Happy (albeit a bit late) Valentine's Day to you!!! I love Valentine's, along with most every holiday! I always have and always will.
I love that, as a kid, my mom would take the time to spend days helping to decorate my "mailbox" for my valentine's party at school (I mean, c'mon people, this was a massive work of art happening!), or that I would always get cards from my parents and grandparents with little hearts and a quick rhyme about why I was their special Valentine. I loved searching through my pre-made, perforated valentines for just the right saying and "artwork" to go to my very best friend, or the chance to slip a "romantic" little quip to a fleeting crush. I mean, what better way to disguise our secret affections, however deep or shallow they may be, on a day when it is expected! Genius!!
I know to most people, Valentines holds a mix of emotions and expectations that really just give it a bad rep, or even erroneously forgoing an entire people group within our society. Oh what is being missed!
Valentine's Day is not about singling out the loved and unloved, creating some elitist holiday, but rather about celebrating the relationships in our life and giving expression to what is in our heart 365 (or 366 :) days of the year. In my family growing up, V Day was never relegated to just romantic feelings. We celebrated friendships, siblings, parents, children, grandparents, teachers, and even near strangers!
One of my favorite Valentine's ever, was when a group of us girls in high school spent the night together, and then proceeded to spend the whole day of Valentine's watching black and white movies while eating donuts. All day. It was awesome. We weren't feeling sorry for ourselves or spitting in the face of all things love and romance. We were just enjoying being together and the chance to celebrate our friendships with each other. Whatever it meant to them, I don't know, but to this day it still sits in my highlight of Valentine memories and a picture of the absolute potential of such a holiday.
We humans aren't typically good about opening our hearts to each other, even those we love the most. That is why we have books and seminars on the subject. Sometimes we just need a little help and the tools put in our hand to do so. And what a better tool than a whole day screaming the very value of humanity.YOU ARE LOVED AND YOU MATTER! Whatever the relationship.
I love that, growing up, I was surrounded by, what I feel, is the true meaning of Valentines. I love that, regardless of my relational status, V Day gives me a chance to celebrate the people in my life and to meet the greatest human need of all time. Love.
I feel that I have fallen very short in this area (loving people, not celebrating holidays :) and fear that I do not always do a great job of modeling to my children what is in my heart. But it has been very good for our family to really come back to basics and make sure our foundation is strong at it's core. Our family had a great Valentine's day yesterday from home made cards, breakfast in bed for daddy, a Valentine Dance by Asher and Safari they choreographed themselves, home made pizza and watching Cars 2 together, to Asher and Safari's secret "garage sale" to raise money to buy us Valentine's presents (let's just say, I had to put a stop to that one :). I hope it is just the beginning of a lifetime of memories for my kids. I hope that they feel so loved and secure, that Valentine's is a day worth celebrating no matter what state of singleness or romance they find themselves in. I hope they are so able to love those around them that they are never at a loss for friends or meaningful relationships.
I am so thankful for the picture my parents painted year after year for me of what Valentines is about, and I hope and pray that I can do the same for my kids, but I pray that I do not stop there. I hope that whoever is in my life, for however long they are there, will feel that they were loved and valued by me.
Happy Valentine's everyone. And whatever state you find yourself in on Valentine's form here on out, listen to the day that is talking all about You.... You are Loved and You Matter.
Here are some pics from our day... sorry there's not much but without an actual camera these days, we don't get a lot of pics of stuff right now