If There’s One Post I Want You to Read This Year–it’s This One

Teddy Bears

Today is day four in our Valentine series, and our challenge today is to bless someone else with a Valentine. Why? You might ask… Because something is missing and it has been for years.

If there’s one post I want you to read this year–it’s this one.

I wrote these words on February 17, 2014, three days after Valentine’s day:

As usual, Michael went out of his way to make Valentine’s Day a special event for me. He’s romantic that way.

Knowing how busy the restaurants are on the 14th, he took me out for lunch a few days earlier. We enjoyed chips and salsa at our favorite hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant.

On Thursday night he showed up with a dozen red roses complete with thorns that pricked at my hands while I trimmed their long stems.

No doubt about it, I knew I was loved, but something was missing and it has been for years.

My roses remain on the table where they’ll stand until each starts dropping their petals. One by one they’ll slip away until the vase is replenished next year. Until the color red takes its place at our table–a symbol of Michael’s devotion to me.

I had a great Valentine’s Day. So why am I left disappointed?

It’s February 17th. This afternoon we stopped in at my mom’s house. It would have been Dad’s birthday if he were with us today, but he’s not. Dad passed away from cancer in 2011 just days before their 61st anniversary. He wasn’t the most romantic of men–at least I didn’t see him that way–but year after year without fail, he’d hop into his little Toyota and drive to the store where he’d buy Mom a heart-shaped box of chocolates.

This year mom spent the day alone baking bread. No man by her side. No heart-shaped tokens of love. Just flour, yeast, water and tears–plenty of them.

It’s astonishing isn’t it? The most romantic day of the year, serves to remind some of how little they’re loved.

Mother’s day, Father’s day, Valentine’s day… They may be great days of celebration to us, but to others they’re a sad reminder of the things they don’t have.

Immersed in the memories of 61 years with a man who served his family and cherished his wife, she was left with nothing but the shards of a broken heart and tears that are all to familiar to her.

“Lord,” she cried out. “Give me a sign. Give me something to remind me I’m loved.”

Then the kitchen fell silent as she stood there alone.

A few hours later, Mom packed up two loaves of bread, bundled up for the snow, and walked over to the neighbor’s house.

Stepping inside, she was met with a warm smile, “Hold on for a minute,” he said, “my wife has something for you.”

Returning from the kitchen, he placed a small package in her hands. Nothing grand–simply four homemade chocolates in a small box wrapped in pretty paper.

The tag on the box read, “Happy Valentine’s Day, Lenore.”

Short. Simple. And sweet.

Mom returned to her house where she fell apart in the living room. “Oh, my God! Oh, my God! Oh, my God!” She cried out.

Someone in this world stopped in the middle of their own romantic life to show someone else that they too are loved.

Looking at myself, I’m left disappointed. I didn’t reach out. I didn’t bless. I didn’t give a second thought to those who were mourning.

People are hurting. People are broken. People are lonely.

One small act of kindness can greatly affect another. It’s not the size of the gift that matters it’s simply the gift.

Perhaps you don’t know how much your neighbor needs encouragement, and maybe you don’t know what God is calling you to do.

I don’t. But I do know that any act of kindness regardless of how small it might be has the potential to speak volumes in the life of another.

Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. – Matthew 25:34-40

You are loved by an almighty God,

Darlene Schacht
The Time-Warp Wife

Pick up a copy of my book, Messy Beautiful Love: Hope and Redemption for Real-Life Marriages. Only $2.99 on Kindle. 

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Join us tomorrow for day five in our challenge, “Enjoy a day night together.”

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Written by Darlene Schacht

I'm an Evangelical Christian whose number one priority is to serve Jesus Christ in every area of my life. My husband Michael and I live in Manitoba Canada. Married 25 years, we have four children (three still at home), a bird and two pugs who are everyone's babies, especially mine! Our lives are basically surrounded with three things: our faith, music and everything books. I’m an award winning and New York Times best-selling author who is nothing without the grace of God. Facebook: timewarpwife Twitter: timewarpwife Pinterest: timewarpwife

14 Comments

  1.  avatar

    Wow. Thank you for this convicting post, Darlene! I needed to read this today. I’ve been thinking about how to make this Valentine’s Day special, focusing on my husband (of course) and my children. But now you’ve got me thinking outside my home. How can we use this occasion to bless others? I’m going to discuss this with our children this morning and see what we can come up with. Thank you my friend.

  2.  avatar
    Audra Ohm says:

    Thank you for this post. Many times we get lost in the Hallmark Holidays and loose site of the hurt that surrounds us. Mother’s day use to be the worst day of the year for me. I would sit thinking of all the other mom friends in my life and the children they call their own, hoping that one day I would to be called mom. Thanks for the reminder to keep my eyes open this valentines day and show love to someone who may me hurting!

  3.  avatar
    Ellen says:

    What a beautiful reminder of the need to share God’s love with others especially on a day that celebrates love! Thank you for sharing your mother’s story – it touched my heart and reminded me to look at others through the eyes of God and show His love through acts of kindness each and every day.

  4.  avatar
    Dawnja says:

    I love what you wrote (and write each time) and would like to share with you what I wrote a few years ago and then last year on my FB to my friends. I had had someone tell me how upset they would be if they didn’t get something very extravagant for their Valentine’s Day gift. After being ill for several years, I learned how lucky and blessed I am with the little things~ the love that is shown to me each and every day. IT IS FREE!

    Okay, last year I posted the attached statement and I still truly believe this. Valentine’s Day is my very favorite holiday and always has been. I will share a bit of a conversation I had with someone I love very much about the holiday.
    My husband hates this day~ as many men do. I never liked it because I got gifts and I truly have NEVER expected anything from my husband (even when we were dating) on Valentine’s Day. If I got something great but if not, fine! This what I feel everyone should know about this day~
    Ladies~ if you have to (and I say HAVE TO very strongly) get something from your man one day a year to think he truly loves you, you are WRONG! Don’t you think it is much better for that said man to give you something every single day? I do not necessarily mean flowers, candy, or jewelry. I mean just treating you with respect, love, and time! Helping you when you need it. Giving you support when it is most needed. I think that it really does not mean a whole lot when a man rushes out to get something just because society says he HAS TO! THINK ABOUT IT! This goes to those very few men that expect too (although I do not know many! lol)
    So, I have ruffle a few feathers today and probably made a lot of my friends think I am crazier than they actually thought but I am very positive that my man loves me with all his heart because he is there for me each and every day. He supports me in what I do, holds me when I am in pain, and raises me up when others try to pull me down~ EACH AND EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR! That truly is the best gift of all and I get it 24/7. 365 days a year!
    SO I AM the LUCKIEST GIRL IN THE WORLD!!! heart emoticon
    Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone!

    Dawnja McCormack
    Today is my FAVORITE holiday! It is my favorite holiday for several reasons. I was supposed to be born on Valentine’s Day but my mom had to work at the flower shop and just could not take the time off! lol After losing a baby, my mom had all but given up having another baby and then found out she was pregnant with me- God had brought a miracle to her! I love this time of year because it reminds me of the most amazing love of all- God’s love! Yes, Christmas shows His love because he sent his son to us as a baby to a virgin and Easter celebrates His most awesome love because he not only did he send His only son BUT His son died for us- sinners- so that we could live eternally. BUT Valentine’s Day reminds me that God wanted us to remember His love by loving our neighbors. Not just our family members. Not just our spouse or significant other. Not just our close friends. NO! We should be reminded that we should show our love to ALL those around us- even those we are not so fond of! LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR- wish those you see today a Happy Valentine’s Day!

  5.  avatar
    Renee Swope says:

    Darlene, I love this post more than words can say. Thank you for taking time to write it, last year, when the revelation was raw. We all need to remember this. Sharing it now!! 🙂

  6.  avatar
    Diane says:

    I have really enjoyed this week and the daily challenges. When I saw this one, it made my heart so happy. We made it a family project and we all have been blessed in the process. Reading this post today helped remind me that I should be looking for to bless someone every holiday, not just my own family, which is also important.

    We chose to focus on a missionary family that was feeling a bit lonely and disconnected from family and friends. Our kids made goodie bags filled with homemade cards and treats for their kids and we filled the rest of the package with treats for the grownups. We had to do it early (it was sent off on Monday in hopes of it arriving near Valentines), so we swapped Monday and Thursday.

    Thank you for your encouragement through your blog and book.

  7.  avatar
    Nancy Easterling says:

    God is so good. Today my husband and I went to Walmart. While there he was trying to find me my valentine gift; chocolates, flowers, anything I wanted. So while looking at some miniature rose bushes another woman and I got talking about our need to get one. She shared with me that her husband had passed on, so she would have to buy it for herself. I encouraged her to do so, and helped her to pick out one. Then I picked out one for me. As I was going to check out God impressed on me to help her purchase her plant, so I quickly went and found her and gave her some money and told her Happy Valentines Day. She was very grateful and it was a wonderful feeling to be used of God. God is good.

  8.  avatar
    Kerri says:

    Thank you! This reminded me of a couple of ladies that have lost their husbands; one of which her anniversary was on Valentine’s Day and one a week ago. God laid it on my heart to reach out to them as I read your post.

  9.  avatar
    Regina says:

    This is such an awesome post Mrs. Darlene. I want to bless those who may be hurting this year from loss or just plain loneliness. Thanks for the reminder that even though our day maybe happy, there are others out there hurting.

  10.  avatar
    MaryLou says:

    This article hit me hard. I’m pretty good to look for opportunities to bless someone but not on Valentine’s Day. When I finished reading the article I immediately thought of three women who do not have a “valentine” in their lives. I did not have time to bake anything but was at Costco where I saw a 6 pk of heart decorated cupcakes. This one I gave to a single mom who was stunned to receive them. Then I saw a bag of chocolate truffles. I bought that and divided it up into little red cellophane bags. I recently moved next to two ladies who have lost their husbands. Just a simple bag of chocolates with a little card to remind them they are valued and appreciated. Both hugged me and one cried. This little gift was appreciated.

    I will always remember this Valentine’s Day. It was a life changing eye opening kind of day. Thankyou so much.

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