why Valentine's Day is important (plus a love letter)

Monday, February 14, 2011

I love Valentine's Day. Always have. Always will. And none of that 'this is a Hallmark holiday' junk. It's just not factual. I have always enjoyed Valentine's Day, and I have still had more years without a romantic Valentine than with (barely though). I looked forward to it growing up because I always received a Valentine from my Grandpa. Always with candy. Now one of my most treasured traditions is my flower from my papa. Every year, all of the girls get a flower. Last year was Maggie's first flower year, and she was ecstatic again this year to get her flower. Kept asking to touch it. Then she carried it around for a good 5 minutes once we got home last night just looking at it and smiling and talking about it. It is not hard to make someone feel loved.

The junior high group at our church sold flower arrangements this year, and one of the most special things that I've seen all year was one of the young men in our church buying two arrangements for his friends. Girls, yes, but they are friends. True friends. It is one of the most tender, generous things I've seen in awhile. Makes me all teary just to think about it. Probably good he'll never read this or he'd be embarrassed, but the woman who marries him is going to get a true treasure.
Brief commercial break:  Should you need some flowers for your friends, or your wedding, or anything else for that matter, feel free to look here: TK Floral Designs. You will not be disappointed. (Plus, she's my bff, and I love her. It's possible I'm biased, but I doubt it. She's just good at what she does.)
Edited to add: I just got my very own arrangement from her. Well, from my husband. She made it. With my wedding flowers. I'm a happy girl.

And as promised, a love letter:
When you and I were wed, I thought all would be well. For always. And it wasn't. It hasn't all been good, it hasn't all been happy, but it has all been worth it. Even today, in one of the darkest places I feel like we've ever been, we're there together.When I look at you, I see light. I love you more on this Valentine's Day than I ever dreamed possible in those first few years. Our relationship has depth that few have, our connection is stronger than most will ever know, and your love for me is the greatest gift that I've ever been given.

Above all, I'm thankful that we claimed certain truths for our marriage and our lives, like this one: "Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction." (Antoine de Saint-Exupert) I love that we are looking outward in the same direction. Having shared purpose, having shared ministry has made us stronger than we could've been otherwise.

You are a better man than you were when I married you, a much better man than I deserve. You are kind, compassionate, gentle yet strong, tender yet tough - the perfect balance. You make me want to be a better mama, a better wife, a better person. Thank you for the million unseen and under-appreciated things you do to make our family work, to keep us safe, to provide for us, to protect us, and make us feel loved.

I wouldn't trade this life we've built for anything. God has built our family in ways I never dreamed. God has made our marriage into something better than I imagined. I believe our family is starting, just a little bit more every single day, to look a little like Jesus. And I want it just this way. May our lives, our family, and most especially, our marriage continue to reflect God's glory,
Always.


As every Monday, God's love notes to me:
65. quiet snow falling
66. the power of a kind word, like soothing honey
67. glaring sunshine, reflecting off of freshly fallen snow
68. the quiet of the morning, while children are still sleeping
69.small children, yet faithful in prayer
70. breathing in grace like air
71. the joy of children welcoming their father home
72. safety from what could have been a terrible accident
73. a cousin willing to give up his lunch hour to help me jump-start my van
74. kind-hearted friends, generous and tender
75. my Valentine's flower from my Papa
76. emotional regulation in a struggling child
77. a friend who truly loves me, enough to truly know me
78. a husband who is a student of his wife (and a good student, at that!)
79. celebrating love with my family


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