Faith Spilling Over… Into Everyday Life

Hope for Valentine’s Day-Challenged People


DSCN8504Can I just say that I’m Valentine’s Day challenged? I’m not a DIY craft person, and I wasn’t organized enough to make cards to mail to my family. I live overseas, so cards are hard to buy, and I don’t even have red food coloring to make red pancakes for a Valentine’s breakfast.

However,I do want to love on the people in my life. Two weeks ago, I read a blog post about evaluating our days not in terms of how productive we are, but in terms of how we are loving people. Author Holley Gerth wrote, “Life is not about how you start or how you finish. It’s about how you love along the way.”

Getting Things Done or Loving People?

That struck a chord with me because I can get so busy zooming through life that I forget to love on the people around me. During a home school break, I’m sometimes too busy looking at the next assignment to listen to my kids. Or I race to the next thing after dinner rather than listen intently to my husband talk. I race down the stairs of our building rather than stopping to smile and chat with a neighbor.

But really, I don’t want to just get more stuff done. I want my life to make a difference. And the best way to make a difference and change lives is to love people.

Ephesians 5:1, 2 says, “Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us…”

God’s love has marked me. I’m a dearly loved child. No matter how much I mess up, or snap or scold or hurry through life, God’s love for me never changes. Christ loved me enough to give his life for me, and He calls me to follow His example: “Walk in the way of love.” The best way I can leave God’s mark on the people around me is to love them, even when they mess up, snap at me, or hurry by me.

What does love look like in real life? Here are 10 ways to love on your people:

1.  Listen intently to your children.

2.  Look your husband in the eyes when he comes through the door, and give him a big kiss.

3.  Give someone a hug!

4. Write a note to someone who needs encouragement.

5. Don’t interrupt when your girlfriend is telling you about her week.

6.  Write your children notes and list 5 qualities you see in them.

7.  Mention to your husband something you appreciate about him.

8.  Just let it go when a friend or family member offends you.

9.  Smile and stand aside when someone’s pushing in front of you in line at the supermarket.

10.  Call your mom or dad to say, “I love you.”

So now I’ve got three days left to plan Valentine’s Day treats for my family.  I’m all for flowers and chocolate, but everyday love looks different, doesn’t it? Do you have special treats planned? What does everyday love look like to you?


Author: betsydecruz

I want to enjoy the everyday life God is giving me as best I can, even when the road gets bumpy. I love having fun with my teenagers, learning almost anything, and drinking dark roast coffee with my friends.

6 thoughts on “Hope for Valentine’s Day-Challenged People

  1. A great list of ways to love each day! Soaking in all I can about God’s love and our response to that love this year! Seeking to love others truly takes determination to look past the clock and activities and see the people around us and take action to show they are special and that I care. Thanks for the reminder and encouragement, Betsy.

  2. Thank you for the gentle yet important reminders, Betsy! I need to practice the one about listening to my kids. Sometimes I think I’m listening, but in truth, I’m lecturing!😬

  3. oh yes. here at our house, everyday love had to say “no expectations, guys, for valentines this year!” though our family loves to be crafty, loves to create expressions of love for one another, right now every single person is so busy, that it would just be stressful to need to make valentines. so instead we will give the gift of grace, and of no expectations. that said, i’ll try to make it special somehow… with coupons to go to coffee when the schedule slows down, and maybe even a little chocolate. ♥ and then i’ll thank God that there’s love in our home every day of the year…not just on Valentine’s…

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