Valentine’s Day approaches, and I thought I would do a Valentine’s special blog post. ‘Tis the season of love. Of flowers and chocolate, wine and kisses. Just what does this time of year mean?
When I think of what Love is or is not, I think of the similes in the “love chapter” of 1 Corinthians 13. I memorized those verses years ago, and I can still recite them today.
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.
That pretty much sums up how love should operate.
Through the years, one of the best nonfiction books that I’ve read on love has been The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. In it, Gary talks about how we all have a love language through which we give and receive love. If you’re wondering more about what those are, you can read about them by clicking on the picture of the book.
Words mean the most to me; they are my love language. My husband’s is gifts. I think that why he always does so well at gift-giving. He puts thought into giving, and he makes me and others feel loved when he does.
At the Flower Shop
I used to look forward to Valentine’s Day, in the years before I worked at a floral shop. Everyone thinks “playing with flowers” at a shop sounds like fun and romantic, but not always. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy flowers and their: colors, textures, shapes, and fragrance, but Valentines Day at the flower shop jaded me a little.
It’s hands down the biggest floral holiday of the year, and thus, we had the most orders, which can only be made so far in advance. Flowers are a perishable product, and we had a narrow window of time to complete all of the orders. Think pressure and stress, and picture a chicken running around with its head cut off (I have seen one of those). In short, it was often a mad-house. Plus, the redundancy of orders got old. After making 50 of one arrangement, 30 of the next, and 25 of another, I hadn’t wanted to see any more roses, carnations, daisies, or lilies.
Regardless, on one occasion—many years ago—my dear hubby heard me mention all the beautiful arrangements that I had made at work and how sad it made me not to be able to take one home. From then on, he saw to it that I did. The first time that happened, he tricked me into making my own Valentine’s arrangement. I’ll always remember how happy it made me to take that beautiful vase of flowers home with me. The point of love in this story is that he listened. He heard my longing, and he met it. That’s love. My flower shop days have been done with for some years now, but he still gives me flowers every year at Valentines.
The Red Dress
I can’t remember what year anniversary we had celebrated, but somehow in passing I’d mentioned to my hubby that I had always wanted a red dress. When we were opening gifts that year at Christmas—our anniversary is near the holiday—he handed me a box and said, “Happy Anniversary,” with a big grin.
I dug in, ripped off the paper, and pulled out the most beautiful red dress. The design comprised of a sleeveless, sequined bodice with a jersey, flowing asymmetrical skirt. I cried. He told me how he went to 4 or 5 different stores before he found the right one. He had listened and had given me my heart’s desire… again.
I still have the dress. It’s 3 sizes too small now, but it hangs in my closet as a reminder to me that love should mean we care enough to listen, to really hear those we say we love.
Love is Eternal
One of my favorite historical fiction books is Love is Eternal by Irving Stone. It’s a meaty, detailed drama of President Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln’s romance and life together.
Sometimes I crave a book I can sink my teeth into and take my time reading. Love Is Eternal fits that quota. It’s not a quick read or a page turner but satisfies all the same. My favorite quote from the book:
“She must always remember that: love ebbed and flowed, now rich and shining, now shabby and disconsolate. One must survive the bad in order to realize the good. Therein lay the miracle of love, that it could eternally recreate itself. She must always be dedicated, no matter what the years held, what the hardships or disappointments, the sorrows or tragedies: she must come through them all, through the most violet and the frightening storms; for at the other end, no matter how long it might take or how dark the passage, one could emerge into the clear warm sunlight.”
My love and I have seen many such tragedies and sorrows. We’ve so far weathered the “in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, for better or worse” part of our marriage vows. This season we find ourselves in has many challenges. The chief being my disease. It comes between and separates us. I hate that, but my illness has taught us to care and trust on a deeper level than if we’ve never had to struggle through this storm. I hope at the end of it all, when we spend our patience or days, that we can both say, “Love brought us into the sunlight.”
To hear some of the more romantic portions of my books, tune into my podcast tomorrow afternoon at https://Anchor.fm.jennyknipfer-author/ I’ll read several original poems and read excerpts from several of my books.
Thank you for reading my thoughts. I encourage you to listen, love, and persevere with your sweetheart. Happy Valentine’s Day!