I’m the cute one on the right!

Today is Valentine’s Day and there are messages of love everywhere, but not all of them have lasting meaning. Purchased or delivered out of guilt or a sense of obligation, some “love notes” are less than satisfying. When I look around, the love notes that mean the most to me are not necessarily expensive or glitzy, and not all of them romantic, but each one has deep meaning to me.

A couple of love notes I’ve saved for years are from my daughters. One is a bookmark of stick figures with amazingly poignant expressions. I treasure it so much I laminated it so it would last. It is currently being used as a bookmark. A note from my other daughter is a “thank you” message that says, “Mom, yore my secret angle.” The misspelled words always makes me smile, but the reason it’s special is because of the surprise sentiment she delivered.

Similarly, I have a piece of an envelope flap tucked away in my Bible from my now grown daughter. It simply says, “Love you!” with a smiley face. There was only a check in the envelope and no note, but I cherish the two words scrawled on the flap – not because she never says them, but because she says them often and sincerely. I know she loves me and accepts me as I am; her calls and desire to spend time together reaffirm her words.

Love notes from my husband are usually addressed to “My Little Package.” He spends a lot of time choosing cards for their content. Then he adds his own words of love and appreciation for who I am. And he follows up his words with actions that prove them true.

This year I got a surprise Valentine from my parents – a handcrafted card with pictures of my sisters and me, and the five of us together. It’s filled with personalized scripture blessings, prayers, and hopes they have for the three of us. They desire God’s best for us. What could be more meaningful?

I have a box filled with notes. Some, from readers who write to let me know how God is using what I do to feed their souls. These love notes affirm my work and gladden my heart. There are sweet notes from my sisters, Mom, and girlfriends that come at just the right time with just the right message. Because they know me, they celebrate the joys of life as well as words of comfort in dark times. Often, the messages are so inspiring I keep them out for months, just to be reminded I’m not alone.

God’s love notes are the best of all. He always knows what we need and delivers them at just the right time. He doesn’t depend on the mail service or wait for the next holiday or special occasion. Some of my favorite love notes from Him are:

Jeremiah 31:3-4: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. I will build you up again, and you…will be rebuilt. Again you will…go out to dance with the joyful.”

Isaiah 49:15-16: “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;your walls are ever before me.

Hebrews 13:5: “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

Today, in the hubbub of Valentines, I hope you are both sending and receiving sweet messages of love. It doesn’t matter if you have a sweetheart or not to enjoy the delight of tender words of acceptance, commitment, and praise. May this be a day of rejoicing and giving for you and those you exchange meaningful messages with.

Happy Valentine’s Day!