We had an absolutely lovely Valentines Day this year!
I don't typically get too fussy about Valentine's Day. I certainly enjoy the excuse to eat chocolate and get fresh flowers for my kitchen table, but other than that it's not a huge deal over here. But this year my husband absolutely spoiled me, and I just need to brag on him a bit.
He skipped his afternoon classes to come home and spend time with us on Valentine's Day. I was upstairs laying boys down for naps when he got home, and I came downstairs to this happy surprise:
Apparently, when I thought Riley was cramming for an exam the evening before at his friend's house, he was actually bent over melted chocolate, hand-dipping fresh strawberries for me. He arranged the roses by himself, and picked out a Washington wine from a local wine cellar (for his Northwestern bride).
I've been spoiled all six of the Valentine's Days I've spent as Mrs. L, but this year he outdid himself.
I love this man!
Be Mine, Valentine? Definitely!
We had a lunch "date" together while the boys napped, and then later that evening ordered pizza and then went out to a local coffee shop for treats.
Valentine's Date Night takes on a new flavor when you have little ones!
Although, at the rate my boys do damage to my walls, you wouldn't know it!
This stuff really is magic, and I love the way it makes dirty things sparkle. I am constantly finding other areas in my home that could use just a little scrub.
It may be a touch early to start my official "Spring Cleaning", but the great Prophet Punxsutawny Phil emerged shadowless from his cozy burrow earlier this month, and so we can be sure that Spring is just around the corner. Now, while I don't typically consider groundhogs to be the most reliable source of practical information, I find myself greatly inclined to believe him this time.
Oh, Spring, how I love you!
And as for my annual Spring scrub-down, I'm a little overly zealous this year, because apparently we're expected to leave this rental home in just a few months looking the same way it did when we moved in... yeah, right. Have you met my children? I love them. But my walls do not. They love Mr. Clean.
And you shall love the Lord your God with
all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your
strength. This is the first commandment.
My brave knights, fighting off dragons and the forces of evil...
Asher and Gray have been memorizing this verse during our
morning school time, and I’ve been thankful for the daily admonishment I
receive from hearing it recited so regularly. We are called to love the Lord
with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. And, it stands to reason, that if
we grow in these four areas, we will be able to better love the Lord our God.
We should work hard to grow…
-BIG HEARTS. We can grow in love for each other and those around us. This love
is self-sacrificial, done in deed and in truth, not just in word or in tongue
(1 John 3:18). We can also brush up on our 1 Cor. 13!
-STEADFAST SOULS. We are called to have a faith that does
not waver, and we can improve our stability of faith through fervent prayer,
reading the Word of truth, and through keeping our focus on that which is good,
pure, noble, and true (Phil 4:8). We can defeat anxiety and fear through
concentrating on the goodness and kindness of our sovereign Lord, the God of
creation, who holds all things together.
-HEALTHY MINDS. We can focus our minds on “things above,” as
well as improving them academically through the reading of non-fiction (or really
good, thought-provoking fiction), keeping up-to-date on current events, and of
course studying the scriptures and wise teachings about them. A couple other examples: I
like to listen to sermons while I do my housework after the boys go to bed, write
on my blog, and brainstorm up some pretty fantastical bedtime stories…
-PHYSICAL STRENGTH. We need to tend to our physical bodies, and take care of
these vessels God has given us. This requires self-discipline, which is always
a good thing to cultivate! We need to work hard to take care of not only our
own bodies, but also the bodies living in our households. This includes
preparing nice meals, exercising, and making healthy choices; all while
avoiding the ditch on either side of the “health” road. Be wise. Grow in
strength. I personally have been trying to squeeze in 20-30 minutes of a (very challenging!) work out every weekday during nap time, and while it's a great sacrifice-- I loved my relaxing nap time ritual!-- I'm definitely benefitting from the exercise! And I find I'm able to skip my afternoon cup of coffee on a regular basis. (I don't get it, but somehow wearing yourself out gives you more energy...Ha!)
As Christians, we desire to love God and know Him better.
This requires more than an emotional feeling we get while singing on Sunday
mornings. It requires obedience to His Word, and hard work! Focusing efforts to
develop these four areas of life for His glory will undoubtedly bless us, and
bring us closer to the God we love and worship.
So, this is what I have been musing about and working on. I would call it a New Year's resolution, but I don't really do those, and it's already February.