whatever your food preferences may be, there is nothing quite like anticipating and tasting something that excites your tastebuds and fills your soul. 

A Beautiful Beach - I can't swim, so it is probably rather ironic that I love the beach, but I do. There is something so calming about listening to the rhythm of the crashing waves and feeling the warmth of the sun coupled with a refreshing breeze. I do love winter and a good snow day, but there's nothing quite like relaxing by the ocean with some sand in my toes. 

A good laugh - I don't mean a little giggle following one of your kids' corny jokes. I mean a really good, deep down belly laugh - the kind that makes your side hurt as tears roll down your face. I'm talking about laughing so hard that you almost can't stop and really don't want to anyway. Those kind of laughs are the absolute best kind! (One of the last things that made me laugh like that was this video. I seriously thought I was going to have to change my pants!) 😂

My family - With three daughters, all of whom are in or quickly approaching teenage years, and a husband who travels a lot for work, I'm not going to lie and tell you that my family is a constant source of joy. Of course, there are eye rolls and frustration. There are schedules, budgets, chores, whining, and arguments. But, there is also love and laughter. There is nothing better than feeling my middle daughter wrap her lanky arms around my waist or nestling my head on my hubby's shoulder after he's been gone all week. I wouldn't trade the moments of reading a devotion with my youngest each night or the coffee dates with my oldest for all the riches in the world. 

Sure, there are other things in life that are almost as good and euphoric as being or falling in love, but these are the eight at the top of my list today. What would be on your list? 
Something else that is almost as grand as falling in love?? Finish the Sentence Friday, of course! Thanks to Kristi and Kenya for hosting and for the fun prompt! 



Janine Huldie said...

I am so linking tomorrow and we have a few similar on our lists btw, especially This Is Us as after the last two episodes I just couldn't help but add the show to my short list, as well :)

Cheryl White Blinston said...

Yep, food and the beach! Right at the top of my list!

ruchira khanna said...

Loved your list and wishing you loads of love and happiness!

Kenya said...

First of all that video was hilarious. I think I laughed hardest at the parts where the bleeeeeeep was that longest. LOL!!!!

I can't believe I didn't list getting into the bed at the end of a day, add fresh sheets to that and WOW, it's my favorite favorite thing - I always wish I could stay up just a little longer to enjoy it.

Also love the picture of you and the kids, you look "lit". Not sure if I used that correctly.

clarkfarley said...

laughing and the beach... both I totally get. (though, as I type, it occurs to me, there is no laughter at the beach....(wait, hear me out...) I mean there is the laughing of exhilaration as you survive riding the waves and, there is laughing in companionship as you run or play frisbee and such... but the laugh when I think of comedies and comedians and comediennes not at the beach. huh, interesting)
lol sorry, but I will say very excellent post this week and any post that makes you think about things even slightly differently is a good post.

Kristi Rieger Campbell said...

I love that photo of you and think you look radiant and gorgeous and slim, Lisa! And yeah, that laughing thing- the uncontrollable kind. It's amazing. I can't remember whether I knew that you're not a swimmer. I guess I supposed you are because you have a pool, right? Anyway, the beach is amazingly perfect whether a person gets in the water or not. Sometimes, I prefer not too, especially when the waves are scary. So glad you wrote and linked up!

Patricia Elaine Brockett said...

Great listicle. The beach, where time can seem to stand still, or you can be as active as you want to be, all the time feeling removed from the rest of the world and any problems. It is a wonderful place to be.
Some foods really are almost next to heaven.
Sorry, I just couldn't laugh while watching the girl on the video. I do not like roller coasters, and to go on one like that, I would be terrified too.
Hope to see you at FTSF again next week.

Val Newman said...

I love being with young children; their perspective on life is refreshing and uplifting. I can forgive the sticky hands and germs to delight in their wonder of seeing things for first time. Love of family is first for me on any list and the beach always makes it, too.

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

I'm not sure why that video makes me laugh so much because I do not like roller coasters either! I guess, maybe that's it - that's probably exactly what I would be doing if I ever rode one!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...


Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

We do have pool. crazy, huh?? I swim a tiny bit in the pool & mostly with a noodle. :-) But, not in the ocean! Still, love the peace of the beach, though.

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

Thanks so much!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...


Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

Yes - fresh sheets make the bed even better!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

That show gets me every single time! I love it!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

I can overlook most of the "negatives" others see with young children because of their sweetness and innocence.

Dana said...

I am crying after watching that video! For me the funniest part was when she was praying in Hebrew...that as the prayer for wine! So funny. I agree with every item on your I'm off to discover my love language. <3

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

It's been a long time since I did that love language evaluation - would love to hear what yours is! :-)

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