Posts filed under ‘Valentine’s Day’

5 Ways to Make Someone’s Day on Valentine’s Day

Use one of these ideas to help someone have an awesome Valentine's Day.  Graphice by Krzysztof (Kriss) Szkurlatowski.

Use one of these ideas to help someone have an awesome Valentine’s Day. Graphic by Krzysztof Szkurlatowski.

Valentines Day and even the whole week is so hard for some. It can be hard whether you are in a relationship or not. For many people there is rejection baggage connected to this festive day.

At this post I told how I got over some majour Valentine’s Day heart ache. I shared how I made this formerly HARD holiday not so hard. At this post I shared 20 Ways I Handled My Breaking Heart (from divorce).

Because my healing has in large part been the result of actions and words from others, I want to write about how I (we) can make someone’s day this Valentine’s Day. This will impact their week and maybe even life.

I was inspired by this post.

Usually dejected folks fill this day with tear-jerker  movies, chocolate and other mood-altering foods, and of course moaning and groaning. Let’s do something different!!!

Here are my 5 Ways to Make Someone’s Day

ONE. Be hospitable. Invite a friend or more over for a meal. Serve comfort food, have a potluck, or offer an array of cheese, crackers, and fruit. Eating with others can be the best tonic for a sad heart. Add some conversation and a game or two and you have a recipe for a heart-warming evening.

Read posts I’ve written about hospitality. (1)  3 Ways to Encourage Others Year Round (2) Hospitality Field Trip Refreshes and Teaches

TWO. Tackle a huge project together. There is a sense of awe and gratitude when something BIG is DONE. You also have great memories of working together and feelings of satisfaction.

Ideas include:

  • a room makeover – even something like painting the walls is so mood-altering in a good and lasting way.
  • Enter a valentine Run. Here is one in my area.
  • Declutter a room or boxes of photos.
  • Spend a day volunteering for Habitat for Humanity. Here is the link for Sacramento. 

Read about this project I did with others . . .  CNC Sewing Project.

THREE. Be Silly. This day is normally seen as a romantic day full of serious talk about commitment, compliments, and gifts. But when it is a rotic day (romantic without the man), there is no romance. So why not make it a meaningful and silly day.

  • Indulge in a secret persona. Wear fake mustaches or fake tattoos. Dress up as a super hero and go to lunch. Last year I had a sparkly unicorn painted on my cheek at a child’s tea party. Do you know that NO ONE said anything as I did my errands that day? NO ONE! But I felt silly and light-hearted.
  • Watch I Love Lucy reruns. Laugh at the silly antics.
  • Play with bubbles. Make a gigantic wand. Get coloured or scented bubbles. Go to this Pinterest board for a BUNCH of ideas. Or this one has good ideas too.
  • Give a bouquet to your friend, but not one of flowers. How about a bouquet of nail polish, tools, glow sticks, or balloons. The Dollar Store is a great resource for finding balloons and unusual items. Kids (of all ages) enjoy these. NOTE: Is it harmful if you breathe some of the helium and talk in a Donald Duck voice? It certainly is silly.
  • How about soaking each other in silly string? It’s called silly for a reason.

Read this silly post . . . 5 Silly Reasons for Gratitude.

Read other posts I’ve written about laughter. (1) Laughter Has My Gratitude (2) Laughter Quiz (3) How to Be Happy, Healthy and Holy

FOUR. Do Random Acts of Kindess (RAK’s) together. Lots of folks do RAK’s as part of their birthday celebration or during a holiday season. How about doing this on Valentine’s Day? Getting out of our own life and comfort zone into the life of someone else is a sure antidote to the blues. And it sure encourages others.

Here are lots of IDEAS for RAK’s at my Pinterest board.

NOTE: Wouldn’t it be fun to put a page like this in a public restroom or on a public bulletin board? I got the idea from here.   

Read this post I’ve written about RAK’s: Pay It Forward – New Theme for the 12 Days of Christmas.

FIVE. Have a mini worship service. Plan out a time of prayer, singing, and praise. You could even listen to a podcast. Share what you most appreciate about God and ways you’ve seen His faithfulness in the last year. Light lots of candles. Be sure to have some yummy food. Food and fellowship always go together, right?

Read this post about worship . . . Two Results of Proper WORSHIP & How to Experience It.

Your Turn . . . What will you do this Valentine’s Day to cheer up someone?  . . . Share something that has helped make this day not so hard for you.

Related Internet Post . . . How a Table for Two Becomes a Table for Many

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3 Ways I Made My Day on Valentine’s Day

God will never leave me nor forsake me. That is the TRUTH.

God will never leave me nor forsake me. That is a TRUTH I concentrate on.  . . . And you know what?  . . . Christ knew all  about my “yucky” bits even before He gave me His unconditional love.

Valentine’s Day and even the whole week is hard for some. It can be hard whether you are in a relationship or not. For many there is rejection baggage connected to this festive day.

I know. For years I’ve had issues with this holiday. It was 14 years ago, the weekend after Valentine’s Day, when my (now former) husband told me he wanted a divorce. So for many years I’ve relived that rejection every Valentine’s Day. Now I don’t feel that pain.

I did three things.

  1.  I concentrated on telling myself the truth. I am not perfect but I am lovable. God, the Bible, and important, healthy people (in my current life) tell me so.  . . .  I have a list of Bible verses that I frequently read.  . . . I practiced believing people when they complimented me.  . .  .  I went to therapy and coaching to sort out the lies from the truth.  . . .  I also did the things mentioned in this post: 20 Ways I Handled My Breaking Heart (from divorce)
  2. I made different memories on Valentine’s Day and week. It helps that one of my nieces was born on February 14th. Each year we have an ice cream waffle breakfast and a family dinner that night. I also do special things for myself that week  . . .  craft . . . watch Oscar nominated movies . . .  and spend more time with folks who LIKE me.
  3. I made other people the focus. . . .  I sent kiddy Valentine’s cards – because they are silly people smiled when they opened them up. . . .  I did Random Acts of Kindness. . . .  I called up some folks I haven’t talked to in a while.

Read Thursday’s post 5 Ways to Make Someone’s Day.

Your Turn

  • What is your attitude regarding Valentine’s Day? Thumbs up or thumbs down?
  • If it is thumbs down, what can you do to change your perspective and thus feeling about this week and day?
  • What action step will you take today?
  • Go read this Anti-Valentine’s Party post. This could be a fun way to spend Valentine’s Day.

Related posts. 

 

 

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3 Ways to Encourage Others Year Round

Those of you with "fur people" know how encouraging it is to receive love from them.

Those of you with “fur people” know how encouraging it is to receive love from them.

Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Birthdays are natural times of the year to think about others. I like to give gifts or write things in the card that encourage the recipient. Don’t you? But encouraging others doesn’t have to be, nor should it be, limited to these publicly endorsed times. 

Henry Ford once said that “the ability to encourage others is one of life’s finest assets.”

So let’s work on encouraging others more regularly. But besides the obvious way of giving a gift, what else can we do that shows our affection and thanks?  What are other ways to encourage those special folks in our lives?

If you don’t know about the 5 love languages, go here for an explanation. To order the book by Gary Chapman go here. “Talking” a specific love language to each person can make a big difference in how well each one feels loved and of course encouraged. 

Besides speaking love languages, here are three ways to encourage others. 

ONE. FAITH. Did you know that we can encourage each other by sharing our faith? “When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours, ( Romans 1:12, New Living Translation). In a face-to-face conversation, through electronic media, or with pen and paper, share about your faith with someone else.

  • Reveal how God has helped you in personal growth.
  • Tell how Scripture has helped you meet a challenge.
  • Go over a past sermon or Bible study and expound on the encouraging bits.
  • Expose how a faith crisis actually brought you closer to God.

Read other posts I’ve written in faith. (1) Mother Teresa’s Faith Crisis: Similar to Mine? (2) 5 Reasons to be Grateful to God (3) How to Get Out of the Gutter

TWO. HOSPITALITY. What is hospitality? Merriam Webster says it is (1) generous and friendly treatment of visitors and guests. (2) the activity of providing food, drinks, etc. for people who are the guests. Richard Krejcir adds to this by writing,  Hospitality is a willingness to share, with discernment, what God has given us, including our family, home, finances, and food.”   

Ever notice how you feel when given especially gracious hospitality? I feel welcome, liked, and special. I leave that person’s company feeling encouraged! I bet you do too. So today be hospitable by being generous and friendly to others with . . .

  • Food
  • Time
  • Family – Share your family with others.  Being with family (doesn’t even have to be your own) feels so comfortable and healing
  • Affection.

Read other posts I’ve written on hospitality. (1) My cooking means someone died? (2) How Messy Is Too Messy or When Is It Clean Enough To Have Folks Over? (3) Hospitality Field Trip Refreshes and Teaches.

THREE. PRAYER. I simply talk to God about someone.

Many times I let that person know I am praying for them. I am encouraged when others tell me. I tell them through a . . .

  • Text
  • Private Facebook message
  • Postcard or card
  • Phone call

Read other posts I’ve written on prayer. (1) Prayer Impacts Us in 5 Ways (2) 10 Benefits of Praying With a Group (3) Know Why God Answers Prayer?

Your Turn . . . What is your favourite way to give encouragement? Receive encouragement?

Related Posts . . . 

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Love is in the Air for this Friday Five

Some people boycott Valentine’s Day. Others embrace the soppy sentimentality and are devastated when their significant other blows it off. And still some use this as an opportunity to talk about those they love.

The RevGals blog falls into this last group. Our Friday Fave is to tell about five people we love, people who will remain in our “heart” forever.
This verse goes with the writing assignment . . .  I John 4:7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God…
I am soooo blessed to have a huge boatload of folks (today) who will remain in my heart forever. But since I can only choose five, I will pick the oldest of these friendships.
  1. My kiddos. Can’t pick one over the other. Both are special to me in different ways. I am proud of both. I will love, defend, encourage, and pray for them until I die. I am blessed to admit that they encourage, support, and love me well.
  2. Carol (husband) and Ruby (wife) Fellers. They also come as a package deal. They knew me before I was born. Ruby carried me out of the hospital at 3 months old because my mom was too nervous to carry her preemie (aka “that damned baby” – there is s story to that which  will tell sometime) outdoors for the first time. A precious memory I have of Carol is us making his mom’s jam, pear honey.
  3. Jo Lay. We lived in England from 1988-1993 in a small village called Levington. One of the neighbours who befriended us right away was Jo. Jo and her family provided us with friendship, family, fun, and nurture. I wrote a post about what she means to me here. There were other dear folks in that neighbourhood, but I spent the most time with Jo, probably because we were both stay-at-home moms.
  4. My sista and her family. Another group that I cannot split and rank. They ALL make this cut as people who will remain in my heart forever. These wonderful folks helped me make it through the toughest time in my life (a divorce). They have continued to love me and my kiddos through many a dark time. They went above and beyond. And their care has made a HUGE difference in my healing.
  5. Louise Mohrhardt. I moved a lot while growing up, about every 18-24 months. When we were in Puerto Rico (middle school) I met Louise. Our dads worked together (Bechtel) and we went to the same private school in Ponce. We had the same immature outlook on life, got stuck in the apt elevator, and talked a LOT. Then  we moved to Texas and she to Canada (her country). Several years later we also moved to Canada. Would you know that on our first day in Fort McMurray while shopping in the drug store, I ran into LOUISE! We spent our last two years of high school together. She helped me survive both middle and high school!!

Your Turn . . .  Who will remain in your heart forever?

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Twenty Wishes Can Change Your Life (more than a book report)

20Twenty. Twenty wishes that would help her recapture her excitement about life. Twenty dreams written down. Twenty possibilities that would give her a reason to look forward to the future instead of staying mired in her grief. She couldn’t continue to drag from one day to the next, lost in pain and heartache because Robert was dead. She needed a new sense of purpose. She owed that to herself – and to him.”

4  widows became friends at a book club run by Anne Marie in Twenty Wishes by Debbie Macomber. One Valentine’s Eve the four gather to soothe one another’s grief. Anne Marie tentatively suggests they list and fulfill 20 wishes. But as Anne Marie discovers, it is hard to lead the grief-stricken heart into wishful territory. It’s hard to figure out what she wants out of life.

“So now she had two separate lists – one for wishes and the second for the more practical aspects of life. Not that each wish wouldn’t ultimately require its own to-do list, but that was a concern for another day. She closed her eyes and tried to figure out what she wanted most, what wish she hoped to fulfill. The next few ideas were all sensible ones, like scheduling appointments she’d postponed for months. It was a sad commentary that her one wish, the lone desire of her heart, was an outrageously priced pair of  boots.”

 “That was the problem; she no longer knew what she wanted. Shrouded in grief and lost dreams, her joy had vanished, the same way laughter and singing had.”

 But Anne Marie was able to list one wish –  a pair of red cowboy boots.  This one silly, maybe even inconsequential, wish was a beginning.

“Okay, this was a start. She wasn’t going to abandon the idea. And at least she’d taken control of some immediate needs. She’d identified what she had to do.”

 “Sometime later, she’d list what she wanted to do.”

” Already the thought of listing her wishes was making a difference; already she felt a tiny bit of hope, a whisper of excitement. The thawing had begun.”

 Lillie, one of the other widows, found this wish making powerful too. She felt a sense of expectation that she hadn’t felt in years. She said, “It’s like I’ve finally given myself permission to do what I want.”

The events that lead to grief can take away our joy, our ability to plan happily into the future and a sense of control. For awhile this is normal. But we can become stuck in grief. Making and seeking wise wishes (whether they are 3, 10 or 100) can reverse the above. Give us a plan to integrating the grief and moving into a new sense of self. Give us a sense of purpose. Help us to see who we are now.

Let’s Talk About It . . .

  1. Is it time to give yourself permission to live again with joy, to plan for the future and to take control for life?
  2. What are your wishes?
  3. Can you list 20?
  4. Which one will you work on first?

My Twenty Wishes Idea . . .

I’ve never written up a 20 wishes list. But for my 50th year of life I made a list of 51: 18 new habits to incorporate into my life and 32 thingsto do.  Life was soooo busy that year (and this one too) mainly because of school, I never finished the list.

So I’ll start with this 51 Things to Do List. I’ll have a look at what can be crossed off (not many of the habits, but many of my educational and spiritual goals get the line through). I’ll be sure to post where I am with this. I hope you post too!

Related Posts

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So when was the last time you belly laughed? Cried?

I really can’t remember when I last belly-laughed. Isn’t that sad? I’m sure I have in the past month but nothing is coming to mind. I think I need to keep a laughter journal.

However, I can remember the last time I cried. In fact, the last two times are memorable.

  • Several weeks ago my son’s fiancé broke off their engagement. I cried because his heart was broken. I cried because once again love was contaminated by the Fall at the Garden of Eden. And I cried because it reminded me so much of my own heartache and loss of love.
  • I cried this week because it was Valentine’s Day. Yes, it is hard to be a single, older, divorced woman in a culture that values younger (beautiful) couples. But that’s not why Valentine’s Day is so hard for me.
  • It’s hard because  in 2002, the weekend after Valentine’s Day, my-then-dh, said he wanted a divorce. Valentine’s Day reminds me of how broken promises have left their mark on me. Now I’ll think the same for my precious son.  😦

Now on that Valentine’s Day my-then-dh gave me a bunch of lovely flowers. Know why he gave them to me? “I didn’t want to get into trouble” he told me. I thought, “And what do you think you’re in now?”

Sounds funny now. Maybe if I concentrate enough on that, I can find the belly laughter.

I’ve found some help with my grief at Widow’s Quest. You don’t have to be a widow to experience grief. Anna has some good ideas on how to heal and take care of yourself in the process.

So, what has recently caused you deep laughter or pain filled tears?

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