As the name of my blog indicates, I spend a lot of time thinking about home. Of course, my Heavenly Home is the one that is eternal, so that’s where I need to lay up my treasures, and that’s the one I’m striving for. But in the meantime, I have been given this tiny piece of the here-and-now—this home on the edge of town, this family, this neighborhood—in which to serve Him. And, though this is in the earthly realm, I want the things that happen here to be investments in the Heavenly realm.




Wednesday, February 14, 2018

My Valentine


It was our very first Valentine's Day as husband and wife, and I was sorely disappointed! 

I had had high expectations. Surely my new hubby had some sort of romantic plan for this special day. After all, when we were dating, he had given me sweet cards, a locket, perfume, and candy. He would certainly do no less now that we were married!

Oh, but he did.

Nothing. 

I was working that year as a teaching assistant. As I sat in the teachers' lounge on my break, all the ladies were talking about their flowers and candy and cards and plans for dinner . . . and I, the newlywed, had nothing to share. I was not a happy woman.




Over the years, we have both learned a bit about expectations, and about what makes the other one happy. And it's not all about romance or jewelry or flowers. It's more about caring and sacrifice and faithfulness. Those are the gifts that last. Those are the gifts that count.


So this Valentine's Day, thirty-nine years later, Ron brought me flowers and a mushy card. I gave him a mushy card too, along with a coffee gift card. I prepared some "man food": beef stew, one of his favorite dishes. All four of us sat down to dinner (right after Ron rotated the tires on his truck, because #reallife), enjoying lit candles and pretty flowers and "man food" and chocolate for the girls. A simple celebration, but special because our love is a real life love.


The best gifts are not those which can be purchased.

The best gifts are things like building book shelves and painting closets. Running to the store on a Sunday morning because I forgot something that I need for dinner. Being a good provider. Treating my parents like they are his parents. Giving sacrificially. Serving the Lord faithfully.

That is my Valentine.



33 comments:

  1. Nice valentines post about love in your marriage and that last photo of the two of you is perfect on this day.

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  2. Such a great reminder of what love is really about. I had something happen tonight that brought home exactly what you are saying. Normally Terry would bring me flowers and we would have some kind of special dinner in or out each year. Tonight it was different. We had a wake to go to for one of his firefighters 58 years old that died suddenly this past weekend leaving a wife and three kids. They did the bell ceremony to call the firefighter home and then each of the firefighters walked past the casket to salute and say good bye to their firefighter brother. It was so emotional and sad for me. I thought this is not a way to celebrate Valentines Day. Then as we left the funeral home we were so hungry and the first place we saw to grab something was McDonalds. So there we were eating a hamburger and fries in the car on the drive home from this very sad night. Then Terry looked over at me and said I am the luckiest man to be able to share this night along side of you and not to be laying in a casket without you by my side to share this Valentines Day. Being able to share the time together is the greatest gift. So while we don't always have the "Hallmark" type of Valentines Day we have the gift of each other.
    Hugs,
    Kris

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    1. Oh, thank you for sharing this story, Kris! Your husband's heartfelt words, and time cherished over hamburgers and fries . . . yes, that is the real gift. {{Hugs}} back.

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    2. Kris, your husband's wirds brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing.

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  3. I love that phrase "our love is a real life love". I think that's the best kind of love to appreciate. That dinner looks so good!

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    1. I agree, Ellen . . . that's the best kind!

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  4. Sometimes I say that I’d love to know the rest of the story. In this case, I’d love
    to know the in between of the story.

    This evening, I was so relieved when my son dropped a small box of gourmet chocolates off
    to know that he had a bouquet of flowers for his wife. Phew! Some things
    really must be ticked off “the list.” (I imagine that I had my chocolates because
    my daughter-in-law mentioned me. ☺️)

    So true what you say about the measures of love. A man who is kind to his
    parents-in-law and who knows how to “do” things... is far more to be cherished
    over the flowers and other things. Though, really, there’s just no reason men can’t
    multi-task. ��

    Sounds as if you enjoyed the perfect Valentine’s Day!

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    1. Vee, the "in between" is a whole lot of learning!

      I am glad that your loving son brought you a box of chocolates. Even if it was prompted by your daughter-in-law. They are a team, so it counts for both!

      You know all about the "measures of love" for John was also that kind of a man. He cherished you, and you cherished him. That is so much to be grateful for! {{Hugs}} to you . . .

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    1. Hey, I can't even do emojis in comments on my laptop, so no worries! :)

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  6. The Milky Way candy bar my husband handed me suited me just fine :) We've talked over the flowers and boxes of candy over more than once. It's just not "us"! One Milky Way bar spoke my "love language". ♥

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    1. Perfect! Learning what things bring joy to the other is part of the love story!

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  7. What a sweet story! Love happens every day, not just on certain holidays. It is part of life.

    My dear husband is with Jesus, so I was here by myself, no new card or gift, but I was not alone as Jesus is with me. I have 'love' from my husband surrounding me in all that he did around here, in cards past, in flowers that grow in my gardens and in my memories.

    Thank you for sharing more of your marriage/life with us.

    Love & hugs ~ FlowerLady

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    1. Yes, love "is part of life." The love that you and your husband shared continues to live on. Thank you for sharing that.

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  8. This is real love! I have a similar story to my first married Valentine’s Day! But real love shows up every day!

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  9. So beautiful!!! I could have written this word for word! Now when he brings me flowers I hardly know how to react but it's nice and I don't take it for granted!

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    1. Thank you, Rosella! (Funny that we're married to the same guy, huh?) :)

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  10. Cheryl, I couldn't agree with you more. Flowers and candy are fine and nice but surely cannot take the place of what really matters most. It's keeping on keeping on when you feel like you just want to give up. It's working through pain and hurt feelings and getting to the other side of it. I have certainly gotten my share of flowers, gifts and candy but when they are given out of obligation, they basically mean nothing. And speaking of flowers and such, yours are quite beautiful...almost as beautiful as the message of your post.

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    1. Thank you, Debby! Marriage is all of those things you speak of . . . and yes, those are what matters most!

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  11. You have such a beautiful way with words. And ditto to all you said!

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    1. Thank you so much, Dotsie!
      You know what I am talking about, don't you?

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  12. I think my comment just disappeared. ANYway, as I was saying, I love this post. Real love takes time and commitment and patience and love and disappointment and forgiveness, and most of all, God's grace. Love those flowers. Stargazer lilies are my favorite.

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    1. Ugh. I lost my own comment yesterday! Replied, clicked "publish," and POOF! I looked later and it was nowhere to be seen.

      Soooo . . . yes, to all of those things, especially God's grace!

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  13. Cheryl!! THIS is a precious love defined post!!! God's grace is such a gift in our lives to help us understand what real love is and what maw-wage is all about. :-) Thank you for this spot on reminder. We love, because HE first loved us!!~tammy

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    1. Thank you, Tammy! Indeed, where would we be without His grace and love?!

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  14. Cheryl, I could have written this post, but not as beautifully as you, my friend. Real love is much more than what we expect, but what we have. Your flowers are so pretty and romantic from your Valentine. I adore the sweet photo of the two of you! ♥

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    1. Thanks so much, Martha Ellen! I love this: "Real love is much more than what we expect, but what we have." Yes! When we realize what we have, we are truly blessed!

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  15. Oh yes, love comes to us in so many ways ... if we only see/expect cards and flowers and chocolates as the only 'true' representation, we can miss it all. I'm so glad for your beautiful post. You share what love looks like in work-a-day clothes, and it speaks volumes if we listen.

    Wishing you a beautiful day, Cheryl...
    Brenda xox

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    1. Thank you, Brenda! I love your phrase: ". . . what love looks like in work-a-day clothes." And, yes, that is what we don't want to miss!
      A lovely day to you, too, friend!

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  16. Real love expressed every day in various ways means more to me than a box of candy or flowers once a year. Although I happily accept them if they come my way. :) Beautiful post, Cheryl. I agree with all of it. And I love your pretty table!

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    1. Thank you so much, Cheryl! (I accept them too! ~smile~)

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