Honoring Your Relationships

 Welcome to February…the month often associated with love, romance, hearts and chocolates. The buzz of romantic gifts, valentine cards, true love, and special dates hums louder as the 14th approaches. But what next? What happens after the exciting romance stage? What does it truly mean to step wholeheartedly into a loving relationship? Simply stated….

Be. All. In.

I learned the value of ‘being all in’ through loving a strong man for over 20 years. And being no ‘wilting daisy’ myself, conversations can sometimes get pretty intense. Two strong people disagreeing is never easy. Can anyone relate?

At the end of the disagreement…do we hold back? Do we take steps backward easing away from the relationship? Do we keep the backdoor open for a possible escape? Do we let our heart start to close in a protective posture? Do we ponder revenge or ways to retaliate? (Not proudly, yes…I’ve tried them all.)

It was nearly 5 years into my marriage when I realized my tendency to withhold…almost as if I didn’t quite want all my eggs in this one basket. Looking back, I realized that misunderstandings and hardships were harder and more intense because of my choice to withhold pieces of my heart.

There are times when love really is a choice. And what does choosing to love someone mean? Loving someone for better or for worse means ‘being all in’. When we hold this value well, we are intentional about stepping into conversations, spending quality time together, leaning into our strengths, trusting vulnerable spaces, and honoring the relationship. We own the fact that we chose this person…and we make a commitment to be all in. This is how we choose to love well.

Be. All. In.

This will influence other heart relationships as well. We will have the needed conversations, listen hard, say what needs to be said, and ask the vulnerable questions. Trusting that it is always worth it.

Do we do it well all the time? Nope. In fact, sometimes it gets pretty messy. But each interaction teaches us more about what it means to love well and it reflects back the choices we make in who we are becoming.

A word of caution….’Being All In’ is certainly not for the faint of heart. The most courageous and vulnerable act we can do is to choose to wholeheartedly commit to those we love.

During this season of love….May we each have the courage to… Be. All. In.

My heart is with you and for you,


P.S. Ok…I’m a sucker for great romance songs…Darren & I send them to one another when we’re traveling and here’s one of our favorites by Darius Rucker.