What Do You Have Without Love?

So I think I’ve mentioned in the past that we have been struggling with getting to church in the last few years. (And to be honest…making excuses!) We used to go to the best church ever, but now we only make it there for occasional visits since Mike has been working on Sundays and it’s an hour away. (See…excuses!)

We’ve tried to find a new church a few times, but got a little sad because nothing felt like home. When we were looking for a new church, CJ was in a weird phase where he didn’t want to be left without us so the church daycares weren’t working well at all. We’d rush out of the house on the one morning we had family time only to wind up frustrated and disappointed. Yes, I know we’re talking about church here, but I’m being honest.

Good news! Although we haven’t found a church yet we have taken a baby step and we’ve been listening to a sermon every Sunday morning while CJ plays. It’s not 100% ideal, but it’s a step in the right direction.

Without Love

Anywho…our church situation really wasn’t the point of this post, but we have been listening to a series on love and it’s been awesome. In the most recent sermon, the pastor mentioned this quote by C.S. Lewis.

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”

Obviously, loving someone can be scary and letting someone into your heart makes you incredibly vulnerable. This really wraps back around to a point I (along with so many others) have made a million times…most things worth doing are not easy. Any of you who are married know that marriage can be great, but let’s be real here – a great marriage is not easy, it takes work.

Marriage is Hard Work

The Pastor went on to ask what you think of when you hear the word church. What comes to your mind? I’ll summarize his point…wouldn’t it be nice if we heard church and immediately thought about a community, a place where we felt safe, loved, and protected instead of just thinking of that white building on the town common or clergy walking around with cold looks?

The sermon got me thinking. What comes to your mind when you hear the word home? Safety, comfort, warmth and love? Or do you hear the word home and think of a place where there’s always work to be done, laundry to be folded and unnecessary tension between you and your family?

Home for Family Time

What about the word gym? Do you think of a dirty warehouse filled with stinky people? A place where you go to punish yourself for all the garbage you’ve been putting into your body? Or can you possibly hear the word gym and think of it as a place where you go because you love yourself and you want to take care of your body? A place where you feel safe, supported and surrounded by other like-minded, health-conscious friends? Our head strength and conditioning coach at Skill of Strength, Steve, wrote a great post about the makings of a good weight room the other day. Hint: it’s not just about lifting heavy things.

Love the SOS MOVE Class

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could hear the words church, home and gym and think of three places where we find loved and comfort?

…If we all went to church, not because we felt like we had to, but because we want to continually grow in our Faith and be surrounded and loved by our community?

…If we all lived in a home where we loved unconditionally and felt loved in return?

…If we all belonged to a gym where we felt supported by the trainers and other members? If we trained hard to accomplish goals and get stronger, not to punish ourselves for eating too many cookies last night?

If you’ve been drifting away from church, from your marriage, from taking care of yourself, look for love. Love for God. Love for your family. Love for yourself and your body.

Celebrate Your body

This week, look for LOVE. Open up your mind and your heart to love. If you’re not looking for love, you won’t find it.

Pick one of these three words (church, home or gym) and tell me what comes to your mind when you hear it!


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  2. Amanda Ilg says:

    Hi Mandy :) I’ve heard so many good things about your family and your gym from my husband. I’d never thought of a gym as a homey kind of place until Derek found yours! He definitely feels cared for and supported and challenged to grow – love in a nutshell! Gym for me is our living room, worship music, and a toddler crawling on me while I do floor work, if she’s awake. :)

    Let us know if you ever come visit Calvary Chapel Chelmsford so we can look for you. You can come even without Mike if he’s working and sit with us. I think CJ is around the same age as our Gabe. :)

    I enjoy your blog! Keep up the great work :)

    • Hi Amanda!

      So nice to hear from you. :) There is nothing wrong with your living room as your gym. Heck – it doesn’t get more “homey” than that does it? I trained this morning for a few minutes in my basement with my toddler crawling around as well. hehe

      I’ll definitely let you know if we get to Calvary! Thanks so much for reaching out.
      Amanda Perry recently posted..What Do You Have Without Love?

  3. oh i SO love this post for so many reasons!! I love that you guys are listening to a sermon on Sundays. We’ve been watching Joel Osteen on weekends over coffee and it really sets a good tone for the week. I hear you on excuses and getting there though too. As for church and ‘home’ and community – I totally agree and totally love the comparison to a ‘gym’ and wanting that same feeling, not dirty, distant, unfriendly. totally why places like b9 and your gym are just amazing at uniting people together!!
    Jolene recently posted..After a crazy week, it’s just okay.

  4. Great post! Church, home, and gym are all areas of love for me. But then again, that depends on the church and gym you go to. We just moved and are finding a new church to commit to and serve, and it’s already feeling like home…so I guess if home is where the heart is, then all three places should feel like home!
    Kasey Shuler @ Well of Health recently posted..38 Weeks and My Pregnancy Recap

    • Thank you!That’s awesome that you’ve already found a new church and I totally agree with you. Those are 3 places that need to feel like home or something is definitely missing!


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