LOVE Challenge

I love surprising people with small gifts of encouragement. Call me crazy, but it gives me a thrill to drop off a package ninja style. I ring the bell and race to the car before my friends can catch me shutting the door of the mini van while I’m hauling off like a getaway driver. It is legitimately the only kind of adrenaline rush I’m into these days. Scary movies stopped being fun years ago. I had a recent lapse and watched Bird Box… worst decision I’ve made in a while. Well until the other day… I went on the kiddie roller coaster at our local zoo. It’s been determined, roller coasters are no longer exciting, they are just over sized instant headache producing rattles. These days, my preferred version of being “adventurous” includes being stealth like as I creep up onto a neighbors porch, walking like a t-rex, and leaving some goodies on their step before ringing the bell. As if people are staring out their peep holes, and can hear a person of my stature walking on cement… Okay- so it’s not a huge thrill, but it’s exciting to me. I run to my car thinking, they are gonna be soooo surprised and I squeal with delight as I drive away. It’s so fun to bless people, don’t you think??

I love bringing light into a dark day. I love seeing a smile break through someones tears. It’s like the best thing in the world to love on someone so much that they, even just for a moment, forget why they are sad or discouraged. It’s not really breaking news that life is tough. And in a world full of pain and struggle- love really is the only thing that prevails. In the famous chapter about love in 1 Corinthians, it says in verse 8 that, “love never fails.” I am obsessed with that short sentence. It’s so powerful, don’t you think? When there’s a problem, LOVE is always the answer. I am convinced that LOVE truly is the most powerful force. When we love on each other, we are literally shining Heaven into the world.


God wants us to love one another because WE NEED IT Y’ALL. Like, I don’t know about you, but some days, I just want to hide in the pantry and eat oreos and let my kids watch tv all day and not care. BUT I DO care. And that’s the thing, most of us care, a lot. We all have things in our hearts that trouble us or bring us concern. Each and every one of us are walking through something. All the while, we are trying to do our best. So many of us love Jesus as best as we can, we strive to care for our families with selfless and holy love, we dedicate ourselves to our friends and loved ones, we step in and step up more than we don’t. And no matter what life throws at us, rain or shine, we still have to press on and shine our lights bright for the world to see. Caring for other people, living lives surrendered for the sake of lifting others up can be hard work. Let’s be people that acknowledge that hard work in others.

I thought it would be fun to challenge you in the area of love.

Namely, extending love to someone least expecting it.

Here’s what you need to do.

Pick three people that you know could use a hug, a cup of coffee, a word of encouragement, a freaking break from the laundry (sorry that slipped out.) Seriously though, who do you know in your life that needs some encouragement and extra love? A coworker that lost a pet, a friend that is grieving a loss, a family member with a new diagnosis. I’m pretty sure we all know someone that is really struggling. You know who else that could probably really use a bit of extra love- the ones that just seem like they are always doing the heavy lifting. Who do you know in your life that pulls the weight? Who seems strong and resilient? Tell them that you see them, and that you appreciate them. I bet they get tired and worn down, too. The helpers out there, the ones that give and give and give selflessly without much need of validation… go validate them. What about someone who may seem lonely on Valentines Day? I bet we all have a single friend that probably dreads the holiday. Give them a big box of chocolates and some wine. Even just a fellow neighbor that is always kind or even one that is always rude? WHO EVER God lays on your heart to show some extra love, do it!

Valentines Day is a nice day to celebrate our romantic lovers- but it can also be a day to spread love to anyone we know! And we can do it anytime we feel like it. No matter if it’s February 14 or not! So, let’s do it!

After you’ve picked your three people do something special for them.

  • Send a card with a $5 dunkin donuts or starbucks card

  • Drop off a bouquet of flowers with a note that reminds them that they are beautiful

  • Offer to babysit (and fold the laundry)

  • Bring a small gift of maybe their favorite candy and tell them why they are so sweet

  • Even just a text message with a compliment goes a really long way

Guys- Christians do a pretty good job of complicating a very simple Gospel. Jesus tells us to love one another as He has loved us. So- get your butts out there and go love some “one anothers!”

Let me know if you take on the challenge! I can’t wait to hear how you brighten someone’s day.

Shelly Jata