Happy Valentine’s Day, Sweet Things!
My Valentine of 30 years is in the next room sawing logs. He’ll hear the dogs barking pretty soon and come stumbling out of the room with his hair looking a little Mohawkish from sleeping hard on both sides. Mine, on the other hand, has that Tina Turner look this morning. He’ll then holler something out the back door at Star and Geli that I’ll wish the neighbors hadn’t heard, especially when he sees that they’ve dug a flower bed to China. I do dearly love that man. He keeps me honest.
Our first Valentine’s Day together had us dating about four months. I was completely smitten by how gorgeous he was and by how much money he’d spend on a date. Daddy’s money. I didn’t care. I didn’t even have to pay my own way to the movie. He was one of those rare people in a State college that actually had some cash in his pocket. But here’s where he got me. On our first real date, he took me to dinner then afterward said, “Why don’t we go have a cup of coffee?” We went to an all-night diner and drank weak coffee (all I could handle at the time; I wasn’t the pro I am now) out of heavy off-white cups sitting in heavy off-white saucers that clunked when you set the cup down. Every time the waitress poured a refill, it sloshed over the edge and pooled into the saucer and I thought how my Pappaw used to finish his off by tipping it and slurping loudly out of it. The young man that sat before me was a conversationalist. A beautiful one at that. And I was in love. Turned out, he was the only person I’d ever met that was as messed up as me. Order the tux. Rent the dress. It’s a match made in…Heaven.
My first Valentine’s present from Keith was a fishing pole. I was taken aback. You should have seen what the man got me for Christmas two months earlier. Where had the romance gone? A fishing pole. A green and black one. Not even my colors. He was also the only one at the PKA house with a bass boat I might add. He loaded me, that ugly flat boat and a pair of fishing poles up with all the promise of Abraham and headed us to Canyon Lake, not too far from our university. I hated what I had on. After a short set of lessons in keeping with his short fuse, he said, “OK, now give it a shot. You’re wide open. Just don’t hit that limb right over there.” And suddenly that limb was all on earth I could focus on. I kept looking at it and mumbling, “Don’t hit that limb right over there, don’t hit that limb right over there, don’t hit that limb right over there,” then I performed my very first…and last…fishing cast and hit that limb square on as if I’d spent my life training for it. That hideous lure spun around that branch for ten solid minutes while Keith said a string of somethings that I should have broken up with him for.
He never did get that outdoors woman he wanted. I never did get that church boy.
But here we are. Every day’s a new day. Some days I’m not sure we’ll make it. Other days eternity doesn’t sound long enough to know him. We’re both such messed up people that we’ve each been married to half a dozen spouses that all somehow looked alike. Today we’re Mohawk Man (you might say “Spike”) and Tina Turner.
So, what’s love got to do with it? Got to do with it?
A ton. You keep praying for it every single day of your marriage and you will it again till you feel it again. And one February night, like our last night, you just might be sitting on the floor with your three-year-old grandson playing cars while your man’s sitting in his easy chair with your nine-day-old granddaughter in his enormous hands and you’ll see tears streaming down his cheeks as he looks at her. And so many hard times will fade away like the morning mist. They’ll probably be back tomorrow and you might wonder how you’re going to make it, but you just decide to keep on. You just keep making the choice and hope he will, too. Because, make no mistake, it takes two.
I’ve never done anything harder than marriage. Nor anything that forced more change in my badly-needed-change life.
I love Keith Moore. Again today. He is my life-long Valentine. He’s who I long to hear say those words of Mr. Darcy to Miss Elizabeth Bennett, “You have bewitched me.” That’s so much better than, “You’ve been such a witch to me.” No, he’s never said that. But, Lord, don’t let me be the kind of woman that makes him think it.
I also have an eternity-long Valentine who reigns in the Heavens. He is breathtakingly handsome and will spend more on a date than any man alive. Daddy’s riches. I pray this day that you will thoroughly savor your Valentine, whether he is flesh and blood in all his wonderful imperfections in front of your eyes, or veiled from sight in such gleaming perfections that you couldn’t live through a glance of Him if He showed up at your table. You are your Beloved’s and His desire is toward you. Song of Songs 7:10. If you don’t have a romantic interest in your life this year, let Jesus woo you today. Read what He’s like in Psalm 45. Take a long walk with him. Or go get yourself some flowers from Him. I dare you to. That’s His money in your pocket. Journal a long time to Him and tell Him your hopes and dreams. He’s more vividly real than anything you can touch with your fingertips or see with your eyes, Beloved One.
Jesus, woo her this day. Make her feel so tended to that she wonders how anyone else on earth could sense you today.
Happy Valentine’s Day, my dear sisters.
Here’s what I thought would be fun today. As your comment, tell a brief account of your most memorable Valentine whether it was something sweet, hilarious, or infuriating. I can’t wait to read them. I love you and think you are such a blast.
PS – This is Amanda. I just showed my mom this picture and she demanded that I post it here immediately. Here are my two February Valentines.