It's the same story over and over.
Oh it looks a little different.
Different players, different city, different job, but other than that it's pretty much the same.
Single female, often with kids, or Single dad, sometimes with kids, meet, make a connection, say sweet things to each other, have a big fight, often over a misunderstanding or withheld truth, and in the last five minutes find out the truth, Kiss and make up as the movie wraps up and another one begins.
It's like mushy sentimental sap overload this time of year!
Oh you know exactly what I'm talking about by now don't you?
That's right... Tis the season for Hallmark Movies.
I am a big sucker for those cheesy, relatively clean, everything works out in the end story lines.
Just so you know when I poke fun I am poking fun at myself.
I think my kind in general, seem to have more of a love for this channel than our male counterparts. I'm sure there are exceptions in both camps. :)
As I was talking to someone the other day about which movies she had seen over the weekend we laughed about the predictability of the plot, twist and conclusion.
In the process of our chatter about it I confessed something like this..
"I have to be careful how much I let these stories drive my contentedness(or lack of) in my real life relationships."
And she concurred that she too has thought of how she may have higher expectations as she memorizes her screen each evening in November and December.
I began to wonder if maybe there are a few others out there.
Either those who don't have one of those better than average looking actors to take home to mother's house for Thanksgiving
Maybe you have someone but you wonder if you drew the short stick after watching the slick one liners or the passion as the boy pursues the girl. It makes your heart melt and head swim at how perfect the whole scene turns out.
But here's the deal...
The story always ends,
Right where most of ours began.
You know when the reality of waking up beside that person for the past 25 years is no longer just what old people do but it's actually your story.
And you've been through some stuff. You know real stuff. Hard knocks. Good times. You may have raised a few kids together, which, who cares about the Academy's? People who survive raising kids? Now there should be an Oscar for that category!
There are nights you'd rather forget. And regrets about serious walls that were created. And forgiveness. And Sorry. And more Forgiveness.
Maybe those belly flop emotions aren't as strong anymore And as you look in the mirror you wonder what someone did with your face and honestly what on earth happened to your neck?
But it's the life we all live In our shells we call bodies.
Hallmark probably wouldn't be as alluring if they showed all of that, because truly we can just wake up look around and see our messy reality.
It's really easy for two people to fall in love.
All you need is a pulse and a willing partner.
But staying in love?
Now that is a real love story.
Not just surviving each other. But real love.
A love story like our Father has for us.
He loved us when we didn't even know or care about him.
Isn't that amazing?!
Before we can truly love anyone deeply and fully we need to accept that we are loved unconditionally. No strings attached.
And out of our own story of love we love other people.
Did you know that when he tells us to love others that should include the people we live with?
I mean it seems simple but really sometimes we can be so nice to that random person on the phone and hang up and just forget the whole love thing.
" We love each other because he loved us first" ~1 John 4:19 NLT
Love becomes a verb.
Which means I have to actually DO something in order to keep this story alive and healthy and fluid.
It means I have to go first at initiating a loving gesture even when I know it's their turn.
Sometimes It means I have to choose to overlook the offense.
Or love sometimes requires I call out the sin.
But still in love.
At times it means keeping our mouth shut (Maybe we could call that a Christmas Miracle.:)
Hallmark movies are flashy and sparkly and fun. They sweep us off our feet, touch us and make us cry and carry us to fantasy island but at the end of the day I want an abiding love, the kind of love that endures and stands the test of time.
A love I already have experienced in the ONE who knows me inside and out. And in an amazing transforming process He changes my heart from requiring another to love me as I wish into one who loves others as he has loved me.
More fully. Without strings. A Love without boarders.
Yes I want to love like that.