good morning...this is our 25th Valentines Day together. 25 times that we have had the opportunity to say I Love You! 25 times that the day has dictated we say, I Love You...I really like Valentines Day! I haven't always performed well...some years I totally blew it and others I went over board as if to make up for lost time. This year i went pretty traditional. Saturday I went out in the morning and bought a dozen roses. My wife still loves flowers. We decided that we would do dinner and a movie tonight and just have a relaxed time together. No big expectation, but simple signs of our love and the fact that we still like to be together!!
Now, Valentines Day has not always been a huge priority because I try and make as many days as possible "I Love You" days! BUT - there is something special about a public day, that begs us to act out in a loving way. So I embrace that today and publicly say I LOVE YOU to the most wonderful women I could have ever married. I am glad that we are life partners...Wendy Pauls - You are my Valentine!
The interesting thing is that I have daily tried to make this relationship work. It was not always perfect and it still is not perfect...BUT - I do remember praying many days..."God, let me love Wendy more today than yesterday..." I prayed that for years. I prayed that I would continue to love her like we were newlyweds! I saw a lot of people after 20 plus years just living with someone...not passionate anymore, not really happy - just living with them!! YUCK! I did not want to be 50 - empty nest and alone with my spouse and say - honey, this is boring!!! SO - I have worked at loving my wife with everything I have...(I have fallen short far more than I have hit the mark by the way...) BUT I have tried and that has paid off.
So - this last Sunday at the Meeting House (our church) the pastor Tim Day was preaching the final message on the topic Inside Out...Real Change. "Be transformed by the renewing of your mind" - kinda change! This type of change does not happen all of a sudden. I realized the correlation of this kind of change to my marriage. A good marriage does not happen over night...it is a process! Real change is a process...
We cannot view God as a microwave of change. He does not normally zap someone and they instantly become free of all their "stuff". Often this is a LONG process...it is driven by US!!! This "renewing of our minds" is deep stuff. it is not as simple as "Lord, I want to be better...Help me!" This is a daily process of laying down our will, seeking His and applying it. Making decisions that lead us closer to His way of thinking. I am trying to lose weight...this is a moment by moment struggle - decision after decision - choosing the right foods...not tempting myself by sitting in front of a Krispy Kreme and hoping God will reduce my cravings!!
I have some of the same issues that plague me today, that plagued me 20 years ago...WHY? I think it is because my thinking has not changed. I have been asking for symptoms to be removed, and when they are not I simply give up!
I need to transformed by the renewing of my mind!!! What I put into my mind dictates what will come out of it...What I watch, what I read, where I spend my time...what I ponder...
If I think loving thoughts towards Wendy - I seem to find it easier to love her. If I think sinful thoughts, negative thoughts...put inappropriate images into my head...interestingly I do not feel like loving God's way...My mind is not transformed...
I am going to work hard at changing my patterns...changing the things that I can, and than allowing God to work on my heart!
This Valentines Day I want to work towards a renewed mind! Start changing my thought patterns, my reading patterns...If you do the same thing expecting a different result...well you know!
"Be transformed by the renewing of your MIND!!" I am excited to start this journey again...I love knowing that my God is the God of 2nd chances...over and over and over!!
Love your spouse, Love your God...and LOVE those around you!!!
Happy Valentines Day!
PS - Check out a new LOVE song that will be on the upcoming CD "Missing You To Death"