Happy Valentine's Day!

This is my first Valentine's Day not spent as a single woman. It was nice. It was laid back. No hype or over-the-top celebrations. Just a quiet day at my house. Nothing super elaborate. We both had a long week and were pretty exhausted. It was nice to keep it simple.

We picked up food to go. Chips, salsa, and guacamole. A burger and fajitas. A brownie with ice cream for dessert. Soda in my favorite green mason jars. Watching kid movies on the couch. My doggie, Mandy, was snuggled on the floor and my kitty, Corinth, was getting into mischief then eventually settled down and snuggled on my lap.

Sprinkled throughout the day were plenty of "I love you"s. 

I couldn't have asked for anything more.

He left early to get headed back home and I settled on the couch for another movie. This time a good chick flick... And if you are interested, I saw it's on sale for $5 on Amazon!

I also might have polished off the last of the leftover guacamole. (Sorry, Greg!) Also, why are Chili's chips, so good!!!

And I'm in a reflective mood tonight. This week there was a line from Emily Freeman on her blog, Chatting at the Sky, that hit me pretty hard.

"I once wrote that my job as a writer is to pay attention to what’s happening around me and to pay attention to what’s happening within me."
I love this. I felt something deep in me that longed from that too...

I'm learning to slow down. To make room to breathe and look around. To not miss as much as I might have before. To live in the moment fully. And to recognize my thoughts and feelings, instead of feeling numb.

I recognize that my heart is softening. That some of the walls have fallen. That I'm learning to trust people around me. I'm willing to be open to love.

It reminds me of something I posted on Facebook the beginning of last year:
Well I've never done this before, but I can’t get it out of my head. For 2014, the word I’m choosing (or more accurately, it feels like was chosen for me) is LOVE. I pray that this be a year that I learn what “love” means. That it would match up in my mind, heart and soul that God loves me. I would learn to love myself and realize that I am loved by others. I hope to fight to love those around me no matter the circumstances.
“So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” -1 John 4:16
I believe that is a pretty accurate description of 2014. I spent most of the year working on a series in counseling. We finished it up a few weeks ago. I still remember the emotion in her voice as she was reflecting on how much had happened throughout the last 10 months or so. How much I learned and grew. And how the icing on the cake, that neither of us expected, was that I would start a dating relationship. My first ever. It wasn't the goal of working through the junk and the mess. But it sure was a nice bonus after so much hard work.

I'm so thankful.

I pray that you would continue to persevere through the hard things. That you would continue to do the things that you believe you are called to do. That you would fight to do what you know in your heart to be right. And you would cling to the things that are important.

That love would be valued. And not the cheap counterfeit. But the true love that feels risky. The love that needs to be experienced and longed for. The kind of love that we can waste so much time searching for. But the kind of love that rarely comes when we search for it. The love that goes deeper than just a day. That runs deeper than chocolates and gifts and pink hearts. The love that is bigger than just love from or for a person. The kind of love that changes everything.

We are all in different places and seasons of life. Love can look and feel different for us all. But I hope you that can take the time to celebrate love. And not just because it's Valentine's Day. But because love is worth it. Because we are worth being loved.

Today was a great time for me to stop and remember what has changed in my heart. To remember how far I've come. To soak in the small joys and moments.

It's been a long road. This life is hard. But it is good.

Happy Valentine's Day!


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