Rarely do I go to the grocery store in the morning. However, as fate would have it, I stopped this morning to pick up some critical items for the office—namely coffee, cream and milk.
The first thing I noticed, to the point of distraction, was the number of men in the store. Many congregated around the flowers, either deciding on the perfect bouquet, or doing the math to figure out which would put the smallest dent in the wallet, for the biggest ‘wow’ from a sweetheart. Hopefully most were giving thought to the intended message.
There were businessmen in suits, casually dressed men, and those who looked like they had crawled out of bed against their own will but with a good awareness of self-preservation. Mostly they carefully avoided eye contact with each other—probably hoping no one would recognize them or judge the fact that Valentine flowers were being purchased at the grocery store. (Relax guys… you’re all buying them at the same place! Who is going to judge you?? Oh, and, BTW, don’t forget to remove the ‘grocery’ sticker.)
The scene humoured me. Maybe it shouldn’t.
Seems to me I had to stop at the grocery store on Valentine’s Day last year too. The scene was similar with men rushing about, looking just as distressed.
This got me thinking about the whole ‘Valentine’s Day thing’, and romantic relationships in general. The purpose for it is to set aside a day of the year to focus on celebrating the romantic love in our lives. And that’s not a bad thing.
However, as I observed the frenzy of activity, I realized that each of these men have a story, a ‘someone’ who shares that story with them. For some, hopefully for most, the flowers are a meaningful expression of the love they live daily.
You may be thinking, “….but with flowers from a grocery store?” Sure, why not? It isn’t breaking the bank that makes the thought count. It’s the other 364.5 days of the year and how he has cherished her.
For others, I presume, the flowers, or their romantic purpose, are given little thought, and serve mostly to keep him out of the doghouse with ‘the wife’.
And that mental wandering led me to thinking about my marriage. My husband and I are pretty normal people. Make that very normal. Our lives are busy with work, family–5 kids and a dog, to be precise–ministry, committees, and hobbies. We have normal ups and downs in our relationship, just like everyone else. But the one thing my husband has done every day for the past 18 years, other than the rare day that we did not see each other or speak on the phone, is tell me he loves me. That is approximately 6,579 times, minus a few days, plus add in the countless days that he told me numerous times a day. We have rarely parted ways without a hug, a kiss, and an ‘I love you’—even on the days that we were ticked off or hurt.
I reciprocate, or even initiate, the same gesture, but I have him to thank for it. Early in marriage, when I asked why he insists on giving me a good-bye kiss and saying ‘I love you’, just to go to the grocery store, Tim told me that he wanted us always to part ways, affirming our love for each other. “You never know when will be your last good-bye’, he said.
This act of love has served our marriage well. It has taken discipline, sacrifice and the choice of will, on the days where feelings didn’t match our commitment. Other days it has threatened to make us late for work or other responsibilities when passion out-measured time available to celebrate our feelings. But , regardless of our feelings, it has always reminded us that we are in it for the long haul, that there is no competition in our love for each other and, no matter what happens, we have each other’s heart.
Today, in spite of what other Valentine’s Day celebrations we do or do not make happen, or whether I get flowers from a grocery store… or none… I am thankful for the love of my life. Truth be told, I can’t even recall what he did last year to celebrate, but I remember all the ways he helped me the other 364.5 days in between, and how special he makes me feel every day of the year. That is the love I celebrate today.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Oh, I LOVE this post and can totally relate! My sweet, hard-working husband came home Valentine’s Day with beautiful flowers for me AND our daughter (he’d already taken the grocery sticker off, LOL) and a box of gourmet chocolates. You’re so right…it’s the love you share during the other 364 days that really matters.
So glad to have found you through LInkedIn. Looking forward to being part of the group – please check out my web site at christianwomensvoice.com. If you click on the magazine cover, it will take you to the site where you can preview the entire issue. Keep in mind that I’m happy to promote any Christian women’s event (conferences, classes, etc) for free. (Business ads cost just a little). So, if you know of any upcoming events, let me know and we’ll get the word out 🙂 Be blessed!
Thank you Debbie! I’m glad that you too are blessed with this kind of love! I’ve enjoyed your website and am excited about your ministry. Feel free to post directly to my FB wall anytime you have something new to share! And thank you so much for your offer to help get word out about events! That is very kind. If I can help you in any way, please let me know! Wishing you many blessings!
Love this post Trudy. You are sooo right and made me think about how my husband does the same things for me. He always does give me beautiful gifts and romantic cards that profess his love for me and never forgets a special occasion. He makes me feel special and loved every day if only I pay attention to his love language. He always leaves me a love note when he goes away. He always says “I love you” and kisses me good night and goodbye. And he often calls or emails during the day to say thank you for something I have done for him and always ends off with xo. I think we just need to pay more attention to the ways our husbands or significant others show us their love and devotion. I know I for one am inspired to write a blog about it. And I feel oh so grateful for my husband and all the little things he does to make me feel special and loved.
Blessings, Suzie JMT
Thank you Suzie! Let me know when you write your blog, and send me your blog link. I’d love to read it! You’re a great inspiration! So fun to watch what is happening in your life! Be blessed!