Today at the Beloved Blog, we welcome Mary Margaret Curtis! Mary Margaret is the daughter of one of our Beloved leaders, Kim Fuller 🙂

Since today is Valentine’s Day, I wanted to talk about love. I know that often times when we talk about love, everyone kind of checks out because we’ve pretty much all heard people talk about love our whole loves. Especially for me in ministry, I tend to believe that I am some kind of expert on love, after all, its my job to love other people. But something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately about what it means to not only love others, and love God, but to love ourselves.

My sister-in-law gave me a book for christmas that I really enjoyed, called Grace Not Perfection by Emily Ley. It is a really simple book that talks about things like grace and love and comparing yourself to others in different areas. It has a lot of great truths that I’d heard before, and already knew, but it was SO good to be reminded of them.

Here’s what she said:

“Okay so we’re not machines. We don’t run on diesel and we don’t have an ignition switch (as much as we might like one). Our hearts are moving loving, organic things. You might say our hearts are wells—deep and wide. If our well is not fed by a freshwater spring, where it can be replenished and refilled, we have no water to give to the ones we love. If our well is filled by a stream of comparison, anxiety and stress, guess what we will have to give to our families? Sharp words, headaches, and impatience will brim at the top. Nothing good can come out of that poisoned well. But what would we have if we let our wells be filled with things like rest, laughter, confidence, good tea, hugs, and adventure? I want to overflow with that sweet water.”

She goes on to talk about Galatians 5:13-14:

“You, my brothers and sisters were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’”.

She talks about how we tend to focus on this verse and understand it to say that we really need to love our neighbors well. While it is so important to love others, we never think about this verse to mean that sometimes, we don’t really treat ourselves the way that we are willing to treat others.

Why is it so much easier for us to love and give to others than it is for us to love ourselves? I I know I am particularly guilty of this being in ministry—I feel like it’s my job to take care of others and meet the needs of the people in my areas of ministry and in my home. But do we have anything left to truly give them if we have spent it all and then some?

When we are really loving on others well, we are operating out of the overflow of what we have received from God, not from something that we muster up inside ourselves.

When I am exhausted, overwhelmed, and frustrated, the last thing that I am really capable of is loving my husband or my family and friends well. I have less to offer the girls that I meet with to mentor because my well has run dry and I have made the choice not to tend to it.

So even though this is a really simple thought that I wanted to share with you all, I want us to really sit and take a minute to think about the ways in which we feel like our well is being filled back up, intentionally. It doesn’t happen by accident.

Taking time to love ourselves is not a selfish way to live, it’s the best way to thrive in our relationships with other people and God. I know this seems obvious but there are so many things about you that God loves that you might not even know yet. Ask him to show you what he loves about you. He created you that way on purpose.

So, what is something you could do this week to be filled back up? Think of one practical way in which you can take a step back and do something for yourself that makes you feel loved. And then take a minute to ask the Lord about one or a few ways that He wants to pour his love out onto you, and he’s just asking you to have the humility to accept it.

Love and be loved, well!

Mary Margaret

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