Wednesday, February 19, 2014

When stealing is a good thing...

I love Valentine's Day.

Thoughs of pink and red, lace doilies, candlelight dinners, love letters, flowers, and hearts make my heart bubble with excitement.. I love everything about Valentine's Day. Even before I met Matt and had someone to call my "special someone," I anticipated this special romantic day that fell right in the middle of the cold winter months. Each year, on Valentine's night, I would snuggle up with some blankets, a cup of tea, my Bible and journal, and write a letter to my future husband, dreaming of the day when I would be able to tell him I loved him face-to-face, and write a special letter, just for him, and finally be able to write his name at the top of it. I think Valentine's Day is such a special day to celebrate love with the ones you love- whether you're single, engaged, newlyweds, or a have been married for 50 years.

This Valentine's Day was mine and Matt's third Valentine's together, and our first with little Annie. I wanted to plan something really special for him. He was working Valentine's night, so we decided to celebrate the following night together. Since he worked until six the following day, I wanted to cook a special dinner for him and have it ready when he came home. I asked a friend to watch Annie so we could have a romantic dinner, just the two of us, and I wouldn't have to worry about standing to bounce Annie while we ate, or eating as quickly as I could because she was crying.
So the morning of our designated Valentine's Day, with Annie in the moby wrap, I cooked away- spinach and cheese stuffed chicken with a creamy white sauce, twice baked potatoes with garlic, sweet baby carrots, garlic bread, and a big heart-shaped chocolate cake for dessert. I set the table with pink and lace and our special rose china. I dusted and vacuumed. I dressed up, and I even put on makeup and painted my nails, which is quite the accomplishment now with our little lady. As six'o'clock drew near, I turned off the lights, lit a few candles, and waited for Matt to call, telling me he was on his way home from work. A few minutes later, my phone rang. It was Matt, driving home. After hanging up with him, I hurriedly gathered Annie and her things and dropped her, her bouncy seat, sound machine, swaddle, and binky all off at our friend's apartment a few doors down.
When Matt walked through our door a few minutes later, he greeted me with a kiss, and asked where our little Annie was. I smiled and told him she was at a friend's, and we had the next hour and a half all to ourselves. After another kiss, we sat down at the table. We were just pouring our sparking cider when my phone rang. It was our friend, with Annie screaming in the background- one of the worst screams I've heard from her yet. Matt went over to try to help calm her down, but within minutes, he was knocking on our front door again, this time holding a sad looking Annie in his arms.
We laughed that Annie does not like to be left out of any celebration. (She was born the day we had scheduled her baby shower :) And in a way, the situation was kind of funny, but as we sat at the table that night after calming Annie down, I found myself struggling with frustration and bitterness in my heart. I couldn't even have an hour and a half alone with my husband on Valentine's Day.
Thankfully, though, God graciously turned that thought around... I didn't have that night alone with Matt because we have been blessed with a little girl. So many times when she was growing in my belly, we thought we had lost her, but God had sustained her, and now she here she was with us this Valentine's Day, nearly a year after we had been told she was miscarried. She is such a precious gift.

Yes, my plans of a romantic evening with Matt hadn't quite turned out like I had pictured, but God had given me something even better.

As Annie's mommy, I can choose to see the "interruptions," the changes of plans, the daily tasks of diaper changes, naptime struggles, and the times of calming her cries as a "stealing" away of my time, sleep, and energy. OR I can choose to view them as opportunities- opportunities to become more like Jesus, Who gave His very life to serve! Annie isn't stealing away things I somehow "deserve" or am entitled to. Rather, God is using her to steal away little by little the selfishness that's inside of me. She is a little selfishness-stealing thief. And she's good at it - really, really good. And I know God will continue to use her to reveal more of my selfish heart and conform me more to His likeness.

When Annie was born, I was in awe of what a miracle she was, how she is a constant reminder of God's faithfulness and love to me. And I'm realizing even more and more how true that really is- she is a humbling reminder that God loves me when I don't deserve it, and that He promises to make me more like Jesus until I am with Him for eternity.


  1. An encouragement to me today. Thank you!

  2. Thanks for letting me know, Elizabeth. I'm glad it was an encouragement :)