Happy Valentine’s Day

imageI didn’t get chocolates because life isn’t like that.

I didn’t get a stuffed animal or any other bear.

I didn’t get a bracelet or some fine jewelry.

I didn’t get a car or something that elaborate.

No candies that are hearts or even silly cards.

But what I did get I planned to do, something that I would enjoy. Something different, I took a chance at, what was definitely not the norm.

I loved it. He loved it. We all loved it.

“Just as water reflects the face, so one human heart reflects another.”
Proverbs 27:19

As he was traveling to preach the gospel, I got to plan this day that I normally struggle with even being married. Most people won’t say that but I think this day is overrated. We plan to do things that we do all year round–so what is really different about that? Why not make it a day doing something “not normal.”

So my daughter showed me this “paint nite” thing online. I thought that would be SO nice. I would go to a separate place in the city and she booked Westchester. First thing I thought was this was DEFINITELY not him! LOL! But that is okay, as long as I will love it, I am sure he will find something creative about it and enjoy it too.

I surprised him.

He had no idea where we were going. I booked the painting class for us in a New York City lounge. Odd place–but new and different for us. I drove and we got to our place. He said, “Is this a show or something?” And so we walked in and were quickly greeted. He saw all the easels set up and the instructor was there to hand us two plain canvases.  The place was already packed. We found two spaces in the front by the door which was good–right by the instructor.

Our seats were ready–the table set with brushes, selected colors and our own aprons for painting. I looked at him and he smiled as I said, “This is it! A painting lounge!” He got ready at his paint station and looked like a kid prepping for the event. Still laughing out loud here as I type!!!

Honestly, this was the best date ever! It was peaceful. It was fun. It was something that I love. It wasn’t a fancy hotel, it wasn’t some extraordinary gift, it wasn’t a card with more words and it wasn’t me being surprised. It was me planning me! That was the difference. You don’t always have to expect the same ole things over and over. Sometimes we fall sad with unmet needs and expectations. When you expect what you expect–that sets the tone for a GREAT day!

We painted the afternoon away. An eccentric and fun instructor, choice red wine, light music in the background and an environment with new and happy faces. Yeah–I wouldn’t trade that for any inn! Just keeping it real. I won’t be afraid to try something new even though there is nothing new under the sun. It is just that I haven’t tried it yet and there is plenty of time to explore opportunities…all the unconditional ones. What limits us?

Love is unconditional.

Love knows no limit to its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading of its hope; it can outlast anything. It is, in fact, the one thing that still stands when all else has fallen.
1 Corinthians 13:7-8 (Phillips Translation)

I am still standing. I am still smiling. I am still surrendering.

This Valentine’s Day, my friend if you are with someone or not–find a way to celebrate YOU! That has always been the will of the Lord for you. An abundant life with abundant living.

Chocolates make you fat.

Flowers fade.

Jewels collect the dust.

Yes there are gifts, but I want something that is more worthwhile. I will celebrate what God has done in my life.

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God had done from beginning to  end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and do good while they live.”
Ecclesiastes 3:11-12 (New International Version)

Let’s be happy while we live! Make it happen! Make it count!
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone.

About Christina

Blessings to all that are viewing this. My name is Christina Cruz-Mendez. I am a Senior Pastor at Mission United International Church in Yonkers, NY working along side my husband Juan A. Mendez Jr. Senior Pastor, currently residing in Canton, Georgia. We have been together for 29 years with 2 children that God has blessed us with. Makes us the family of four - "JusChrist4". I have been a Christian and active in ministry for about 22 years now. Through all the rocky and smooth roads in life I am eternally grateful that God has brought me this far in life to share with the world what He is doing in me, through me and for me. View all posts by Christina

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