As Valentine’s Day rounds the corner, my mind flips back 12 years ago, and how I got to know the man of my dreams.
Whether we take the time for a candle lit supper or just have a regular day at home, I just like the holiday. Growing up, it never really got celebrated in our community, now since Daniel and I are married he puts special efforts in to show me how special I am to him. Often it’s with a card, sometimes arranging a special meal, or even with chocolates, that he shows his love. Our children thrive on witnessing our love for each other and enjoy when we tell them stories of our courting months. It’s fun listening to their giggles as they try to imagine the two of us as young folks, getting to know each other.
Let me add that I’m very aware that the holiday will bring as much pain for one individual as joy to another. Ultimately, may we all be filled with God’s love and then pass it on to all we meet.
Ah, for only one day, I’d like to go back and be a starry-eyed 19-year-old girl and be getting ready for this most wonderful young man, coming to see me for our Sunday afternoon date. There was no news better than to find out that Daniel is coming for the weekend. Living with his family in Ohio, we didn’t get to see each other every week. When we did hire a driver to travel the distance, we relished the extra time together. Most of those times were spent getting to know each other’s families.
Neither did I ever tire of traveling to take me to Ohio to visit him. No matter what, I was ready to go. I especially remember one occasion when my brother, Javin, and his wife traveled with me. He knew I could hardly wait for the van to pull in the driveway, stopping in front of their large farmhouse. As always, Daniel came to meet us and help unload; when Javin shook hands with him, he remarked: “I never saw anyone’s eyes shine so much as her’s, when she was waiting to see you.” Daniel smiled.
As my mind travels back, I heave a little sigh; was life really as close to perfect those days as I thought it was? I wonder.
Now, much has changed. What has changed?
We are still in love, I know that absolutely no matter what, Daniel would never leave me or turn his back on me in any way. We still love our quiet moments together, but in reality, we have less time to just talk than we did before we were married. Even though our love isn’t brand new like it was in those days, our love is one that has been through deep waters and for that reason it holds a depth that I cannot tell. I look into his eyes, and I see the same tenderness I once did, yet somehow it seems seasoned, even matured.
And you know, I’ve found that when I make life about him and what I can do for him, instead of what I want, I feel that love rekindling much like it was those first years. Perhaps what has changed has more to do with me and what I’m putting into our relationship than other changes, like the six precious children God has brought to our home. Or other cares and responsibilities that have been added.
No, I don’t regret the times of being naive, in a sense. In fact, when I was courting Daniel, my mom would encourage me, “Embrace those times, life will bring changes.”
If it weren’t for God’s love, like glue, holding us together amid all the curve balls life throws straight at us, there would be no use to keep trying to stay on top of things. You know, especially those times where you just don’t see your way through the haze.
Whether or not you do have that one special friend to walk the pathway of life with you, you and I do have the opportunity to make a difference in the life of a co-worker, friend, or neighbor, so that one day, as they look back over their life they can say, “You know, I don’t know what would have happened if she/he wouldn’t have taken a moment to show they cared.”
OOEY GOOEY VALENTINE’S DESSERT
1 package chocolate cake mix
¾ cup cold butter
1 egg, slightly beaten
(1) 8 oz. cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup whipped topping
3 cups milk
1 pkg (3.9 oz.) chocolate instant pudding
1 pkg (3.9 oz.) vanilla instant pudding
1 teaspoon instant coffee, opt
3 cups whipped topping
Chocolate shavings, opt.
In a large bowl cut butter into cake mix until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add egg, mix well. Press into a greased 9 by 13 cake pan. Bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes or until set.
Beat cream cheese and powdered sugar, fold in 1 cup whipped topping. Spread over cooled crust, refrigerate until set. In a bowl whisk together milk and both puddings. Let stand for 5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Spread over cream cheese mixture. Top with 3 cups whipped topping. Sprinkle with chocolate shavings. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving. Delicious served with ice cream.