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Valentine's Day

There is both so much and so little I want to say, so I'm just going to start typing and see which one takes over! Haha.

Yesterday was Valentine's Day (in case any of you have been under a rock or lack a calendar and didn't already know that). Fun fact- I have been single for every Valentine's Day of my entire life, and I still love the holiday! It's so sweet to see people brag about their significant others and to share the blessings in their lives. I think this was the first year I actually didn't see people in my social media feeds calling it "Singles Awareness Day (S.A.D.)", and that's something to celebrate! (Slash...oops. Guess I've brought it back now, huh? Haha) Singleness isn't sad and being in a relationship doesn't actually make anyone complete. Only Jesus does that! Personally, I am both single AND feel completely whole. So, yeah. While I do hope for marriage one day, I refuse to allow the lack thereof to steal any joy or satisfaction away from me.

Did you know that Saint Valentine was killed for being a Christian and for marrying people during the reign of Emperor Claudius II in Rome (who had outlawed marriage because he believed single men were better soldiers because they didn't have a family to come home to)? The night before he was killed, his jailor's blind daughter came to him praying for a miracle and her eyes were healed. He wrote her a note and signed it "your Valentine" and left it behind for her as he went to his death. Crazy, right?! That's what it's all about! Even as you go to your death bed, you should be showing love and kindness to people...even if they are your enemies. THAT is what Jesus teaches! And that's how it all began!

I am so blessed that my parents, though divorced, always made me feel loved on Valentine's Day. And after my high school graduation, one of my close friends was killed in a car accident....her birthday was on Valentine's Day and for several years, my friends and I would use her birthday as an excuse to hang out and catch up and share about our lives. Bittersweet for sure, but so grateful for those moments. I simply can't recall a year in which this day actually made me sad. And this year was no exception!

This past week, we went to Kathmandu (typically a 6-hour journey) so that I could go to the Immigration Office to extend my visa. (Which, praise the Lord, went incredibly smoothly!) We saw many friends, did some shopping, and were even able to attend a church gathering in person. The weather has been getting warmer which greatly improves my mood, so that was nice as well! Anyways, after a week away, we drove back yesterday and I spent the day with the cutest little valentines around! (It is here I must also say, Jay and Sangeeta- you both are incredible and I am SO sorry that you have now had to spend your Anniversary AND Valentine's Day traveling because of me! Ready to watch your boys for you so you can have a well-deserved date!) But that is life in Nepal. People are constantly putting each other's needs above their own! What a better place the world would be if we all did the same.

Before leaving Kathmandu, we stopped to buy flowers for the kids in Hetauda. I bought a bunch that was all wrapped in cardboard so it would travel easier. I thought it was a dozen, which would allow each kid to have one. (Real flowers are very uncommon in households, especially outside of Kathmandu). When I got home and opened the box and started passing them out, I realized that I had actually purchased 20 roses, not 12! So I gave some to the other women in my house and kept the rest for myself, without shame! Haha. So refreshing to have fresh flowers around. And the amount of joy that a single rose brings to these kids is simply contagious!

I don't know how you spent your Sunday. I don't know if you felt loved or alone, or even a weird mix of both. I don't know if the people you love are in the same place as you or are far away, but I truly hope that you felt seen and known and that you had conversations with people you care about. I hope that you, single or otherwise, were able to look at your surroundings and count your blessings. I hope you smiled throughout the day, both for yourself and on behalf of others. I hope these things are true for you. But if they are not- let me just encourage and remind you that you have been created with intention by a Holy and Sovereign God who pours out His love for you daily! You are wanted, valued, and purposeful. And it is my prayer for you today, dear reader, that you would be overcome with peace and joy from your Creator at this moment!

I will leave you with this beautiful reminder from the book of Romans that my Nepali friends live out so well:

"Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor."

~Romans 12:9-10


If you feel like sending some love to the kids/family in Nepal, we have an Amazon Wishlist that you can feel free to browse! Things have notes and have been prioritized in case you are wondering what they are for. Click here for the list. Also note, these are just ideas and don't have to come from Amazon. If you'd like more information on more urgent needs, let me know and I am happy to email you that list as well.

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