My kitchen counter and my desk at work each have a stack of cards I call my Valentines.  They are not Valentines in the traditional sense, because they don’t have red hearts or romantic, candy wishes.  Most of them say, “Praying for you and your family or thinking of you during this difficult time.”  A Valentine is a card given to express love to another person.  Each of those cards is an expression of love to our family, making this Valentine’s Day one of our most special.  We are blessed to have friends and family who have been conduits of God’s love to all of us during Ryan’s diagnosis and surgery.  James 2:8 says, “If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing right.”  You have loved my son and prayed for him as you would for your own, and there is no greater gift you could give this Mom on Valentines Day.  So I am writing a Valentine post today.  This is for the women who subscribe – so they can forward it to their husbands/sweethearts if necessary.

Mother Teresa said that “It is not a matter of thinking a great deal but of loving a great deal, so do whatever causes you most to love.”  Mother Teresa probably didn’t have Valentine’s Day in mind when she said that.  This day should require a little thinking…I’m here to help with that.  I’m sure most of my readers already have something special for their Valentine, but if not, allow me to offer some advice for the day.  Feel free to forward this to the men in your life.  They might appreciate some words of Valentine wisdom!  To the husbands who wonder why they just received a blog post from Janet Denison, do yourself a favor and keep reading.  This blog post could save you from at least three weeks of mental anguish.  These are important Valentine words of encouragement:

1.  If you pick a card up at the last minute, be careful that the envelope goes with the card.  The racks are a mess and just because that was the envelope behind the card, it doesn’t mean it goes with the card. 
2.  Make sure you tuck in the flap of the envelope as opposed to licking it.  A damp envelope just doesn’t say Happy Valentine’s Day.  Rather it says, oh my gosh I almost forgot to get you a card for Valentine’s Day. 
3.  if there is a cartoon figure on the front of a card and the words, “Roses are red, veins are blue…” just put it down and reach for another card.  That card isn’t as funny as you and the man next to you, think it is. 
4.  A few pieces of chocolate are as good as a massive box.  A small box doesn’t go to waste and doesn’t go to waist.  if you do buy the big box, make sure you tell her that her Easter dress is not too tight, just “fitted perfectly to her curves.”
5.  A gift card is often a good idea…unless it is a gift card to Lowes or Home Depot.  Those will be a mistake for anniversaries, birthdays and Christmas as well.
6.  Finally, if you are trying to purchase her something to wear, even if it is her favorite color – check the label.  If you see the word “spandex” anywhere on that label, put it down and step away from the rack.

My goal is to provide a full-service blog.  There are just going to be days when the concept of “ministry” will have a broader definition!  I do want to close however, with a spiritual thought.  I had this question earlier and decided to pursue it.  (After I pursued all those other thoughts above…)  If we could send a Valentine’s card to God, what would it say?  That question led me to this verse.  “This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith (1 John 5:2-4).”  Thank you again for the love you have shown my family.  I hope you know that you were showing your love for God at the same time.  And today…each time you obey God’s word, and put your faith into practice, you will send the Lord another Valentine.  I hope our loved ones are pleased with their Valentines – and I hope our God is pleased with his!

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