Among the many gifts I receive is the gift of the "love letter--" a tool used in Marriage Encounter that invites those who write a "love letter," to take time to reflect on and write down the feelings they experience which focus on a question which they and the people with whom they are sharing their letters have agreed to listen to what they have written, understand, and accept.
Today I traded letters with two friends, a married couple, and I was so moved by what they presented to me that I asked them to let me offer this to you for your own consideration.
The first letter was written by my woman friend, the second by her husband.
I end this post with a note and video I received from my friend, John O'Brien, the owner of Trinity Stores.com. I am always glad to hear from him and I really enjoyed the video celebrating Martin King's Birthday that he sent with his e-mail.
I hope you find the pictures I have included with the letters and the video helpful.
A specific experience I had this week occurred yesterday afternoon when I arrived home from work. I had been looking forward to coming home after Raymond and the children had been gone all week. I was happy. No sooner did I walk in the door and make my way to the kitchen, however, did my feeling begin to change. There was a cloud hanging overhead as I saw the three of you (them) playing cards and intent on finishing their game before getting up. A wave of hurt washed over me and I became sad. I did not think I had any expectations when I arrived home, but I acted as if all I had “expected” did not pan out. This began a downward spiral of emotion that lasted really until I went to bed.
This experience evoked in me a “fight or flight” mode and all I really wanted to do was “hide” and not talk about it which is not my usual M.O. , but one that appears when I do not understand my actions or feelings and neither does anyone else! I felt overwhelmed, alone, hurt, and sad. My strongest feeling was sad. It was an on the verge of tears sort of feeling. Sad would look like a bunch of flowers a child collects for his mom. By the time he gets them home they are drooping and many of the petals have fallen off. They look limp and in need of water.
Sad is like watching your best friend drive down the street with her family to a new home in another town. When you are young you think you will never find another friend like that so you are heartbroken. The same could be said of a first love that just broke up with you. There is a deep pain in your chest and you want to curl up in bed and hide under the covers. It is sad like wanting your mom to hug you, but knowing you must wait to see her in heaven for that. There is nothing you can do. So there is a little frustration in there too. Sad is a faded yellow color like a bright shirt that was washed on warm with dark colors. Now it is just dingy. My sad feeling was a 7-8 on the scale.
A specific experience I had this week was being called unexpectedly by our Area leaders and asked to help find couples to fill in for some pulpit talks at the last minute. The couple expected to give the talks was hospitalized with chest pains. Since the talks were scheduled out of our Area (about an hour away), it was challenging to find someone to travel to give them at the last minute. When one of our area couples agreed to go, we were moved by their selflessness and decided to go with them. Even though we didn’t “feel” like it, they inspired us and we saw it as an opportunity to enjoy some time with them in the car and for dinner afterwards. Naturally, it turned out to be time well spent. Making small sacrifices like this helps me to see a little more clearly how we are attempting to be obedient to God instead of fulfilling our own wants/desires first.
I feel loving, glad, joyful, and blessed about this. My strongest feeling is glad. My glad feeling is a smiling on the inside sort of feeling. It’s not radiant or overflowing; it’s more of a quiet, reflective, simple gladness. My glad feeling reminds of how I feel sometimes when I watch our nieces and nephews with their own children. Adrianne, and Sean & Melissa display a wonderful patience and loving demeanor with the kids. It fills me with this same sort of glad feeling to watch them and see the fabulous parents they have become. Glad is like getting a bouquet of flowers from a loved one or friend when you’ve just had surgery or gone through a rough time. So, I guess it’s an unexpected, surprising sort of feeling as well. It’s about a 6 on the scale.
I received this email from a customer who made a little tribute to MLK. The picture is not the best in the world but the song is great…I can’t stop singing or humming it. I thought you might get a kick out of it. The link is below.
PS: Don’t forget to tell everyone about our huge Overstock/Liquidation sale (Yes, I am always selling :).
Take care! Be well! Peace!
John P. O'Brien