I have to admit, Valentine's Day is not really big on my list of favorite holidays. Yes, I love my husband, but to me Valentine's Day is way too commercial and gifts are not my Love Language anyway. Last night, we went (along with every other person in our state) to buy the boys their Valentine's gifts and the store was cram-packed with people. These people were rushing about trying to find the perfect gifts. Candy was flying off the shelves and flowers were everywhere. Lots of money being spent to say "I love you", when just the words would suffice.
Yesterday was our preschool Valentine's party at church (today is the one at Lake's school - can you say 'tired?'). The last preschool Valentine's party I will have to plan - this is my last year to coordinate preschool activities - I have done it for over 4 years. We played games, made a craft, ate cookies and chips, and I read them a story. After the story, I asked the kids to tell me what Valentine's Day is about. Some yelled out 'candy', some said an obligatory "Jesus" because we were at church. I told them Valentine's Day is about people you love and then I asked them "Who loves you most?" Almost all of them answered "Mommy". Mommy loves you most? Really? Well, yes, that is what many of us mommies would like you to think, but there is Another that loves you more--much more.
On the way home, I thought about it and I have to admit that I have stolen some thunder from the Lord in the area of my kids. I have pretended to love them more than Anyone when that just is not possible. I have actually said "Mommy loves you more than anything". I love my children passionately, but I shouldn't love them more than anything. I should love the Lord my God more than anything else. I should make sure my kids know that no one comes before Jesus - no one loves you more than Jesus.
My prayer for my kids is that Jesus will be their first love and that they will never leave Him. I want them to see that He is first in my life- before them, before their father. I want them to grow up to be men who aren't afraid to love Jesus boldly. I want them to speak out against sin and not be wishy-washy in their convictions. I want them to speak the Truth (in love of course:-) without apology. I, of course, want them to marry a good Christian girl who loves the Lord more than anything, but above all I want them to always remember their First Love. I want them to be the ones who don't care to go against popular opinion to stand up for what is right in the eyes of God. I want them to be good kids, but more importantly I want them to grow up to be Godly men. My new prayer for my boys starting today is : "Lord Jesus, be their first love and never let them grow away from You". If I had a dollar for every time I heard my parents say "You will understand when you have kids of your own" I would be rich. Little did I know how true those words are. Until you experience having children of your own, you do not know the full range of emotions that comes along with being a parent.
OK, now on a lighter note. If you had asked me a couple of days ago, "Beth, do you like dark chocolate?" I would have said and emphatic "NO!". That was until last night. While shopping for the boys Valentine's my hubs (a connoisseur of all things sweet - I mean he picked me, right? ;-) picked up some Dove Dark Chocolate Hearts. I had not eaten anything all day and I was starving, so I decided to try one to keep my stomach from growling so loudly. Today I am a changed woman! If you ask me today, I will say emphatically "I love Dove dark Chocolate". So, maybe Valentine's Day isn't such a bad thing after all!