Sunday, February 17, 2013

Valentine's Day Reflections

I've always been a sucker for Valentine's Day.  I love the cards, the colors, the affections, the flowers, and the 50% off candy on February 15th.  

I woke up Valentine's Day morning, finished writing my romantic, heart-felt, gushy card for my husband, and proceeded to get ready for the day.  Valentine's Day often carries with it the anticipation of affection, love, warmth, and surprises.

So naturally, my heart was crushed, when by mid-morning, my two-year-old had vomited twice and peed through 3 pairs of underwear.   My heart was not kindled with affection.  My emotions did not radiate love and warmth.  This was NOT the surprise I had in mind.

And yet perhaps, as I sat on the floor, wiping up vomit, and crying because the day was hardly off to an affectionate start, I was celebrating more than I knew.  

By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to 
lay down our lives for the brothers. 
1 John 3:16

Far beyond cards, flowers, sweet words, and romantic gestures, real love was defined on the cross -- one perfect lover sacrificing His life for men and women who didn't deserve Him. 

And in God's eyes -- the best way to spend Valentine's Day, to demonstrate love for another, is by sacrificial service to one that may never repay you. 

Sweet mothers -- did you spend Valentine's Day cleaning up messes of your children?  Giving baths? Cooking a dinner that received no accolades or genuine thank you's?  Helping with math homework? Drying teary eyes, and wiping runny noses, and kissing boo-boos, and sitting down exhausted at the end of the day?  Recognize it or not -- you are celebrating.

Celebrate Valentine's Day by remaining steadfast.  Persevering in your calling. Sacrificing for your children.  Doing the same, menial, overlooked tasks of loving and nurturing little ones who may or may not notice.  This is true love.  These acts are celebration-worthy.  

And by all means, go buy the 50% off chocolate. 

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