What a wonderful thing, this whole concept of Valentine’s Day.
A day to focus on love. To tell someone you love them. To tell lots of someones you love them, in my case. My kids woke to the usual table full of assortments of chocolates and flowers and giant lollipops and coffee drinks. They’re actually appalled that they’re going to be required to do school work today, since surely this is a major holiday, being Valentine’s AND mom and dad’s anniversary, after all.
I remember going to school on Valentine’s Day and how fun it was in elementary school. It always meant a day of–well, chocolates, and conversation hearts, and of course there were always cupcakes with pink frosting and red koolaid, and a decorated box filled with Valentine’s cards from everyone in the class.
It wasn’t quite as fun by the time jr high and high school rolled around. Someone forgot to tell the teachers we were supposed to have a party, I guess. And it was especially bad in high school, when the pep clubs went around selling Valentine’s Day posters that you could have put up on the locker of whoever you liked (anyone else have such a lovely tradition in their high school?) I remember coming to school with anxiety, walking to my locker a little faster than usual, just in case someone I liked had ordered a display for me. Didn’t usually happen. Of course there was always the search to see who else *did* get posters . . . always the cheerleaders! I think I might have had something up there the one year I was “lucky enough” to have a boyfriend over Valentine’s Day. Yikes.
Of course I’ve got it all set for life, now! A permanent date for Valentine’s day! So my anniversary is never forgotten. <3 In fact, the whole world celebrates and I can find gifts and decor everywhere!
This year there’s a new dimension added to the whole thing for me. As I’m continuing my Gift List–something I think will be a lifelong spiritual discipline, actually–I’m starting to think of it as my “He Loves Me!” list. Our world is so stuffed with false abundance–in a world where every meal comes with a toy, how do we have true gratitude? How do we see the real gifts? Writing them down is changing my life. Helping me see. I wake ready to find gifts, catch them quick, capture them on paper. I think the list helps me because it makes me pay attention, be *all here,* notice what’s around me. It’s like every day is Christmas–or Valentine’s Day! The shadow of my pen, counting, falls across the paper . . . if God Himself is the Word, surely there is much power in our own words. Do we not speak our own worlds into being as we name gifts versus pains?
I find myself giddy over light and shadow.
Counting all the ways He loves me . . . #216-300
*sunlight warming me on a chilly day *boys disruptive in class (they’re having fun!) *pink frosted cupcakes *friends who pray when I cry *wounding (another place to see Him through) *weariness (I’ve worked hard!) *chicken pot pie *Christmas plates *lone girl at dinner table, finishing happily *one-piece outfits on toddlers, fluffy tail on rear preferred *thankfulness, a lifeline I frantically grasp and hope will hold *knowing God understands being misunderstood *cyclamen on the dining room table, red hearts against deep green *pigtails *DVDs, and watching my girls dance ballet (over, and over, and . . . ) *squeaky toys *spring on its way *MomHeart Conference!!! *old friends who “get it” with no explanation *juice boxes *vanilla candles *new students *little boys big enough to play together *pain (it means there’s been love!) *baby teeth *giggles *fuzzy blankies *fireman raincoat and boots *fresh, clean paper and a new day with gifts to fill it up! *baby experimenting with sissy’s headband–“Hat! Hat!” *mistakes . . . chance to learn *plans, plans, plans *forgiveness, both given and received *water falling from the sky. Isn’t that amazing? *raindrops clinging to the remains of last summer
*finding beauty wherever I LOOK for it *sugar snap peas lifting proud heads in soldier rows *dahlias, petunias and salvias on the counter, greenest green I’ve ever seen *tiny puddles bouncing back when raindrops hit *lime green of new growth on bushes *God washing everything clean *lone white bird circling grey sky–in the rain! *defying gravity *living in Thanksgiving–living new *tiptoe-ing in the quiet *not needing to drive anyone to school in cold rain *algebra coming easy *red, ripe strawberries swimming in cream and sugar *old, chipped bowls *red fingernails *vanilla candles *fuzzy slipper socks *season of love all about Jesus–God’s love to me *lists getting longer . . . longer . . . longer
*shadow of pen falling across creamy paper *Daddy working hard placing tile *pretty patterns on bathroom walls *pillows *carrot seeds going down, peas and lettuce coming up *forgotten hyacinth bulb, peeking up from its bed–surprise!
*knowing boxes of dirt hold secrets no one can see *new growth on rosebushes *chorus of birds high in the trees early in the morn *each bird has a different song! *life *sun warming the back of my neck *dirty slipcovers (they can be washed!) *cold . . . making me appreciate warm *changes in temperature *anticipation–what a gift! *handed-over clothes, delight for daughters *shoes that light up *light from the window spilling onto cabinets *the sun *Sunday is for rest
*dinner out with my favorite date *all the world celebrating our anniversary *Valentines from thoughtful children *growth!
*daughter taking cues along with her favorite toys from mama *boxes of chocolate *heart-shaped sprinkles *pretty new pens *always having a date for Valentines