Valentine’s Day…

What does Valentine’s Day mean to you?

For some, Valentine’s Day is candy and flowers, dinner with a loved one or a special piece of jewelry. For others, Valentine’s Day is a reminder of what once was or what might have been or what never has been. For some, it’s not a day to be celebrated but a day to “get through.”

For me, Valentine’s Day is not too special beyond the fact that my dad and step-mom were married on Valentine’s Day (shout out to them…Happy Anniversary Daddy and Diann!)

Jim and I don’t do anything special, go anywhere fancy or even give each other a card. We used to. We used to buy presents and go out to dinner, crammed into a small space with other couples, practically shouting to talk to each other. But one day, a few weeks before Valentine’s Day several years ago, I told Jim I’d had enough of the hype. I could tell by the look on his face he was 100% with me.

To me, Valentine’s Day, like many other holidays, has turned into a commercial frenzy that is out of control. I know it is only that way if you let it be, but I find myself looking forward to it being over before it’s even here. The commercials drive me crazy. They are all geared toward making men feel guilty. “If you really love her, buy our product.” “If you want her to know how much you love her, our name on the box will tell her.”

I thought the purpose of the day was to share and celebrate love. I guess I’m getting old and cynical. But besides the fact that Jim tells me he loves me at least once a day, he shows me he loves me in all the things he does, many without realizing how much they mean to me.

Today, I woke up with raging migraine and went back to bed before Jim left for work, something I rarely do as I like to see him off. On his break, he called to check on me and see if I needed him to pick up anything on his way home from work. It made me smile just to hear the concern in his voice. No flowers in the world could top that feeling.

I love to watch him interact with his parents. Jim’s so patient and kind and if he gets irritated or impatient, he keeps it to himself…or shares it later with me. But he’s so good to them and it fills my heart with love to see Jim planning the garden with his dad or poring ceramics with his mom. What a blessing it is to be living with them…what a blessing to watch him honor them the way he does.

Because of my illness, my brain gets “foggy” and sometimes I struggle to think and remember things. I don’t know how Jim puts up with my forgetfulness but he always finds a way to make me laugh it off and not take myself too seriously.

I guess for me, everyday is Valentine’s Day because of the love Jim has for me. I know I’m blessed. I don’t take it for granted. I know what a gift God has given us and I pray for my family and friends that they have and know that kind of love as well…the kind of ‘agape’ love that loves without condition or circumstance, the kind Jesus has for us all.

There is no greater gift that we can share this Valentine’s Day than that gift of love that Christ has for us. A hug, a kiss, a prayer lifted in His name is priceless…and yet it’s free to all who will have it.

Have a blessed Valentine’s Day!

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. -John 13

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