I have felt overcome with emotion lately, the kind of emotion that fills your cup to overflowing and you stand in wonder of it all.

It pours out into mushy embraces with my children, late night whispers with my husband and texts sent to the dearest of friends. It bubbles over into my prayer groups, new people I meet and even the grocery store clerk.

This emotion feels alive. It breathes life into my thoughts, my words and all I do. It flows out of a sincere and humble gratitude for God’s faithfulness in my own life and in the lives of those I love.

As I get older, I can in many ways see how He has been working for me, always blessing, always molding, always present. Our Lord is such a giver, and I am in awe of it all. Awe is a good place to be.

Let us love, for that is what our hearts are made for. – St. Therese of Lisieux

I write often of love. I’m fascinated by it, its breath, its depth, its magnitude. As a wife, mother, daughter, friend and human, I find myself experiencing it in so many forms, and like the still, small voice that God whispered to Isaiah, its presence is as clear as a bell amid the cacophony of sound and stuff that can fill my days.

As I sit here, my toe tapping to the music on my playlist, I’m smiling thinking of which moments to share with you all. For me, the best is always to start with my first vocation.

The depth of love I have for my husband has so many levels: the love and honor I feel that I am his motivation for waking in the morning, that he sacrifices and serves so generously and humbly. There is a wonder of love that speaks to my heart that after 25 years of being his wife, I still smile like a teenage girl sometimes at the thought of him.

My head turns and my heart races at the thought of time with him. His thoughts matter to me. I crave them as a way of knowing him more deeply. Marriage models the intimate relationship I want to have with God, and so, through the love I have for my husband, I am learning to grow in love for the Lord.

Since love grows within you, so beauty grows. For love is the beauty of the soul. – St. Augustine

The love a mother has for her child is unfathomably deep and powerful: the desire to protect, calm, nurture, teach, share, laugh and draw as many heartstrings to a person as possible. Science shows us that a mother shares cells of herself with her child. I carry theirs within me, and they have mine.

I ponder often that there will always be a physical part of us that binds us to one another. What mother has not gazed upon her child and marveled at the magnificence of God’s creation? I love how motherhood, whether physical or spiritual, through the wonder of it all, can draw us into a deeper relationship with Jesus.

Intense love does not measure, it just gives. – St. Teresa of Calcutta

As a friend, it is always on my heart to lift up, support, listen and build memories in our relationship. It is probably why those I call true friends are a smaller group because it takes a great deal of energy to sustain this level of relationship in addition to the ones within my family, and yet how very valuable and necessary friendships are! They are shining treasures. The type of treasure that is brighter than jewels, more valuable than gold.

Love within a true friendship goes beyond surface, it seeks the core, and I am blessed to have a few of those in my life. In them I see God’s love for me made visible through others. I feel also His love for others being made manifest through the desire of my heart to know them more deeply, serve them more humbly and love them wholly for who they are now and who they are seeking to be.

I’m struck by activeness of love and the physical nature of its seeking. No matter the relationship, the emotion of love becomes active through our seeking to know someone more fully.

There is a seeking of truth in loving deeply, a vulnerability that seeks to know and be fully known. When I look at a painting, I am struck by its beauty, the story behind its inspiration. I want to speak with the artist.

Love brings us to that moment. When we love, we are drawn to the ultimate artist, He Who is the Creator of Whom we are seeking to know more deeply. Let us rest in that gratitude, let it fill our hearts and flow over into every part of who we are so that others may come to know the Lord through our joy.

This article first appeared at The Catholic Times.