Home friends DAY 14: LOVE DAY


February 15, 2017

Happy Valentine’s Day! I’ll keep this short and sweet and let these little bursts of love and hope and goodness speak for themselves. Maybe the INTENSE commercialism of ACTUAL February-14th-Valentine’s-Day itself irks you from time to time. Maybe you feel cynical that it’s a day only for couples, or that its all about boosting flower and chocolate sales, etc. Maybe it feels like we’re getting caught up in those things and forgetting the actual love. To be fair, though, love absolutely CAN be expressed through those things. (Like Reeses Hearts. ESPECIALLY Reeses Hearts.)  But it takes so many other forms, every single day, and what I love about the Day of Love is that it holds a metaphorical magnifying glass to the small moments and opportunities we have each day to show love and to see love. It’s a special day because it’s a day of recognition, but the love itself is there every day. No matter who you are, where you are, or what your life is like. Here’s some love people found today, and I hope it helps you feel the meaning and magic of this day, too:

“In keeping with this year’s theme (lowered expectations) my acts of love were – listen to all the Valentine’s Day stories from the 5th grade with a smile, make dinner even though I had clients here all day, and bring my sweetie a Mountain Dew to start his day.”

“I work downtown next to the homeless shelter in Salt Lake City, meaning I have seen my fair share of very crazy things happen. Our security guard reminds us every day to walk fast, don’t engage with the homeless population, and never walk alone. Needless to say, it puts you on guard. Today as I was pulling out of the parking garage I waved a woman past my car. She misunderstood and approached my window. There was dirt and afternoon frost etched into her wrinkles, she had missing teeth, and looked genuinely mortified to approach me. She shyly asked for me for any money I could spare. The car behind me honked but I fiddled with my purse and handed her all the cash that I had and wished her a happy Valentine’s Day. She offered me the smallest and most earnest “God bless you” in return. Love was what she needed today, not suspicion. I feel blessed I was able to give her that today.”

“Today, I helped my daughter find a sweatshirt to wear to school, I was 30% less sarcastic in my college class, and I haven’t gotten angry with anyone all afternoon. Doesn’t sound like much, but it was a stretch for me!”

“My husband is the sweetest. He is always doing stuff for me and thinking of what else I need and what else he can do to make my life easier or happier. And today we were both incredibly busy with no time for Valentine’s Day stuff. But on my way home from work, I stopped by the store real quick and bought him his favorite cereal, some sparkling cider for us to share and some heart sticky notes so I could write him some notes. And I just left it on our table so he would see when he came home. It was fun to be able to show him a little of the love back that he shows to me, and to be able to brighten his very busy, calculus homework filled day. Even though it was just a box of cereal and some sparkling cider. It made my day so much brighter.”

“Today, we went to our favorite place to eat – not just because the food is amazing, because it is, but because we love the owners so much. They’re from Southern Italy and their restaurant is so tiny and humble. It’s honestly in a terrible location, but they survive because they are so wonderful. We just want them to be successful so bad. Their family deserves it. I didn’t really do anything different buying our sandwich tonight, I gave him the usual tip and everything. But I consciously tried really hard to show my gratitude and love for their family and their little place in my smile and my eyes. I tried to make my usual “thank you” mean that much more. I hope they felt it.”

“I stopped by a girl sitting alone in the hallway and told her that she looked great today (I could tell that she had dressed up for Valentines Day) and wished her a wonderful Valentines Day. She smiled. I hope it made her a day a bit brighter!”

“At work today, I had about 15 minutes of down time which never happens. I’ve been going through A LOT lately, and if I’m honest, I’ve had more bitter feelings at times towards my Heavenly Father than I ever have in my life. I’ve felt so hurt and confused… If I’m praying and praying and praying and doing everything right, why am I not feeling better yet? When will I feel better? Why do I feel so hopeless and alone? Where is God? During those spare 15 minutes today, all I wanted to do was scroll on my phone and numb the racing thoughts I’ve been having. Instead, I tidied my work space and made sure I had privacy and then I knelt in prayer. At first it was awkward, and then it was like someone cracked my heart open like an egg. I felt enveloped in love. I didn’t feel all the way better and I didn’t feel my trials completely removed, but I felt so loved. I felt like God felt love from me that I was even willing to try. And in turn, I thought of the poem Footprints and realized that even though life is not easy, I am still moving forward. And I am moving forward not because of my own strength, because He is carrying me.”

“Today, a woman stopped me on the street to ask if I had 50 cents. I stopped and checked my wallet, but all I had was cash so I gave her $1. And I never worried that she was going to mug me or judgmentally considered what she might need the money for or even really cared that she looked like she may or may not need it. I just saw a person asking for a small help that I could give.”

“A group of teenagers walked past my van. One girl was lugging around a dozen red roses and a giant teddy bear. ‘High school love,’ I thought to myself. Grown up love is waiting patiently in the car with three children while their sister finishes up practice on their school’s production of Twelfth Night.”

“I posted our pregnancy announcement tonight. It said: ‘To say we’re excited would be an understatement. Real talk though: Part of me just couldn’t wait to post this because we’re THRILLED, but part of me was afraid too. Afraid of being judged and criticized for having a baby so quickly after getting married. Afraid of what people would be thinking about when they saw this. Because this was never my plan. But when we got married and started thinking and praying about having kids, the answer was, “start now.” And to be real, it was at least a week of just feeling pure terror and lots of crying. But I’ve come to realize that so much of my life has strayed from “my plan” and those parts of my life have been the most beautiful and rewarding parts. So here I am, married for 6 months, 3 months pregnant, planning to start my master’s program the week after my due date, and no longer afraid. No longer afraid of everything that having this baby means and no longer afraid of what people will think because of it. Just happy. Happy to be where I am with who I’m with and happy to be where I know God wants me to be.'”

“My five-year-old niece Aaralyn called to wish me a happy Valentine’s Day this morning, so I took her flowers and she was so ecstatic. She said, ‘These smell so good!’ She carried them around with her the entire time I was there… So adorable.”

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