Valentine's Day and Perspective

In recent years, I've noticed an overwhelming cynicism grow over the commercialization of Valentine's day by coupled people. I've noticed single people lamenting being alone on this day. I've noticed apathy and hatred and overall just a negative attitude thrown towards Valentine's Day. It's just around the corner now and recently I was contacted by a friend about making some plans for the big day.

There might have been a time when I would have been the lonely and hurting single gal who hated Valentine's Day. In fact, I was for a brief few years, except I covered it up with sarcasm and classic 'poo-poo, I don't care' attitude when inside it was hurting me that I didn't have what I thought I should. Then God showed me something different. Very different.

Valentine's Day is about love. Not just about the romantical kind.* What I had my eyes opened to was the way that God showed me HIS love for me on this day through the people around me. It was about changing my perspective. This morning I woke up and read this quote by Rachel Carson, "Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life." It reminded me of precisely where God has brought me to in recent years. Dwell on things good and beautiful, focus on the the good, the hopeful things and be thankful. It is in gratitude that we find happiness, contentment and peace.

I know I am blessed beyond measure because on Valentine's Day I never feel alone. My dad has faithfully served the girls in our family (My mom and sisters in law) on Valentine's Day by showering us with gifts, cards and sincere love. He never fails to include me on dinner dates out with the love of his life on Valentine's day, because I'm his second valentine. My brothers, too, have faithfully loved me through the years with flowers, meaningful cards and sweet gifts. Now they have transferred this care to my sweet little nephews so I get more sweet cards with toddler handwriting addressed with love to Aunt Mandi. I don't know about you, but these things are enough to make me feel loved, not alone and treasured on that day of love.

Then my circle widens and God opened my eyes to people who never forget their single friend on Valentine's day. Friends who, in spite of distance, sparse communication, or busy-ness of life, never fail to remember me via texts, calls, cards in the mail, email, and special surprise gifts of chocolate, flowers or books or gift cards (they know my heart). Friends like Stephanie & Matthew, Lauren, Jaime, Becky, Betsy, Holly, my two Aimees, Kim, & others. Each year, the list grows or shifts slightly, but faithfully, not a year goes by that God does not send special love to me through those who love me. I'm so thankful for this gift.

My name means "beloved" and I never fail to feel that way from those who surround my heart and know me best on Valentine's day. So, no, I do not fall into the category of girls who loathe this holiday. I enjoy it. I actually have come to anticipate the fun surprises that inevitably come. Whether it's a gloriously beautiful sunrise, or a free coffee or just a special hug from someone who loves me, or a sweet little hand made card from a kid from church...I love them all and it excites me to think that it's starting in about a week!


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