Valentine’s Day hit us hard this year. We bought our valentines at the very last minute and the choices were limited, especially for my sixth grader. We couldn’t find the class lists. We had to tear apart birthday treats in order to have enough Valentines candy for gifts, and I had to drive the girls to school so they could get a drink from the gas station on the way to school.
My own mom worked at a drug store that sold greeting cards. Valentines Day is a great day for card sales and when I was second grade, my mom gave me a button from a card company that said, “Say something loving on Feb. 14.” I am sure she had no idea that I would wear that button nearly every year for forty years.
A few years after bringing our girls home from Ethiopia, one of them broke my Valentine’s button. It was really not big deal. I did not need the button and it was not valuable in any way. However, my mom died and every year when I brought out the button I would think of her. I was really sad to see it broken.
This particular kiddo has a knack for breaking things. In fact, I cannot count the number of things that she has broken. I hear that kids from hard places do break things!
On that wild morning, I reached into my top drawer and saw my button. Even though it is broken and it can no longer be pinned on my shirt, I keep it. Whenever I open my drawer my old button reminds me to “Say something loving”.
Our kids from hard places need loving words and not hard ones. Even when they disappoint us, they need to know how much we love them. In fact, I need to know how much my heavenly father loves me, even when I mess up, break things and disappoint him.
I praise God for giving me a loving mother. I know she would be pleased that the button she gave me so many years ago reminds me to love my children well, even when its hard.
1 John 4:7
Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. (NLT)