There were a number of years where I didn’t look forward to Valentine’s Day.  It came hot on the heals of my wedding anniversary, another day that wasn’t too much fun remembering alone.   I longed for Jesus, the lover of my soul, to do something special for me on February 14th during those years.  I wanted to look out my window and see “I heart Yvonne” sculpted in the snow or to go for a walk and see the most spectacular rainbow set in the sky especially for me.  I longed to open my mailbox and find something special that said He knew the secret longings of my heart.  On that day in particular I wanted to FEEL loved, not just know that I was.

For a number of years Valentine’s Day was a very ordinary day for me.  I homeschooled just like I always did.  I made breakfast, lunch and dinner the same as I would any other day.  I parented and cleaned and at some point asked the boys to give me the Valentine’s Day cards I had forced them to make for me.  They always said, “I love you Mom” inside because my noncrafty boys couldn’t be bothered to put any more time than absolutely necessary into them.  It just didn’t seem to enter their heads that maybe they could try to make them special for me.

I cried out to God a lot on Valentine’s Day.  I knew my friends would be getting flowers and meals out and special cards and that I wouldn’t be.  One time when I was pouring out my complaint once again in prayer, God spoke to me.  He said that I should do all that I was wanting for someone else.  My heart knew the pain of loneliness and unfulfilled dreams and He wanted to use that understanding along with my hands and my feet to meet the needs of others.  It turned the tide for me.  I began to open my eyes to other women who likely wouldn’t get anything for Valentine’s Day either.  Mostly, they were the divorced and the women in their forties and fifties still waiting for Mr. Right to come along.  A lot of these women had very sad stories and were bravely continuing on in spite of tragedy.

I can’t tell you how much fun I had putting together special little somethings for these dear ladies.  I prayed over them, shopped for them, made cards, laboured over what to write to them and spent a lot of time wrapping them ever so prettily.  I felt like a secret agent trying to get these gifts to them without being detected.  These weren’t gifts from me.  They were gifts from a loving God who was willing to use me, Miss Pity Party, to put them together and deliver them.

I’m married now and look forward to Valentine’s Day but I still remember the feeling of loneliness and disappointment.  I don’t want anyone to feel it because it hurts.  So I’m continuing Operation Feel Loved.  This year I got my friend, LJ, to partner with me.  She’s been widowed just over a year and a half and loved the idea of it.  She’s lived here longer than I have and had a couple of women in mind.  We had a great time working together to make these gifts personal for our targets.

My surprise for LJ was to shower her with gifts a week early.

Here’s the card I quickly made for her.

And here’s D coveting the big heart shaped box of chocolates I got for her to share (with me!).

Flowers were definitely in order.

And here are the gifts we put together for our lonely heart friends.

Both gals are long distance runners so we got them products to pamper their feet.  Even though they have the same passion, their personalities are quite different so one gift is packaged to look a little quirky and the other one is pretty and feminine.

It was fun doing Operation Feel Loved on my own but it was even more enjoyable to have a co-conspirator.  Now to find a way to sneak over to her house and sculpt “I heart L___J__” in the snow.