The Choices of Valentine's Day
When was the last time you loved Valentine's Day? For me, it was elementary school. Lord's Park Elementary. Right behind my back yard.
I had the coolest teacher, Mr. Davis. And I had the coolest mom. Well, kind of. Our task as little 5th graders was to make ourselves a mail box. A Valentine's mail box. You know, for all the valentines you would be receiving from your classmates.
My mom was the coolest because, well, I don't like to brag, but my mailbox was AMAZING! It was decorated with the usual valentine colors (pinks and reds) and cut out hearts. I'm not gonna lie - I was the envy of the 5th grade.
She was kind of the coolest because no matter what kind of valentines she bought me to give away - there was always a cooler set. One year it was generic and there was a snoopy set or Strawberry Shortcake or a Barbie set I'd rather have. Yes, I realize that the boys wouldn't care about these - but my love language is gifts and my valentines needed to be perfect.
As I've gotten older, I've had seasons of loving Valentine's Day and wanting it to be cooler - just like my cards in the 5th grade. As a never-been-married single girl, this day on the calendar can feel like a day for couples. Actually a day with 364 more days for couples. Over the years I've fluctuated from embracing it to ignoring it.
And whether you are coupled or uncoupled (to use a term in the tabloids), we all need to decide how we are going to approach this Hallmark holiday.
Life coaching is all about choices. I didn't realize that when I first started my training. But the foundation of coaching is that we get to create the life we're living - a life we love - by making one choice at a time.
We choose how we show up in the world. We choose the habits that form our days. We choose how we will approach Valentine's Day - it's that simple.
What I've discovered about choices is that they have the power to change your life.
So this Valentine's Day - I'm all about my choices...
Choose to Buck Convention
So, i'm single. It's no secret. And quite honestly, we single gals like to celebrate like the next married person. So we want to go out for dinner with a friend on Valentine's Day. But...
Is it weird for two friends to celebrate Valentine's Day? (This is an actual conversation I am having with a friend, no lie!) Won't it be all couples out celebrating their love? (To my married friends: STOP LAUGHING).
Anywho, no matter what our stage of life - married, single, or somewhere in between- Valentine's may look different than the ones portrayed on the Hallmark Hall of Fame movies. It's okay. Embrace different. Embrace messy. Choose to celebrate.
It does not matter what is "supposed" to happen. Choose to celebrate the way you want to with those who are important. Have dinner with your honey, your friend, total strangers or your dog. Choose to not give in to the usual expectations and set new expectations.
Okay, I'm done with that one now...
Choose to Be Generous
Some of my more awkward Valentine's Day years were in high school Did your high school do this? You could secretly buy flowers for your friends, your boyfriend/girlfriend, or your whoever and the student council would deliver them during class. (Just an aside: I'm sure our teachers hated this).
Every year I anticipated their arrival. Would I get a flower? Did someone remember me? I'm sure there may have been one year - but I can't remember it. I just remember NOT receiving the flower.
Flash forward 30 years - and I don't receive that much candy or flowers today either. Mostly because I don't date much, but whatever.
My best Valentine's Days as a single girl is when I get to give it away. When I buy gifts for my friends and loved ones. When I look for special cards for people. When I see Valentine's Day not as a reminder that I'm single (still), but as an opportunity to love others and surprise them with super-fun gifts (it's my love language, remember?)
Generous can be a gift, but it can also be a note of encouragement, a phone call, or an act of service. Whatever you do - give it away.
Choose to Trust God
Whatever place you are in on Valentine's Day, God is the author of your place. I don't know where you are at - but I know my place. And to be honest, I wouldn't have chosen it for my 47th Valentine's Day.
God is bigger than Valentine's Day. God is bigger than the circumstance that might make you dread this day like challenges in your marriage, a child who is lost at the moment, or a disagreement with extended family.
What I've learned along the way is that God cares more about your heart than He does about the status of your relationships or the lack there of.
Lately, God has been speaking to me in themes. And one theme, which I heard from Angie Smith, was this: What is the posture of your heart toward God?
And whether your honey is prone to forget Valentine's Day or you find yourself ordering up a table for one again, God is the one who is wooing your heart. God is the one who loves you for who you are on the inside. God has already given you the best Valentine.
What if we changed our perspective about who Valentine's Day was really for? What if we choose not to focus on what we don't have and instead focus on what we have in Christ. What if we placed a priority, this Valentine's Day, on our commitment to love God with all our hearts, souls, and minds?
I don't know what your plans are for Sunday. I don't know if you are facing Valentine's Day with anticipation or dread or boredom. Whatever place you are in this year, may it be one in which you choose to celebrate, be present in your relationships, and trust God as the author of those relationships.