the greatest of these is love




Without love, deeds, even the most brilliant, count as nothing.
― Thérèse de Lisieux

On this day internationally commemorating love, it seems easier to focus on the deeds — the perfect date, flowers, chocolates, or as it might be at our house, pink ombré pancakes. But this morning, as the kids and I moved through our usual routine, I found my heart, once full from the giddiness of pink pancake hearts, quickly drained by the deeds of bickering and complaining. Not very valentine-esque, right? I could feel my frustration — my exhaustion — at these attitudes growing within me when these words above (paraphrased from 1 Corinthians 13) rang through my heart — without love, deeds count as nothing. What good are my beautiful pancake gifts if I cannot respond in love to my children when they’re not loving? As good as nothing. Come again? Nothing? So in the midst of our school morning and rising tensions, I opted for an hour break — the kids to play and for me to be alone (relatively). I needed to be loved, to be reminded of a great Love toward me, to be filled not with more deeds but with Truth. My heart was strengthened again. The greatest of these is love. So. Good.

May you all be filled with love to share somehow today. Happy “Love” Day, everyone.


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  1. Pingback: for the weekend | handmade, eco-friendly valentines - cloistered away

  2. Bethany,
    I am so glad to come across your blog. I mentioned the other day, on IG, that I was looking forward to finding your space, and indeed I am so glad I finally made it here. These words ring loud and clear, so loud and clear, in my own life. Thank you for taking the time to write them out and for the encouragement you’ve given through them.

    Happy weekending!

    1. Sarah! You have no idea how you’ve blessed me. Thank you for your compliments and kind words — I’m glad we cam now be friends on another level. ;) and by the way, I love YOUR blog. So genuine and lovely at the same time. Happy weekend to you as well.

  3. I linked to this post this morning. Great post, Bethany. I could totally relate!

    1. Oh, thank you so much, Cheryl! Being a mother is hard, and learning how to love is an everyday lesson for sure. I’m so grateful you were encouraged.

  4. Oh, so true! How easy it is to get caught up in all the symbols of love and yet forget the real, hard-work love of being a patient, kind parent or a forgiving partner. Thanks for the reminder that sometimes when things don’t go as planned (ahem, carrying a screaming toddler through the woods), we have a chance to practice the strongest love!

    1. Well said, Astrid! Love does take practice, doesn’t it? I’ve also done my share of carrying screaming toddlers/preschoolers, and I still have to remind myself to breathe. Slowly breathe. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Such a beautiful post, Bethany. Arrow in the heart :) Love to you today!

    1. Joy, thank you for your encouragement! I felt a little bit self-conscious being so vulnerable, so I’m comforted knowing it encouraged you. xo

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