With Valentine’s Day soon upon us, it would be easy to rant against Hallmark and other marketers. (Sorry Hallmark, I do so enjoy your commercials!). But all they’ve done is put a message out there …we’re the ones who’ve bought into it.

Guess what, Valentine’s Day is about so much more than romantic love, Cupid, or “rotic” gatherings (when single women get together without a “man”). At its essence, it is about love. Yes, yes, I’m sure the origins are about blah, blah, blah, but right here in 2015, let’s take back Valentine’s Day!

share love

Here are four ideas for anyone to put the LOVE back in the day:

1.Paul reminds us that love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Choose one attributes of love that you want to focus on this week. This book reminded me of how “manically verb centered” love is.

2. Make a list of the people in your life and be reminded of how blessed you are. When my dad died, I thought of the friends I hadn’t seen in years and realized if I wasn’t careful, more years would go by. The above photo was taken when I was in Scotland visiting my dear friends the Petries. Who is on your list?

3. Tell those important to you that you love them. People will die, grow old, or move away. Don’t live with regrets, tell them you love them.

This valentine gets to me every time I look at it:




If you want to know why it’s faded, you can read about it here. In part: So I hung it where it would be exposed to day light and not packed away, with false safety, in a drawer. Much like the love we share, exposed to the elements and not guarded out of fear.

4. Review the love languages and be sure you’re aware of the love languages of those who are important to you. I wrote about them this week at Velvet Ashes.

5. And a bonus one! Why, because we can never have enough love. Sending personalized postcards is a great way to communicate without taking much time or money. I use Amazing Mail (formerly Premium Postcards). Several years ago for Valentine’s Day a friend helped me take four photos and the recipients could spell out “I love you this much!” Amazing Mail is just that (and fun!). What sentence would you spell out?

I love you

So, dear marketers, I know you’re just trying to earn a living and I respect that. But I’m trying to live a richer life and part of that involves a broader definition of love than the one you’re peddling.

I’m not buying it. I’m interested in more.

Will you join me in putting more love out there?



Leave A Comment

  1. LeAnne February 13, 2015 at 6:37 am - Reply

    Love this. Love the faded Valentine. As nice as it can be to preserve things that are precious, how much nicer is it to USE them?? I’ll never forget searching for something in my Mom’s bathroom cabinets and stumbling across B&BW lotion I had bought for her years ago. It was still full. Somewhat insulted, I called her out on it because I knew it was a scent she liked. She told me she was saving it for a nice occasion. Okay, my mom grew up poor, like, her baby sister’s diaper freezing to the wood floor because they had no heat poor. So yes, my Mom’s go-to was to use the store brand lotion daily and save the not-even-all-THAT-nice B&BW stuff for some unknown future nicer occasion. Now time had robbed it of its true odor, and it smelled weird. Full. I have thought of that story and used it to enjoy stuff now ever since. I’m glad you hung – and ENJOYED – the Valentine versus it being lost in a drawer you rarely rifle through.

  2. Nita Kulesau February 13, 2015 at 9:44 am - Reply

    I DO love you, Amy! … And your mom AND your sisters, too!! I was trying to remember just when it was that I started loving the Young family? Must have been 38 years ago or so!
    Those kinds of friendships are so rare and certainly to be cherished!

  3. Lanae Bond February 14, 2015 at 9:12 am - Reply

    Great post! I think it is a good idea to right down the names of the ones you love. It is like you are counting your blessings that you have in your life!

  4. Jewel February 14, 2015 at 9:21 am - Reply

    Love it! – says another single M lady.

  5. Jessa February 18, 2015 at 12:16 am - Reply

    Hi, Amy. Thank you for this post. My pastor is doing a series on relationships and he spent the past two weeks preaching on 1 Cor 13. All I can think is, “I am so bad at loving the people in my life.” I don’t speak to or see my family. I hate that that’s the case, but they’re not safe for me. I got a letter from my father today, trying to convince me to see the error in my ways and come back to the family–how can I go back to a situation where I’m around my rapist all the time? And yet, how can I say I love my family and set such harsh boundaries with them? How is maintaining boundaries that are safe for me patient or kind or not self-seeking or keeping no record of wrongs? My friends say I’m loving them by keeping the boundaries because it keeps them from being put in a position to be abusive. I’m not so sure. My parents, maybe, but what about my siblings? I asked them to live with the same boundaries so no one was caught in the middle, but is it fair to keep them at arm’s length? I so want to be a loving person, I just don’t know what that looks like in my family, and I feel like I have nothing to offer my friends. Am I even making any kind of sense? Sorry for the emotion explosion…

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