Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

The lovey-dovey status updates are just flooding my screen on facebook today.

However, I'm also seeing many harsh, critical comments on this special love day.
It could be that I've just never noticed them in the past
   or maybe I'm more sensitive this year (pregnant!).

At any rate, it bothers me a bit.
Where's the grace in criticizing other's expressions of love to each other?
Not everyone has to participate...that's a-okay.  Just be nice.

I do have to say, I loved the spirit in which one of my single college girls handled the day with these words:  Happy National Single Awareness Day! 
Such sweet girls waiting for their prince charmings!

One comment I read often today was this... We should show people how much we love them every day, not just one day.

Noel Piper gives an amazing response to this statement in her book Treasuring God in Our Traditions.

We Need "Especially"

"NO!"  our college friend squawked.  "All days are not the same!  God knows we need 'especially.'"
He'd heard it once too often, somebody pontificating, "Every day should be Mother's Day," or "Every day should be as significant as Christmas."

God knows we need "especially"--that was a new thought to me back then.  And it's true.  God himself appointed special days, such as Passover, for his people and gave them ceremonies to set those days off from the others (Exodus 12:1-20).  December 25, for example, could pass like any other day in our week, except for the thought and preparation we give to it and the customs and traditions that surround it.  The ceremony of a special day keeps it from slipping away like an ordinary day.  We stop and recognize the specialness of an event in large becasue of the traditions in which it's wrapped.

Our "especially" celebrations anchor us and our children in the harbor of our family, reflecting our true refuge--God.  The way we observe these occasions--the focus of our observation--has great potential to show our children what we think is most important and to help them value what we hold most dear.  Of course, the benefits are not just for the children.  Our celebrations work good into our own lives and in other people whose lives touch ours, be rekindly our love of God, by increasing our knowledge of him, and by helping us remember who God is and how he works.

Valentine's Day is a wonderful day to shower our family with over-the-top Christ-like love!

It's a special day to exemplify this love and have reason to explain the Gospel to our children, again and again!

Valentine's Day doesn't have to mean large extravagant gifts, flowers and chocolate...
  it can be a special candlelit meal,
      making the kids' beds for them,
            homemade cards decorated together,
                 delivering cookies to friends and neighbors,
                      reading special books,
                          sharing Caribou buy-one-get-one-free!

Celebrate.  It is important.

I love this quote from Dallas Willard:

"Celebration is actually a spiritual discipline. It is the logical extension of worship. Once we understand how amazing God is in worshipful awe, we can then celebrate how amazing He is to us, together, as a community. Celebrating together accentuates our gratefulness and delight in life, love, family and friends. We need to celebrate as an antidote to the suffering, selfishness, senseless busyness and sanitized emotions around us that would steal our joy." 

Happy Valentine's Day!

Celebrate in gratefulness today the greatest love that has ever been shown to us: Jesus Christ.


Erica said...

Thanks for the reminder to celebrate. We as Christians can get so down on the bad, we need to Really celebrate the authentically Good things.
We're doing heart shaped pizza for supper tonight, our Valentine tradition.

Anonymous said...

love this! i didnt get to come to the discussion on this book, think one of my kids were sick or something, but i loved getting to read this book!

une autre mère said...

Amen, sister! I loved that part of Noel's book! We DO need "especially" days! And I love especially days!!! :)

Jenn said...

I personally like Valentines Day, it's not like we go all out or anything, I just like it. I don't know why people are so down on it. Thanks again for the reminder of especially days.

Amy@My Front Porch said...

We need "especially" -- I love that! You are like, the 15th person who has mentioned that book to me in the past couple of months...I'm putting it on my "must read" list!

H-Mama said...

'especially' days are the best! great post, mama. ;)