I hate Valentine's day. Always have. The fact of the matter is that all it boils down to is a day for single people to have their singleness thrown back into their faces as the whole world seems to "couple-up" even if just for the day. And the sad part is that we focus on having someone to say I love you to on that day more than any other. So, I typically boy-cott this extremely over-commercialized, romance driven holiday with a vengence. The only exception being that my cousin and I would always get each other something so that even if we were single, we didn't look like total losers.
This year however, the black day fell on a Sunday. I love the fact that I had something else to focus on all day... because who should really be our valentine? I mean, who gave his life because he loved us? And thankfully, the focus of the day wasn't on who had a sweetheart with them, but on how many people we had at services (total side track here, but this is about the fourth or fifth week since the beginning of the year that we've had over 120 people attend our services) and where we were going to have them all sit.
After services that night, we had a "valentine's party" at the preacher's house. After a great meal that included all different kinds of goodies, the kids were herded into a bedroom to play while the adults settled down in the living room for some friendly valentine's games. Between the "lovebird" game and the purse scavenger hunt, the whole room was rolling with laughter! I was quite impressed with some of my church family's answers and determination to get to hold the prized singing monkeys! But I think James won the night with his "eyes on the prize" competitiveness! (Bless Jennifer's heart)
We have been blessed with a church family that is not only growing in number, but one that is growing spiritually. I can remember times when I was the only person there between the age of 20 and 30. Now... there's actually a group of people my own age. But the best part is that they are concerned with spiritual things, like spending time with other christians and studying the Bible together. The concept of loving your brethren is one that has been redefined for me in the last year. What a better way to spend your valentine's day!