A Non-Traditional Valentine's Day
What a day this has been, what a rare mood I’m in. Why it’s almost like being in love.
-Nat King Cole
Jó reggelt from Budapest, Hungary! Today is day six of vacation, and today is Valentine’s Day. What a wonderful day to embrace what we’re made of, how God knit us together in His image, and to celebrate that factor that brings us all together: love.
I’ve come to love Valentine’s Day, but not for the reason people often do. I think celebrating love is so much more than a dozen red roses, dinner reservations, or anything else only shareable in a romantic relationship: loving your friends, your family, and yourself are tantamount, and deserve far more recognition and real estate in our minds than they usually get. Boys and dates will come and go, but true friends and blood bonds are for life, and it is with that thought in mind that I really enjoy this annual reminder for all of us to commemorate the ones we love most.
A note about loving yourself: it’s incredible. And it’s essential. But as a symptom of our brokenness, it has become frowned upon, synonymous with vanity or self-absorption, when the way God intended it could not be further from either. When the Bible calls us to think of ourselves less, it doesn’t also mean think less of ourselves. As we would in all other ways, we are meant to view ourselves as God views us: loved. Worthy. Lovely. If some of us spoke to our friends the way we spoke to ourselves, we wouldn’t have friends! How’s that for a sobering thought!
So be kind to yourself. Acknowledge your successes. Forgive your mistakes. Surprise yourself with an adventure, and allow your heart to leap. These past few years have been wonderful for growth and learning more about myself. After reflecting back on my 2018, for instance, I realized that most of my favorite memories were from the trips I took and the friends I was with. Travel makes my soul come alive, and I love my friends and value our friendships more than most anything else. So what better way to show a little self luuuuv than to book a train ticket to a breathtaking (and new!) country like this one?
If Valentine’s Day is a painful one for you, I want to encourage you to perceive it in a new way. For some, that may mean turning outward and learning how to love others well (which will in turn feel amazing for you!) For others, that could mean turning inward, choosing to both believe and live out the belief that your are loved, and a special, gifted, intelligent, fearfully and wonderfully made, worthy human! There is no one else like you, and that was not by mistake. Speak only kindness and encouragement to everyone, including yourself.
That’s all, my loves. Stay tuned for more pictures, because this place is like an onstage-twerking-while-pregnant Cardi B….it leaves me speechless.