February is the month we look forward to each year that smells of roses and chocolates! Did you know Valentine’s Day in 2020 added over $25 billion to the economy, all in the name of celebrating love?
Love evokes so many feelings that can be hard to define or even express in words. When I think of love, I think about actions. I think of how my husband does the dishes and packs our kids’ lunches every day. It is those small daily gestures that show his selfless love for us, setting aside whatever he would rather do (even if it is just relaxing on the couch), to help keep our family running and take some responsibility off me. When I think of love, I think about my girl gang, providing my family with dinner and helping with my kids while I was on a mission trip to Rwanda and my dad helping me start Texarkana Monthly. I think of the act of apologizing, the ability to go beyond the defensiveness of the ego. I think about our Texarkana Monthly team. They do way more than they are expected or paid to do, showing they care. I think of the ability to listen to each other during a time of hurt and how my kids fill my heart when they give me hugs… You get the picture. In all these circumstances, I feel supported, heard and cared for. It makes me feel valued as a human being. So, when I think of love, I think about the actions others have taken and exhibit consistently in a commitment to be loving.
It seems simple, but it never really is because love is an ongoing practice, cultivated through care and attention. I also think of the real world we live in today, which is full of opposition and anger and sometimes impedes valued relationships by trying to push us against one another instead of uniting us. I believe if we do not anchor ourselves with a foundation of spiritual love, we could be swept away.
My husband recently lost his cousin in a tragic accident that could not have been predicted. It makes you gasp in sorrow for the loved ones she left behind. Her husband recently shared some important lessons he has learned during his grieving about love.
“You always gain by giving love.” —Reese Witherspoon
The Lord Jesus Christ is real! Over time praying for his faith to increase, he never expected that prayer to be answered through the loss of his wife. Nevertheless, when his faith could have been weakened, it was made strong.
Stay on good terms with those in your life. Strive never to walk away from a person in disagreement or resentment. Resolve things quickly because you never know when someone may walk away for the last time. Kiss and hug your loved ones as much as possible.
We are not promised tomorrow, so do not take your loved ones for granted. Anything can happen. Put God and family first… and put the phone down!
Be grateful! We do not seem to recognize what we have until it is gone. Pay attention to the blessings you have and be thankful for them.
Give from your heart. The real legacy you leave has nothing to do with material things or money.
It is no secret February is all about hearts, and not just the candy kind. It is also American Heart Month designed to raise awareness about heart health. Heart disease is a leading cause of death for men and women. The beautiful woman on this month’s cover of Texarkana Monthly is Megan Menefee. This year marks ten years since her diagnosis with a cardiovascular heart defect. Megan is someone who is obviously stunning on the outside, but also radiates love from the inside through her words and actions. I know her personally as a loving daughter, wife, mother, sister-in-law, friend and workout partner. Clinically she may have had a hole in her heart, but she has always been someone I know to give her whole heart to love others.
Remember, when you are doing your part to stimulate the economy this Valentine’s Day, do it locally. We have incredible advertisers that can help make this Valentine’s the best your love has ever had! Spread love and kindness and shop local!