it's not about the flowers

Happy Valentine's Day!

Depending on ... well, any number of factors, really - reading that probably elicited any number of responses. Wry grins. Political rants about greeting card holidays. Warm fuzzies. You name the emotion - somebody probably felt it. Joy. Sorrow. Rage...

Valentine's Day is a weird holiday, at least here in the States. Overpriced chocolate and flowers that cost twice as much this week as they do the entire rest of the year. Silly decorations. Teddy bears. (really? whose idea was that?) Sugared-up kids on holiday. It's craziness, I tell you.

Nevertheless, I still grinned when I got the fancy-shmancy e-card from my dad today. Fairies flying about, decorating a magical world. Pretty music. Made me feel like a kid again for a couple of minutes. Like maybe magic - miracles - really can happen. It reminded me of Valentine's Day when I was a kid, and coming down to breakfast to find a box of candy - just for me - and a card from my dad, telling me I was loved. Special. Worth something.

The holiday can stink for single adults. So much romance shoved down our throats - the implication that because we don't have that, we've somehow abysmally failed as functional people... but it's all a LIE, people. We haven't failed. And Valentine's Day is a commercial crock.

But do you know why it sells?

It sells because we all want to know that we're special. That someone loves us. That we are worth loving.

So I have good news for you. You are special. You are loved. And you are worth loving - because you are created in the image of an incredibly creative God, who knew you before you were born, and who has an amazing plan for your life - a plan far greater than you've probably dared to dream yet.

So rejoice in that, this Valentine's Day - whether you have someone "special" or not. Because Someone incredibly special has you, in the palm of His hand. And He loves you, very much. (and if you heard that in your head in the voice of a certain talking tomato... well. it's true.) :)

Thank you to Kathryn, at Good In Parts, for an excellent post on love this week. And to Jake, who posted this last year.

And to all of you who so faithfully read these frequently random glimpses into my head - Happy Valentine's Day, and may you know God's love for you.

Grace and peace,

oh, and p.s. -- since I'm working on being more transparent this year, I'll confess it. I have a dozen roses on my corner table. But I bought them myself. They were on sale at the grocery store, and I like roses... :)

25 Things

okay, i give in. i'm a lemming. at least today. mostly because there is cleaning to be done and i don't feel like doing it.

25 random things about me:

1. I find it odd that this meme has jumped from 6 things to 25 things in just one year, but i suppose inflation is rather a ubiquitous sort of thing.

2. I really like the word ubiquitous.

3. Sara Bareilles has a song called "One Sweet Love" that I think is pretty much number one on my playlist right now.

4. When I eat neopolitan icecream (which just bothers me to begin with because you should not mix flavors like that!), I eat the strawberry first to get it out of the way, then the vanilla, and then the chocolate, because the chocolate is the best part, and should always be saved for last.

5. I really love both of my jobs - the one I get paid for and the one I don't.

6. I have friends in Australia that I've never met.

7. One of the first times that I ever really began to understand that God loved me was in a car in a church parking lot, listening to a song called "Before You Call." Which I can still sing to you in its entirety. (Thank you, Mike.)

8. One of my favorite books as a kid was this little pink three-inch by one-inch fold-out hymn book with the words and music to "Tell Me The Story of Jesus." I bet it made God grin, knowing everything He knew. :)

9. I've written exactly one worship song that I think is worth copyrighting. And two years later I still like it, so next year, I might actually get around to figuring out how you do that...

10. Random fact from my belief system: ice cream is a food-group.

11. I am really looking forward to summer coming around again so I can hit the trails with my bike again. When I was biking 40-50 miles a week, I didn't have to pay nearly so much attention to how much ice cream I was eating, lol.

12. My favorite coffee mug is blue, with blue and green stripes. They are very calming colors, and the mug is just the right size to wrap your hands around and feel all cozy. And it was a gift from good friends, which makes it even better. Come to think of it, they have very good taste in coffee cups - I have another one they gave me that's red and is like reverse-bubble-wrap...

13. I think the word chutzpa is just cool.

14. Extreme underwater ironing is hands-down the most interesting sport I've seen yet.

15. I've been to Albania. And I seriously thought about not coming back.

16. I would really like to learn to play the bagpipes. But I think I would get kicked out of my house if I tried to practice.

17. I think it would be really cool if Torch hosted a Sacred Space event in conjunction with the Willow Arts Conference. Maybe someday. :)

18. I'm memorizing Ephesians, and I've been stuck at the end of chapter 2 for about 6 months.

19. I love to paint. Not pictures - walls. I have no idea why.

20. I prefer loading dirty dishes into the dishwasher to taking the clean ones out... go figure.

21. I took New Testament Greek on a dare.

22. I used to mow lawns with Sufjan Stevens. It was a really fun summer.

23. Every little girl should be given a copy of The Ordinary Princess for her 8th birthday.

24. I love J.P.'s. - a really great coffee shop - and have been known to drive 3.5 hours each way for a cup of their coffee.

25. One of my favorite college memories involved Klompenskotch.... :)