I remember that red felt covered shoe box, the one with the red and white gingham heart around the slip for valentine cards. Oh and let me not forget the ruffles around the heart. And the white grosgrain ribbon with multi-color hearts lining the bottom of the box. The perfect valentine box. Made the night before the big day by none other than my Mom (of the year:))! She pulled it off with flying colors. I waited until the last minute and to my surprise she had all the supplies to make this beauty for the fifth grade valentine exchange. Can you imagine that these days…no pinterest or google, just creativity and materials? Originality. I saved that box for years. It was still as pretty to me as it was the night we put it together. And while I no longer have the box, the memory and experience of love remain. The vision of a big heart with a hole in the middle just waiting to have love slipped right in! Thanks, Mom!
As we celebrate the “love month” I pray we do so with our first love. “We love because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19 As I envision that beautiful heart with a hole in the middle, I see my own heart. I see the Lord filling it up with His “valentines or love letters” every morning, throughout the day, at night, as I join Him in His word. It IS the only love that truly fills your heart. The truth of God sorts out the brokeness that takes place in our hearts and sustains, heals, resurrects and RESTORES. Oh to be restored. Day after day he restores me. “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” Mark 12:30 Thanks, Jesus!
In fifth grade I needed my classmates to fill my heart to the brim with the love of valentine and truth be known that trend continued many, many years forward. Seeking love and acceptance from everyone except God. Well, okay, I would send up a prayer here and there, but I did not allow His love to sink in very deeply. Oh wait, there is no condemnation , there is forgiveness (1 John 1:9) , there is love (1John 4:7) and there is POWER, wonder working power in the name of Jesus. Don’t let the enemy stop your progress by having you look back at your past and get stuck. The love I ran to, ran from, ended up always running dry. Why? Because it’s never going to be enough. If you are hurting right now, let Him fill your heart and soul with living water that never runs dry. It’s a well that is available at all times. He longs for us to just come. Let Him be your first love. And the rest follows suit!
Valentine’s Day is one day. We get to celebrate Christ’s love for us and our love for Him for the next three hundred and sixty four more..and then start all over. His love is eternal. Never ending. Never breaking up. Never forsaking. Always restoring. Maybe this year you could make your own valentines. Now, I don’t mean jump on pinterest and get all inspired I mean, grab an index card, a post-it note, a piece of paper, on your hand if you must….write down scripture. Slip it into your heart. And keep it there. God loves you!
And by the way, I replicated this box for each of my children. My prayer is that I continue in depositing His word valentines into their hearts daily. It matters. My parents did so for me even when it appeared I wasn’t listening, my heart got it. Thank the Lord for grace. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is no your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9 The love of God overflows….be filled today..smile! Live Intentionally and Boldly in 2017!
Have the best day!