love and gelato

I don't know if I've ever been so devastated to put down a book as I was just now when I finished Love and Gelato. At least, I haven't been that affected by a work of fiction in a very, very long time. Its literally like a hug or a breezy spring day in Florence, gelato dripping down your fingers. It's falling in love overlooking one of the worlds more romantic cities. It's everything simple and innocent and cheesy and just perfect. This little gem sat on my sister's bookshelf for a long time before I finally decided to pick it up and read it. Oddly for me (who rushes through a good story and can't put it down until every last inch is devoured), there was something so slow and special about this one, I savored it. I didn't want to put it down but I also didn't want it to end, so I dragged it on and on (for almost two months now,) until this morning when it got kind of exciting and I had to know what happened. Its one of those young adult books that in theory is really kind of stupid, but the heart of the author seeps into her characters and gives it this simplistic charm that makes it officially one of the best books I've read. Love and Gelato. I honestly can't think of a better way to describe it than those two words.

Book aside, I have a ton of thoughts rolling through my head, and when that happens, I know I have to write. I did some handwritten stuff earlier, which was good, but with all the mushiness of this morning, plus some personal things I'm considering right now, I wanted to talk about a specific topic, love. 

Love is a weird thing. One day it just strolls into our lives, takes captive our hearts, and walks merrily on its way, creating joy and endless laughter and maybe a baby or two (even if its the furry variety.) WRONG. I mean, for some, probably most, it works that way. Then there is the brokenhearted side of things when you are an older single and everyone younger than you is married and starting families, and you're just sitting there with your soul shattered maybe a dozen times, wondering "is this really destiny?" 

I can't say strongly enough how much I hate the cliques that come out of a lot of married or dating peoples mouths when giving advice to someone still waiting for love. Things like "Oh just wait, Mr. Right is out there" or "There are plenty of fish in the sea." Or for someone who is in love, and perhaps is loved or a least liked back, and can't be with their person for whatever complicated reason. It rips the living heart of you, let me just say that. (been there ladies?) I'm choosing to look at it as a love-lorn Romeo and Juliet situations, but that's because I'm high on Florence and falling asleep under floating lanterns at the moment. ;)

Sometimes you just need a little bit of sap. Like a mushy book, a lame Hallmark film, or that song that makes you cry no matter what... .like Forever and Always by Parachute. CAN'T EVEN. Yeah, it's attractive to make men think you don't really care, that you love your independent single life, but in reality...we suffer. And that's ok. But the beautiful thing is, HE sees all our suffering, and HE CARES. Sometimes it doesn't seem like much, being loved by this God we can't even talk too. But He is the author of romance. Look at the history of the world, look at the Bible, for goodness sake! Every possible scenario can be found there, from handsome, glamorous heroes to adultery, pagan ritual, homosexuality, incest, witchcraft, war, peace, dens of lions. The Bible is literally the greatest novel of all time. It captures the human condition through the lives of sinful men...and women. Its painted in debauchery to tell the greatest love story of all time...one of hope, one of redemption..one of an all-seeing, all-loving, absolutely perfect, completely powerful savior. Our heavenly groom. The only groom who will ever know us from the inside out, who will always accept us, who cleanses us from our faults, who is a champion, a defender, a protector, a best friend.

I was having a conversation the other night, explaining what I want in a relationship, all the qualities I listed above, the need to feel valued. What they said was so simple, yet it kind of blew my mind..."you know, you just described Jesus."

Perfect love casts out all fear. Greater love has no man than this...that a man lay down his life for his friends. Hey listen, I'm afraid too. We all are. That need for companionship is rooted so deep in our hearts it aches with the need to love and to be loved. That's what we were created for. Some don't have that call, and its ok. Most, however, desire marriage and everything that comes with it. And no, I'm not afraid to mention sex. It's a natural desire and not something we should be ashamed of. I don't know when I've mentioned it last, maybe on my old blog, but I believe and know with my whole heart that that desire was put there by God. Just like my desire to go on the mission field as a kid. Maybe not indefinitely, but that one trip to Thailand soothed the ache to see if that was God's plan. It wasn't, at least not in the near future. But He knew what I needed because He put the need there. I wrote this in my Bible sometime back in July:

"I am sitting on a step at the orphanage in Thailand right now, Fountain of Hope. its been an exhausting few days, and this morning we had to say goodbye to the kids. I have an overall sense of discouragement. What am I here, God? But maybe I don't need to know yet. Maybe like one of my teammates reminded me--I'm just simply meant to follow and obey His call to be here. Maybe by the end, I will know...perhaps I never will. But I was called, and I am here. I love the portion of the song we sang today: "I give it all to you God, trusting that you'll make something beautiful out of me."" 


  1. WOWZA, girl! I’ve been struggling with this sort of thing a bit lately and your perspective on the subject was literally just what I needed to hear; thank you.

  2. Hey, Girl....STOP READING MY DIARY!! Just kidding! :) Seriously, though, this is what I meant when I said your writings are inspiring and enlightening. I am 34, my sister is 38....nether of us are married, nor is there a 'possibility' in the picture. We would both like to be married but, apparently (right now, and for whatever reason), it's not God's plan for us. There are times when it is extremely difficult, and there are tears and heartache. However, overall, we are extremely satisfied with trusting in His plan. We both know that He will bring about what He knows to be best for us, and we are SO thankful for His unending love and care. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Michaela!