Friday, August 12, 2011

My Life for Yours

The birthday I just celebrated was a fresh reminder of the truism: Love is my-life-for-yours. My husband, family, and friends illustrated their love by sacrificing for me. It made me want to do the same, to give my life for them and others.

Nowhere is the self-sacrificial definition of love more obvious than in marriage. On Saturday, my husband gave of himself to surprise me for my birthday. 

Let me tell you the story.  Earlier in the spring, we had seen a chandelier I admired.  Our daughter loved it, too, and ordered one for her new home. I assumed I would get to enjoy it at her house.  Little did I know my husband had tucked the information in the back of his mind.  Collaborating with our daughter, he ordered one for us, too. Then, he had it delivered to a friend's home and arranged for another friend to hang it while we were out for a birthday dinner.  
Imagine my surprise when he led me into the dining room singing, "Happy birthday" and pointing upward.  I was shocked!  How did he pull that off?  The more I thought about it, the more touched I was. What self-sacrifice! We didn't "need" the chandelier, but Bill knew that slowly updating our home is something I wanted to do.  Thoughtfully, he gave of himself to please me, and it makes me feel so loved!  

Another expression of self-sacrifice came from our three-year-old granddaughter. According to our son, Caroline spent over an hour coloring a special picture for me.  "She really worked on it.  She wanted it to be perfect for you."  When the drawing arrived by Fedex, I placed it in a prominent place. Each time I pass it, her sweet voice rings in my ears, "Happy birthday, Gigi." Seeing her efforts makes me feel loved.
Then in my living room is another expression of self-sacrifice.  Three porcelain blossoms now sit on a walnut box. They were sent by my daughters who are each on an early-marriage budget.  The delicate flowers are a generous display of their love.
In a guest space fresh, monogramed towels and wash cloths are laid out ready for use.  They are a gift from my mother.
My father-in-law and mother-in-law sent a beautiful card with kind sentiments and a check.  Their generosity on a fixed income speaks of their love.

Finally, three china birds now chirp at me from my kitchen window.  They were a birthday present from a friend. Often this friend and I have walked and prayed for our children, reminding each other to "look at the birds...they do not sow, or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Aren't you (or your children) more valuable than they?" What a sweet reminder of Matthew 6:26. In choosing these cute little fellows, my friend thoughtfully gave of herself to encourage me.
When we spend ourselves for someone else, we are demonstrating love.  Didn't Christ live and die to illustrate love?  "This is how we know what love is:  Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.  And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers" (1 John 3:16).
This week when I make an extra special dinner for my husband, send a surprise to my granddaughter, bless one of my children, call a parent, or have a friend for tea I am living the truth:  Love is: my-life-for-yours.


  1. Happy belated birthday, Maurie!

    Your family loves you. How sweet the efforts they have all gone to so that you can know just how much.

    I love the birds and their meaning, as well.


  2. Maurie, I'm so glad your birthday was filled with such love...and I love your analogy of "my life for yours"! What a beautiful post! You are blessed with a loving family and friends and the love of Jesus is reflected in your character! Bless you richly all year through! xo