It’s Valentine’s Day. That one day a year where the world supposedly focuses on love.
Hearts and flowers. Chocolates and stuffed animals proclaiming “I Love You.” Sentimental greeting cards gushing with words of affection. The aisles in the stores are full of these items.
All to proclaim love for the one who receives the gift. For some, those gifts truly make their hearts sing. For the receivers. And for the givers. Those folks who claim giving gifts or receiving them as their love language are feeling mighty good about all of these Valentine goodies.
For me, those things don’t matter. If you give me a gift, I’ll be appreciative that you spent the time thinking of me and I will thank you profusely. But gifts don’t really float my boat. They’re nice. They’re lovely. They often are extremely thoughtful. But they don’t necessarily bring joy to my heart.
Several years ago, I asked my husband to stop spending money on gifts for me, especially on Valentine’s Day. Flowers fade and die. My black thumb kills plants.
My expanding waistline doesn’t need chocolate candy. Greeting cards pile up and then what do you do with them? Throw them away.
Jewelry is lovely, but honestly, I have enough. Trinkets proclaiming love just clutter up the house and I certainly don’t need anything more to dust. I’m not a foodie, so even going out for a nice dinner doesn’t make my heart swell with appreciation.
So Valentine’s Day gifts just aren’t my thing. I’d rather my true love do one or both of these ways that show love – spend engaged time with me either at home or on an adventure or do some act of service for me. And after all of these years of marriage, the Papa of this empty nest, finally gets it.
Love, for me, is showing me you care with actions. Listening to me. Being there when I need you in good times and bad. Through thick and through thin. You know, that for better or for worse thing that so many of us married folks said in our wedding vows.
Years ago, before carpal tunnel and arthritic hands, I enjoyed doing cross stitch projects. The photo above is a piece of that kind of embroidery I completed a long time ago and is an insert on a wooden shelf that has hung on our entry hall wall ever since.
It simply says love abides. And isn’t that the truth? Real, honest to goodness love does abide. Love, no matter what day it is whether it’s Valentine’s Day or just any old Thursday, is what carries us through life.
My Valentine’s wish for you is that you find and keep that kind of love. And you share it with those around you.
Happy Valentine’s Day to all my readers.
“Love is what carries you, for it is always there, even in the dark, or most in the dark, but shining out at all times like gold stitches in a piece of embroidery.” ~ Wendell Berry