Isn’t it great to read the different ways people celebrate Valentines? I truly enjoy scrolling through FB and seeing the restaurants where couples are celebrating the special day. The flowers that grace the different tables, as we imagine the smell of the roses that sweethearts have brought home. Boxes full of candy that are ripped apart as we promise ourselves “only 1 piece a day” that are emptied 3 days later. The cards that adorn the mantles of our homes are simple but meaningful ways to express the words that somehow are so hard to say sometimes, but then, finding just the perfect card, we hope that our loved ones are able to read between the poetic lines of love that talented writers are best able to express. Yes, all these are great way to celebrate a day set apart for showing special people just what we feel about them.
This year, having lived in a new city and new community less than a year, I began to think about all my past Valentines days. I remembered the years which I wondered about what I might receive. Would I have some of the beautiful roses, or a box of candy? Would I be able to sit and read a card over and over, all the while thinking about the person who thought enough about me to actually send a card. As I thought back, it dawned on me that most of the past years, I made it all about me. Yes, of course, I bought for kids or grandkids and my sweet husband, but in the back of my mind, all the time I was picking out little tokens of love for family, my mind seemed to drift towards wondering what I might receive.
This season of life allows us to have time to sit and ponder. Ponder things which might need to change; think about ways in which we can enrich the lives of others before thinking just about ourselves. So I began. I was going to do something totally different this year. Making up pretty little bags with a bar of lavender soap, a tea bag and a little Godiva chocolate, I made up 20 little bags and tied them up with a red ribbon. When I ran out of the chocolate, I baked a few red velvet tea cakes and substituted those for the candy.
Yesterday morning, handing out the Valentine bags to women around our table at Bible Study, you would have thought I was handing them a $100. The smiles that came to their faces was such a delight to me that I was the one who felt so blessed. In the afternoon, I came home and jumped on the golf cart. Going around in our neighborhood, I ended up delivering about 10 more little Valentine goodie bags. When I arrived home, Randy met me at the door and said, “well, welcome home, I was beginning to wonder if you had fallen and couldn’t get up.” After I assured him that even if I had fallen, I was NOT OLD and I COULD GET UP! I had been gone over 2 hours and had the pleasure of visiting with 9 ladies. Everyone had invited me in and two of the women and I had amazing conversations regarding what the Lord had been doing in their lives. It was one of the best afternoons I had spent in a long time. Just living in a place where you are invited in and people take the time to sit and visit was such a huge blessing to me.
It is 75 degrees again today. The sun is shinning and we ended up riding up to the club house and had lunch with some friends around the pool. A few ladies stopped me and thanked me again for the wonderful little surprise that was dropped off to them yesterday.
It has been about 24 hours since my little Valentine deliveries and I am still on a high from just the sweet conversations, the smiles that reflected from their faces and it has shown me that Valentines can be a whole lot more than just a box of candy or a dozen roses.
It is a time of reflections of how blessed we are when our health allows us to go jump on a golf cart and ride around dropping off little unexpected gifts. It is a day of realizing that we can get out of what we might be expecting from others and begin too reach out and be a blessing to those who might have just lost a spouse, or is new to a neighborhood. It is a day to allow others to see us for who we are…people with struggles, maybe just like theirs. Next Valentines cannot come fast enough. My desire is that I will not wait until Feb to reach out to others, but to look for the opportunities as they come to be a encourager, a light and point others to the Lord praying that “they may know Him by our love.”.