Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Daredevil (How Bad Can I Be): Thoughts From Movies




I have this thing for plot-driven action movies. I like a good, balanced movie.

Of course many of these sort of movies aren't always 100% appropriate, so that is sad. And I wonder if they are even worth watching - sure you may be inspired, encouraged, or entertained...but at the cost of loosing more innocence and having your mind stuffed fuller with rotting garbage.

I am finding that it is not stupid to be extremely cautious with what we put into ourselves. Food. Media. Fulfilling desires isn't always enough...sometimes one needs to also eat to grow and strengthen. 

I actually don't watch many movies any more. Too busy. Too tired. Or too something ;p.

But a while back I felt like sacrificing all the too's to just take a break and watch a movie. 

Daredevil was the one I decided upon ;)

I kinda like unique superhero stories. Drama + action might = awesome.

I will say, I was surprised by how much I liked it. To such a point that the one scene I did have to skip over didn't irritate me that much.

Anyways, the movie - warning: spoilers.

It actually didn't have that amazing of a plot...the thing had tons of potential that was never expanded on. Such as Daredevil being a lawyer and the main love interest being set up by the main bad guy as being guilty could have made for a good plot going back and forth between him trying to prove her innocent in the day and protecting her at night.

Despite the lack in expanded potential, the story really caught me and I sympathized with the main guy, a man blinded as a boy.

He had been such an innocent child. Had so much hope in life. But then suddenly, his eyes were opened up to the horrible reality of just how evil people were and how depressing life was...just as he lost his sight forever.

Yet, he didn’t' give up. He used his 4 other senses to find hope...only to have hope shattered over and over and over and over…

And so, a grown man, he was a lawyer that fought for justice in the day, and a vigilante that sought revenge at night.

And the conflict of his two-sided life tore him up.

He wasn't able to connect to people. He tried to find his own hope by his own terms.

He looked for what couldn't be found through the violence of his own hands.

And as he continued down a path that he knew was wrong, he tasted only failure. And more hurt.

I thought it interesting that they presented Christianity (Catholicism) in a good way. In the end the only man that really seemed to be void of depression was the priest.

I liked the movie because it really showed something about humanity: it's depressed state of mind, and how it closes one off from knowing the truth, doing right, and experiencing a full life.

The movie also made the main guy such a jerk. The movie showed that even though life had been hard, depression was real, and hurt terrible Daredevil was still an unlikable jerk because he was letting himself wallow in his own selfish world of pain, not caring about what other's felt.

And he payed for it, tragically, and then learned from that payment.

Though it was an awful, high price.

I liked the movie because I could feel so much in it.

I hated the Bull's Eye villain...he was so cruel when he killed people.

I really hated the graphic violence in it...it seems this world, as it plummets more and more into self-centered depression becomes desensitized toward others' pain and hurt. It felt too real...like the violence was mimicking just how unloving one can be inside. How unsympathetic. 

The movie made me pity humanity more, as I even wanted to hate it more ;/

We all can be such jerks. And can know such people.

It's sad. 

Because just as the movie had so much potential in an amazing plot - so do our lives. We each could experience full lives. We each could possess such good characters - could love and care and be selfless.

Yet, so many of us fail.

So many of us cause hurt, and are hurt in return.

And I hate that about life. 

We aren't supposed to be living such wretched, dark, depressed, self-centered lives. 

We aren't supposed to be making life about finding ourselves or even doing what's best for us.

If one would just make life about God first. And then think about those in their life second. Then maybe we could avoid at least half the depressed state of humanity depicted in Daredevil.

On, a happy note: I watched Dr Seuss' The Lorax. There you have a sad group story centered around greed and selfishness that plummeted many into depression, pain, and destitution. 

But there was hope.

Because there was change.

Change that took work AND forgiveness.

How many of us are willing to do both???

How many of us are even willing to admit we did wrong? 

Even when we are obviously in the wrong, it is so easy to just be blind to our own actions.

After all, how bad is it really to just look out for me????




Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Spinner of Secrets (Book Review and Release!)





Find it on:




Spinner of Secrets 
by Annie Twitchell 

I recently had the privilege of beta reading this amazing book!! I was so excited to start it when I heard it was a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin.

I must admit - I love fairy tales. Even the ones that are a little bit on the side of this-story-is-so-off-and-this-philosophy-so-unrealistic.

Something else, I knew going into this book, was that it had a unique twist on the whole fairy tale love theme.

So I was excited. 

And not disappointed :) 



Back Cover:

Where will the journey for love take you? Will it be worth the fight?

Letta is a peasant girl, whose father was outlawed and killed when she was small. Though her name means truthful one, she finds herself submitting to her step-father's will, and complying with his lies and trickery.

Prince Kyle is her reluctant husband. His mind is focused on one thing: avenging the murder of his childhood sweetheart.

They must learn to trust each other when a strange little man forces them to fight for what is important to them, in a desperate race to save their child's life.

In this retelling of Rumpelstiltskin, Annie Louise Twitchell weaves an enchanting tale of love, longing, and thread.


My Review:

Letta is a very sweet and truthful girl. Her name means truth. She only wants what is best for her family. But her step-father seems to only tear their family further and further apart.

And then it gets more complicated when she is put in the mix of one of his lies.

To marry her off, he claims that Letta can weave straw into gold! 

To tell the truth would mean the ruin of her family. But to not produce the gold string will mean forfeiting her life!

What can she do? She yearns to follow her mother's wishes and speak truth. But she can't.

And then a mysterious person arrives, forever changing her life.

Her problems may seem over, but that is just the beginning. Learning to love a man that hates her? And for no logical reason. 

Fear of the future. 

Separation from family.

Letta is a lone. And her life seems to be cascading downhill, filled with hate and desperation. 

Will she ever learn to be love or be loved? Will she ever be able to find happiness? And most importantly, what will that strange, nameless man mean for her future?

Spinner of Secrets is a beautiful retelling of the classic Rumpelstiltskin story about a girl learning to fight lies to embrace truth, find love and give it back, and how to live the life she has been placed in. 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

A Wedding!



I love weddings. Especially when they are with people I love.

Last month one of my long-time good friends married a wonderful young man.

I kinda didn't see it coming...lol...we have been friends since we were 15. Neither of us had ever been the romantic type... I am probably considered to be more so than her, and that's saying a lot.



We loved to read and craft and talk. But never about guys or romances...we steered clear of that genre ;)

Just goes to show that you don't have to be romantic or daydream to find a decent guy ;) 




I was especially happy with the pink mousse :)

I stayed with her family a week before the wedding to help prepare things. 
The first day I hosted a wedding shower - the food was so fun to make! Lots of artistic opportunity ;)

With the games I had planned, we had a very fun evening - lots of laughter and visiting.


Not the best picture.. but we dressed up a little for the wedding shower :) 

And of course, you gotta get a crazy selfie every now and then ;)


The rest of the week included a lot of preparation and work... Alexa had to sew all the flower girl dresses and the bridesmaid dress for her little sister. So, I sewed up two of the flower girl dresses.

There was cleaning, organizing, ironing, decorating, cooking, and endless amounts of preparations.



Decorating flower girl shoes


Just before they went into the justice of the peace (to make things legal). I got to sign as a witness! 

Fun times with her siblings ;)

This girl is pretty cute - love how her hair turned out.

The day of the wedding! Transporting lilacs to their final destination. 
The day of the wedding was busy!! Last minute decorations and work, and of course we had to get ready.

I had the pleasure of doing every one's hair. And using that nasty stuff called hair spray.

Most of the girls hated it...I don't think many of them had ever used it before.

But the hair turned out lovely. And we were all happy.

Girls wedding party

My sister was the photographer...she did a great job...and took my bossing amazingly ;p 

Ready to walk out! Isn't the bride just exciting looking??

An after-wedding picture with my littlest brother - he's such a heart-throb ;) 

A quick picture mom snapped of me after the service.

But they are just soooo cute :) 

And of course we have to celebrate the success of the wedding with a selfie!!! Introducing Mr and Mrs Smith :) :D 




It was an exhausting week filled with messy hair and lots to do. But, amazingly, there was not really any stress. Things went smoothly, and everyone got along with each other. Rehearsal was a breeze. Everything was accomplished...and the bride and groom left looking happy!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

It's Fine - That's Life: #Adulting




 I am so tired. 

I am so tired of saying life is fine

I am so tired of trying to be strong and mature and wise.

I just want to cry, I just want someone to truly see me and try and understand and not turn away when they see who I really am. I am tired of smiling and pretending things are OK.

Nothing is alright. 

I am not evil – or am I? Certain people make me feel so evil. So worthless.

I want to lead a life that is honorable toward God and others. I don't want to live for me EVER. I don't want to understand myself more, I want to understand others.

But there comes a point when I can just no longer do it.

My trying only ends in hurt. I can't understand. No one else can understand. 

Everything I believe, everything I work for - it all gets muddied with misunderstanding and hurt and lies. 

I am not strong. I am weak.

I am not mature. I am uncertain. I am scared, not confident that things will work out for anyone's good.

And I so hate the #adulting movement.

This so doesn't help our case at all.

I mean, come on! Life isn't about #adultingishard

I mean, being a kid was hard. Being a #teen wasn't an easy life.

Being an adult is no worse. 

And in fact, as adults we have so many privileges and opportunities with few people trying to control us. It is better, in many ways. Not harder.

Sure there is tons of stress, and hurt, and relationship problems. But that doesn't make us more in need to rant about how hard it is, or how good we are doing it, just because we can not take out our own trash, make our own appointments, buy our own food.

#adulting doesn't make one more mature. It shows just how childish we all are still...bragging about doing things that most 12 year-olds should be capable of. 

I am not an #adult. I will never be an #adult. That's garbage.




I'm not going to say life is fine anymore, either.

'Cause it's not. 
It stinks worse than that garbage we are so proud of having dumped out back.

Look about you. Our country is one huge mass of idiots. Self-promoting idiots, feministic idiots, embracers of sin.

Animals matter more than babies.

Trees matter more than our neighbors' needs.

Our desires matter more than another's feelings.

No one understands what it means to choose and accept consequences, to love others, to be loyal to what is right and to commitments, to encourage the broken, to sacrifice our wants for another.

Why are so many choosing such a self-destructive path, the we-have-a-right and demanding-fair road of #adulting, and being strong and tolerant of sin, but hateful toward God and people?

Why do we hate so many people? Those that believe “stricter” than us? Those that are liberals? White males, blacks, homosexuals (not okaying their sin), raging control-freak women?

We are each hateful, judgmental, unemphatic, hypocritical morons.

All of us are a bunch of stupid idiots.

We won't evaluate our own motives and ambitions, but we are quick to tear others down… or accept what is “politically correct”.

Yes, I am tired of saying “It's fine. That's life.”

I am tired of being OK with all of that. I am not going to be strong anymore. I am not going to join the world of #adultingishard

I am going to be a weak follower. 

Not a strong individual striving to be understood or for what is “fair”. 

A follower of my merciful, powerful, perfect-judging, loving Father. 

I will hate what He hates, and love all those that He loves.

Life isn't fine. But God is good, anyways.

I don't have to be overwhelmed by stress, evilness, unfairness, uncertainty, pain. I don't need to care what other's think about me – both “good” and “bad” people will hate me. But that will never define who I really am.

I don't need to fight for fair.

I don't need to be understood.

I don't need to prove I am strong or an adult.

I don't need to smile and laugh and pretend everything is great.

I only need to abandon all my ways and accept that God's ways are best. That this life isn't about being fine, but about loving. 

About having pure relationships with Him and His.





Wednesday, May 31, 2017

What Embroidering Has Taught Me


In a way, this is silly post... except it's not ;) 

I have really learned a lot from embroidering. 

But that could be said about anything we take up in life ;) 




  • It's taught me to endure/ to have patience 
  • It's taught me how to slow down and be meticulous 
  • It's taught me how to strategize (Which color should I use first, and from where should I start and go to cover the most space efficiently?)




  • It's taught me to appreciate art
  • It's taught me how to use colors in complimentary ways 
  • It's taught me creativity 


  • It's taught me how to be both perfectionist and how to just let things be done enough 
  • It's taught me that pain CAN result in beauty 
  • It's taught me that consequences are a result of actions




  • It's taught me that time is irrelevant - actions are what count in the end
  • It's taught me beauty can spring from dull, ordinary things
  • It's taught me that accomplishment is a worthy feeling to achieve 



And as you see, these are things you can learn from anything...and I'm sure that I didn't just learn these from embroidering, but other life skills, too. But still...it's some neat things to learn from such a beautiful art. 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Laughing Tears


When life is stable you smile and laugh. You think you know what what is good, what is right, what is true.

But when the sun falls – wow. Were you ever wrong.

So wrong.

What were you thinking? It was all an illusion… a rainbow that blinded your eyes from being able to see the truth that life is hard.

Yet you are in the habit of laughing. You are in the habit of believing the best about everyone.

How can you change?



How can you know how to bring back the sun?

You still laugh… but tears join that laughter. It is hollow and deep all at once.

It hurts to laugh, to cry. But the numb feeling of just living is just as bad.

Laughing tears. That is your life.

Bitter-sweet.

You cling to the sweet to not be overcome by the ugliness of the bitterness. But life and pain are so subtle, so mean.

Like a rainbow shining in a thunder storm, so I smile as my heart cries.

You don't know what lies to ignore, what truths to cling onto.

Color is void, gone with the rainbow. Nothing is black and white. It's all black.

Dark, deep, black.

You fight the tears. You beg for the joy to return to your laughter.

But the tears are your comfort.

The joy is your enemy: a lie.

How could life be like this, you ask? How could everything be one way, then change? Why must sin exist? Why must pain invite itself into your life? Why must words hurt so?

Why must God feel so far away? And why is it so hard to distinguish truth from experience?

You can't know.

You can't smile.

You are strong… you are told. But, you know otherwise. You are weak. You are frail. You are broken, alone, desperate.

Desperate for someone to understand and say that it's not all you. That the rainbow was not an illusion, but the darkness.

You pray to God that the darkness will disappear and the sun rise again.

And maybe, just maybe, your prayer will be answered.

Just to keep hoping, to let the tears loose, to not believe anything but truth.

And to act and change in God's love.

To just live and cry, that is all the strength you have.




The rest is up to God and His kindness.

Let His kindness be merciful, let Him grant you rainbows in life once more.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

A Write's Tag

Joined in this fun tag from here


1. WHAT GENRES, STYLES, AND TOPICS DO YOU WRITE ABOUT?

I write many different genres, styles, and topics.

I love art. And so I experiment with it all. I do like writing first person the best.

I love expressing deep emotions and thoughts all at once. I love fiction that makes you think and feel. The perfect ending is this: like a sunset, bittersweet, even though it's over and dark, there is the knowledge of future hope.

For non-fiction I love writing about what is on my heart of I am currently opinionated on. This includes ideas I am thinking about, my struggles, and articles on anti-feminism, homosexuality, roles and duties in friendships and love, honesty, and life.

I like people and ideas, and so I write about both.

I also really enjoy writing moral fairy tales.


2. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WRITING?

For as long as I can remember. When I was little I was drawing and writing books, stapling them together. I still have those books :) They were going to be best sellers at one point of my childhood ;)


3. WHY DO YOU WRITE?

For so many reasons. Let's bullet point them :)


  • I know it's my calling and gift from God to do so.
  • Because it's what I know. I am good at it, so I do it.
  • Because I feel I have to.
  • It helps me get through things.
  • I want to change the world through edification and inspiration. 
  • I love art - and this is just another form.
  • To show the world that reality is meant to be lived in and embraced, not hidden from.



4. WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO WRITE?

Early, early, early morning. When the house is quiet and my mind is still tired and fresh.

Or when ever I have a pressing thought on my mind.


5. PARTS OF WRITING YOU LOVE VS. PARTS YOU HATE?

I love to just write.

Sometimes I hate just writing.

Editing is OK... it's part of the process. Necessary. So, I  can't hate it.


6. HOW DO YOU OVERCOME WRITERS BLOCK?

I don't allow myself to even acknowledge that phrase.

Either I'm writing what I need to write or I'm lazy. No such thing as writers's block.

There are times when life is just giving me the opposite vibe that my writing calls for. In those times I just don't write... those vibes only last a day to a couple at a time. And are rare.


7. ARE YOU WORKING ON SOMETHING AT THE MOMENT?

Yes... and I just finished something! My first novel (5 years of work!) is now done. It's called Perfect.

It's about a small group of kids, the choice of one, and how they are all affected by the consequences of that one choice and their own decisions of how to react toward it.

72k words, it's my longest work :)

And if any of you want to read it, please let me know!

Besides that, I am working on the Fur Slipper and several of my other stories.


8. WRITING GOALS THIS YEAR?

Right now I am just trying to figure out life, and write as I do that. I have no huge goals. Just write and see what God brings in any aspect of my life, writing and non-writing. I am working on one thing at a time, and just learning and practicing faith and trust.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

How to Blog With a Cell Phone #3 (Confession)

I have a huge confession to make.

I no longer use my cell phone to post

You, see, I bought a laptop over a year ago... at first I still used my cell phone. But then I realized it was way easier to post using my laptop. I mean, come on, the pics load right away! And I don't have to do the link pictures through tinypic.com.

And it's so much easier to format on a laptop. I don't lose my work as easily. I don't have to type in the code for italics or bold anymore (yes, I used to have to do that).

I sometime still write my posts on my cell phone, then copy and paste it onto here.

But all the technical work happens through my laptop.

Such as the new and improved look.

That would not have been possible with my cell phone - it just wasn't as techy, efficient, or fast. 

I enjoyed being weird in the sense that I blogged differently. 

But practical must override weird, right? 

I do hope you all don't mind ;) 

I'll leave you all with a fun picture, just to make your day amazing (if it isn't already).


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Satisfied

This last January I was staying with some friends. They are very musically talented, and I extremely enjoyed watching them play and sing. It was amazing.

One night they sang a song that was beyond talent. The lyrics were beautiful and seemed to know exactly what had been on my mind and heart for so long, mimicking my thoughts and feelings and desires better than I could have ever thought to:

Being completely and wholeheartedly content (satisfied) in God alone.



For so long my utmost desire has been to thirst for God more than anything. At times this desire is extremely frustrating as it seems I can't get past thirsting to thirst.

It's as if I want to desire, but get so distracted with life that I don't know if my desire is real or not, or stemmed from selfishness to want to be reassured by God that all will end well and I am safe in Him. Sometimes I wonder, if I lost everything that made me me would I still want to desire God?

When do the things God gave us become idols? How can I truly know if I'm embracing what I do for His glory and not for my own satisfaction?

I constantly think what would I do with out the things that are important to me? For everyone this looks differently, but for me these things are

-People. Family, friends, everyone
-Writing
-Artistic projects
-Dreams. Goals. Desires.


These things are what make my life wonderful. But I wonder, with out them, would God be enough? I want the answer to be yes. But, honestly, would it?

Life is too good most of the time. And this makes it even harder to be able to answer such a question.

I mean, I'm not saying life is perfect. It's far from that. I have constant worries, fears, and stress. I have so many questions. So many choices. So many desires.

But despite struggles, despite the feelings that life is truly terrible and horrid, despite the fact that I tend to get hurt by people and circumstances a lot, I still feel blessed and content and love life.

I know that life is a gift from God. And that even amidst unwanted circumstances, amidst feeling like a victim of unwanted consequences, I am still thankful God made me. And I totally yearn to find ways to smile and live the life He gave me to the fullest.

So, when I say life is too good, I mean sometimes I feel too happy when I think maybe I shouldn't.

And words of other's haven't helped much.

I've been told I'm too happy and too positive, that I can't see life realistically. That I did not know how to be serious.

I have also been told, just as often, that I am a skeptical pessimist that is always negative, haha. :D

For those of you that don't know me well, both of these statements about me are 100% true.

It's like I have a conflicting negative/ positive attitude that constantly tears me a part. And confuses both me and others.

When life is hard I thrive. When life is easy I float.

Both times I yearn to know God more fully…. But I feel desperate. Will I ever be past the yearning? Will my desire ever be satisfied? To completely, totally know God?

Or is it just a slow, long, meticulous journey that ends only when life is done?

I have learned over the months that part of being content is being OK with not knowing. It's OK to not have answers, to not know where something is going.

Doubt will come. And that is fine.

I can still allow my God's peace to comfort me.

I don't have to stress over trying to be content. I can just relax and learn to sit back and see or hear what God want's me to.

I can experience His presence even when:

I have to eat my tears, when food is not appealing
life is wonderful and feels too good
I am asked huge questions I do not know the answer to
I ask questions that have no immediate answers
I have to do things that feel impossible
I have nothing to do.


I still desperately want to be satisfied (this is one of my new favorite words. It is so much more intense than simply being content) in God alone and nothing else. I still want to experience and know His presence so that it is so strong in my life that I need nor want anything else.

And this song, and the Psalm it is based off of, seem to capture all these thoughts perfectly.

I'd like to close off with the words from Psalm 42, MESSAGE, - normally I don't like this version for study, but the words are so poetic... and fitting. I also recommend reading this chapter in other versions. It's powerful no matter how it's written.


A white-tailed deer drinks from the creek; I want to drink God, deep draughts of God. 

I'm thirsty for God-alive. I wonder, "Will I ever make it - arrive and drink in God's presence?" 

I'm on a diet of tears - tears for breakfast, tears for supper. All day long people knock at my door, Pestering, "Where is this God of yours?" 

These are the things I go over and over, emptying out the pockets of my life. I was always at the head of the worshiping crowd, right out in front, Leading them all, eager to arrive and worship, Shouting praises, singing thanksgiving - celebrating, all of us, God's feast! 

Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul? Why are you crying the blues? Fix my eyes on God - soon I'll be praising again. He puts a smile on my face. He's my God. 

When my soul is in the dumps, I rehearse everything I know of you, From Jordan depths to Hermon heights, including Mount Mizar. 

Chaos calls to chaos, to the tune of whitewater rapids. Your breaking surf, your thundering breakers crash and crush me. 

Then God promises to love me all day, sing songs all through the night! My life is God's prayer. 

Sometimes I ask God, my rock-solid God, "Why did you let me down? Why am I walking around in tears, harassed by enemies?" 

They're out for the kill, these tormentors with their obscenities, Taunting day after day, "Where is this God of yours?" 

Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul? Why are you crying the blues? Fix my eyes on God - soon I'll be praising again. He puts a smile on my face. He's my God.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

What Makes Us

Characteristic qualities are a huge part of what make up individuals. They are what define us more than anything. They are what influence are thinking, our feelings, our concepts of life and the world.

For most of us, it seems we adapt to those around us. We carry on the traits of family and friends with out meaning to or wanting to.

It's quite ironic that for many people, their negative qualities are normally very similar to those that they most despise.

I'm not quite sure what encourages natural positive traits in people(besides the obvious: God). It seems, deep down, a lot of it is driven by selfish desires to be loved and respected.

But I do think it is possible to be truly practicing good works with good motives: the more we are in tune with God and His words and ways, the more this is possible.

I think it is also very important to truly understand what some of these concepts are, and how to implement them into our lives.

The following are ideas of qualities that strike me as truly important. I am not using a dictionary to define them. And as you will see, a lot of these words do not follow the standard thought pattern of what most people think.

These are concepts I try to live by, or admire in others. The words are simply letters to express the ideas and feelings I think and try to act upon to the world about me.


Some of these traits are not admirable, in my opinion. Such as self-made, powerful, and compromising. Well... sometimes compromising can be good. But that is a very complicated one ;) 



Honesty
To me, truth is the most important thing we have. I don't necessarily believe in the statement of being black and white.

Because life is obviously not just black or white. Color is huge. And life is complicated and intense. There aren't just two ways of looking at things. There are TONS. But despite that, I still believe in absolute truths. I believe there is only one way to be saved.

I believe God is the one and only way, and His son makes that possible.
But I also believe in perceptions, in cultures, in influences. And so, after that first absolute truth, truth becomes a little harder to discern. And life presents to us this intricate colorful journey that lasts forever as we try to follow God's will and calling for each of us individually as we learn to express who we are meant to be while submitting to God's perfect plan.

I sometimes (quite often) am accused of being blunt. My reply is, “I'm not blunt, I'm just stating facts.”
I don't quite understand this. Why must one who is honest be called blunt? It's not blunt to state what is true.

Another thing that is almost equal to honesty in meaning, is communication. To be able to communicate honestly and completely is priority, to me. 




Love
Love is not a feeling. It is an action that may or may not result in feelings. It is sacrificial. It is self-less. It does what is best for others for no logical reason whatsoever.
Love is a verb.
That mean if you truly love, you will be constantly doing.
Doing for God.
Doing for family and friends.
Doing for strangers.
Doing for enemies.
And you won't be doing out of feelings of guilt or because you have to, but because you want to.
Real love keeps doing and wanting to do even when things look awful and the other person you are performing love toward is super hateful, hurtful, or horrid.




Love is such a big word, that I have several side characteristic words to help me better grasp what it really is:

Loyalty
Now I am not talking about being cultish. Because that completely goes against being loving or honest.
Loyalty is when you remain true to those God has placed in your life. It is when you continue to act on things you would rather not do because those people mean something to you.
Loyalty involves:
Commitment
Love
Unity
It does not involve:
Wrong over truth
Violence or indifference toward those outside of your “circle”
Thinking the one you are loyal to is always correct, or being afraid to rebuke that person.




Generosity
This can actually be a very self-centered quality, because being generous with money especially can create feelings of “I just did something great” within ourselves. And that is not good.
Really, when I speak of generosity, I mean mostly time. Because time is way more important than money – most of the time.
Time is proof of love. And when you are not stingy with it and give it to those that you'd rather not, when you make time for those that need you over something that you'd rather be doing, that is generosity produced from love rather than selfishness.

Serving
This is really important. Especially if we can make it to be a part of our normal life. It is important that we as believers remember that we are not meant to be at the top of the world.
We are meant to serve God first, then those around us next.
Never should we serve ourselves.
Everything we do should be for another.
Submission. Following. Acts of service(love).
Serving honestly helps keep pride down, and lets us see life as it is – a journey to glorify God.




Respect or Honor
This is where we remain civil even when we are right. I don't think we should ever be such strict followers of respect that we can not speak the truth or even do opposite of what another asks.
But even in the midst of doing whatever we do, we should when at all possible, remember to respect those around us, even if that means doing something that we don't quite like.




Kindness
Along with honesty and love I think this is the most important character trait one can have.
Side note: I don't mean kind as in wishy-washy, whatever-is-good-with-you-is-good-with-me.
Kindness is an off branch of love. It is always being nice even when you are grumpy. It is smiling, not because you feel like it, but because you want to make someone else have a good day.
Kindness is listening to a friend rant. It is remaining silent when you'd rather speak, or speak when you'd rather not.
It is being there for another.
It is rebuking, gently, when rebuke is needed.
It is feeling sadness for another when they have committed sin against God or themselves (rather than feeling self-righteous or indignant).
It is being gentle, peaceful, loving, encouraging, and pure.
Kindness is being nice, but allowing God to rule your kindness so that you are being kind in ways that are beneficial for others, and not just yourself.
Real kindness is extremely hard as it can sometimes feel like you are being mean to another when you are lead to tell them how they are wronging God or being unwise.


There are many more, of course. But these are what I find highly admirable. I'd love to hear your thoughts on these. And what are some qualities you think of as important? This is something I really love discussing... helps encourage growth. 

And growth is essential :D