Let’s face it, for those that are single, Valentine’s Day can be one of the loneliest and longest days of the year, especially as you lead up to the day. We have all been there at some point in our lives.
I remember early on in my dating life, getting ready for a date and buying the perfect dress and making plans with a young man to go out to dinner. I was so excited, new dress, perfect hair and a great day to go out for dinner for two at a romantic place. This was my boyfriend that I had been dating a year. My pick up time was 5pm for reservations at 6pm. I was ready on time and sat in the living room waiting with my parents for my date to arrive. As I sat there waiting 5:05pm came, 5:15pm came, I thought this is strange he is never late, he as a matter of fact was always early. I thought maybe he got stuck in traffic since he had recently moved three towns away from our house. I called and no answer. I waited and waited. My parents knew right away something was not right but they tried to remain supportive through the wait as they watched their daughter’s soon to be happy face turn to tears. Finally at 6:30pm, mom and dad said , ” I am sorry that he never came.” I was devastated.
I threw on a jacket and some boots over my dress and said I am going out for a drive. I ended up at the local arcade to just hang out and play games alone. It was pretty quite as most kids were either out on dates or just home too embarrassed to be seen without a date.
Just when I was about to leave, I saw a friend of mine we will call him “Jake” and he asked what I was doing there all dressed up (although a jean jacket and boots over a nice dress is kind of the fashion crime of the day!), I sheepishly replied that I was stood up. He looked at me and said, “let’s go hang out for a bit, you can’t be dateless on a night like this.” Everything was already packed being Valentine’s Day or too expensive for kids on a budget, so we ended up at Chuck E. Cheese (don’t laugh!). We were the only ones in the show section of the place as by this time it was almost 8:30pm at night. The manager brought us some pizza and a flower vase with a red rose in it and said you kids enjoy. We put coins in the juke box to play songs and danced to a few fun songs and a slow dance. We laughed and I felt better at not having to spend Valentine’s Day alone. My friend “Jake” turned one of the most romantic days of the year in to a friend date that I would remember and treasure forever.
“Jake” and I were friends so there was never any sparks there. A few years later he met a wonderful girl and got married right after college. As for the guy that stood me up, I found out that he had met someone else when he moved away and he started dating her at the same time as me and well the rest is history.
So on this Valentine’s Day, do not feel alone if you do not have a special someone to be with. Make it a girlfriend’s night out, or pamper yourself with a massage, pedicure, facial or a good book to read and celebrate you. Love yourself!
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Do you ever wake up and think to yourself about how everything has gone wrong in the last few days, weeks or even years? We are all guilty of that at some point in our lives. But is it really a long period of time that something is wrong or is it 5 minutes long and we stretch it for hours? That is what we need to ask ourselves, how long is our trouble going to last? Yes there are some troubles that last a lifetime as a result of poor choices that one makes, however the only way to get through that is to look at what is around us.
Look at the countless blessings that surround us no matter how small. Look at the fact that we have phones to communicate and do our work with when we are not at the office or to communicate with an old friend , kids and family. We can look at the fact that we are stuck in 20 minutes of traffic and as we drive by see a car accident and think to ourselves, that could have been me, thank you God because You protected me. Today it is raining and you had plans to garden in your yard, thank you God because tomorrow is a new day and my lawn will be green with your natural rain.
It is very easy for us to get in a rut of complaints and if we are around people who feed that negative in our lives, we will start to sow what they are feeding us. Today take a moment to look at who you have in your inner circle and if they are helping you be the best that you can be. I am not saying that you should not be friends with them, on the contrary, be of example and allow only those that are going to encourage you and pray with you in your inner circle. Be a blessing to those in your inner circle as well, in other words, as you receive from them, give back in the same way or more and keep the positive attitude going. For your outer circle, be encouraging to them no matter how discouraged they get and pray for them.
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Do you remember when you were a kid how life seemed so simple? You would wake up to eat, get dressed and go play outside with the neighbor kids when you were not in school. Your parents would call you in for lunch and then you would go back out and play until dinner time. Relationships were built on true friendships and getting to know a person. Today we are much more advanced and we have a greater reach of friends and followers according to our facebook and twitter accounts. There are many people I speak to daily that say they just do not do the social media and opt to really get to know someone instead of trying to compete in the world of electronics and who is having what crisis and drama that day. Too much of one thing is not good, we have entirely too much social media time for ourselves and our kids.
Let’s get back to the simple things in life, when we can wake up each morning and sit at the kitchen table and read a book, talk with our significant other, or read with our kids without feeling like we have to check in with the world first.
When you go to work and have your lunch break, take a brown bag and go outside in our beautiful Florida weather and eat your lunch outside then enjoy a walk with a coworker or by yourself.
Call or write a snail mail to a friend to let them know how much you appreciate them instead of sending them a quick text or email.
We have so much beauty around us, let’s take time to enjoy God’s creation each and every day.
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Today as we start to put all the Christmas decorations away, I cannot help but think about the Christmas hustle and bustle that went on a few weeks prior. The house looked beautiful with twinkling lights, presents under the tree, family and friends celebrating Christmas with us sitting at the dining room table enjoying dinner and Christmas stories from our past.
Now we go back to normal. We are getting ready to put away the tree, the ornaments, the things that make Christmas special in our home. The beautiful centerpieces that made our dining room table look elegant. Now all that is left on our table is Christmas cards, store receipts, Christmas Card address book and thoughts of the work upcoming for the year.
As I picked up the Christmas cards and reread some along with the beautiful newsletters attached, I realized how blessed I was. These cards represent people who thought about my family and me during the busy Christmas season. I started to pray for each and every person that sent a card that as the New Year 2017 started, that they would receive health and blessings in the coming year.
As I put things away, I thanked God for the receipts that I had because it signified that I had a job to purchase a gift for someone. I thanked God for my family’s health as I saw an unexpected bill from our son’s pediatrician and pharmacy that set us back Christmas week several hundred dollars. Some may ask, how is that a blessing? It is a blessing because at least I had insurance that covered some of it and also because God gave us this miracle who at that moment had a stomach virus and strep throat. My son was a premature baby and they are more susceptible to illnesses due to their under developed lungs and other health issues. It could have been much worse, but because of His grace it was not as severe. I also thanked God because I have the opportunity to work and do the things that I love while also at the same time helping others in need of support through The Gift of Life charity.
When I first looked at the mess, that is what I looked at it as, a big mess and chore to put it all away. But today as we put away all the things that represent Christmas decorations in our home together as a family, I realize I am truly blessed. I am reminded daily that Christmas is the season of miracles and remembering that beyond Santa Claus, we have a Savior that was born on Christmas day.
Happy New Year!
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Everyone has a tradition that they carry from years prior in their own life. Some traditions come from growing up and some are developed as a new family. These traditions no matter how they started, give us memories and a way to belong to something that is familiar to us. This year take a moment to ask a friend about their family traditions and take an interest in their story. Why you may ask? This Christmas season make it about caring about someone else’s life and if that tradition includes making cookies, creating a new holiday dish to serve, or painting a new ornament, give that friend a new recipe to share or paint a new ornament with the year inscribed. Share with your friend that you want to enhance their tradition this year and give them something to remember you by. It does not have to be about spending a lot, it can be something as simple as writing a new recipe on a card or making it for them; the idea behind this is making memories that will live on for years to come.
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