I was drawn into this “project” by some dear friends of ours by an invitation in a Facebook post (August 3, 21016 – Shawn Whitney with Katie Nichols Whitney) and my response was:
—LOVE PROMOTION project
sounds like such a really good idea
so I will respond to the challenge to participate . . .
my first thoughts are to put forth what I feel is
my understanding of “love”
through the prism of my life with Marcus
love requires a
willingness to make a commitment that makes it possible to work through the difficult times,
the challenges, the dark times, the tough growth experiences . . . the days when it is hard
not to walk away or when the desire to throw something or punch someone is overwhelming, to get to those really great times—
Marcus has demonstrated commitment to a degree seldom seen,
commitment you can count on
. . . all of his life!
DAY TWO: love promotion project as a teen, Marcus worked at his dad’s car lot and was responsible enough to carry the business checkbook . . . he developed a love for cars & music from the 60s and learned the rewards of hard work, –he has continued to combine a willingness to work hard and to show appreciation for what he loves— he has taught me a lot! Love is patient . . . Love is kind . . .
DAY THREE: love promotion project Marcus has always loved music and most people don’t know he plays the guitar and sings and has written songs— Coach Groover introduced us at Camp Wyldewood during a retreat when he suggested we sing together at the “talent show,” so we sang “If I Had a Hammer” and that was the beginning of our life together—I don’t remember much about the talent show, but I do remember the fun we had getting to know each other. We “snuck” off to Andy’s (where Arby’s is now) after the show & got a burger because we couldn’t eat before we sang. After we got married & moved to Austin, Texas, we sang the worship songs Marcus had written (for our church family & others)–they were such a blessing to me. Early in our marriage, my brothers & I were still fulfilling commitments to perform as the Chuck Hicks Band and Marcus always seemed to enjoy my enjoyment of singing with my family with no hint of jealousy on his part and, of course, he sometimes played along–a little over a year ago, Marcus taught himself to play the harmonica & does a great job of entertaining me each morning . . . Marcus has taught me a lot about Love! Love is not jealous . . . love does not brag and is not arrogant . . .
DAY FOUR: love promotion project How a person treats others, especially friends, tells you a lot about them because real friendship requires give AND take— SHARING special times with others, becoming family; it means food, fun and fellowship . . . but most of all it means CARING with no conditions through times of joy and laughter and tears . . . it means opening your heart and guarding the hearts of others as you share dreams and successes and challenges and gain the strength that comes from friendship . . . decades of friendships that have blessed us so much there is no way to name you all (didn’t have room for all the faces, but you know who you are)— Marcus has taught me a lot about Love and Friendship and so have YOU! Love does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered . . .
DAY FIVE: love promotion project family . . . sometimes the best times and sometimes the worst— but it is not just biology that makes a family . . . it’s relationship. Because family is family, you have to work through whatever or go through life without that person or group in your life and that always hurts – either way! Marcus lost his parents in 1977 & 1979 and an older sister in 1956, so I didn’t get the opportunity to meet them and I wish I could have sat down with them and talked about life, gained from their experiences. Marcus has a twin sister (fraternal, not identical) and my parents have “adopted” Marcus plus I have two younger brothers and a really large extended family—we have three beautiful daughters with their husbands & children . . . but, alas most of our family live far away. Marcus has taught me a lot about family . . . loyalty, devotion, “blindness,” forgiveness, perseverance, and the ultimate rewards of unconditional love! Love does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth…
DAY SIX: love promotion project marriage . . . before our first wedding, I was living in Austin, Texas (due to a job promotion), so I had to take a flight back to Searcy and on that flight I wrote a letter to myself listing all the “reasons” I loved Marcus and the areas I thought would be challenging to me. Over the years of our marriage, I had to refer to that letter to put our relationship back in context—like after the “towel-folding incident” or the “Star Trek-the Original Movie event” or the multiple “You What? expose” times or the monumental “God, You do it, I can’t” decision! The most important moment for me was when I made the commitment to allow God to make me who He wanted me to be and to allow God to do the same for Marcus (taking myself off that job). As I stood before God with each AND every “problem” that arose instead of trying to “fix” it myself, I noticed that Marcus got easier to get along with and we were having much less negative interaction—amazing! Through all of my years of “growth experiences,” Marcus stayed constant and steady—yes, surprisingly, he stayed and taught me the ultimate Truth that all relationships rooted in God meant God was the center, the first step always, the love reflected in each of us, the compassion for each other, the forgiveness and mercy, the reason . . . marriage is not an easy path, but it can work when Love bears all things . . . believes all things . . . hopes all things . . . endures all things
DAY SEVEN: love promotion project overview . . . To love someone. What does it mean?—there are as many answers to that question as there are people to answer it. My answer would be a reflection of my life. I have loved in many ways, sometimes very unsuccessfully, sometimes selfishly, and I have loved to many different levels in my heart including experiencing infatuation and superficial, but often painful emotions. I have been beaten down, I have cried in the darkness of agony so deep it could not be put into words, and I have found the light of day painful . . . but, I have also experienced the overwhelming joy of healing and the life flow of love from someone who really cared about me and that made me want to bring that to others, to share the hope of a future that makes it possible to take even just a tiny step forward into the Light of another day . . . because I have seen that through the valleys and the mountains, through the sunshine and the rain, through the failures of my human nature and the strength of my inner spirit, all of life is a victory when it opens ME to a better understanding of love and sharing all of that with others, friends, family, or spouses shows me that LOVE NEVER FAILS . . . But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the GREATEST of these IS LOVE . . .