Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Simple Words

"Say only what helps, each word a gift." Ephesians 4:29

The world just might know by now how much this Mama loves Valentines Day.

I'm not married to a romantic, to a man who lavishes mushy words, or gives extravagant gifts.

I'm married to a man who's constant, consistent, steadfast.

I'm married to a man who does real. 

A man who holds hair back when I'm throwing up in the toilet. 

A man who takes me to the burger joint in town every once in awhile cuz he knows how much I enjoy a break from all those dishes.

A man who tells the treasures about Jesus. 

A man who wakes at 4 am to soak in the scriptures each morning.

A man who smiles at the millions of ideas I have of restoring this old farmhouse.

And together him and I and these five treasures, we do real-messy-glorious life, day in and day out in this place.

So when I think Valentines, I think about what's real. I think about extravagant love and how it really only comes from one place... Jesus. 

He is love.

His perfect love casts out all my fears.

His love has never been cautious, and has been nothing short of EXTRAVAGANT.

And thus, my great love for February and a season of soaking up His extravagant love.

One small way that the Cowboy and I do this each year is with a sentence.. yep, just a sentence.

Each night after we put the kids to bed, we pull out a little white card and write one simple sentence telling of something specific that we absolutely love about each of our treasures. 

{There are so many ways to do this. The first year we wrote on note cards. It was great except the cards ended up all over the house. The second year we made a Valentines tree. Another sweet idea, but with four (the littlest guy doesn't have his own mailbox yet)  kids and a card every day for 14 days, there wasn't a tree big enough to hold all the cards and not look bunchy. This year we've come up with plan C.}

We still put their notes in their mailboxes each morning. But this time around, I pre-decorated 14 cards for each kid and then tied them together with a piece of twine. That way they can keep all their cards in one place, there's room on our little tree for four sets of hanging cards, and the kids have enjoyed it much more because each morning, they reread all of the cards that they've received thus far before they read their newest card.

And it's the craziest thing, but all four of them light up. Rosy cheeks, grinning from ear to ear, all over a sentence on a piece of paper.  And it doesn't last for just a moment. I can hear them throughout the day telling each other the things that were written on their cards. I can hear them encourage one another in the gifts the Lord has given them. And as a Mama, I LOVE THAT! I mean, really, who doesn't want to hear their treasures speaking kind words into one another's hearts??

"Speak words that are helpful for building each other up." Ephesians 4:29

It sounds easy, but in this house, we have to be intentional.
In this house, we are asking the Lord to help us to only speak words that build, not those that tear down.
In this house, there's a lot of asking for forgiveness, because words can fly off the tongue oh so fast and before we know it, there's a precious little heart ripped right open simply because of  carelessness.

And so, Valentines is near and we pour out words that bless, each word a gift.

{BTW: This could also be a fun little way to encourage a spouse during this lovely season of remembering Christ's extravagant love. :) The Cowboy and I don't write our sentence for each other down each night, but when we're making them for the kids, we nonchalantly tell each other words that build up. I'd tell you some of the things that Cowboy says to this Mama, but ya know, this is a family blog. (weak smile)}

Happy Valentines Day from the farmhouse! :)