Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day 2010

2:20 p.m. Today's project was to exchange cards and gifts with Steve, my dear husband of 28 and 1/2 years. Since it's a Sunday, we had our celebration in two parts: gifts before church and cards after. We had a funny moment, because Steve had accidentally gotten me a musical BIRTHDAY card, very hilarious, but it's put away until August. [He nicely bought me a Valentine's card after church, quite lovely with a beautiful poem in it]

Steve really liked his black Propet walking shoes--comfortable and nice looking. And he had bought me a Borders bookstore gift card worth $25.00. Happily, another "gift" I had ordered came by mail in good time, a nice, light cotton robe to throw on over my nightgown in the mornings. In case you might wonder how Steve could purchase a gift, I gave him some cash, and shopped at Vons while he walked a short distance in the Riverside Plaza to Borders. I am delighted with my giftcard because I am such a reading fanatic! We'll go together and have a nice cool coffee drink one day soon.

Expecting surprises from my steady, industrious husband has not been a very wise thing to do, since he has always been forgetful and needs reminders, probably like many men do. I hear tell of brilliant romantic guys (like my Heidi's Pavel and Heather's Nick, and our sons Sean, Kriss, and Steven) who cook up fabulous plans and the most thoughtful gifts on their own, and am tempted to sigh... but I am genuinely happy for others, because both God and I know the absolutely faithful, devoted husband Steve has been! None better. And he has come up with wonderful clothing and jewelry for me over the years, most recently with a little help from my daughters.
It's odd experiencing the first Valentine's Day not being a teacher! I pass by the rows of card packs, bags of individually wrapped candy treats, and the boxes of little hearts with the sayings on them, and almost reach out to throw them into my cart, before thinking, "I'm retired!" I miss the fun parties, the fancy Valentine card holders I'd have the kids make, and the exchanges, not to mention the teacher gifts. On the upside, I save a bundle every holiday NOT buying all the candy and gifts! Heidi made out pretty well this year with a balloon and some stuffed toys. It certainly does sweeten the elementary teacher's daily stress to feel loved and appreciated!
Our Home Fellowship leader Mark Murdaugh mentioned in an email to all of us, encouraging attendance at the Married Couples' dinner, that he sometimes regrets events that of necessity
exclude some of the sisters and brothers. It's not easy being single on this day, unless you're young; too busy serving the Lord and surviving financially, like our youngest son Steven to even consider a relationship; or have chosen to be a single person for life. I can think of at least two friends who wouldn't have it any other way, because they are living the life God has called them to, and He is meeting their every need.
Come to think of it, God meets my every need, as well! God depicts marriage as a metaphor for the relationship between Christ and His redeemed people; we are His bride. Ephesians 5:25 says, "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her." And when at last believers are ready to be received into the presence of Christ, the Lamb of God, Revelation 19:7-8 exhorts, " 'Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.' And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints."
That's one wedding I will be proud to attend, with everyone from all generations and nations who have professed Christ as Savior! Much as I delight in the intimacy and commitment of my earthly marriage, nothing "this side of heaven" can compare with the marriage supper of the Lamb!

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