Valentine’s Day is kind of strange to me. It is sweet and all, and I know the children love opening their goodie bags and dumping out all the cards and eating the candy. But I always feel like it’s so fake and over-marketed…but make no mistake, this has nothing to do with my one and only, my Valentine, if you will. Even with my bah-humbug approach to this holiday, we have a Valentine’s Day tradition around here–but it’s a family event, kids and all. Luke always makes rack of lamb with couscous, chutney, and asparagus. And often he throws in a wild card like fried cheese or something like that. He tried to mess with the tradition this year by daring to text a simple question, “Should we do lamb, or steak diane, or short ribs on Friday?” Let me just say that Amaleah, the sentimental traditionalist around here, had a mature 5th grade fit. So we are having lamb.
All this rambling to say that we do take part in this holiday, but we’ve never been freaks about it. I just find it forced, but maybe that’s because Luke is so great about spoiling me ALL YEAR LONG that I have no need for one more special day. But I totally understand it’s not that way for everyone, and that lots of people are aching on this particular day, and so for you I hope tomorrow speeds by quickly and painlessly.
But what did come to mind as I thought about my true love is what I love about him more than anything else–his risk-taking (ironically, this is also one of the things that has probably caused the most arguments in our marriage, like since day three of marriage, because I am soo not a risk taker by nature, but I’m learning…) Anyway, a couple of months ago we were riding bikes on the river with the fam, and we stopped to climb on the rocks (which always alarms me, even though they are for the most part small and harmless). But Landis up and decided to climb the biggest rock, and took this huge giant step up and started to literally fall straight back off the rock, when out of nowhere Luke pretty much broke his back to dive over the rock and grab him by the arm. My heart was racing, to say the least. Thankfully, Landis already had a helmet on so hopefully only an arm would have been broken, but that’s not the first time Luke has gained a back ache from saving one of our children from danger.
And he’s so much more than that. He risks himself meeting new people, willingly extending hospitality to get to know someone better and show an interest. He risks himself by saying things in front of everyone that might make you squirm in your seat but you know it’s true and needs to be said. And it wasn’t that long ago (well, back in college which some might say was a long time ago) that he was scared to death of public speaking, but he has risked himself ever since and now, if I do say so myself, is amazing at it. He risks himself (and this is big) by willingly telling me all his crazy, out of the box, artistic, edgy ideas almost every day (and this is a risk because after 14 years of marriage I still haven’t fully learned how to graciously receive his ideas without giving him the “that’s ridiculous” look, or being overly and rudely sarcastic). But mostly I see him risking himself for the Gospel, searching for new ways to love people, challenging himself to read books and explore often not-quite-so-traditional approaches to ministry. But he’s fearless and wise all at the same time. And I love him more for it.
So even though I’m just not that into Valentine’s Day itself, it’s still a lovely reminder of the man I get to live with day in and day out who dotes on me way more than I deserve. And I’m looking forward to rack of lamb cooked to perfection…with my whole sweet crew.