A Very Valentine-y Thankful Tuesday

It’s Valentines Day! If you are reading this in the morning, I am probably in my smiliest morning mood, the one I reserve only for special days. August and I will be popping open the can of cinnamon rolls for breakfast. Then we’ll move quick from them into a mid-morning mixing and baking of “pink velvet” cupcakes (box-mix courtesy of World Market). Ahhh, the sugar intake of Valentines Day!

I love Valentines Day for its heartfelt kid-ness. I love handmade valentines. I love candy and cookies. I love little children and stickers and the sweetness of making a Valentine for someone because they’re your friend. I also think that once Valentines Day becomes about kissy kissy relationships circa 7th grade, it loses all its earnestness. Though I think there are plenty of other days to celebrate your significant other, I’m not a total Valentine grump. I did buy my husband a present. It’s just that his present happens to be a $10 variety pack of old fashioned root beers (which I will share with him the next time we eat a burger…) And, we will celebrate tonight. He will cook me my favorite pasta…the one he used to make me when we were dating and he hardly knew how to make anything else. We’ll watch Breaking Dawn because I haven’t seen it yet and because his watching it with me is the greatest romantic gesture he could possibly make. But, mostly, today the boys and I will celebrate Love with lots of sugar and construction paper, just as St. Valentine always intended his day to be celebrated.

In that spirit, I have a full list of Thankfuls for today. This past week was emotional and good and hard and rich. I’m grateful for…

  • My grandfather’s miraculous recovery from his broken hip last week, his being released from the hospital into rehab. A conversation with Meemaw on the phone and being reminded of her deep love for him, getting to see a bit more of her heart and her commitment to him.
  • Being able to give my 90-year-old grandma (the other one!) some much needed snuggle time with Brooksie this past weekend. (We drove to Dallas Friday afternoon and came back late Saturday night for a day-long visit.)
  • My sister-in-law and my mother were almost in a terrible, terrible car accident  this past weekend. It’s a miracle that they weren’t hurt. It’s a miracle that, despite my sister-in-law’s car skidding across several lanes of traffic and refusing to start (in the middle of two interstate lanes), they were safe and surrounded on all sides by the cushion of grace. In a week that was overwhelming for my family in several ways, it’s a gift to have such a tangible reminder of God’s good care.
  • Brunching (can that be a verb? a super snobby verb?) with a table full of friends from college on Saturday while I was in Dallas. I love how after all these years of wishing I could be close enough to actually see my Texas friends, I am. It’s such a joy.
  • Speaking of Texas, look at this baby and the Texas flag in my husband’s office. Had you shown me this picture a year ago, I would never have believed it was possible.
  • Being stuck in traffic with Melissa, one of my college roomies, for an hour and a half and getting way more time than I planned for to talk to her alone.
  • Jesus’ promise that his yoke is easy and his burden is light, not only for ourselves but for the people we love who suffer physically or emotionally. Easy and light. There is so much rest in “easy and light,” isn’t there?
  • Brooksie’s new favorite word, ball. “Bah bah bah bah bah,” he sings while he crawls around in search of one.
  • Sunday morning pancakes
  • August’s little book about St. Valentine, who risked his life to perform weddings when marriage was forbidden by Claudius the Cruel. Did you know that?
  • Chuck E. Cheese with friends Sunday night.
  • Finding August asleep in his room with a Thomas the Tank Engine Valentine book on his face
  • My friend Trisha’s handmade Valentine she gave me yesterday (I put it on my fridge)
  • Talking about poetry at Writing Group Monday night
  • My friend Andrea’s new book will be released this week! (More to come…)
  • And, of course, a warm cat in my lap while I type

It’s a very Valentine-y Thankful Tuesday. List your thankfuls, people!

  • http://www.agoodmeasure.net Sarah Park

    Okay,
    I’m thankful for a house full of cheerful family members this morning, even the little girl with the bad cold who was up in the middle of last night.
    I’m thankful for the fact that we successfully packed everyone off to school bearing a grand total of 58 handmade valentines, despite my grousing all weekend about having to run a valentine sweatshop.
    I’m thankful for the twins’ preschool, which insists on homemade cards in an effort to keep Sponge Bob and Cinderella out of it.
    I’m thankful for our dishwasher and washing machine, which are both humming away right now.
    I’m thankful for my husband, who willingly runs all kinds of errands in town for me so that I can have a hunker-down-at-home day.

  • http://www.agoodmeasure.net Sarah Park

    Okay,
    I’m thankful for a house full of cheerful family members this morning, even the little girl with the bad cold who was up in the middle of last night.
    I’m thankful for the fact that we successfully packed everyone off to school bearing a grand total of 58 handmade valentines, despite my grousing all weekend about having to run a valentine sweatshop.
    I’m thankful for the twins’ preschool, which insists on homemade cards in an effort to keep Sponge Bob and Cinderella out of it.
    I’m thankful for our dishwasher and washing machine, which are both humming away right now.
    I’m thankful for my husband, who willingly runs all kinds of errands in town for me so that I can have a hunker-down-at-home day.

    • http://mommymonk.wordpress.com Micha Boyett Hohorst

      I love reading your lists, Sarah! 58 homemade valentines??? You are a saint. And “Valentine sweatshop” was one of the funniest things I read all day.

  • http://eatsleepreadlove.wordpress.com Saskia

    I’m just wondering something. You write that your mother and sister-in-law not being hurt is a reminder of God’s good care. How does that work in the reverse? (i.e., had they been hurt, what happened to God’s good care?) I’m not trying to be combative, this just always puzzles me when people say it..

    my thankfuls: being in the States with my dad and going out for coffee every morning at Peets. Knowing that when I fly back home Thursday morning, my boyfriend will be waiting for me to land. Getting emails from good friends.

    • http://mommymonk.wordpress.com Micha Boyett Hohorst

      Wow, Saskia, you ask the question theologians have been wrestling with as long as there’s been theology, right? Is God still good in the tragedy? I honestly don’t feel equipped to answer that. You should read Ann Voskamp’s “One Thousand Gifts” where I feel like she deals with that struggle in a beautiful, honest way and eventually comes to the conclusion that “all is grace”…even in the tragedy, even in the suffering, even in the brokenness.

      If my mother or sister-in-law (or the girls in their cars on the way to my niece’s birthday party) had been hurt or worse, I would be forever altered. I would be marked by that tragedy for life. My family would be as well. We would never be the same. I would never call it a “good gift”. It wouldn’t be. Death is always the enemy. Death was Jesus’ enemy (John 11). Would that mean God isn’t good? No, I believe it would mean death isn’t good. Brokenness isn’t good.

      That’s as far as I can go with it. I believe in mystery and I’ve found a lot of peace in believing that there is much about the world and the mind of God and redemption and the Kingdom that I will never understand until the day it’s revealed. Until then, I believe God is good and that God’s grace is “filling every empty space” (that’s what my favorite old school Bebo Norman song says). Joy is found in seeing the grace and holding it up with grateful hands.

      Btw, I’m really glad you asked that question.

      • http://eatsleepreadlove.wordpress.com Saskia

        I can imagine that there is still grace in tragedy. That’s a mystery I can fully live with. For a second there, it just sounded like you were trotting out the old ‘everything good happens because of God and we just don’t talk about where the bad stuff comes from’ line, and I couldn’t imagine that from you, hence my question. Thanks for your lengthy answer!

  • shannon

    Could you share the title of the “little book about St. Valentine” you mentioned? Thanks!

    • http://mommymonk.wordpress.com Micha Boyett Hohorst

      Shannon, I’m happy to. But I have to preface it first by saying I’m not entirely comfortable with it and it’s not great for younger kids. (Even though my kid is younger, we skip some parts. I ordered the set of books it’s part of without ever really reading them and August saw them and became obsessed before I could hide them…) It’s part of a series put out by Voice of the Martyrs about some of the saints that holidays are named after. You can find it on the Voice of the Martyrs website. There’s one about St. Nicholas, Valentine and Patrick. They have good stuff in them but they’re violent in that they talk about how they were imprisoned, and how Valentine was eventually executed. I did see a younger kids book about St. Valentine at Michael’s the other day, but I didn’t get its name. You could do a search, though. Good luck!

  • mrsdh

    Hey Micha – Could you do a review on your friend’s book Faith and Other Flat Tires? We have a late-20-something woman in our ministry who is struggling with her faith. She was raised extremely conservative, but now her family is dealing with trials of a sister who is not a believer, taking drugs, and pregnant with no man in the picture. She’s really wrestling with her pure, childhood faith and has wanted to go deep into a theological discussion on it. From reading the Amazon summary, it sounds like Andrea’s book might be a good one for her to read? Thanks!

  • mrsdh

    Hey Micha – Could you do a review on your friend’s book Faith and Other Flat Tires? We have a late-20-something woman in our ministry who is struggling with her faith. She was raised extremely conservative, but now her family is dealing with trials of a sister who is not a believer, taking drugs, and pregnant with no man in the picture. She’s really wrestling with her pure, childhood faith and has wanted to go deep into a theological discussion on it. From reading the Amazon summary, it sounds like Andrea’s book might be a good one for her to read? Thanks!

  • http://eatsleepreadlove.wordpress.com Saskia

    I can imagine that there is still grace in tragedy. That’s a mystery I can fully live with. For a second there, it just sounded like you were trotting out the old ‘everything good happens because of God and we just don’t talk about where the bad stuff comes from’ line, and I couldn’t imagine that from you, hence my question. Thanks for your lengthy answer!


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