Rick's JournalTues., Feb. 13, 2018

John 13:34 – Jesus said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”  

Years ago, I remember someone saying Hallmark “created”  a whole bunch of holidays to sell more cards. Tomorrow maybe the grandest of Hallmark holiday of them all: Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day is more than just cards. It’s flowers, chocolates, candies, balloons, jewelry  and a bunch of ways we express love to someone we care for. My tradition with our grandkids: Subway gift cards!

My sister, Debbie, is a florist. It’s no secret. Valentine’s is one of her busiest days of the year. Right next to Mother’s Day.

Why? People like to acknowledge special people in their lives. Many of us will finish addressing Valentine’s Day cards today. Lots of heart-shaped cookies will be baked tonight, as well as yummy cupcakes, later adorned with lots of red and pink sprinkles. Whether Hallmark started the tradition of sending Valentine’s Day cards out or not, haven’t we all participated in the holiday?

For my husband Rick and I, we often approach holidays a bit non-traditionally. We may get each other a card, but with Rick, there is usually some little twist. Last year, I shared how Rick gave me a homemade birdhouse and a birthday card for Valentine’s Day! The birthday card was only over a month late, but who is counting? Several years ago, Rick showed up with a dozen roses a week earlier than Valentine’s Day. He couldn’t justify spending a ridiculous amount of money for roses on Valentine’s Day. He took advantage of the pre-Valentine Day prices and brought them home a bit early.

My ideas to honor my sweetie have often fallen short. After last year’s birdhouse, I was inspired to come up with a better idea for this year. I decided to create a year-long, daily reminder of some way Rick expressed his love and devotion to me every day.

It was actually very simple. I bought a generic date book at an office supply store. The particular one I purchased had two days on a page, with several lines for each day. Each day, I took a couple minutes and wrote down something meaningful Rick did for me the previous day. Some days were a little challenging. Until very recently, we did not see each other every day of the week. For years, in-between his work shifts, Rick stayed at his parent’s farm. This recently changed. Usually once a week, I would see him at the farm. This still left a couple days a week we didn’t see each other. On these days, I would be more creative: thankful for the text he sent, appreciate the way he provides for our family, admiration for how he is so dedicated to his job.

Feb. 14What was the purpose of doing this daily appreciation? It reminded me of 365 ways I love, value and appreciate my Sweetie Pea. Some days, my comments are very simple. Other days, there may be a bit more depth. None of my comments took more than a couple minutes to write. Each day, I chose to recall a personality trait, act of kindness or way Rick has made my life special and more meaningful.

This little exercise has taught me how to love and value my Valentine every day of the year; not just on a Hallmark holiday.

Whoever your Valentine might be (spouse, child, parent, special someone), how might you take just a couple minutes and express your love, gratitude and appreciation for them these next 365 days?

Feb. 13

One last day to fill in Rick’s journal before Valentine’s Day tomorrow!


Rick isn’t aware that tomorrow, he will receive this date book filled with my affirmations. Can you please help me keep the secret one more day? He doesn’t read my blog. Often, someone will mention something to him that I’ve shared in this blog. Please feel free to recall this to him … but just after Feb. 15. Thanks so much in advance!

Lord God – thank you for teaching us how to love each other unconditionally. May the way we love and express our love to those who mean the most to us always be rooted and reflect the great love we receive and acknowledge from you.  Amen.

Blessings –


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