My most favoritest month in the whole wide world of months.
Because right around the corner is my favoritest holiday.
Happy Friday friends.
I was shocked and thrilled to see the three kids left among us secretly snatching this and that from my bedroom, under beds and hall closets which can only mean one thing.
They are either kleptomaniacs
They remembered our tradition of them preparing a cute little romantic nook for Joel and I to eat dinner in each and every Friday in February.
Don't feel too badly for them, it IS the shortest month of the year.
This began with Isaac and now the last son home decided to keep the tradition going.
And this mom needed his remembering.
Our love looks more like remembering to brush our teeth before bed for each other or getting excited for the other when they actually find their favorite underwear at the store.
And not even for some intimate reasons, but for the sheer joy of them covering all the bases if you know what I mean.
It's a comfort-lovin' kinda love these days and I am here for it.
I'm here for needing reading glasses so that when you actually remove them to kiss each other you can't spy the one chin hair they never seem to grab hold of when they finally find the tweezers in the girl's room.
I'm also here for the giggles as you check your husband's scraped knee because he forgot how many front steps we actually have- flew forward and knocked on the front door with his adorable head.
Kids start pricing cute canes for next Christmas, would you?
And I'm loving a week of seeing that no matter how hard you try and send some love out to someone else, the Lord in his faithfulness comes in the back door.
The Holy Spirit took a look at my bank account, thought it would be good for me to send a few devotionals to encourage some dear ones, when I thought we should just hunker down and save for Taco Bell Mexican pizzas on a rainy day.
And I kid.you.not. the day after the text came saying that the blessing was being enjoyed the kids brought me a target box with my name on it.
It was a belated Christmas present from a friend.
See how that goes?
Boomerang Holy Spirit goodness.
Not convinced? Mmmkay. I get you.
I spent over FOUR hours taking the 15-going-on 20 year old to a salon to get her first "wash, cut and style" at the local "high class" beauty school.
While she gets hand and arm massages and some sweet young student figures out that my girl has secret stashes of hair that needs pampered this Mom sits in the car because the only seat with an outlet adjacent holds a grade schooler whose Mom is also being pampered.
I bring said girl a slushie and a side of pretzels and hair cutter girl a Dr Pepper per her request once I winkled it out of her so we could thank her for dealing with the hair of Absalom.
And I head out again to the car.
Even knitting is getting old by this time.
And that's saying something.
I drive 15 minutes HOME to save the sheet pan dinner from burning and also to convince older brother to go get her once they spin her hair into gold ? so she can pay for this whole shindig and leave the premises.
She comes home looking like she just taped a Revlon commercial and I am glad that the sheet pan has survived and I smile because what is four hours in the grand scheme of things anyway?
The very next afternoon the older sister who has the most adorable heart sets the whole Friday February thing into motion.
I am getting old enough to finally realize that you cannot out give God.
You cannot out love, well, LOVE.
Love is never wasted.
Not on a dog who decides to eat deer poo and simultaneously roll into what we have affectionately called "smog" because we don't actually want to know what it really is.
Not on a teen who only rolls out of bed when they hear you turn off the shower.
Not on a sheet pan for a hungry crew that DID have broccoli on it at one time but has now melted into some sort of "sauce"by the time it's served up.
I've never given love and wanted to take it back.
Not from a naughty boy in the church nursery,
Not from a friend who's less of a friend now,
Not even from the one I knew couldn't be trusted with it.
I HAVE been temped to strangle one or two of my kids any given Sunday night though.
Does that count?
My dear husband has decided to go through the book of I Corinthians and landed on chapter 7 one lovely Lord's day evening.
But here's the thing.
My oldest son likes to sit on the left of me and I love for him to sit there.
ON THE FRONT ROW.
What I love LESS a WHOLE LOT LESS is how he decides to spontaneously have a little bible study with Ole' Mom right there in the middle of the service.
ON THE FRONT ROW.
I HAVE learned I can hold him back from too many comments he just HAS to throw my way by staring forward and patting his arm a couple times.
I stare at my husband with a look that says, "I told you we should've bought Bible curriculum this year."
(why is curriculum the hardest word to spell anyways??!)
He sees my look and still leaves me there to fend for myself.
Here's the other thing.
Another parenting rule: Church edition:
If Mom hands you a mint in any way shape or form, even if it's already chewed gum you take the offering and you put it in your mouth.
Mom will harmonize humming with you during the altar call.
Mom will even share her favorite pens.
But Mom does not get paid enough to deal with Sunday halitosis.
I don't care if it burns a taste bud off or it's not your favorite flavor.
What you have going on in there is NO ONE'S FAVORITE ANYTHING.
So this son of mine decides to send some choice statements my way right there where the livestream can see all this goodness.
He points to verse number nine from chapter seven and leans in for the kill:
"SO YOU COULDN'T CONTAIN, HUH MOM???!!!"
And yes I will allow you a moment to grab your King James to look up exactly what he was talking about.
Just as I was regaining feeling in my throat to actually swallow, he adds a little cherry on top:
"I need to take this jacket off.... I'm just BURNING UP MOM."
I have no earthly idea how you can want to laugh until you pee your pants and also want to strangle your teenager right there on a live-streamed service, but I am witness to the fact that you CAN.
You ABSOLUTELY CAN.
That's love too.
These crazy kids, this tripping and falling husband is all that I have ever craved in my whole life.
I have never wanted to be some elite athlete, some notable author or even an influential friend.
I have only ever always wanted just to be loved like I am tonight.
I have only ever wanted to watch someone look at wedding pictures with me that the kids got out and smile and say to me across the table, "We were babies, weren't we?" like they did tonight.
The other night it just came over me again that I have grown six humans in this here body of mine.
I have the scars to prove it.
And the husband and I just lay in bed thanking God for a way to house this bunch who are now leaving the nest for who knows where these days.
I have a love for this skin and bones that can absorb love from the texts of kids who remember you sure do love love.
So friend, if Valentine's isn't your thing- if you scoff at the mush and the ordinary messy love, this is your pass to find another blog this month.
If it is your thing, I'll meet you back here soon.