What is there not to like about a day filled with chocolate, love, and lots and lots of pink? As a kid, I loved celebrating Valentines Day for many reasons. I loved creating little gifties for all my classmates and excitedly placing those gifties in everyone's personal "mailboxes" at their desks. I loved that I could draw extra hearts on the card that I would place in the "mailbox" of my interest of the moment, and he would never know I drew more hearts on his card than the other boys. And I loved opening a box of candy hearts and giggling as I read each and every message; eating all the girly colored ones first because "duh" the green ones taste totally gross compared to the delicious pink ones. As I grow older, Valentines Day seems less necessary and slightly silly. Do I really need to be reminded to tell my husband I love him? Or even worse, does he need to be reminded to tell me he loves me? Eek I sure hope not! Regardless, I still tend to have high expectations for Valentines Day. And I also think specifically on this day, the Lord gently, or maybe not so gently, finds ways to bring me back to reality. I will illustrate this belief for you with a few stories of past Valentines Days. And yes, I do laugh when I think about these memories now.
Valentines Day of eighth grade was one for the books. How about a break up to say I like you? Yes, I was dumped on Valentines Day by my first "love." Eighth grade and love probably shouldn't be said in the same sentence but it totally felt like it was love in that hormonal 13 year old brain of mine.
First year of college, my Valentines Day was spent wallowing in my sorrows. Jarrett had left for basic training only a week earlier. Walking back from my classes, I grew angrier and angrier with every sight of a kiss or bouquet of flowers being delivered to lucky girls. I walked with a mission back to my room with a frown so nasty I could hear my mom saying, "You better turn that frown upside down otherwise it may stick like that forever!" Tears were welling up in my eyes as I opened the door to my lonely jail cell of a dorm room. There sitting on my desk was a single pink rose. A sweet gift courtesy of my wonderful roommate. "You are loved," she wrote. I immediately felt so loved despite the absence of my sweetheart. I also felt like a complete imbecile and drama queen...but that I was not foreign to.
My first Valentines Day as a wife; boy did I have high expectations. I spent most of the morning spinning the wheels in my brain. I hope Jarrett does this and this and oh goodness I will be so heartbroken if Jarrett doesn't do...Oh how I despise the drama queen in me. I hopped into my Taurus aka Rosie and headed towards the local community college where I was taking a few classes. My radio was blaring and so were the thoughts in my head when I suddenly heard another not so lovely sound blaring. "Is that? No it can't be coming from my car...wait, why does it sound like I'm driving a race car when I step on the gas pedal?" Hmmm...interesting. Why is my speedometer slowing going down 70...60...50..40...? Oh ya and did I mention I'm in the far left lane of a FIVE LANE FREEWAY!! To make a long story short, I managed to coast across five lanes of freeway, coast off an offramp, and park safely on the side of the road in a not so good area of town. I called a tow truck and eventually learned that my transmission had taken its last breath. In the end, I got a ride home from the sweet owner of the transmission shop and I walked my disappointed self to the local Walgreens where I managed to spend $40 on ridiculous Valentines Day crap for Jarrett. I think I even managed to buy him a little teddy bear inside a blown up plastic ball...? I had so many expectations but in the end, I was just so happy to get a hug from my husband after such a horrible day. God's not so stealth way of reminding me what was important.
So in honor of Valentines Day, may your day be filled with lots of love with little expectations. It's always more fun that way anyways.