Believe it or not, Valentine’s Day is for you too.

Today is the day my mom has been dreading for two months to be exact.

She never hated it before–but she decided she hated it this year. She decided that as soon as Dad took his last breath.

And I never thought about it before, not like I did until this year, how Valentine’s Day is for people like my mom. And maybe for people like you, if you’re out there somewhere reading this and simply feeling lonely. I think sometimes we forget that.

We get caught up in the flowers, the chocolates, the romantic dinners by candlelight and the love songs that plague the radio stations on this special day. We tend to put a label on Valentine’s Day as the day for lovers. And it certainly is for that, too. I love romance *and highly recommend it* for all you lovebirds out there. But I also want to reach out to the lonely tonight. You know who you are. You’re the divorced mother who’s sitting alone on a couch tonight as her babies are asleep upstairs, eating chocolates from a box you bought for yourself. You’re the older gentleman who just lost his wife to old age–and now a picture on the mantle keeps you company. You’re the teenager who just got her heart broken for the first time and the world is a little bit grayer today. YOU are the one who Valentine’s Day is meant for too.


Today, before I went to work, I decided to visit my mom. To bring her flowers just like my Dad would have. My sister had the same idea–and I was proud of her for recognizing the true spirit of Valentine’s Day. I’m not saying this to toot my own horn. Not at all, actually. The only reason I’m writing this tonight is because I know there are people out there who feel like this isn’t their day. They could sleep through it and probably feel better than they do right now. But it isn’t true, so don’t let the Hallmark cards tell you something else.

mom with flowers

I know that there are multiple histories and backgrounds and definitions revolving around this candy-heart holiday. But I think the one that stuck out the most to me is the word Valentine, which means (for one definition) “a token or gift given to a loved one, often given anonymously”. You have so much love to give. No matter what your position and no matter who has walked in or out of your life, you always have love. Sound cheesy? Well it kind of is. And sometimes cheesy things are true. And you also always have someone who loves YOU. You might not have a spouse or a significant other tonight. But you may have babies, children, friends, a next door neighbor. If you don’t have that, you have the Savior. Always the Savior.

You are loved and important and cared about and you ARE a part of a day reserved for love simply because the Savior–who gave the ultimate “token of love” to ALL his loved ones–sent the greatest Valentine when he decided to give his life in order to remind us of our worth and the eternal love he showed for us while on his knees in the garden and hanging on a ragged cross. THAT’s the Valentine you received today–and every day for that matter. Because it honestly holds more worth than the “Be Mine” boxed chocolate at WalMart.

Your valentine for today? John 3:16. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son (*for you*), that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (words “for you” added)

card from sis


(card my sister gave to my Mom today)

Valentine’s Day–Love in general– IS for the lonely. The recently-rejected. The grieving. The bitter. The one stuck at the office. The couple married for 56 years. You.

It’s for you simply because Christ decided you were the “valentine”.

Ringing in 2014: Resolve to see today

Well, it’s that time of year again.

It’s the time when everyone counts down the ticking hands on the clock, decked out in flashy eyeglasses that say “2014”, shimmery shirts, or fancy hats. It’s the time of year where everyone decides that THIS will be the year. The year of weight loss, the year of that vacation to Maui, the year of that big break, the year of that luck in love. But the truth is–a new year doesn’t bring ANY of that.

It’s not a stroke of luck or a clean slate or a living, breathing entity that gives out gifts. It’s just 365 more days of YOU. A year is an accumulation of “todays”. Sooo…the big question is what will you do today?


One of my favorite quotes simply states: “Make sure that what you do today is important–because you’re exchanging a day of your life for it.”

SO true. And I learned that this year.

I remember this time last year like it had happened a week ago. Maybe because I sat with my Dad (who was sick at the time, and now he has passed) talking about resolutions. My resolution was to get a certain promotion by the end of the year. So, as soon as the clock struck midnight, I set to work. Each and every day I worked for that promotion. And not a day went by that I didn’t think back to the resolution, measuring myself up against it. I honestly had a year where I felt like every day I was running out of time–when instead, I should have felt that every day I was a stepping stone further on this journey we call life.


And so the end of the year came. And…guess what? I didn’t get it. A lot of changes happened, sure. A lot of learning and growth and development and opportunities even. But not the same resolution. So I admit. It was tempting to feel like I failed myself and that 2013 was a bust. I’ve been tempted to fall into the same mindset of last year and say, “2014–let’s make this a successful one! I’ll actually DO IT this year!”

But I decided…no. Not this time. Because I didn’t fail after all. Neither did you, by the way.


2013 taught me patience. It taught me endurance. It taught me to work hard and to persistently work toward daily goals to improve myself, my work, my family, and my life, even if the reward of it isn’t seen on my specific timetable.

Maybe last year you said you’d lose thirty pounds by the end of the year, and maybe you didn’t make it. Well, this year, resolve instead to run every day. Drink more water each day. Or follow a daily plan to nutritious eating. Resolve to work every DAY, and not just make it a “by the end of the year” kind of thing.


We aren’t promised 365 days, but we are given this one. So make it a great one. And tomorrow, set out with the same plan. Only by working one day at a time and resolving each day as soon as your feet hit the ground to be a little kinder, work a little harder, and exchange each day with something well WORTH it–will you look back and see it really was a great year.

Happy New Year everyone–and here’s to 365 more days of fulfilling and valuable “todays”.