Happy belated Valentine’s Day! I spent the last two days rejoicing with a few of the people I love in this world. What I didn’t spend time doing was writing. I needed to connect face-to-face with people I love!
With the media and sales blitz for V-day done, I’m not entirely sure what Valentine’s Day means to anyone anymore. The lines have been blurred in our culture. For me Valentine’s has always been a little happy love holiday.
There is nothing too big on this day in my experience. No massive declarations of love. No anniversaries here for me. Most have been just fun and happy days celebrating the love of my family and friends. A few have been sad, like the year after my sister died. This year is bittersweet since I just lost my dad, and after one wild night we are all breathing in relief mixed with grateful awe of God’s mercy.
My wish for you today is you had a happy fun day of love. I realize that is not possible everyone. If your day is not what you had hoped, I hope you remember there is always One who holds you close to His Heart of Love. He is the one who knew you before you were born* and knows the number of hairs on your head** (Even the number that fell out today!). If there is no one else to love you or talk to today, talk to Him. He is waiting for you. You may be too angry or too sad to talk to him. Yes, I’ve felt that too. Days when I felt the world around me hated me and God had abandoned me.
When I have days like this, even on holidays, I sit in His presence and breathe, write my feelings with tears, or rant to Him. He is a God with big shoulders and a Heart for you. He can handle it.
I have a saying, “I choose to laugh.” My family is starting to laugh at some of the things that happened this past weekend. We also spent time thanking God for the miracles that saved our prince. Fear and anger are trying to push their way into our hearts. I found myself forcing myself to smile. Then the dam broke into big fat grin when I choose to smile. Do you why? It was because of one of my favorite cashiers at Costco.
I went to Costco on Monday after work. It was a regular weekly restocking run. There are three cashiers I look for at Costco. I call them the “Dream Team.” Now mind you I have been going to this particular Costco since the 90s. I know a lot of the long-time employees there. These guys are the best. They are fast, fun, and know me when they see me. It’s kind of the like a big-box version of the bar in the show “Cheers.”
Anyway, I spot one of the dream team and secure a spot in his line. I’m feeling tired, achy, and not very attractive. When I get to the conveyor belt, he is ringing up the customer in front of me and spies me loading the belt. He points a finger at me while shooting me a big toothy grin, grabbing the next item on the belt he returned his attention to his customer. I don’t think he saw my little wave.
That was when I realized as I was unloading my groceries, I had a big grin on my face. It was natural and felt good. I don’t think I smiled like that since Friday morning when the prince went missing. At that moment I choose to smile instead.
He and I bantered as he quickly rang up my order and I ran my card. When he handed me my receipt he said, “Don’t ever stop smiling.” I promised I wouldn’t. Walking away I realized we all have the power of Joy! It was not a great day. But this man gave me a bit of the Joy I needed. I returned it because we are friendly acquaintances. It was a gift and a lesson from God. I continued to share that smile during the rest of my day.
It doesn’t matter if you rejoice for a son almost lost, your family, or in spite of your circumstances, someone needs your smile today. Take Joy with you as you walk your path. You may be as surprised as I was when it brings a grin to someone’s face…maybe your own…
**Matthew 10:30 and Luke 12:7