Valentines Day, the day of love. I’ve thought about this post over the last few days so forgive me if its a jumbled mess.
Valentines Day has a different meaning to me now than it did when I was in my early twenties and early thirties. As I was getting our little loves gifts prepared I could not help but to think back to my two oldest kids last Valentine’s Day with their father (my ex-husband) He was not around much leading up to the end of our marriage. He was a nurse and was always “working” so he spent many nights away from home. I knew what was going on, I just didn’t want to admit that my marriage was over. So when he was not around the first few weeks in February that year, I didn’t think much of it. I remember making the kids baskets that year, almost as large as the ones kids get on Easter. I made sure they had candy, and movies, coloring books, and even a new outfits. I wanted them to know that I loved them, they needed to know someone loved them. So I went overboard. At that point I was still covering up for him and that even included all things involving our kids. I finished up the baskets and had them setting in the middle of the living room floor so the kids would see them first thing as the came in from school. I went to take a shower before they came in so we could spend the evening doing whatever they wanted. When I was finished and came back into the living room, there he sat. The kids walked in and immediately ran to the baskets. They were all excited when they opened up their gifts and then they opened the cards and read “Happy Valentines Day Love Dad” He had placed cards in the baskets while I was gone. I had not bought cards for them. In their eyes he had come home with these amazing gifts for them just in time for Valentines Day. I was so angry with him, but never said a word to the kids. He packed a bag a few hours later and was gone again. Later that month the kids and I moved out, and I filed for divorce, not because of that but for many other reasons.
Jump forward a few years and I am now married to my husband. I love him dearly, however he is not one to celebrate birthdays much less holidays. Every now and then he will surprise me on a holiday, take this past Christmas for example. We had agreed to not get each other anything, but I knew he needed a new coffee pot. Not a great Christmas gift I know, but I knew he would use it. So when he told me to open up my gifts ( that’s gifts not gift) I was completely shocked. He had bought me a new laptop (which I am typing on now) and an autographed Brett Favre jersey (I’m a huge Green Bay Packer Fan) to hang in my Green Bay Room. He didn’t have to but he did out of love. Kind of made the coffee pot look a little silly but hey he loved it. And then there was last Sunday where I needed some me time, so he watched the kids while I went and seen the movie Lion. It’s the little things. So when Valentines Day rolled around and I only got a kiss on the forehead with a “Love you more” that was okay.
Back to the kids, Diva and wild man were both excited for their class parties at their new schools. My husband had went and picked up Valentine’s Day treats for their classes because our little Elmo was sick and I didn’t want to take him out. The kids worked on their boxes and signed the cards to make sure they fit the right friend. They worked on their Valentine’s Day things for two days.
Then the county school board calls. ” Classes in the county will be closed Monday and Tuesday next week due to the number of kids out with the flu” The kids were heartbroken. They really wanted to give out their Valentines to their new friends. So on Tuesday I got up and we made cupcakes for their daddy, something to keep their mind off of not being at school celebrating with their friends. We had frosting all over the place, but they had fun. The school board called that evening and said that school would be back on a regular schedule the next day and all parties would take place Wednesday. They were excited. They got up, got dressed, ate breakfast and headed to school. By noon wild man was sent home with a high fever, his party was scheduled for 2 he was heartbroken again. He came home and fell asleep on the couch.
My husband called around 4 and said he was stuck at a job sight and he would not be able to pick up diva from dance practice, so I loaded all the kids up and went to get her. When I got their her instructor told me that diva was not acting like herself. By 6 last night all five of our little loves were sick. Three with high fevers and two with diarrhea. By 6:15 one of our new friends from church was texting me asking what was going on? We were not at small group at church, obviously so she knew something was wrong. Our new group of friends started praying for us as soon as they heard what was going on. I called my husband and gave him a list of “must haves” from the store before he came home. He walked in around 8 and jumped into help with bath time and bed times. The night was long and the kids were sleepless. The fevers went up and down, a two of the five were up throwing up here and there, and I felt like crying and did so. Then at 2:48 this morning I heard a noise coming from our daughters room. At first I thought the baby was babbling in her sleep but then I realized it was someone singing. I went in to see what was going on. Diva was laying in her bed singing along with the radio “Thy Will be done, Thy Will be done, Thy Will be done” The song Thy Will by Hillary Scott and the Scott Family. I asked what she was doing and she said “I’m practicing so I can sing as pretty as you do in the car” And I cried again.
Even through her sickness she was was praising God. Some of the lyrics of that song: “It’s hard to count it all joy distracted by the noise just trying to make sense of all your promises”and “I know you see me, I know you hear me, Lord Your plans are for me Goodness you have in store” As she sang the words rang so true. If she could praise God at almost three in the morning, so could I. I thought about life, my life. Ten years ago I did not see myself celebrating love on Valentines Day, I felt no one loved me and all alone. I did not see God’s Will for my life. This year I have a husband who adores me, kids for love me, friends who worry about me, and a Lord that died for me. I am blessed so blessed. So what if Valentine’s Day did not turn out the way I had wanted. I am exactly where He planned on me being. I did not know that my life would be like this ten years ago. I did not know the true meaning of love. It’s not about the gifts or how much you spend, its about the simple things like forehead kisses, running to the store after an extra long shift at work to pick up Gatorade for the little ones, its calling or texting a friend just to check to see if they are okay, and being dead tired but running a bubble bath at 11pm because your sick little one needs one. My daughters sweet angelic voice reminded me of that. Yes the day was overwhelming and I was stressed. Yes I felt helpless and alone while my husband was at work and I was here with all my sick little loves, but the truth is we are never alone. God is always with us. And He reminded me of that through her singing.
Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love. Love from your spouse, love from your kids, love from your friends, but most importantly its about the love from God. Even if you are alone or feel alone on days like Valentine’s day we are not, He is always with us. He will never leave us. When we feel unwanted or unloved or unappreciated that’s when He loves us most Go to Him and let Him show you. We are all worthy of His love. In our darkest times we must look for His light. Father God, thank you for the sweet music in the wee hours this morning. Thank you for allowing diva and I to share that precious moment together. Thank you for your strength and comfort but mostly thank you for your unfailing love.
From our beautiful chaos to yours Let His Will be done in your life. You may not understand why you are going through a storm in life right now, but in ten years you will look back and say ” Thank you Jesus for your Will on my life. Thank you for getting in through the storms and delivering me here. ”