A Valentine’s Day Round-Up & Lenten Thoughts

This will be a post in two parts today since I just have so much to say! Firstly, today we walk into the first day of Lent. I know that this is a period of reflection and abstaining. I have spoken about this before and I shall speak about it again this year.

In my family we had the tradition of adding something to our daily lives, instead of subtracting it. We still gave up things (and if you chose to give up chocolate, what a blessed morning Easter Sunday was because it meant you could finally touch it again and oh boy did you hope that the Easter Bunny left you plenty in your basket!), but my parents always made sure that we added something to our daily/weekly lives that would be to the benefit of others.

I am going to get on my soap box for a moment here and say that I have always felt it is wonderful to give of oneself; it is marvelous that Church organizations and charity organizations help so many people around the world. I grew up in the South and I was always amazed at how many churches in my town took trips to Mexico, South America, Haiti, Cuba and Africa.  Those were extremely valuable trips for all involved, but I think it is just as important to know where we are from, to teach your children and others what is around them as well.

You don’t have to go far to help someone in need. Not only were there people who needed help within my own community, you only had to drive a few hours into the mountains and there were families that would have benefited from a little extra help as well.  Start in your own backyard, so to speak and branch out.

I had the great fortune to meet Mother Teresa when I was in High School and I read an article recently that quoted her; it sums up my thoughts, better than I could:

“Stay where you are. Find your own Calcutta. Find the sick, the suffering and the lonely right there where you are — in your own homes and in your own families, in your workplaces and in your schools. … You can find Calcutta all over the world, if you have the eyes to see. Everywhere, wherever you go, you find people who are unwanted, unloved, uncared for, just rejected by society — completely forgotten, completely left alone.”

I want to make it clear now that I am in no way demeaning the work that others do, to give of your heart and of yourself in any capacity is a wonderful act. I just think that sometimes we might need to be reminded we can still make a difference just where we are right now, we can make a difference in the place that we call HOME.
Secondly, we sit on the Eve of St. Valentine’s Day today and I thought I would do a last minute Valentine’s round-up. I have breakfast planned for Mr. Michie, I will be making homemade doughnuts tonight and working on my dessert for our Valentine’s dinner, but I will share more of that later.

In case you need a few last minute ideas, this is for you:

These cookies from the lovely Sweetopia Blog are just too SWEET! Learn how to make them here:
For those classroom Valentine’s where teachers won’t let you give out candy, Inchmark has come up with adorable bookmarks instead:
The House that Lars Built, shows you a cute way to make your own wrapping paper, to make that special gift, extra special:
The lovely I am Baker blog, shared these Neapolitan Spritz Cookies this week and they look like a very scrumptious box of goodies for a Valentine to receive:
These “Sealed with A Kiss” waxed lips from Oh Happy Day, are a sweet and funny way to pass out Valentine Cards. Who doesn’t have fun playing with waxed lips?:

And last but not least, via Martha Stewart, you can give your Valentine a tied posy in a flower cone. These would be sweet to give to friends at a little Valentine Day Luncheon:

{all images are copyright their respective blogs}

2 thoughts on “A Valentine’s Day Round-Up & Lenten Thoughts

  1. Anonymous

    What adorable ideas!!!!!!!!!!

    I have to agree with you Jennifer!!! Reaching out to a neighbor, a friend, a loved one is just as much a gracious and blessed thing as to send money to Africa.

    Help is needed everywhere. There are senior citizens that need a drive shoveled or a nice meal baked. There are neighbors, friends, co-workers going through really tough and troubling times who could use a smile, a helping hand, or a caring heart.

    We do need to look outside ourselves to see the world around us, to know how blessed we are as a Nation, and to understand the hardships that so many face, but we also need to look inside our very homes and have LOVE and CARING and GIVING start right there….

    Hope your Valentine’s Day was just incredible!!
    Love you!

    1. Jennifer Michie

      I couldn’t agree with you more! It starts in the HOME! I was very fortunate that I had that, when many do not. It is because of my parents that my sister and I do give of our time and of ourselves. Your own problems don’t look so big or important after a day spent in The Soup Kitchen, I can tell you that for sure!

      Our Valentine’s was perfect. We got home from school a little earlier than usual. We listened to music, Mr. Michie made a delicious dinner and I was treated like a princess. It was just so nice and relaxing, we just enjoyed the evening and didn’t have to rush through dinner to get to a meeting or get some other work accomplished, it was HEAVEN! Hope you two had a great Valentines! xx

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