“Let Me Count the Ways”

In 1850 Elizabeth Barrett Browning‘s work “Sonnets from the Portuguese” was published. Included in this collection of Browning’s sonnets was Sonnet 43 entitled “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” Following is that love sonnet:

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise,
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints -I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! -and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Now I am not really a poetic person. I have trouble understanding the abstract poetic devices. Rather I prefer concise journalistic writing that says what it needs to say – no ambiguous meanings behind the words. However I do know that when I read this poem it sounds beautiful. “I love thee with the breath, smiles, tears, of all my life!” – that is exactly how I feel about Lyle.

I thought of this poem when looking at ideas for Valentine’s Day gifts when I came across a cute idea by Michelle Knoller-Dell on bhg.com. The idea included coming up with 365 reasons why you love your special someone – one for each day of the year. If you write the reasons on each day in your planner or calendar, you are reminded everyday of your special someone. I thought it was a wonderfully cute idea.

I did not set to accomplish this long list of why I love Lyle for Valentine’s Day. However, I did start the list last night. I came up with 82 reasons why I love Lyle before I went to sleep – 283 let. Some of those reasons included his commitment, his spontaneity, and his silliness. While I sat in the living room filling several pages of my journal with the reasons why Lyle is the love of my life, I began to think about the other love of my life – God.

I suddenly goy the idea to make a list of why I love God. This list would be endless because God is constantly revealing more of His nature through His word and blessings. So I decided to include in this post a few reasons why I love God.

  1. He gave his son, Jesus, to die for my sins to save me from the punishment I deserve.
  2. God blessed me with a wonderful family and a loving husband.
  3. He loves me unconditionally.
  4. He never leaves me.
  5. God’s power is unfathomable.
  6. He allows me to get to know Him through His word.
  7. He provides my needs.

There are infinite more reasons why I love God, but no matter how many reasons my tiny brain can produce, it still doesn’t compare to the love that God has for me. Anyway, just something that I was thinking about.

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2 thoughts on ““Let Me Count the Ways”

  1. I just found out about your site on FB through Pam and clicked on the one about the fruit. I Just wanted to let you now that I have enjoyed sitting hear reading your current and the other ones. This one especially I liked and may use it to pass along to our small church group. Your are a really good writter. I know you don’t know me sorry about not having met you. I have prayed for you and Lyle since you moved there to help out Tim that God would supply you both with the employment and housing and all your needs and I know we serve a wonderful God who goes above all our expectaions so I hope that He has Blessed you both with all that you have need of. Your Blessed to have each other. He is a wonderful man thanks to his wonderful parents and God of course. Keep on writting you give inspiration to others and encouragement. God Bless you both-Rose Smith

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