Thursday, February 14, 2013

Now That's a Valentine!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

It’s pretty early as I write this and Gracie is serving as my number one snuggle-bug.  She’s curled beside me on the love seat; enjoying the coziness of my beautiful lap quilt.  Totally rotten dog!

I opened my journal this morning and found a quote by Hans Christian Andersen that made me laugh out loud.  “Enjoy life.  There’s plenty of time to be dead.”  Obviously Gracie has read Mr. Andersen because she definitely enjoys her life!

Last night at Bible study we sang Happy Birthday to a precious lady who turns 60 today.  It reminded me of one of my earliest crushes from fourth grade.  He was born on Valentine’s Day too. 

His mother must have been a romantic soul; she named her baby boy “James Valentino Graf”!  And he did the best he could to live up to that name, even in elementary school.  I can’t imagine what a charmer he became once his voice changed!

Since I was teaching at Bible study last night, I took a moment to recount my first Valentine’s Day as Frank Hawley’s object of affection.  (That man went to great lengths to win my heart!  His college room mate even wrote about it in one of his earliest books.  Sure glad he’s still at it; winning my heart, that is!)

Mom and dad had driven down to Southeastern University to be with me for Homecoming and it was the first time they’d met Frank.  Dad shook his hand then set about trying to ignore him.

But Mom seemed to see the handwriting on the wall, as mothers often do.  She and I strolled arm in arm across campus, discussing all that was going on in my life.  Classes, upcoming graduation, future plans, funny stories, a mission trip opportunity.  Mom had always been my best friend and most reliable sounding board.

“Sheri, tell me about this guy, Frank Hawley.  He seems very interested!”  Her big brown eyes zeroed in.

We stepped into the cool entryway of Bethany Hall.  “Oh, Mom,” I chided her.  “We just enjoy hanging out with one another.  He's a great guy and a good friend.  But don’t worry; it’s not that serious.”

At that very moment we turned the corner leading to my room and stopped dead in our tracks.  Both of our mouths dropped open.  I gasped out loud!

Covering my dorm room door was a Valentine SIX FEET TALL!  

Entirely handmade with intricate stitching.  The white felt background was covered with red felt cupids, hearts, designs and a red-lettered message.  “Be My Valentine!” seemed to literally boom and echo throughout the dormitory.

(Being a poor ministry student, Frank had recruited help from our friend Tricia who had her sewing machine at school.  They had worked for days; cutting, stitching, creating!)

In the very center of the massive missive, a huge red heart-pocket cleverly held an adorable stuffed bear.  The bottom of the Valentine touched the tile floor and served as backdrop for a stunning arrangement of long-stemmed red roses, as well as a huge box of chocolates.

Mom and I just stood there dumb-struck for several moments.  When I finally came to my senses, a silly grin had spread across my face and I turned to look at my mother.  Her eyebrows were raised.  A hand sat squarely on her hip.  She made one simple statement, “Not that serious, huh?!”

Oh, the wisdom of Mamas!  Here I am, thirty-four Valentines later!

Hope your day is bigger than life, knowing that you are part of the greatest love story of all time.  The love story of God, who sent His own son to tell you of His undying affection and commitment! 

Now that’s Serious!!


  1. Oh my. Frank scored some BIG points with that BIG Valentine.

    So glad you've married a man with such a big heart.

  2. Baby girl, after all these years you still have my heart.

  3. guess that got your attention. huh???
    what a wonderful idea so creative!

  4. I love those jaw-dropping moments! This post just had me smiling! Especially your Mom's, "Not that serious, huh?"