Another Valentine’s Day has come around again. A holiday made for people in love. If you are a woman reading this blog, I want to congratulate you. Women tend to do such a great job on getting the man in their life great gifts for Valentine’s Day. You often think about what you will be getting them several weeks or even months ahead of time. You seem to always get great gifts that are sensitive and well thought out. That is awesome and I’m sure that the man in your life really appreciates it, maybe even more than he leads on.
The men tend to be a different story. Men often find themselves waiting until the last-minute to buy Valentine’s Day gifts. Then when we do, it sometimes seems that we haven’t thought out what we were going to get you very well. Let me let you in on a little secret. Most men tend to suck at getting Valentines gifts. I know that we as men should do a better job of thinking about this day ahead of time and getting the ladies in our lives a better gift than we do, but for some reason we don’t usually do a very good job of it. I will say though that we tend to be better at this when we are dating, but it seems that once you get married, it tends to get neglected. I am not trying to justify this, but it seems that almost all men suffer from this same syndrome.
I can speak well for this because I found myself in the same position earlier this week. With Valentine’s Day approaching, I found that I still had not gotten my wife, Stephanie, anything for Valentine’s Day yet. Steph was talking over the weekend about how she had my gift all ready to go and how surprised I would be and special it was going to be. Really? What do I have to surprise her and make her so happy? So far at that point, I had nothing. I even talked to her to try to get some ideas of what she would like. She reminded me that she did not want flowers or candy delivered to her work because that was too cliché. If those flowers were delivered on some random day for no reason that would be OK, but definitely not on Valentine’s Day. My quick man reasoning said to just have them delivered on Thursday because she wouldn’t be expecting them then. I soon realized though that it was still too close to Valentine’s Day and that would not work. Flowers were out.
Candy is always nice, but my wife is trying to lose weight so that would just seem insensitive. Candy is out. Last Valentine’s Day, I went and picked up a veggie tray and delivered it to her at work on Valentine’s Day, which turned out pretty well and was well received since she was trying to lose weight , but since I have done that already, a veggie tray was out.
Steph told me that she needed to get a new black Cardigan and that she wanted to get one at Target so I could just get her a gift card to Target and that could be the Valentines gift I have been looking for. That would work, but getting a gift card after she told me to seems like a trap to me and not very inventive so I decided that even though I might still get her that Cardigan, it will not be for Valentine’s Day.
So here I still was with nothing to get her. This was getting ridiculous. What was I going to get her? I need to use some talent I have and get her something that was from the heart. At the same time, I wanted to have surprise value as well. It finally came to me this past Monday. I finally had a great idea. Let me give you a little background on how I came to this idea.
This past weekend, Steph and I attended a Better Together marriage conference that our church was putting on. They brought in a Christian comedy couple from California to be the key-note speakers at this conference. There names are Ron McGehee and Kerri Pomarolli. On Friday night, Steph and I traveled to the Plex in Ames. The Friday night session was set up as a date night. We had a light meal and then the comedy team did a stand up comedy act that Steph and I found to be hilarious. After a great night, we returned the next day for 3 hours of sessions. During one of the sessions we were given the following exercise to do:
Letter from God
- Write down a list of your spouse’s strengths and best qualities, gifts, and talents. Share with each other. Ask God to show you everything good He has put in your spouse.
- Ask God to write a letter to your spouse from Him. Ask God what He wants to say and write the letter in first person as if God was writing the letter to your spouse. Don’t second guess yourself; just write what you’re hearing in your heart/mind/spirit. Just write something, God isn’t trying to trick you. Don’t be afraid to take a moment to on God and what He’s saying.
At first, I felt pretty uncomfortable doing this. I had no problem coming up with a list of positive traits of my wife. She is a wonderful and amazing person. However the idea of dictating a letter written from God to my wife was not something I was comfortable with at first. How would I know if it was something I was saying or what God was saying? I struggled with this for a few minutes and was able to get a couple of short paragraphs down. Fortunately for me at the time, they were on a little bit of a time crunch so we did not have very much time to work on this. After writing some things down, we shared what we wrote with each other. It was nice, but it seemed weird and unattached because neither of us had finished the exercise completely. It was rushed and incomplete. It was a great idea though.
Over the next couple of days as I was trying to figure out what to get my wife for Valentine’s Day, I kept thinking back to the exercise we had done and how it missed on being as meaningful as it could have been because we had not completed it. It is then that it dawned on me. That would be my Valentine’s Day gift to Steph. I would finish this exercise and present it to her as her Valentine’s Day gift.
This was still not going to be easy. I feel that I am a pretty accomplished writer, but I am used to just writing what I am thinking. I have almost no experience at trying to write what someone else is thinking, especially the Creator of the universe. This was going to take some time. Over the next couple of days, I spent some quiet time with God and just asked Him to help me write this letter from Him to my wife. I asked Him to place words into my heart about what He wanted to tell her. The hardest part was being quiet and listening. I am a person who is used to doing so sitting and being quiet and waiting for His words to come to me was not very easy. It actually took me 3 different times at doing this because the first two times were pretty much a bust. Eventually, as I quieted my soul, it began to fill up with distinct things that God wanted me to tell her from Him. It was a pretty amazing experience that is hard to explain. In that moment, I felt very close to God. After that happened, the rest was pretty easy. I just jotted down some words and notes and then went and typed them out.
I would like to recommend that each of you to try doing this exercise on your own. Sit down and ask God to speak to you about your special other. Let Him fill your heart with words about that person. Then just take them in and then write out the letter from God to that person. The person you are giving the letter to will feel so loved and blessed. The added benefit is that by doing it, you will feel loved and blessed too. It is a pretty amazing thing to experience and it serves as the perfect Valentine’s Day present. The best part is that you do not have to go to a crowded store to get it and it does not cost any money. Besides, it is the gifts that come from the heart that mean the most and this one definitely comes from the heart. Make a decision today to step out of your comfort zone and do this amazing exercise in love. The rewards will far outweigh the efforts!
So I finished my letter from God to Stephanie. I wanted to surprise her with it today so she has not seen it yet. She will be seeing it for the first time reading this blog just as you are reading it.
So Steph, here is your Valentine’s gift directly from God to you. I was so honored to write it for Him and give it to you. Each day I spend with you is a gift from God and I am so blessed to get to be your husband and soul mate. I hope you enjoy and are moved by this Valentine’s Day gift. It comes from the bottom of my heart…and God’s.Dear Stephanie, You are my beautiful daughter. I have placed so many of My attributes inside of you so that you could help your brothers and sisters come to know Me better and put their trust in Me. This is the most important thing you will ever do during your time here on earth. These attributes are my gift to you. I am so glad that Bill decided to go ahead with doing this letter from Me to you. I know that it was not very easy for him. He felt uncomfortable with the process. He showed a great amount of courage to go ahead and do it anyway. I kept telling him that he should do it and I am so pleased with him that he listened to me. I tried to make the words I wanted to say to you pretty clear for him so that he could know that it was actually Me telling him to write those things. You have so many things that make you such a beautiful daughter to me. Your physical beauty on the outside is glorious. I know that sometimes you don’t like the way you look on the outside, but know that I am pleased with your appearance. Remember that your face is modeled after My face. I created you in My own image so you should really be pleased with the way you look. Bill thinks you look beautiful and sometimes I wish that you could look at yourself the way that he looks at you. I wish you could look at yourself the way that I look at you too. You really are so beautiful. Even more important than your beauty on the outside is the beauty that you have on the inside. You have such a big heart. You love people in a way that most people do not know how to love. You got this heart from Me. Because you are so special to Me, I wanted to make your ability to love know no boundaries. You love others and Me with a love that is so true and pure. I want you to know how much I love you. I love you so much that I let them kill My only Son so that you could have your sins forgiven and we could spend all of eternity together in heaven. I love you more than you could ever comprehend. Keep letting this love I send your way flow through you and into others. I want to bless you with My love, but I also want to bless others with this same love. You are the perfect person to give out this love. I am so proud of how you do this and I want you to continue to do this all the days you are on earth. You have a very unselfish nature. You always seem to think about others before yourself and put their needs ahead of your own. I know that Bill is often the recipient of that and he is very thankful for that. My Son was the perfect model of unselfishness. He was always putting the needs of those He was around ahead of His own. He not only thought of His friends, but of His enemies as well. He performed the most unselfish act that has ever been done when He died on the cross. It was a hard thing for me to watch, but the power of what it meant was truly awe-inspiring. When Jesus asked me to forgive those Romans who were torturing Him because he said that they knew not of what they were doing, it really was at the very heart of His unselfishness. It brought tears to My eyes when He did this. I see this same type of unselfish heart in you. It is an amazing trait to have and you do it so effortlessly. I had this special gift fully in mind for you when I created you in your mother Mary’s womb and you have lived it out so well. Your example of unselfishness is a great model for all those around you so that they can learn to be more unselfish in how they live their lives. Thanks for being so unselfish. Stephanie, you are such a caring person. You excel at caring for others and trying to make them feel comforted. You are always thinking about those around you and what you can do to make their day better. This is so admirable. I am a caring God. I too, am constantly thinking about all my children and how I can help them each moment of each day. Every person I create is unique and in you I chose to give you a strong caring nature. Through your caring for others, they see a piece of Me inside of you. When the people you know feel uncared for, they know they can come to you and get caring from you. It is the same with Me. Anyone can come to Me, whether they are on top of the highest mountaintop or deep in the lowest valley and know that I will care for them and love them right where they are at. While, I may not always take away their trial they are going through, I will give them a hug and comfort them and let them know I care. You do the same thing with the people you know and they appreciate it more than they could ever tell you. In you I have given the gift of being a good listener. The world is filled with people who are doing whatever they can to be heard. They sometimes act out, they sometimes scream and yell, and sometimes they cry. They do this so that someone will just listen to them. There are so few people who actually listen to what people are saying. You are one of the special ones who does that. You always seem willing to listen to others and let them really tell you what is on their hearts. Sometimes it saddens me when people think that I am not listening to them. I listen to everyone who talks to me. Sometimes the best thing for them is for me not to answer them right away. I have their best interests in mind when I wait to respond. Some just don’t understand and think that I am not listening, but I am and I will always respond in My own time, when it is best for them. People really connect with people who really listen to them. You do that so well and people really love that about you. I do too! Stephanie, another thing that is so amazing about you is your ability to be empathetic with others around you. Some people say that they care, but they are lying. They don’t really care. You are not like that. You do really care. You listen to people and when they expose themselves to you, you don’t just tell them everything will be OK, you bring yourself into their story and you really are there with them in their world. You take the time to try to understand them and where they are at. You take them by the hand to comfort them and then you stay there with them and help walk them out of their difficulty. This is an amazing quality you have. It reflect s My very heart. When you do this, people see Me in you and they are truly moved by it. You can do more to help people with your empathetic nature in just minutes than some people can with a lifetime of spoken words. I have blessed you with the ability to speak with the written word. You are an amazing writer. You can tell people a story that you write and draw them in and make them think. You can make them hold on every word you write. You can inspire and make people feel things from deep within yourself. Keep writing. There are more people inspired by the words you write than you could even possibly know. Don’t be afraid to write about Me. It is important for people to know that I am a part of your life. Some people will reject what you write about me, but there will be others who will be inspired by Me. You have the power to influence people and make them long to know Me better through your words. It may be hard and uncomfortable for you to write about Me at times, but keep it up, you really are making a difference! I know that sometimes you think that you are over sensitive, but I placed this level of sensitivity inside of you so that you could really relate to others and make them feel loved in a way that people who are not as sensitive as you could. Your sensitivity is an amazing gift and I want you to cherish it. Your sensitivity is one of the things that make you so special. Don’t ever lose your sensitivity. I gave you my son, Bill because I knew that you were suited, in My eyes, to spend your lives together. You complement each other so well. He helps make you stronger in areas you struggle with and you help him in areas he lacks in. I know that you waited a long time to find someone and I know you began to doubt Me, but it was necessary for you to wait that long because there were things I needed to do inside of you so that you would be ready for what marriage would take. I prepared you well and now you can enjoy a godly marriage like I intended. On your journey together, you will help each other and at the same time, grow closer with Me. Stephanie, I am so proud of the person you are right now. I want you to know though, that I am not done with you yet. I have many more things to show you before I bring you home to be with Me. There are so many more lives that you have to touch and effect. There are people who will come into your life that you do not even know yet. I will continue to help you write your story each and every day. Please talk to Me, I want to continue to grow our relationship. You are one of my special children and I love you with all my heart. Keep being you and don’t ever listen to people who tell you that you can’t do something. They don’t know what I know. Only I know how special you really are. Love, God