February is full of Holidays and Celebrations – Ground Hog Day, Wear Red day (American Heart Association), President’s Day, Valentine’s Day. But the biggest celebration is Valentine’s Day… now in previous years I wouldn’t even be thinking of this until February 13 or sometimes even February 14. Now, when I was dating Jim and when we first got married I may have put a little more effort into it. When Mary started school and needed to pass out Valentines, we would have started February 13 to make homemade Valentines for her class. Samuel could really careless about Valentine’s Day because of having to write names on all those cards (:
The most memorable Valentine’s Day for me was probably 9 years ago – I was pregnant for Samuel and was on strict bed rest at that point. I was having some complications, so had to spend the day in the hospital. We were really scared as I would have only been about 5 months pregnant and the outcome was uncertain. Jim sat and held my hand. I can still see the ultrasound and the heartbeat. Another sign of God’s protection! The funny part was trying to find a restaurant on Valentine’s Day. I had to get home because of bed rest and couldn’t have a long wait… Bob Evan’s had the shortest line and when we explained people were gracious in letting us go ahead…
However, that was my last memory of Valentine’s Day and it was bittersweet… why is that? Why haven’t I made it a big deal to show my husband and children my love every Valentines Day? Granted, it is a “commercial holiday” BUT it is another chance, another day to express your love. I should never take that opportunity for granted. I may not have another chance as time is not a guarantee! This year I have seen some couples go through trying times – and I am not talking about the craziness of celebrity marriages… * Robin and Ed had romantic moments often (dancing in the kitchen, glass of wine in the evenings) and it still crushes me to think they had to be separated by death. But they are a great example for Jim and I – celebrate the daily moments of love. * Another incredible couple who have been separated by unfaithfulness in the marriage. A lesson for me on doing what I can to protect my marriage. * The loss of a child is more than I can ever imagine. A lesson for me to make sure I treasure everyday with our children and ensuring they KNOW they are loved. * An illness of a spouse (my dad and mom exemplified this). A lesson of living “in sickness and in health”.
I am so blessed in my life… surrounded by people I love and people who love me… but do they really know it and do they FEEL it? I want to PREPARE to SHOW LOVE. I think I am caught up in buying things to show the ones I love that I love them! But is that a matter of convenience, or a matter of guilt to make up for time? Or is it genuine because I am somewhere and I think of them? Sometimes, it is both… However, I think there are other ways to SHOW LOVE, in the everyday – NOT in buying things, but in my actions!!
I am given a guideline on love in scripture – 1 Corinthians 13:4–8a
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails … (NIV)
YIKES, have my toes just been stepped on!!!
Patient – what about all those times I loose my patience with Jim and the Kids? When we are running late? When they want me to find something at the last minute?
Envy – am I jealous when my husband or children choose to spend time on things not involving me? Or do things for others that they don’t do at home or for me?
Boast and Proud – probably guilty of this when I remind / point out things I do for them. Do I do this to make them feel guilty, or is it to point out everything I do and what they do for me is not enough?
Rude – guilty of interrupting conversations, hearing but not listening, multi-tasking when they should have my undivided attention!
Self-seeking – do I do things for them to glorify myself… showing them what a great wife or mom I am?
Not easily angered – there would have been a day I could have said this, unfortunately, this is no longer true. I get angry when I feel like they don’t do enough, over not respecting my time, and WORSE over stupid stuff!!!
Keeps no record of wrongs – I may not write them down, but I keep a mental list of offenses. The bad thing is they may not realize they have wronged me… If you don’t keep a record you don’t have to worry about forgetting.
Rejoices with the truth – what about the “little white lies” and is it a “lie” if you don’t tell something (if they didn’t ask the direct question)? What about not having full disclosure of things I purchase and don’t tell??
***ALWAYS – WOW – really ALWAYS (not Almost Always, not Often, not sometimes).. IT SAYS ALWAYS!!!! – you know for “better and worse” and “sickness and health” and “richer and poorer” — YES – it means ALWAYS (I have some work to do!)
Protects (keep safe from harm OR aim to preserve) – probably OVER protective at times of our children, but I do things to aim to preserve? Do I do things to PROTECT my marriage?
Trusts – do doubts enter my mind over what my spouse is doing? Do I doubt my children’s love for me?
Hopes (feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen) – but are my hopes unrealistic, are my expectations too high or too low, am I hoping for things that my loved ones do not also hope for? Am I hoping for things they do not even know – setting them up for not meeting my expectations?
Perseveres (continue in course of action even in face of difficulty) – FINALLY, one I think I master. I do work well in this situation and draw closer instead of moving further away. But do I ALWAYS persevere???
Love never fails — love may not fail… but do I fail to show love??? When it appears Love has failed – it is because the PERSON failed at love… not that the love went away…
Another lesson where I learn and think more the more I type. I thought I was going to start out talking about – go get your Valentines (in honor of PREPARE I actually bought Sam’s 2 weeks ago – that is a first!) and buy a gift now to show you love them. But that’s the easy way out – my challenge to myself (and if you would like to take it) – is PREPARE to SHOW LOVE per I Corinthians. Actions do speak louder than words (and gifts).