A day to celebrate love

Posted by Heather Conrad at 11:07 PM

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

It's taken me a few days to finally post about Valentine's Day, but ey, that's the way life flies sometimes. Not sure about you, but I had an idea planted in my small brain a little ahead of time this year, and it was fun to anticipate this day of celebration with the family. A day to celebrate love!

Thanks to the amazingly-family-tradition-oriented mind-set of my good friend Jen, I remember her mentioning the fun dinner she created with her family in years past. With a goal in mind (how can I do this in a creative AND cheap way?), off Brynn and I went to where all smart shoppers go - Target's dollar aisle! What to our wondering eye did appear but darling heart-shaped bowls, platters, napkins and straws all for $1! Complete with a used strawberry shortcake tablecloth from one of the girl's birthdays, strawberry Nesquik to create pink milk (minus the dark glass that you see with none-other-than Dad's diet Coke), a heart-shaped cake, and left over birthday balloons, and you got yourself one festive in-home meal for the bargain price of less than $20!

Though I'm not a gift-giver by nature, we have a daughter that is, so as a fun after-dinner treat, they each opened a present - Valentine's socks for the girls, Snoppy peanut-butter chocolates for the boys (slim pickins when it comes to "boy" gifts), again, the amount of money not the objective, the joy of giving out of a heart of love, the key. Now, if only everyone stuck to these rules, peace would abound. However, Daddy chose to stray far from my "the-cheaper-the-better" concept and conspired with our son to purchase a wonderful accessory for Mommy. Now, some girls may go for the bling, I simply go for the "gear", running that is. A brand new, bright pink, I-Pod Nano was puchased along with the new Nike+ chip that records anything and everything while you huff and puff away - wowwweeeee!

Now, I usually leave all the techno-stuff to my ever-passionate husband, but I must tell you, this is the COOLEST thing. There's this sweet, encouraging voice that interrupts your listening pleasure for just a moment to let you know how far you've run and to kindly inform you how much "less" farther you have to reach your goal. My "coach" counts down the yardage as I near the end, and informs me of my pace. All the information is tracked and stored on-line, and even gives you an option to connect with a community of fellow runners around the world. It's quite an encouraging, motivating tool to watch your progress.

This new "coach", though, is very different from my true coach. The newbie knows nothing about me. "She" looks at data and repeats what she has been programmed to do. Any variance from her program, and she is unaware as to how to respond. My true coach knows me through and through. His plan included me before the beginning of time (Psalm 139:16). He knows my thoughts even before I have them, he created me in my mother's womb, he even knows how many hairs are on my head, so how can I not trust him when it comes to knowing what's best for me in running. It's the times I've surrendered the outcome to Him that the journey has been the sweetest!

Throughout this ever-amazing running journey, I've begun to learn just how to listen, and ask, and hear from my Savior. He truly is my best friend. He's seen me at my worst, he's encouraged me to "go" farther than I've ever gone before, he's cheered me on to several "finish lines" and asks me to wake up and "run" again. As long as I am able, that I have breath in this body, Lord, I desire to know more of you, to be shaped into your character. I want to allow you to live your life through me, I want to abide.

Lord, thank you for allowing your fruits to be displayed in my life. Forgive me for the times I take back control and press forward in my own feeble strength. Lord, I desire the things you desire, I want to be passionate about the things you're passionate about, I want to speak gentle, kind, and encouraging words, mostly when I don't feel like it. Will you help me? I thank you in advance for your patience and your answer to my prayers. Happy Valentine's Day!

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