We're not huge on Valentine's Day around here. Jamy's tendency is to buck the Hallmark-created holiday and chuckle at all the schmucks that get pulled into buying expensive horrible chocolates in large cardboard hearts. (*gasp* we live in Kansas City where half our friends work for Hallmark as writers and photographers!)
But now we have kids who adore it. Making Valentine's boxes and bags to collect their Valentine's from their classmates. Getting their list of friends and choosing the perfect princess or sports ball Valentine for each one. Carefully signing their name and picking their favorites to save for their teacher and mommy and daddy.
So, we have been sucked in. We survived the chaos during high school and college and certainly can survive it through our kids as well. And I've decided to embrace it.Taking the cue from my dear friend Tracie and their new tradition, we have also instituted "Family Love Day" around here.
Instead of the sentimental, over-the-top meaningless gifts, I wanted my kids and Jamy to know how much they are loved. By me and more importantly by their Heavenly Father loves them unconditionally and without limit.
They each woke up to 14 hearts on their door with reasons why I love them. Jamy and I created the kids together and I surprised Jamy with his own hearts from me.
Here's just a few:
I love to watch you dance
I love listening to the way you tell stories
I love your imagination
I love playing soccer with you
I love your belly laugh
I love your compassionate heart
I love the way you provide for our family
I love that you make me laugh
I love your servants heart
Our Family Love Day will celebrate our love for each other. But I want my kids to start grasping a love so much deeper than the broken kind of love we see around us represented today by over-sized teddy bears and roses.
Last night Jamy and I read this together from Scotty Smith's Everyday Prayers:
Only your love is better than life, Jesus. Only your love meets the deepest needs of my whole being and satisfies my most intense longings. Only your love is unwavering, Jesus, for all other loves are filled with conditions and contingencies. Only your love is unfailing, Jesus for all other loves are fickle and finite.
Only your love can expose and replace my idols. Only your love can break my self-indulgent chains and set me free to love well. Only your love can heal the greatest heart-wounds I carry. Only your love can move me from navel-gazing to kingdom living...
This is my prayer for my family today:
So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith - that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with the fullness of God. Ephesians 3: 17-19
We're celebrating this kind of love this year, praying it overflows into our marriage, into our family, and into our world...