Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Be Mine

I've always kind of snickered at Valentine's Day. I'm slowly warming up to it as I redefine it in my mind, but overall I still think it's kinda corny. "Buy your tacky arrangement of red roses and be romantic!" Um, no. That's not romantic.

It seems to me that the most romantic moments in my life have been simple times without the typical romantic atmosphere. The best kind of romance just happens. It's not forced.

On the other hand, I think there's more than one kind of romance, and a romantic life is not filled with flowers and lace and chocolate. It could be a hard life lived and shared together~ Two people working hard for the same purpose, clinging to each other in the highs and the lows, and fighting passionately for something more.

The best kind of romance is not a moment, but a story.

And if a romantic story is what I want, it will take work. Love doesn't stay in one place: It's either fading or growing stronger. Apathy, neglect, ingratitude, and the like can easily sneak into a relationship when things get comfortable. Relationships can't be taken for granted if they are to thrive or survive. Love takes work, but I believe it can be delightful work. My aim is to increase the ways in which I express affection, and to be purposeful in promoting the health of my marriage and relationships with those I love most.

Well anyway, I'm turning this post into something far beyond what I set out to do! All I really wanted to say is that this year I wanted to celebrate Valentine's despite the cheesiness. I wanted to surprise the kids with a fun little party during the day and then express my love for Jon with a little more romance than usual.

A couple weeks ago when I began planning what I wanted to do with the kids, I was envisioning an outdoor party. However, the weather turned cold and rainy over the weekend and I was forced to come up with something else. While the kids worked on school in the morning, I converted a little corner of the living room into a special little party spot. I wanted to make it special and something they weren't expecting. At one point while things were still coming together, Andrew commented that it looked like I was getting ready to have company over. "It looks so nice! Why are you doing this for us?" he asked. My point exactly. I need to do things more often that say, "Because you're special and I love you." That shouldn't be reserved just for company.

The kids helped me assemble platters of food, and I quickly decorated the cupcakes I had baked the night before. I told the kids to dress in whatever they thought was appropriate for a fancy party. Only one boy needed a little guidance. Not bad.

I was sort of expecting them to gobble up the food and run off (after all, I do have three boys), but we had such a nice time talking while slowly going from one course of treats to the next. No one was in a rush to move on, and it was an easy opportunity to talk about love and relationships. We talked about more serious things in between jokes. It was good for me to assess what they understand, to see an innocence that I want to protect, and to continue to lay the foundation for deeper conversations that will come in time. It was nice and light, yet purposeful.

(During our party the cloudy skies cleared and streams of sunlight poured in. It was lovely... and blinding!)

I think having the food on the coffee table helped to slow down the consumption of it, and prolonged our time together.

(Just love this little munchkin...)

(Olivia's been sick... no more fever, but still so low on energy.)

I asked Michael to take some pictures which included me because, after all, I was there too. He has been expressing an interest in photography, and I'm excited about learning together. The exposures are not quite right, but I'm glad for the memories.

(I love the spot of chocolate on Jack's cheek! Oh, and he's the best kisser of the bunch because he's still five! I do tell my boys that they are never too old to kiss their mother...)

I do hope that my kids will learn to be intentional and creative in the way they express affection. I want them to someday learn to be romantic because they saw it at home. Real romance, not obligatory cheese!

I was left with this lovely mess to quickly clean up before getting ready for my hot date!!

Jon and I have similar feelings regarding V-day, so the fact that he made arrangements for us to go out was unexpected... and a special gift was even more so. I'm thankful for a husband that is so thoughtful and who continues to pursue me years past our wedding day.

We talked and laughed. I don't know, but there was something very freeing about it all. We planned and dreamed as we discussed what we want for the future. We want to live side-by-side, purposeful in what we do, and cling together in the highs and the lows. The hard stuff of life is sometimes the most meaningful, and we want to do it together~ unafraid because we have the Lord. In the end it all seems very romantic to me.

I love you Jon!



  1. What a beautiful idea! Did you guys find a house and settle down now?

  2. Hi Nicole! Thanks for dropping by! We've not yet moved... still looking and waiting for the right thing! We feel pretty settled in the community, and this house will function as long as it is necessary.

    Hope you are well!

  3. Seriously, I hope to be as intentional as you are with my little one too. It is super encouraging to see the fun things that you do with your kids. It is so different to what I grew up with and so much more fun! I am really looking forward to doing it the Lord's way, by His grace. Thank you for sharing...x


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