I love her when she's messy, when she rubs snot all over my blouse, when she's screaming, when she's hurting, when she's blissfully running around without a diaper on, when she's sleeping or talking or angry.
I LOVE my baby.
She gets in my personal space constantly. There's no such thing as "personal space" to her, actually, and she never regulates her volume whether she's screaming in my ear or cooing in her bed.
I'm vulnerable with her. I don't hide tears or stifle laughter. I don't care what I'm wearing. She sees my every emotion and act. Our relationship is one of pure love and even intimacy -I know my baby's every interest and charm, every emotion and discovery.
I imagine my relationship with my Father in Heaven resembles it. No matter what mess I make, no matter if I scream or hurt or laugh or pray in the shower, He LOVES His baby.
Because our relationship is intimate, He knows me very personally. Because He isn't visible, He sends me personal Valentines... tailored to fit me, sweet, gentle reminders. You? are loved.
Just as my baby is wildly different than my older "babies," so are you different from me. But there is no variation in love -I love my olders equally as much, but I have to communicate it differently because THEY are different.
One understands through words, one through actions... one through quality time, one through an audience ("Mom, watch. Are you watching, Mom? Did you see? Now watch THIS.")
Heavenly Father manifests His love for me in ways that I understand completely, and it brings me to tears... tears of, "He KNOWS." He knows me, and He loves me. It's overwhelming. Lately, as I said, I've been capturing His Valentines to me through pictures. I invited you to the party, and my heart was touched, my eyes welled with tears. He speaks to you differently than He speaks to me.
Even as I read your words and looked at your pictures, I felt that familiar, overwhelming feeling all over again.
And so your Valentines became my Valentines in a way, and it was such an uplifting experience that I'm creating an entire project out of it all. Since beginning my long road on recovery, I've learned more about love than I ever thought possible and just like *that* Valentine's Day became my favorite holiday. The idea of making the spirit of Valentines last 365 days a year makes me fairly giddy.
THANK YOU for sending me your pictures. It is nearing the end of the month, and from this month forward, I'm going to begin publishing a Monthly Valentine Installment. Whether full of mine own Valentines or the Valentines of my friends, it is the same degree of warm fuzzy feeling... and a wonderful reminder that HE KNOWS.
So please. Please. Don't stop snapping quick pictures of scenery, children, screen shots of quotes and music... whatever touches your intimate heart in a way that only God can, if you feel like sharing... there is a place for you.
Thank you for allowing me the privilege of seeing and hearing your Christmas Valentines.
At this point, I would ask that you please turn off any and all electronics (unless you're using them to view this), hunker down with some hot cocoa and enjoy this month's edition.
Merry Christmas, you wonderful you.
Last night, I sat with someone I love very dearly as she related to me God's startling manifestations in her life: how the day before she'd been in a very dangerous situation and the Lord had preserved her life. It wasn't the first time it had happened to her. Through her tears, she bore testament to God in her life.
He is here, my sweet sisters -my stalwart brothers.
He is here.
Don't stop looking.
(if I missed publishing your Valentine this month, please message me -I had Valentines come in from every facet of media. I worked hard to publish them all and would absolutely HATE to miss one. If I did -please set me straight.)