The month of February is almost over but I do like this month of Love. For me, its a birthday month so of course it makes me remember how old I am getting or how young I still am whichever way I want to look at it. For most though, its the month that we celebrate those whom we love in our lives.
I have to be honest and say that Valentines was more of a day of fun and parties in grade school, and a day of stress in middle and high school. This was especially true if I didn’t have a certified boyfriend, and most of the time I didn’t. I think every girl can identify with watching their friend get the cute stuffed animal from their boyfriend and you don’t get anything because you happen to not be in a relationship right then. This brings a whole new level to the teen feelings of loneliness and feeling passed by. But of course, I had crushes. Back then we usually bought a box of small valentines to give to classmates and passed them out. In sixth grade, I remember agonizing over which valentine to give to my semi-secret crush. You know, I didn’t want to come on too strong because then he might figure out how I REALLY felt about him! Like those pre-packaged valentines with Mickey and Minnie could actually convey my deepest feelings, and that would be awkward in the true sixth grade sense of the word!
On the other hand, if you did have a boyfriend, you were stressing out on what to get him on a babysitter’s budget! I remember in high school spending over 45 minutes reading every card in Hallmark trying to find the “perfect” card for the said boyfriend. I probably should have gone back to the boxed Valentines! I think I finally ended up making the guy one. I also ended up getting grounded because I was so late getting home (I used the family car to go to the card shop) that my parents were late for an appointment. All this for a guy and his card!
In the last several years, I have stalked the aisles of Walmart and malls with my girls looking for the elusive “perfect”, age appropriate, in-the-budget gift for a boyfriend. I feel their pain, so of course I try to help. Call it female bonding time. Maybe teen boys experience this but I’m guessing not to the level as the girls.
Luckily, my family has always made me feel loved on Valentine’s Day with cards and small gifts. And now I love to give and get cards from family members in the mail and from my immediate family. There is that warm feeling of reassurance that I matter to a few people in the world; that they hold me in a special place in their hearts whether as a sister, a mom, a wife or a daughter. Feeling loved ranks very high in the human experience and we all look for it in different ways.
What’s great is that much of the time showing love is very cost effective. Homemade cards with a little art work or even a handwritten note left on the table in the morning go a long way. Texts or Facebook posts work too. We all feel so “busy” these days so when a person gives you time it means a lot. This does NOT mean I don’t appreciate the big spend! There is that huge message that goes with it that says, “You are worth it!”
To take that to the next level though, is figuring out how a person best receives love. It would be very easy to spend a lot of money on something a person doesn’t want. There are whole books and seminars on finding your love language. A person who goes to the trouble to find out what a person truly sees as important and then gives it to them is a special kind of person!
It could be quality time, or it could be doing a project for them, or it could be small gifts or words of affirmation. It could even be toilet papering their house (this would probably be limited to the tweens and teens)! I noticed that a chocolate rose scored big with a certain teen I know as well.
One final thought: It is my private opinion that God likes Valentines Day because it is a celebration of love and of course God IS Love! The pastor of my church likes to say, “God SOOOOOOO loved the world that He gave his only begotten son!” I have also heard it said that we are living out the greatest love story ever told as God continues to demonstrate to us His love in ways that are meaningful to us individually as well as to the rest of the world. The lengths that God has gone to in order to prove His love for us is staggering. Song of Solomon says we have ravished his heart! Those are strong words even for a romance; yet he is referring to us, the Bride of Christ, the Apple of His eye! If that doesn’t make you feel all glowey and loved inside then you probably haven’t had time to process that concept.
So with that thought percolating in your mind and spirit, enjoy the rest of this month of love and those whom you love knowing that the Source of all Love is at the center of it all.