Because its Valentine’s Day….duh.

I know, I haven’t posted in forever. No excuses except for crazy busyness, BUT I couldn’t let a Valentine’s Day go by without a little something.  I don’t know about y’all but I feel like Valentine’s Day (can we abbreviate to Vday, typing it out is going to get old…real fast), is a polarizing day.  People either love Vday or pretend to hate it.  Think about your instagram, twitter, facebook over the last 24 hours…its probably either full of people posting gifts from their significant others or girls posting about what they’re doing with their girlfriends, what they’re daddy got them, how they don’t need a man (Ladies, nothing wrong with hanging out with your girlfriends, having your dad get you a gift, or being independent…just making an observation).  Can you imagine if guys posted that way? “Hanging out with my bros/brahs, dudes (Idk..whatever you all call each other)” or “My mom is the best! Look a t the teddy bear she sent me!” I’m laughing as I type it. PLEASE, if you’re a guy and you do this today, direct it to my attention.

Anyways, back to the point. Vday can be so polarizing and I think it’s mainly because single people don’t want to face a day that presumably makes them think about something they are not experiencing. I get that.  Sometimes it isn’t fun to be reminded of your single status. I’m single and I’m not really in the hate Vday camp.  Actually, I really enjoy the holiday. Mainly because I have a sweet tooth the size of the Grand Canyon and it constantly needs to be filled…so anytime I can eat more chocolate…I’m good.  But leading up to this Vday I wanted to focus more on the love part of the holiday. Not in romantic way, because, well, I’m single…but just in a how can I love people more this week?

For me, the first step in loving more was to look back at where my ability to love even comes from…“We love because he first loved us” 1 John 4:19 (NIV).  I’m sure the rest of you, like me, have heard this verse. It’s a pretty famous one.  Makes the rounds on the instagram quotes pictures.  But over the past year, I’ve had the privilege of learning so much more about how much God loves me.  If you read my blog at all, you know that 2013 was an exceptionally tough year.  I’m reading a book by Jerry Bridges, Trusting God Even When Life Hurts, and he really focuses on how adversity can bring us a better understanding of who God is… in the words of my clever 16 year old life group girls…RT!!! Seriously, they RT short for retweet like in twitter to show they agree. Ha! I love this and try to use it whenever possible.

 Over the last year, my family and I dealt with a situation where we were lied to, hurt, and betrayed.  When it all came to the surface, every single bone in my body wanted to be mad at the betrayer. I wanted to yell, scream, and just be plain old mean to that person.  I wanted my love to be conditioned based on that person’s actions. I thought they deserved my anger, my meanness. Before I waged full-scale Amanda mean war, I felt God directing me to slow down, take a deep breath and spend some time with Him.  Wouldn’t you know…I just couldn’t be mad at that person. Off came the William Wallace war paint.  God practically yelled at me through my Bible and prayers…”Amanda, this hurt you’re experiencing…this is a small sliver of the hurt I feel when you sin against Me…BUT (and this but is big and it is good) My love for you is unconditional, I created you even though I knew you would sin against Me and I still sent My precious son to die for you.  Talk about an amazing, gut check lesson.  God used a moment of pain in my life to teach me so much more about the depths and heights of His love.

 So shew, that took a lot more words to write than I originally planned on, but I’ve been attempting to take what I’ve learned about God’s love for me and use it in the way I love others.  Let me tell ya, it is hard work to love others even a teeny tiny bit like God loves us.   For me, my love work over the past week hasn’t pushed my love boundaries because the people I love are difficult to love, but it has pushed my own selfish boundaries. Loving people takes a lot of time…time that if i give other people, I can’t spend on myself…you know to love people you actually have to be apart of their lives, hang out with them, do things they like to do…which totally throws my selfish gear in overdrive.

 If you follow me on instagram, you probably think my only friends are high school girls (which sounds kind of creepy) but I have the privilege of working in a high school ministry and being around some amazing young women. This week, I dedicated to them. I want them to know how awesome, special, and loved they are so they received my time and awesome trampoline skills ( physical therapist mother has made me afraid of trampoline injuries so I’m baby with my jump tricks).

So I don’t know if you’re single, married, engaged, lovey dovey, wherever you may fall on the relationship spectrum…you can let Vday be a time to just love the guts out of somebody.

 AND I’m linking my favorite video. ever. on how much God loves you.  I’ve posted it before, and I love it. I think I could watch it every single day.