“Valentine box confessions”
I have created my fair share of Valentine boxes! With 6 kids, you can imagine that every year of each of their elementary grades on February 14th they get to bring a “box” created at home to hold all the candy and cards they will receive from friends. I’ll do the math… 6 (kids) x 6 (elementary years each) = 36 boxes! Some years I, “we” created masterpieces. Some years, they were lucky to bring in a ziplock bag. So with 36 boxes, let’s look at the math on how many cards they have signed, or I have signed, or I have screamed about getting signed… 6 (kids) x 24 (avg. # of classmates) x 6 (years) =864!!! Is that possible? I haven’t quite hit that number yet because number 6 is in kindergarten so I still have 5 years ahead of me. But as I sat with him on Sunday and we scoured through Pinterest, where was this gem when my older kids wanted special boxes, we laughed and talked about all the candy and cards he would receive. He guessed what each of his friends would be bringing, Fun dips, Spiderman, Barbie, Frozen and Ninja turtles all made the list. His excitement was palpable, and I was savoring this moment with him and my glue gun (I secretly LOVE being crafty). Wasn’t I just making 3 and 4 boxes at a time when the older ones were little? How did time go so fast that those moments are gone?
As I reflect on all of the hours, boxes and cards I have had the “pleasure” of creating with my kids I feel a piece of my heart break this Valentines Day knowing that for most of them this time has come to an end, and I am not sure I truly cherished it like I should have. There were years that it was one more thing on my “to do” list, often forgotten until the night before when only Walgreens or Walmart was still open to grab the left over knock off Mickey Mouse cards. It was last minute baking of cupcakes or buying them at the store and plating them, decorating the house a little before they came home from school and bags filled with sweetheart candies and a little stuffed bear holding a heart professing my love for them.
But guess what…Valentines Day didn’t make me love them more, they knew I loved them and this day was no different than what everyday should be like. We should freely be giving our hearts, kindness and love to the ones we love, even others who are hard to love. God, freely gives us His love, His heart, and His Spirit.
The good news is we don’t have to create a special box to accept it, He loves us just as we are. We don’t have to have fancy cards to exchange, our openness, our hearts is enough in exchange. His life was the ultimate exchange and he did that for us, He has set the example of what true love looks like.
So if you are a mom of younger kids, enjoy making those boxes, though it can be a little daunting this too WILL pass and you will long for the moments of making a shoe box into a superhero or a princess. Buy next years cards this year so when February 13th at midnight rolls around you have an extra stash for when you just didn’t get it all done. Cut yourself some slack and know that love is freely given by our Savior, so accept it, put it in your adult Valentine box aka your heart and bask in the peace and joy He can provide everyday and not just on Valentines Day. Lastly, share this love with all those around you.
I hope that each of you have a Happy Valentines Day, enjoy your significant other, your friends, your chocolates and most importantly the moments you have with your kids.
Until Next Time, Courtney