Most wonderful day of cut hearts and sweet treats and red and pink joy to you.

I’ve been thinking lots about love this week like many of you, I’m sure, and the word that continues rolling right ’round comes from 1 John 3:18:

Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.

Today, among all the poetic and silly and thoughtful and trite professions of love, I am challenged in my selfish skin to be one who continually demonstrates love by the giving, by the coming next to, by the seeing, by the sacrificing.

This Valentines morning, I’m over at MOPS’ (Mothers of Preschoolers) blog with a post I wrote about the kind of love that does, in the context of a relationship in which that can often be the most challenging: marriage.

Here’s an excerpt…

I’m stumbling through the house when Michael arrives, and I’m so tired from the day’s grind that I barely make it to the door to greet him. I do, though, give him a kiss and hug and ask, “How are you?”

It feels like a sacrifice, but it is one grown easier through repetition. I’ve learned the way I welcome him makes a difference. I try to give what I desire to receive when I return.

This night, I’ve no earthly clue what we’ll eat for dinner. I’m still helping the girls with homework and have spent every non-kid tending moment attending to scheduling and miles of clutter. Piles of clothes sit in color-coordinated piles, waiting for folding.

Minutes after Michael arrives, four-year-old Clara presses her new cardigan into the bright apple green circle of Silly Putty, and I want to throw in the final dirty towel—or sweater.

And then my husband, who’s worked a tough day and is making dinner, patiently approaches the table and, as he removes her sticky pink sweater, explains to Clara why we don’t use our clothes to smoosh Silly Putty.

He recognizes I’m exhausted and need the backup. And he’s got my back here. He’s giving from the middle of his need as I give from the middle of mine.

We’re not exactly meeting in the middle, for it’s not a you-step-two, then I’ll-step-two kind of dance…

Join me here to read the rest.

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