“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one that has opened for us.” — Alexander Graham Bell
This was a common question during my college years. Wonderful meals of fish, homemade macaroni and cheese, veggie plates and salads meant not eating red meat during Lent wasn’t much of a sacrifice in our cafeteria. Students also joked about giving up things they didn’t do anyway.
Our campus chaplain suggested our sacrifice during Lent could be actively doing something such as attending daily Mass, volunteering, or providing child care so single mom’s could attend meetings. This is still relevant today when the one thing no one seems to have enough of is time. Making time for devotion to God, to give to others, to work to make the world a better place or to even spend quality family time is for many a true sacrifice.
If you want to give something up try envy, jealousy, anger, greed, gossip, pride or even jumping to conclusions. Replace negative emotions and behaviors with positive actions and encouraging words.
“Everybody can be great… because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve, you only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love.” — Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“The consciousness of loving and being loved brings a warmth and richness to life that nothing else can bring. ” — Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) Irish Dramatist and Poet
“The world is our school for spiritual discovery.” — Paul Brunton
1. Write a love letter. Yes, an “old fashioned” love letter straight from the heart and in your own handwriting.
2. Instead of cut flowers give a plant. A nice potted miniature rose will last for years to come (hopefully) reminding your loved one of you. Remember ladies, men also like to receive flowers.
3. Start your loved one’s car on a cold winter morning. Nothing says love more than getting outside on a cold winter morning to scrape the windshield.
4. Write love notes on the steamy bathroom mirror.
5. Lend an ear when your loved one needs to talk. People need to feel that they are being heard.
6. A handmade card or gift. Know the recipient here. Some people love handmade, others don’t.
7. A back, shoulder, or foot rub. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
8. Hold hands while walking. This isn’t just for teenagers. “Old folks” like Bob and I still hold hands — in public even.
9. Write a love poem. Serious, silly, something only the two of you understand, it doesn’t really matter. It’s the thought that counts.
10. Say thank you. The two most important words in the English language yet we never say them enough.
“The day of my spiritual awakening was the day I saw–and knew I saw–
all things in God, and God in all things.” —Mechtild of Magdeburg (1210-1285)
“Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit.” ~Peter Ustinov
“Love one another and you will be happy. It’s as simple and as
difficult as that.” ~Michael Leunig
Instead of a dozen long stem roses or other cut flowers consider giving your loved one a live plant this Valentine’s Day.
Take a minute to consider the symbolism with me. When you give cut flowers they will wither and die within a few days. Why? Because they are cut off from their source.
A live plant will last much longer especially if it is nurtured, cared for and stays firmly rooted. Isn’t this a better symbol of lasting and enduring love?