Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Valentine's Day Ideas for Widows

Do you think you'll want to mark Valentine's Day this year? Here are a variety of things, from a variety of people and places, that might be meaningful for you.
  • Visit the cemetary and leave a message of candy conversation hearts to melt into the snow
  • Tie a home-made Valentine to a helium balloon and let it fly away to heaven
  • Collect old Valentines and love letters from your husband and put them together in a decorative memory box keepsake.
  • Create a collage of photos. Frame it to hang on a wall or stand on your dresser.
  • Buy a package or two of school Valentine cards. Send them to your own children, nieces and nephews or other family members. Write a little love note on them.
  • Or send Valentines to various groups--nursing homes, children's hospital wards, missionary kids you pray for, your childrens' ministry leaders, your Bible study group or group leaders . . .
  • Offer to babysit for a married couple so they can enjoy a romantic evening out. Give them a copy of the blog post from last Wednesday--10 Loving Things Husbands Can Do. Prepare a lot of fun things to do with the kids so you don't end up bored and feeling sorry for yourself.
  • But, (true story) if the church ladies want to recruit you to serve at the Valentine Banquet for all the happy couples? My gut instinct is to just yell "No!" as you give them a good boot in the booty. But the widow this happened to decided she would do it in the power of the Lord, and you know what? She survived and felt stronger for it! So it just depends on what God wants you to do. (He might want to decline as well).
  • Invite other widows over for tea or coffee and snacks, or a carry-in lunch or supper. Give them an opportunity to share their stories and send everyone home with extra meals.
  • Plan something nice for yourself. What have you thought about trying? Sign up for Zumba lessons or Jazzercise. Take piano or guitar lessons (just visit your local music store and ask about them); or rent a flute or violin and practice to audition for the local orchestra. Ask about singing with your church group or community choir. Volunteer at a food pantry or ask about a part-time job at something that interests you. Take a course at a community college. . . --hey, I'm getting carried away here, but you get the idea: Plan some fun and show yourself some love and kindness.
And if you want to skip it altogether? THAT'S PERFECTLY OK TOO! Sometimes that's the best way to be kind to yourself and it has nothing to do with that over-used and often misapplied word "denial." Don't worry about it.  
What are some of your ideas for getting through Valentines Day this year?

ferree

5 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. I'm not a candy eater so my husband would always (mostly always) bring me a couple roses for valentines day and a card saying I love you.
    So as a simple gesture and tribute of love for him.... I buy myself a couple of beautiful roses and place them in open view.
    And every time I see them in the room I reflect upon God's love for giving me grace plus giving me the gift of Thomas's love.
    Such a gift causes me to love the giver of ALL good and perfect gifts even more.
    For every good and perfect gift is from above. James 1:17

    dodi

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  3. I love sending cards and gifts to my daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren. I am pouring out my love on them.

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  4. Ferree one of the last things you said was show yourself some loving kindness, that's something I've never learned to do, Roses is a good thing or maybe buying myself a box of goodies. You said go out and have some fun or give something to someone else.
    I've always been a giver through out my life and my marriage and never thought of myself as a taker, it's just that "what do you give, when you just don't feel like ya got anything else to give?? Is this part of the journey?? Does it pass??

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  5. Dear Anonymous, "When you just don't feel like ya got anything else to give..." yes, this is part of the journey, as well as a part of life, not contained to grief or widowhood alone. The stress and fatigue of widowhood are very real though. So if the suggestions in the list today just add to your burden or become another item on your to do list, you know what? Throw them right out the window! "Give" yourself some rest. Some margins in your life and permission to practice the fine art of doing nothing. Rest.

    Kindness and rest were the two things Naomi prayed for her widowed daughters-in-law (Ruth 1:8,9) and I believe she hit upon the exact things widows need most: kindness and rest. Practice them, ask God for them, and look for them on a daily basis. They are manifestations of God's grace and as we receive and accept (undeline that word ACCEPT because sometimes that's not an easy thing for "givers" to do) them they will supply exactly what you need for this struggle.

    Does it pass, you ask? I think you'll find this feeling will eventually subside, but honestly? If it's part of our dependency on Christ, it should always be driving us to rest in Him. Books can be written on that subject! But for now, it can be hard to accept, but please know there's nothing wrong with it and when you're running on empty its time to run to God to give yourself some rest.

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