Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Warning: I am being oh-so-for-real, extremely vulnerable. Read cautiously.  :)

I woke up this morning kinda groggy when my alarm went off to spend time with Jesus, the ultimate Lover of my soul. I had some pretty understandable reasons to sleep in this morning, at least in my mind, being that we'd dealt with sick kids for the last week and I ended up with the stomach bug Wednesday night through the wee hours of Thursday morning. We've been getting lots of rest and taking care of our bodies to kick this...and then we were able to go celebrate Kara's birthday at her party last night. I was taking temperatures before leaving, trying to be extra cautious. I know, I think I have a problem.  :) All this to say that I was tired and not really "feeling the love" to compel me out of bed to spend time with the Lord who died for my sin and showed me the greatest love in all the world. Our flesh is still very here, isn't it?

I laid back in bed for a few more minutes and then the Lord graciously got my butt out of bed after the baby woke up a little earlier than normal to eat, so I was up. I went downstairs and was greeted by a small arrangement of roses with a heart and a note from my husband with scripture written out on it. As I went from coffee pot (God's grace to make me more than the walking dead in the morning) to my little spot I've made my morning meeting place with the Lord, to later on to the computer, my hubby had left little rose arrangements with scripture on it for me. After I'd seen the first two and sat down to journal and be with Jesus, I was struck with a sobering reality. Had God's grace not gotten this ungrateful, spoiled brat out of bed, I would've missed the blessing of love from my husband in the way he intended it to be received. I mean, Gary set those out in those places for me to find and be surprised. Had I not gotten up and gone to those spots, I would've missed the intended act of love from my husband...who is one avenue that God displays HIS love to me. Here's the point: God's grace is more than we can even begin to know. Apart from His grace, we'd totally miss out on it all. Every act of love from others is an outpouring of His love towards us. We don't deserve any bit of it. What we really deserve is hell. That He chooses to show us any kind of favor is a miracle in and of itself. 

After my time this morning, I decided to make heart shaped pancakes with chocolate chips for breakfast. Okay, people. Sometimes it is totally the thought that counts. I don't know what on earth I did, but those things looked like anything but hearts. And yes, I was using a heart shaped form. Am I the only one who can't use one of those things? My mom makes it look so easy! And then I couldn't get the dern syrup bottle open. I'd gotten maple syrup, it was in a glass container and the lid wouldn't budge. I had pieces of the slip grip thingie on my counter from twisting so hard. So we ate retarded heart pancakes without syrup. Happy Valentine's Day, kids. HA. And my sweet Bekah was being so kind- they're really good Mommy, even without the syrup. I told her she didn't have to lie and it really was okay. Then she said they'd be really really good with syrup on them.  I gotta make more sometime next week when we get that bottle open.

Anyway, this may be one of the best Valentine's days in my life yet. Gary has to work...when you own a business that's open on Saturdays, sometimes you don't have a choice.  We are spending tonight together as a family, making heart shaped pizzas. (Hopefully this will go WAY better than the pancakes!) We're doing a romantic dinner alone a different night. Valentine's day isn't about the stuff or the big fuss. What it is is just a day the world has created to show love, or in my brother's opinion, a conspiracy to make a ton of money...he may be on to something. As a christian, I'm not going to just act like it doesn't exist, cause it does, so I'm not going to lie. At the same time, we're not going to fall into the materialism trap. Yet, there is a way that it can be God glorifying. Just like any other day. Is the answer for us as believers just to trivialize it? Act like we're SUPPOSED to show love EVERY day, so I'm not making a deal about today. That'd be fine if we really did express love EVERY day, but we don't. It's not even about stuff. If I get mad because I didn't get STUFF today, that'd be wrong too. Here's the reality- it's about a day set aside to express our love to those we love most. When that doesn't happen, it hurts. I get mad. Some of us then call the day stupid and act like it doesn't exist. Not because we really think it's stupid, but because it hurts too much to admit that we don't feel loved by the one(s) that are supposed to love us most. This is what I've experienced in the past, whether on a Valentine's day or birthday or anniversary or whatever. There were times that Gary did get me something, maybe even expensive, but it still hurt me. Because he made it about just making sure I got something. What I really wanted was to feel loved. It may be something that is actually pretty cheap or would seem stupid to someone else, but to me expressed that He knows me and loves me, appreciates me. It's a woman thing to want that. This is the way God created us. It's not bad. It's bad when we react wrong because it doesn't happen. That's what I've done in the past. Instead of running to God in the midst of the hurt and knowing that He alone fulfills, I've gotten mad and hurt Gary as much as I was hurting. Since the garden of Eden, woman has had a desire for her husband. According to Ephesians 5:29, husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church, nourishing and cherishing it. That's what we desire as women. To be nourished- our needs, loved by our husbands similarly as our children. To be cherished- our desires, what makes us different from our children. What distorts this is a lot of wrong perspectives- that love is to be made much of, to have a feeling only...that love is all about me. That love means you're going to...insert whatever wrong thinking you've dealt with.

Here's why this is the best Valentine's day ever for me this year:  God's grace has finally brought me- maybe just for today, so when I struggle with it again, remind me- that each and every act that expresses love towards me that really does touch my heart because it's done out of love and not duty, happily and not grudgingly, knowing me and not just anything to say it got done- this too is an outpouring of love from God. What I should TREASURE isn't the feeling of being loved or even the person expressing it to me. These are simply arrows pointing us to the one who is to be fully treasured, God Himself, who IS LOVE.

So if you feel loved by those around you today- thank them, show appreciation to them, but don't treasure them, treasure God. And if you don't feel loved by anyone around you today- hurt, don't hurt them,  and treasure God. And in all things, let's give thanks for His gifts!  Happy Valentine's Day! 


Mrs. Griffith said...

Yes, I'm drinking a lot of water a day.. At least 8 glasses.. I'm also eating healthier. Nope, not pregnant.. took a pregnany test just to be sure. My eyes are good.. I go yearly for my eye check-up. No new detergent, been using Tide for a good while now.. It's kind of a mystery, I suppose.. I'm going to send you an email so that this comment is not forever long..