Loving wastefully

When I was pregnant with Chloe, my biggest fear was not that I'd have another preemie. My biggest fear was that I would not be able to love my second child enough. Lily was my heart and soul. Would there be room? Could I make any room in my heart to love another a child?

Then Chloe was born--9 weeks early, weighing 3 lbs and change, feisty, spirited, beautiful. And I loved her. I loved her fully and completely. I loved Lily more and then Chloe more and then Mike more. Love was in loads. There was more and more and more and more. A tidal wave of love. A deluge. A flood. A bursting dam.

Bruce Main, from Urban Promise Ministries in Camden (a fabulous man and ministry), often speaks on loving wastefully, calling all to love like love will never run out. Main says that Christ continues to pour love on us; His love is never ending and as Christians our mission is to love wastefully. Main invites us to throw love around, to waste it.

I get it now. I understand how to just waste my love--how to just toss it out. It is so easy. The more I love, the more love I can waste and toss around.

I love the school crossing guard who constantly harasses me about dressing my children in warmer clothes. I love my challenging family who demands the world of me. I love my neighbor-I don't know her name, but I love her. I love each and every soul--the good, the not-so-good--all of them. I love myself-even though I have so many flaws. And on the days I feel self loathing, when I want to scream at the crossing guard, or mock my neighbor; I can just glance over at Chloe.

Chloe taught me to love wastefully. She taught me that I will always have enough love to give. Love does not spoil. It does not run out. It does not need to be budgeted. Like the proverbial money tree, there really is a love tree growing in your backyard.

The moment I saw Chloe--and it was only a moment before she was whisked away to the NICU--I felt the peace in her presence. There was my daughter, straight from God, her first moments in this world and I could feel her love for me. I felt the love pouring down on me. A gift from Chloe. A gift from God.

Happy Birthday sweet Chloe. My blooming flower. My love.