Living Valentine’s day every day

On a stormy February 13 evening several years ago, my husband asked me what I wanted for a Valentine’s gift. … Continued

On a stormy February 13 evening several years ago, my husband asked me what I wanted for a Valentine’s gift.

Without hesitating, I replied, “A homemade card.”

I knew the request was simple and easy-the thoughtful gift to request.

“What do you want?” I asked. Facing a busy day and I secretly hoped he’d ask for a big, wet kiss that would melt him at the knees.

“I’d like a homemade red velvet cake,” he replied.

“Delivered to work?” I volunteered.

“That would be great!”

My mind began racing. How am I going to finish up all my projects, run errands and still find time to bake and deliver a cake? I’d never baked a red velvet cake, but I knew I couldn’t let him down.

The set the alarm early and began researching recipes for red velvet cake before the sun crested the horizon. By mid-morning, I slid the cake pans into the oven. A glance at the clock revealed everything was on track for a noon delivery.

Twenty minutes later my two nine-inch round cakes looked like rolling hills. I turned to icing to save me. With every brush stroke, the cake tore apart and slowly transformed into a pinkish glob of goo. Then the icing ran out.

I grabbed the cake, a butter knife and headed back to the grocery store where I found even more people like myself (okay, not quite like myself) running around buying last-minute Valentine’s gifts. I purchased another double-container of icing, and opted for a red-helium balloon and a card just in case the cake couldn’t be saved.

On the way to my husband’s office, the helium balloon began rubbing up and down on the side of my head creating static. As many times as I tried to bat it away, the balloon returned. For the safety of everyone on the road, I gave into its annoying presence.

I arrived at my husband’s workplace looking like I’d pressed my finger into an electric switch. With no time to lose, I iced the pink glob in the trunk of the car, hastily filled out a card with an endearing message using a pen I found underneath the car seat, and patted down my ridiculous looking hair. I took a deep breath, plastered on a smile, and walked into my husband’s office with gifts in hand.

Only he wasn’t there.

Happy stinkin’ Valentine’s Day. He was tied up in an unscheduled meeting for the afternoon. All I could think was, “Is he going to notice just how much icing is on this cake?”

Afraid he might not feel loved post-cake fiasco, I printed out heart-shaped love notes and placed them every stair between the entryway and our second floor so he would see them when he came home.

But he had to work late.

By the time he got home, we had experienced a power outage. Walking up the stairs, he couldn’t see a single note.

Meanwhile, despite the fresh tulips and cute store card my husband purchased, he kept apologizing to me because he hadn’t had time to fulfill my request for a homemade card.

We sat on the couch in the dark on Valentine’s Day and found out something new about each other: neither of us really cared a whole lot about the holiday. He purchased flowers and cards so I would feel loved and I became a crazed baker with frizzy hair to express my love. What we discovered that night is that both of us already felt thoroughly and sufficiently loved because of the way we treat each other and live life together the other 364 days of the year.

A few weeks post-Valentines fiasco, I began reflecting on how much loving God and receiving the love of God isn’t reserved for holidays like Easter or Christmas or Valentines.

To put it in Valentine’s terms, God isn’t looking for balloons, flowers, and a cake on special occasions for us to express our love to him. But he is looking for a more intimate and involved relationship where the gifts we offer to him-words of thanks, songs of praise, acts of service, expressions of kindness, bragging on him to others, and more-fill each and every day.

On this Valentines, may you remember that when it comes to loving God the greatest gift you can give God is yourself-not just today but each and every day.

Margaret Feinberg is author of “Wonderstruck: Awaken to The Nearness of God.” She’s currently inviting people to read through the entire Bible during Lent with a free 40-day reading guide on her site.

More on:
Comments are closed.

Read More Articles

shutterstock_188022491
Magical Thinking and the Canonization of Two Popes

Why Pope Francis is canonizing two popes for all of the world wide web to see.

Pile_of_trash_2
Pope Francis: Stop the Culture of Waste

What is the human cost of our tendency to throw away?

chapel door
“Sometimes You Find Something Quiet and Holy”: A New York Story

In a hidden, underground sanctuary, we were all together for a few minutes in this sweet and holy mystery.

shutterstock_178468880
Mary Magdalene, the Closest Friend of Jesus

She’s been ignored, dismissed, and misunderstood. But the story of Easter makes it clear that Mary was Jesus’ most faithful friend.

shutterstock_188545496
Sociologist: Religion Can Predict Sexual Behavior

“Religion and sex are tracking each other like never before,” says sociologist Mark Regnerus.

5783999789_9d06e5d7df_b
The Internet Is Not Killing Religion. So What Is?

Why is religion in decline in the modern world? And what can save it?

river dusk
Cleaner, Lighter, Closer

What’s a fella got to do to be baptized?

sunset-hair
From Passover to Easter: Why I’m Grateful to be Jewish, Christian, and Alive

Passover with friends. Easter with family. It’s almost enough to make you believe in God.

colbert
Top 10 Reasons We’re Glad A Catholic Colbert Is Taking Over Letterman’s “Late Show”

How might we love Stephen Colbert as the “Late Show” host? Let us count the ways.

emptytomb
God’s Not Dead? Why the Good News Is Better than That

The resurrection of Jesus is not a matter of private faith — it’s a proclamation for the whole world.

shutterstock_186795503
The Three Most Surprising Things Jesus Said

Think you know Jesus? Some of his sayings may surprise you.

egg.jpg
Jesus, Bunnies, and Colored Eggs: An Explanation of Holy Week and Easter

So, Easter is a one-day celebration of Jesus rising from the dead and turning into a bunny, right? Not exactly.

shutterstock_186686495
The End of Surveillance for New York Muslims — For Now

How American Muslims modeled the right response to systematic injustice.