All right. Let’s just get it out there. Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and you probably either love it or hate it. If you’ve found a way to stay neutral, I applaud you. You are among the few. Or maybe you’re the silent majority. If you don’t give a rip about Valentine’s Day, maybe you just let the day come and go quietly.
Many years ago when I was single and working for a newspaper (this one) that let me write a weekly column about pretty much whatever I wanted (they probably regret that!), I took on the topic of Valentine’s Day one year. All I really remember about that column (my personal archives are not yet digital and may never be. The best collection of my work went up in flames last year in my grandparents’ house) is I wasn’t “in favor” of Valentine’s Day so much, and I found a few people to agree with me. But mostly, it was a mistake to even take a stance. (I’m finding this is true for just about everything I was sure about in my 20s. Oh to be young and naive. Now I’m in my enlightened 30s. Oh so wise.)
So, if you’ve read this far, I WILL NOT be giving you advice for how to have the perfect Valentine’s Day or give you the secrets to what all girls want on this special day (personally, you can skip the flowers and chocolate and just wash the dishes in my kitchen) or telling you all about my plans for celebrating. (My husband will be in a theology class on the topic of suffering. How romantic. My night will probably consist of a guilty pleasure chick flick, some contraband chocolate, and all the Pinterest I can handle. I’m totally addicted.)
I also WILL NOT tell you that Valentine’s Day is evil. Or is meant to make single people or lonely people or any other people feel left out or discriminated against. Or that it’s a Hallmark holiday and we should NOT give in to commercialism. (Although I might tell you that chocolate tastes even better when you buy it 50 percent off the day after Valentine’s Day.)
But I do want to talk about love today. If you have to gag, now is the time to do it. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
Even if you’re not the sappy type, good love stories are compelling, are they not? I just read this week abut a couple in western Pennsylvania who had been married more than 60 years and died 88 minutes apart. (Read the story here.) I think that’s how I want to go.
A few weeks ago, I was inspired to document a love story. It started with a reflection question at Bible study asking me to consider how God has been good to me. On a walk that same week, I thought about that and how I wanted to express that. I’d also seen this post by friend and newly published novelist Courtney Walsh. (Stay tuned! She’ll be on the blog next week talking about her book.) Scrapbooking your faith. Hmm … I’d never considered that.
So, I jumped in with both feet. I have a small stash of scrapbooking materials that haven’t seen the light of day recently because of two munchkin-sized kiddos who tend to scatter and destroy everything in their path. But I dusted off the drawers and grabbed scissors and glue for the kids to do their own projects, and I started making a book of God’s love in my life.
I worked with what I had. This is my canvas. (Thank you, Canadian friends to the north. These notebooks were 25 cents each at a discount store 4 years ago. I bought dozens for a youth retreat. We still have them, obviously.)
Here’s the cover now.
And a few of the inside pages.
It’s a work in progress, far from finished, but I’m having fun with it. And it’s been a great reminder to me of God’s unfailing love in my life.
Here are some of the psalms I chose to include:
But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me. — Psalm 13:5-6
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life — Psalm 23:6
Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. — Psalm 37:4
I have a great earthly love story with my husband, but it doesn’t compare to the love story God has written in my life.
If Valentine’s Day has you down, think on these things.
God has loved you with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3)
Nothing can separate you from his love. (Romans 8:35-39)
His love endures forever. (Psalms)
Happy Valentine’s Day.
Happy every day.