Learning to Love--Ashley from "Beautiful Life"

This morning, we have a post from Ashley from A Beautiful Life! I absolutely adore Ashley. I am so grateful we became blog friends. I can honestly say she is one of the most genuine people I know. Out of the blue a while back, she sent me the most heaven-sent email, filled with nothing but kind words and just what I needed to hear. Thank you, Ashley, for that email and for consistently blessing my life and the lives of many with your compassion!

Check out her post from last year {here} and her blog {here}.


i was flipping back through old journal entries the other day, when this line jumped out of the page at me.  "i love learning more and more about our capacity to learn to love."  i wrote that in december of 2011.  i was dating my husband at the time and thought i knew a lot about what it meant to love.  in such a short amount of time since then i've learned so much more about learning to love.
i remember soon after i got married my grandma gave me a picture.  it was a young couple in this little tiny boat floating on a river.  the sticks were few and far between and the boat was on the verge of sinking.  she explained to me that this is what marriage is like.  at the beginning it sometimes feels like we're barely staying above water.  but with hard work we continue to add sticks to our boat, making it stronger and more able to float.  this is the same for all relationships in our lives.  we must add the sticks, one by one.  love is a learning process.
my birthday is in january so i've always considered it and new years one in the same.  it's the time of year that i set new goals and turn one year older, becoming that "awesome new ashley".  this past month i thought a lot about the year i had before.  the most common phrase that went through my mind when i thought back on it was, "well that was a doozy."  ups and downs.  the best of the best and the worst of the worst.  you get what i mean.  but it was this past birthday that i looked in the mirror and probably for one of the first times in forever i said, "i am beautiful.  i love myself more than i ever have", and i meant it.  the year before had taught me how to really love myself.  to see who i could really become.  to learn from and accept my many weaknesses and become aware of my strengths.  i learned that it was okay to really love yourself.  i think this is something we all need to learn about love.  learning how to love and accept ourselves.
i have one sibling.  as i grew up he became my very best friend.  this past week he returned home from serving a mission for our church.  as he told us about his experiences and stories, he shared over and over about how he learned to love.  the people, the culture, the church, the sacrifice, and the service.  every story was filled with love.  and how dedication, time, and a lot of effort brought forth more love than he had ever felt.  he had truly learned to love.
i teach middle school home ec classes.  in one of them we talk about personalities and self-esteem.  this is one of my favorite sections to teach.  i love hearing what they think about themselves, who they think they are, and seeing the change that takes place in how they see themselves and others.  the other day i made them take selfies, after being inspired by the newest dove commercial.  they were surprised, embarrassed, and really didn't want to participate.  but with a little encouragement they consented.  as a class we wrote notes of kindness for one another and showed each other that we all can learn to love.  no matter how different each of us may be.  
i believe in life we will have experience after experience that teaches us to love.  some of those will be those "cutesy, oh so darling" moments, and some will be the "i hate this, it's so hard" moments.  but through each of these we can learn to love.  

...and what could be better in life than being filled with love?

1 comment:

  1. loved participating again this year! you are wonderful!


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