From the Mouths of Babes…Valentines Day

We tried to make Valentines Day really special this year. The month of February we all memorized I Corinthians 13:4-8 and I John 4:7-11, and the hymn How Deep the Father’s Love for Us.

Our Love Tree. With a listing of all that love is, based on I Corinthians 13

Our Love Tree. With a listing of all that love is, based on I Corinthians 13

We learned about the history of St. Valentine. Then, on February 4, the kids found this sign in the kitchen:

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And each day, they would find a new heart on their door with something their mother loves about them [Can I just HIGHLY recommend doing something like this, especially if you are struggling with appreciating your children, ahem, I mean, not that I don’t always appreciate them, of course. But writing out their good qualities does something to a mother’s heart in thankfulness for the great things about them, and somehow lifts one above the complaining spirits or the bickering or the fact that they always forget to do their chores, and it enables us to see beyond the frustrations that can bog one down] So that by Valentine’s Day, their doors looked like this:

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And My sweet, loving husband, set out dark chocolates and flowers for me after I fell asleep (no huge feat, for I’m falling asleep around 8:30 pm these days). Which looked like this when I got up at 5:00 am to get water and set up the rest of the kid’s surprises (little boxes of chocolate, heart cookies, and waffle mix ready for the waffle maker).

My husband set up the table for me. Soon to be bombarded by the "results of our love".

My husband set up the table for me. Soon to be bombarded by the “results of our love”.

Danny's "Healthy Valentine" from me

Danny’s “Healthy Valentine” from me

After being up for a little while, I headed back to bed to doze for a few minutes before the masses came storming down our door.  It wasn’t long before I heard it….

“Moooommmmmmyyyyyyyy!!!!!!! Benjamin ate some of your chocolate from the table!!!! I see it on his face!”  Daniel Josiah our faithful, controlling, reporting son exposes the crime.

Then we hear Benjamin’s little voice at the door.

“No, I didn’t!!! No, I didn’t! Somebody….somebody….somebody just come put chocolate on my face!!”

And some people think children are born good, with pure hearts.

Well, we didn’t teach that child to LIE (and do a bad job of it) just to save himself from getting in trouble. No, I think that comes deep within. And its in all of us. And we all need a perfect Savior because of it.  A Savior who the real St. Valentine’s needed, and needed so badly that he was willing to die for Him.

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Valentine’s Day… two worlds apart

On Valentines Day, Danny and I were speakers for a large Christian school’s chapel.  They split the guys and girls up and we could have “heart to hearts” with the students. Now, I am a through and through “christian school kid”.  I know the walk, I know the talk, I know the things that most of the girls struggle with, I know the do’s and the don’ts. So as Danny and I separately breached the topic of purity, I knew the crowd and I could share very openly of my testimony, the story of God bringing Danny and me together, and the ways God mercifully kept us pure for one another.  BUT THEN, I had a Valentines Dinner for the girls in our neighborhood on Friday night.  We had about 15 seventh through twelfth grade girls there and we did a Bible study on love.  Then I basically shared what I had shared with the Christian school girls.  But boy was it HARD..I had the widest spectrum of backgrounds to contend with…everywhere from girls who were raised in Christian homes, to girls who were sexually abused IN their homes, to girls were already raising their own babies in their homes (he was the only boy allowed at the dinner :), all members of a community in which the definition of sexual purity is ‘not sleeping with another guy behind your boyfriend’s back’.  Several are not even Christians, and yet I was talking to them about one of the “rules” of Christianity???…or is it not a rule but a very tangible and vivid picture of the Gospel? The God who created the joy of sex, created it as a shadow of the joy we can have in fellowship with Him, fellowship that came about only through the self-sacrificing love of Christ. This Gospel is what is reaching hearts and changing lives. I could see it in their eyes as we meditated on what REAL love is, according to God. I could see it in their smiles as I shared about how Danny (the most tangible exhibit of grace in my life) wooed my heart, I could hear it in their voice as a girl pulled me aside afterwards and said “Even though I’ve messed up in the past, this gives me hope to start over and trust God in the future”  PURITY! Because the Pure One came to purify.  PURITY! Because as Christians, the world we defy.  PURITY! something to give only to that special guy. PURITY!To receive the gift, and offer it back to the Most High