Gratitude Day 219

Mon., Feb. 25, 2019

Habakkuk 2:3 – There is still a vision for the appointed time; it testifies to the end; it does not deceive. If it delays, wait for it; for it is surely coming; it will not be late.

He’s done it again.

With an unexpected surprise, Hubby Rick has plastered a smile on my face and made me laugh.

Should it be any surprise? It’s happened countless times throughout our marriage. Yet, every time it creeps up on me, I’m surprised that I didn’t see it coming.

Would you like to hear more?

Do you bore of my Hubby Rick stories?

Grab a cup of coffee … or Diet Coke. Then, let’s go.

So, Hubby Rick has this longstanding tradition of not really celebrating a holiday at the time the holiday happens. I know, it’s ridiculous. But this happens regularly.

Let me also preface this with the background that we do not purchase each other Christmas gifts. (I know. We’re going back a couple of months. Just hang with me for a bit.) A card is about as crazy as it gets at the Vielhuber household between spouses.

So here are a couple previous examples of how Rick never ceases to amaze me.

There was the year I received a Christmas card on my birthday (which is early January), a birthday card on Valentine’s Day and a Valentine’s Day card on St. Patty’s Day. (He took advantage of the after-holiday sales, or so he says.)

Then, there was the year I received a dozen roses about a week before Valentine’s Day. This was especially novel, as he was EARLY, something that rarely happens. (He was being thrifty this year. $19.99 vs. $65.00. Do the math, he said. Plus … there was a wider color selection!)

At Christmas 2018, he apologized a few days after Christmas for not getting me a card. He said they were too picked over when he tried to find one on Christmas Eve. I simply forgot about it and moved on.


On Valentine’s Day this year, we were on vacation. We spent the day on a cruise ship in the Caribbean. Earlier in the week, I saw an envelope addressed to me in the bottom of the suitcase. He probably also saw the little package I had tucked there also. We were both prepared!

Well, sort of. This is the card I received on Valentine’s Day.


Look closely. Read the verse on the front of the card. Look at the tree in the background.



I’m not sure where he found a card or how much it was on sale. Yes, it produced a huge laugh from me after I opened it. Was I surprised? Yes. Should have I been? No.


Fast-forward a week. We have been home several days. Rick works nights. His work week begins on Sunday afternoons and he finishes his last 12—hour shift on Thursday morning. He knows the first thing I do in the morning is walk downstairs and make a pot of coffee. The kitchen island is a common place where we leave each other notes. Based on us working different shifts, sometimes this is where our best communication happens. (Unfortunately.)


Last Thursday morning when I walk into the kitchen, I discover a package in the sink. It’s a bouquet of mini-carnations, still in the plastic wrap, stuck into a plastic glass filled with water. (“Only the best for you,” Rick would later say.) And on the counter next to the sink? This note.


Yes, it was a delayed Valentine’s Day gift. But a very good delayed present. Rick often tells me that he doesn’t want to be predictable. (Anyone can buy flowers on a holiday.) And he wants to keep things interesting. (Ya think?) And he wants to express his respect and love for me not because it’s a Hallmark holiday but because this is how he feels deep in his heart. (Did I hear a collective “Awwww?”)

Friends – I’ve previously expressed how important it is to make love deposits into the hearts of the people who mean the most to us. Every time one of these silly, unexpected cards or bouquet of flowers show up, Rick makes a huge deposit into my love bank. I never tire of these random acts of kindness. They always plaster a smile on my face that remains there ALL. DAY. LONG.

It’s not as easy for me to delay cards and little gifts. My Type A personality doesn’t always allow it. But I wish I could. I wish I had the ability to be just a bit more like my Hubby. And since I’m not, maybe this is just one of those endearing reasons why we chose each other.

Sometimes it’s so special to do something “just because.” Who and what might you do for someone special in your life today? A little surprise that will plaster a smile on their face ALL. DAY. LONG? Make time. Keep it simple. Enjoy the result.


For delays that turn into something special, I am grateful.

Lord God – thank you for bringing a person into my life who teaches me something new nearly every day. Thank you for making him so different from myself. Help me appreciate these differences rather than getting frustrated by them. May we celebrate the little special opportunities we have to make a difference in someone’s life this day. Amen.

Blessings –


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