Valentines Day

For 38 years I have blindly celebrated Valentines day…from being a kid and giving valentines to class mates, receiving my first ‘real’ valentine from a cute boy in grade school that had a quarter in a card, remembering the flowers that were received by life’s first love, chocolate, hugs, kisses, romance anticipation, and all that our culture has embraced as VALENTINES DAY…until today

I just read about this holiday because I was thinking:  Where is my valentine, who will send me flowers, why am I buying my children a chocolate heart full of candy?  I had no good answers and so I decided to uncover the truth behind the holiday.

There are 3 St. Valentines..all three of them said to have been martyred on February 14th.

The MAIN Valentine’s life story is as follows; When Claudius II became emperor of Rome, he felt that married men were more emotionally attached to their families, and thus, will not make good soldiers.  He believed marriage made men weak, so he issued an edict forbidding marriage to assure quality soldiers.  St. Valentine was a bishop that secretly held marriage ceremonies for soldiers. Valentine got in trouble and thrown in jail for this. Turns out he had some saintly abilities and could heal people(sounds like the Holy Spirit to me).  Valentine’s jailer had a blind daughter…Valentine was used by God to heal her.  Although the emperor thought this was cool, Valentine refused to recognize roman gods and thus was order to be killed.  The friendship between the blind jailers daughter and Valentine ended with Valentine sending a note to her, the one he admired, before his execution signed, “From your valentine”.

The 14th of February then became the day for a day to offer handwritten notes of affection, known as valentines, from young Roman men to women they admired.

Today, Americans have turned this holiday into chocolate, flowers, love and romance.

I have decided to go back to what Valentine had in mind…simply to send a note of respect to a woman he admired.  I admire these women:

MOM

  I know my mom’s story.  I know she was born into a family of 2 BIG amazing brothers.  I’ve never met her mom but you can read about her HERE.  My moms dad was a hero of mine.  My mom married an amazing man, who together, raised me well.  My mom lost her mom at an early age and managed to get through that with strength.  My mom has given me hope and encouragement.  Happy Valentines day mom…I love you!  You are admired by many! 

 

Daughter

abby

This little girl has ALL my affection and admiration.  She is me in a little 8 year old body.  Full of joy and has more strength in her now then I do at my age!  I have a front row seat and can’t wait to see how God uses this little piece of simple perfection.  XOXOXO my little Girl.

 

Best Friend

BRE

My ski partner…I totally admire this woman for what God has called her to do.   Her job completely amazes me but more than that, I am humbled that she has chosen to stick by me over the years.  The Word of God says a friend sticks closer than a brother…and she is just that.  WE have been through it all…late teens, stupid choices, weddings, childbirth, stupid choices(did I already say that?  It’s good to have a friend who will do this with you twice;)  Happy Valentines Day friend, from your mostly sane friend!

 

Mentor

andrea

YEP..this woman has helped me fly.  Not only was she my mentor when I was 20something…she has become a great friend.  We spent a week together this summer and if not for her I’d be stuck in my pit with no hope of returning.  I’ve seen her GREAT moments and walked with her in some tough times.  Through it all she has earned my admiration.  Recently, she left a great job with great benefits and much stability, to follow a wild goose(WILD GOOSE CHASE by MARK BATTERSON, post to come soon).  She left the cage of responsibility and assumption and totally took a risk.  We haven’t seen how the story will end up but we know that with God nothing is planted that does not produce fruit!  She will be fruitful and I send her a valentine to say “Friend don’t worry about GBTJ, you already have Him in you!!”  From your Valentine.

My therapist/counselor/friend should receive a million dollars a day as a valentine from me:)  You’ve led me to discover things in me that I didn’t know where there.  I have a core full of value and each day I grow in confidence because of you!

Then of course, Pastor Bo Stern is admired by many but recently she restored my hope and tore down the  wall of shame that the enemy was trying to build around me.  Happy  V-day Bo!

Other friends and family that go unmentioned, if you think you’ve made a shred of difference in my life you are correct!!!  If you have talked with me today or tomorrow or a year ago, you’ve touch my life and I have found admiration for you! 

So in honor of all the women that I admire, I sign this…..FROM YOUR VALENTINE

~TRACY

The Space Where IT will happen

desk

I’m letting you in on a little secret… This is the place where all things great and wonderful will happen.  I have an office….Its in another room.  It used to be a multi-purpose “me” space. I would work there, I would read there, I would write there, I would study there, I would cry there, I would hide there.  It had to many purposes and it was very confusing to my spirit.  Every time I walked in that multi-purpose “me” space, there was no telling what was going to happen.  When work happened, my spirit longed to be with Jesus in His word.  When time with the Lord happened, my work was sitting right in front of me.  When crying happened, more crying came because the work was piled high.  When reading happened I was cold, because there is no heat in the multi purpose “me” space.  (but that’s another story) Things had to change.

Today they changed.  Today my little writing desk came.  Beautiful orange/yellow roses where cut.  A sweet smelling candle was lit and the snow fell outside.  This space has been lovingly claimed as God’s desk.  He and I will meet here.  We will accomplish great tasks and we will really enjoy our time together.   How wonderful it is to have this space. 

The other night I was just about to fall asleep when a light bulb went of in my mind and all of a sudden half of a book was written in my head. I didn’t get up and write it down because then I would have to go to the multi-purpose “me” room, sort through the work papers, clear off the crying chair, turn on the light and likely wake up the children.  Alas, the Lord is faithful and the creative file folder in my mind still contains the words that were given that night, but it desperately needs to come out!  It will come out at this desk and the rest can come anytime it wants too…the place is ready.

Something more than a new desk has happened, the heavens have been opened, the flood gates are no longer holding back and the slate is clean. 

Here we go…..