Stop Wasting Valentine’s Day

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Memes and blogs have been choking my newsfeed from women who claim THEY aren’t buying into traditional Valentine’s day hype because they are ok with just a card and chocolates (or taco bell according to one meme) or just a regular date, nothing fancy.

I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news but ….you are still buying into it. Just because you aren’t settings your expectations high does not change that you have them.

I actually don’t buy into Valentine’s Day. I never really have. I looked at it from a historical perspective and thought it seemed a really strange day to celebrate romance so as a teen I dutifully received the roses and chocolates and jewelry from boys each year but the joke was on them because I wouldn’t have cared if I didn’t.

By college I told gentlemen I dated that Valentine’s Day really wasn’t my thing and I don’t like fresh flowers or wear much jewelry and chocolate should really be an anytime/ all the time gift but it tastes better when I pay half price after a holiday. When I found my husband he thankfully shared my views on the day and it passed without recognition most years except once when we decided other people spend money on Vday so we could totally go buy a Costco membership and call it a gift to ourselves.

A few years ago though I realized I was wasting Valentine’s Day, thanks to our pastor who really emphasizes that our lives need to be about service, starting with random acts of kindness expecting nothing in return. Valentine’s Day is the perfect day to show love to strangers without making them worry you are crazy!

We still don’t go on a date, buy each other stuff or even do cards but my husband and I totally celebrate Valentine’s Day now! We use it as a day to be mindful and go out into the community sharing Christ’s love and expecting nothing in return. I buy chocolates and roses and ribbons and make a few dozen Valentine’s “gifts” complete with scriptures of love then we head to places like malls with lots of people and let ourselves (and our kids!) be led to those who need some extra love that day.

If you feel loved every other day of the year try using Valentine’s Day as a day to show love to OTHER people, people you don’t normally show love to, maybe even people you don’t know! I promise you will not feel like you wasted Valentine’s Day!

 “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” I John 4:9-10

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*Somehow women choosing not to celebrate is ok but men get painted as awful if they allow it so before my poor husband catches any heat, our decision not to celebrate Valentine’s day was mindful, deliberate and led by me, he even tried some small gestures in our early years of marriage but he knows me well enough to see I meant it and that stuff was wasted on me .* 

 

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Happy Wife, Happy Life is ruining marriage

All those “cute” sayings that insinuate women need to be the focus of a marriage (or men) are pretty harmful ideas about relationships so i’d like to share a few things that have actually helped in my own marriage.

I’m celebrating seven years of marriage today. I have a stinkin awesome husband but I think the reason our marriage works so well has little to do with either of us, in fact I think the reason our marriage works so well is neither of us think it’s about us!

Marriage isn’t about one or both of us being happy. Are we happy? Absolutely! Is that the purpose of our marriage though?

No.

We have recognized some truths that spare of us from so many of the relationship pitfalls many of our friends and loved ones face.

Disclaimer* We are not perfect or walking around on rainbows while music plays from the clouds and we are not happy every minute of everyday, I am in no way qualified to speak on marriage but in our 7 years we have gleaned countless wise pieces of advice from a number of sources so why not put them together for people with even less experience than me! (Or people with more who haven’t encountered this awesome advice.)

1. God must be the center. Everything in the world is temporary, save God, if you are both walking toward God then you will also always be drawing closer together. “Drifting apart” or feeling “disconnected” can’t happen.

2. Marriage is a tool to sanctify us, not make us deliriously happy all day long. I LOVE my house, I love being home but if someone told me I was going to Disney World and took me to my house I would be disappointed. Given the choice to live in my house or Disney though it’s hands down, I want to be home. Marriage is my home, I went into expecting the work and upkeep that comes with maintaining a home not the expectations of nonstop entertainment, catering and excitement that comes with Disney and because of it I get to thoroughly enjoy each day of it.

3. Failure is not an option, we took time before we got married (premarital counseling, I highly recommend it ya’ll) to make sure we were ready then we got married THEN we stayed married for a few years before we decided to have kids. Waiting gave us time to adjust to life as a unit, work out our communication, and get to do all the fun spontaneous things you can do before kids like spur of the moment travel 🙂

4. Get up everyday and make the choice not just to love your spouse but to show it through actions. (And when you simply can’t at least apologize so they know you tried!) We are always trying to finish a project or chore for one another and it makes us both feel valued.

5. Don’t put so much emphasis in gifts and holidays. Women are really bad at this, they blow these things up in their minds then get let down/hurt/angry/etc. when the gifts/presentation/setting don’t meet their expectations. We like our holidays super low key, it takes the stress, pressure and expense out of celebrating! We like to get each other little just because surprises frequently instead (I might buy a favorite snack for his work bag or he might pick me up a sweet tea and bring it to home or work for me).

So many people have told/shown us so many wonderful things to do over the years but these are a few of my favorites I thought I’d share.

 

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