I’d go off into the woods all by myself with a journal.
I was young, yes, but there was always a boy with his initials on my heart. There was always someone to whom my thoughts would drift on the long car ride to the cabin or in the evenings, watching campfire smoke float into the starry sky. When my little body rested, my little heart dreamed dreams, and dreams always contained a smile of some little boy.
I’d go in the woods to write and dream alone. I wanted to hide, but I wanted to get it out of my heart too, and so I shared my hearts dreams with the paper and the trees. I wrote his initials on the log on which I sat. Then I worried that mom would see them, so I put leaves on the branch.
His cute smile or flippy hair took many of my thoughts.
The next month when I returned to the cabin, I returned to the tree to see if my secret was still there. It was, and it was not hidden by leaves. But the tree no longer held the truth, no longer displayed the initials on my heart. I peeled the bark from the tree, and I updated my secret with a new set of initials.
Do you remember the wonderful agony of childhood love?
Do you remember longing to be chosen?
Do you remember wanting to be loved and to feel lovely?
I have two daughters, and as I watch them I remember the flutters and aches of a young girls heart. It is terrifying and beautiful all at once, and it moves me to prayer.
In this house, as often as we can, we color the word “love.” It includes the colors of a marriage full of love and grace. The heart of Love is bright red with the love of our Savior for us.
Valentine’s Day is here again, and again we will sit down with our elementary school children who look lovely and remind them that they are lovely, that they are loved.
Read more about our tradition here:
Coloring Love: Valentine's Day Tradition
and check out our dinner-time conversation starters:
- Does mom love dad? How do you know?
- Does dad love mom? How do you know?
- Look at the brother or sister sitting to your left. Name something about that person that you think their future spouse will like.
- If Jesus would tell you who you are going to marry some day, would you want to know? What would you ask him about that person?
- If God would answer one request about your family in the future- what would you ask him?
- Do you hope your future spouse has lots of money? Why or why not? Would you marry someone that was rich but unkind?
- Do you want your future spouse to be kind? How will you know if he/she is?
- Would you marry someone that was kind but refused to do any work? Would you marry someone that was kind but simply could not do work?
- If God doesn’t send you a spouse, what else might you do when you grow up?
- Would you marry someone who was kind and smart but always smelled like bacon? Or green beans?
- Would you marry someone who wants to have 20 children? Would you marry someone who hates children?
- What would you do if God sends you a spouse that works in another country?
- What do mom and dad do for fun? What do you think you will do for fun with your spouse?
- When you are old enough to have a house, what kind of house do you want?
- Do any of the kids in your class have girlfriends or boyfriends? What do you think about this?
- Has anyone ever told you that you are pretty or handsome? Do you like when people say this?
- Do you think your family will be like ours if you have children? How might it be different?
- Name a gift that mom has that makes her a good mom.
- Name a gift that day has that makes him a good father.
- Name a gift that dad has that makes him a good husband.
- Name a gift that mom has that makes her a good wife.
- What will you do when you meet someone and you are not sure if they are the one for you?
Do you have any fun Valentine's Day traditions?
Other questions to suggest?