"Dear God, Please help the people to know Jesus today, and I hope they like our valentines. In Jesus Name, Amen.".....started our Valentine morning, with Caleb leading the morning prayers at breakfast.
We had decided that today was going to be a day dedicated to making others feel special.
Two hours later, Valentines made (Hermie & Wormie cards filled out by Caleb and Wax paper / melted crayon hearts made by Anna Ruth, Emet, Caleb and I), a special Valentines dinner for Papa in the crockpot, biscotti made for Papa's work and for delivery...we headed out.
Off we went to our 90 year old neighbors, The Days, who recently lost their adult daughter and are struggling to recuperate from a recent heart attack. As they weren't home, we dropped off the Valentine but knew we would be back, as their greatest gift would be in seeing the children.
On to Caleb's school, where we dropped off a few special valentines to some very special and encouraging people.....our children's pastor, Courtney Wilson, whose light shines bright and pure in the lives of not only our children but for the families she serves as well. And another for Gretchen Kipp, a sweet lady we are getting to know who brings kind words and deeds to anyone in her path. Caleb's bag was full of hand crafted hearts and carefully written words to share with his class: "To my Friend. From Caleb" lovingly tucked away in envelopes labeled "To my school."
Off to watch the Benson children for an afternoon so Triann could escape to her doctors appointment. Then....back to school to pick up Caleb and to head to the nursing home that Mr. Harold lived in before he passed away. It was our first time back since his passing. Honestly, I was a little apprehensive about returning, not really knowing the other residents except for the names and through the brief nods and smiles exchanged as we had headed in to visit Mr. Harold. On arriving, we found out that only Mr. Jack and Ms. Mary remained....Mr. Carl having passed away in October. The children were sweet and pleasant as we delivered the cards and visited.....all stopping briefly to gaze into Mr. Harold's old room. The owner and residents were simply delighted to receive our greeting and visit.
Back to the Days home for a visit. I was right - the children brought a bright light into their sad and lonely home and they very much appreciated the company.
Arriving back home, the children hustled up to their rooms for a brief "rest" while I bustled about the house picking up and preparing for our a Valentine's dinner at Mama's restaurant. The idea came to me that I would like to serve not only Jason but my children as well, so I brought out the stemware and set a full place setting for each. After Papa arrived home, we invited the children downstairs to "Mama's Restaurant". Papa instructed on table etiquette while I served. Our menu was as follows:
Diet Root Beer or Diet Caffeine Free Pepsi (sipped from heart shaped straws, of course) ; grapes; fresh baked rosemary bread; Beef Daube Provencial (a beef stew flavored with herbs de Provence, tons of garlic, and red wine) served over egg noodles; berry smoothies; and for dessert, candy kabobs.
After piles of dishes, laundry, story time, bedtime routines and a brief chat with Jason....I now sit here on the couch listening to my highly sugared little boys still awake upstairs. I think back to our conversation about the favorite part of the childrens' day: delivering the cards and having our special dinner. I reflect on how the children's post nap grumpies quickly changed to delight in being served and honored. I think of how Caleb said, "Thank you Mama for the beautiful and yummy dinner. I hope we can do that every night." I think of how Jason thanked me so much for all of the effort and how special I had made everything. I hear my little boys planning how they will make me breakfast tomorrow morning....(and having sneaked upstairs to listen to their plans, I hear my breakfast will be at a decorated dining room table and will include an apple, a cheese stick, ham, and a piece of candy.)
I am simply exhausted, and I still need to nurse Grace.....but I wouldn't trade my day for anything. And, I'm currently experiencing why it is so much better to give than to receive. The return in blessings is well worth the sacrifice. And, I do believe that by the end of the day, we had made someone feel special.
Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Romans 12:10