Living the Sweet Life: #love

By Alisa Murray Nationally recognized portrait artist and award- winning columnist.

By Alisa Murray
Nationally recognized
portrait artist and award-winning columnist.

Who do you love? When you think about your life, do you have a clear understanding of the role that love plays for you? I know that I do. Love is the theme of this month’s issue, and my Valentine are on the cover. Inside that story is a tale of a great love for each other, for our children and of what we do.

Once I heard a sermon that Bishop spoke, and he said that in the end, that was all we would have – the love from others we had touched along the way. Nothing else matters. I understand that lesson.

Love is probably the one thing we all need. Many artists have sung about it, and I’d venture to state that all artists have had a muse that inspired them to create. We hear their songs, whether it is a lament on lost love or of profound joy of love at last, and all of us in every language can relate. Love is universal.

The Bible tells us many truths and states quite clearly about love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8:

Brian and Alisa Murray.

Brian and Alisa Murray.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.” Yep, it is pretty clear to me.

In the many years that I have been on earth, I have learned the greatest thing we can all do for one another is to love. It is difficult to do when things are not going the way we had hoped. It’s harder still when tragedy strikes and leaves us left with many wonderings of why. In the end though, if you keep love in your heart and seek to find peace, you will find exactly that. God has His way with things.

Being in love is different from having love, and it’s important to know that there’s a need in all of our hearts for both. For the better part of 29 years, I have been in love with Brian. We have grown in love through joys, strife, in sickness and in health, while grieving and through unexplainable joys and successes. We have lost two babies, we have raised two, and we have gained one brand new son-in-law! We have enjoyed each other fully through the years and have been a helpmate to each other through losing parents, grandparents, friends and family.

For the better part of 19 years, we have loved what our talents have allowed us to bring by the way of joy and happiness to so many families. While oftentimes we capture the falling in love of new parents as they welcome and cherish their babies – an off spring of what their union in love has brought forth – we also capture the twinkles in the eyes of proud grandparents and the simple, purest love of a dog and his person. You might say we are to a certain extinct in the “love” business.

#love was the number one used handler for 2016. It made me smile when I heard that, because it signified for me that the world – despite all of our differences – still “gets” it. I love the fact that love will always prevail in all circumstances. That should make everybody smile too!

Fill your life with love each day of the year. Love what you do, who you are around and give thanks for each of the people in your life you get to touch. Happy Valentine’s!

Take Care of YOU!