Learning to Love Well

Learning to Love Well {and some thoughts on "A Loving Life" by Paul Miller}

For the record, 42-year-olds are really not meant for dorm life. At least not this 42-year-old. In case you missed all the photos on Instagram, I spent nearly two weeks with my girl at cheer camp and then youth camp. I should also mention this 42-year-old is really not meant to spend that much time away from home. 🙂

I’m so glad I went with her — those long conversations and belly laughs in the car as we drove from one camp to the other were worth far more than the lack of sleep. {And the video she took of me when I was driving … well, let’s just say it’s priceless and will remain a closely guarded mother-daughter moment.}

I didn’t get much work done while I was gone.  And by much, what I really mean is any. I have several big projects in the works and I {don’t laugh!} thought I’d get a big chunk taken out of at least one or two of them while she was cheering in Auburn and at youth camp at Carson Newman. Let’s just leave it at sometimes I totally overestimate how awesome I can be.

I did accomplish one thing in between watching the JV cheerleaders win three superior ribbons at UCA camp and walking uphill EVERYWHERE at Carson Newman University: I finished reading A Loving Life by Paul Miller.

As those who visit this little space online often know, I am an avid reader. But I try to be very selective in recommending books … let’s face it, every book simply cannot be “a must read.” One of my goals in sharing books and other resources is to be clear about what I liked and how it could be helpful or encouraging. Typically I find there is only one book a year I’d say everyone should read. Last year it was Let Hope In by Pete Wilson. Rhinestone Jesus by Kristen Welch is the one I had chosen for 2014. 

A Loving Life by Paul Miller

But, I’m adding another one. Miller’s exploration of the book of Ruth and the concept of hesed {the steadfast, covenant love of God} in A Loving Life is both challenging and compelling. I read this one with Bible and journal nearby because I consistently had to stop and pray and study before I could move to the next section. I’ve underlined half the book and covered the margins with notes.

The fifth sentence in chapter one says,

The great barrier to love is ego, the life of self. {p. 19}

Y’all, I’ve been praying for the past three years for the Lord to teach me to love well. And, honestly, I’ve felt a little like a failure in that area. I’d begun to thing learning to love well was something I’d never grasp. If I ever needed a reminder how self-absorbed I can be, a week in third-story {and no elevator}, cramped dorm room with hall showers was definitely a good one. The middle school girls were excited about the adventure of dorm life, even temporary dorm life.  I was trying to figure out when to take a shower so no one was in there while I was {in case you’re wondering, 5:30 to 6:00 am is the answer}.

being last

A few years ago I wrote about biblical submission and posited the idea submission begins with simply being polite. Miller echoes that idea when he writes, “Make us simply helpful to each other.” {p. 76}

We’re heading out for our family vacation tomorrow, I’m praying for wisdom and grace to love well … to bring down the barrier of selfishness in my heart and to make helpfulness my goal. Perhaps loving well begins with looking for ways to help the people around me.

What lesson have you been learning lately about love?


P.S. You can find a link to purchase A Loving Life in the recommended resources on my sidebar. That is an affiliate link for Amazon and I will receive a small commission if you purchase through it.

Read the Psalms this summer with Scripture Dig!

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