Happy (almost) Valentine’s Day! While praying over what to write about for my blog entry this month, I kept coming up blank. Perhaps the pressure of posting on Valentine’s Day was getting in my head! I considered writing about love, marriage, friendship, and similar topics related to this Hallmark holiday; however, every subject that came to my mind fell flat in my heart.
When preparing for my blog entries, I pray about what God wants me to write about. When I am going through challenges in my life, I pray writing about them brings clarity to me. I pray sharing my difficulties allows others to feel they are not alone in their experiences and/or feelings. When topics of interest come to mind or when the Lord speaks to me, I take notes down in my phone to expand upon at later times. I was getting into crunch time (ok, let’s be honest; I was past my submission date)! I started to question if I had missed God’s voice. So, instead of going into worry mode, I kept faith my soul would stir up something to write about! Who knew a cancellation of school would spark an idea?!
We had had a FRIGID week in Indiana with negative temperatures and wind chills as low as -38 degrees, and due to the dangerous cold, school was canceled for three days straight! We had cabin fever and were up to our eyeballs in “e-learning” activities.
We needed a break, so we decided to start our Valentine’s Day crafts. The last couple of years, my girls and I have made homemade crafts to mail to our family. We scoured Pinterest for ideas and settled on a finger paint and photo craft. We wrote out our list of recipients; 10 crafts were needed. At this point, I could see my oldest start to squirm. My six-year-old daughter was getting anxious about how long it might take to make 10 crafts and was worried that her three-year-old little sister might paint on “her side.” After the concerns were expressed, I will admit, I let fear creep in too! What if the girls just fight? What if they lose interest and I have to complete the crafts? What if I lose my patience?
Then, I thought about the faces of my children’s grandparents when they open up homemade presents. My focus shifted from the actual task to having an attitude of thanksgiving. How THANKFUL I am for our families and friends who love us! God placed the people we needed in our lives! Small actions and words of gratitude for them was the least I could do! So, the spark for this blog—and a learning opportunity—ensued.
My girls and I sat down and compiled a list of supplies we had and items we needed to purchase. I talked about how thankful we are for our family and how spending time together, saying kind words to each other, and even making crafts are a great way to share our love and appreciation towards our loved ones. We had a great conversation about all the sacrifices our loved ones make for us and the ways they love on us—relatives driving hundreds of miles to never miss a birthday party, family mailing gifts for every special occasion and taking the time to know what our girls’ interests are, grandparents who invite our girls to visit and stay over or who help babysit so we can get a night out…. Many times, even at 2:00 am, our families have dropped everything to be by our side in times of need. ALWAYS WILLINGLY. The list could go on! We have been incredibly blessed with a tight-knit family! We love them far beyond a fingerprint photo!
I wrapped up our conversation with this: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV). We discussed that joy doesn’t come from material/earthly things but in our relationship with Jesus, and when we feel the tug on our hearts to do or say something nice, that is Jesus asking us to make a connection—just as our valentines will make a connection of love between us and our family. We talked about praying to God, thanking Him for the people He has placed in our lives, and praying over their well-being. We ended on acknowledging that being thankful is a choice. Thankfulness is an act we must practice. Thankfulness is important to keeping a positive perspective and allows us to understand the phrase “blessed to be a blessing”!
The conversation eased my oldest daughter, Letti, who said, “It’s ok if Sissy gets paint on my side. She is just little! Our family will love it no matter what!” With thankful hearts, we got to work and were excited to share our love through fingerprints!
Just because it’s almost Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean it is too late to share your love. As I am in the stage of herding young people, my family has gotten quite used to us being late! Ha Ha!
Check back on Thursday, Feb 14th for Part 2 of this entry! I will have directions and pictures for our “Hearts Soar” craft!