A glance at my calendar indicates somehow in the last few weeks the passage of time has inexplicably increased in velocity; February 12, and my Christmas cards are still sitting in a bag, unwritten and unsent.
I found myself thinking “there is a holiday around here, isn’t there?” and then noticed yes, Valentines Day is coming up, and once again I am grateful that I have missed the craziness of commercialization in America that has complicated the celebration of something simple (love).
Someone asked me a question a few years ago that just popped into my head – they asked if I wished I had someone to give me flowers on Valentine’s day.
On Valentine’s Day this year I will spend the first half of it flying across the continent; an early start in Madagascar will lead to sipping coffee in Nairobi, Kenya which will lead to dinner in Yaounde, Cameroon, with friends and fellow world changers from across the globe.
So the answer is no, I don’t think I will miss the flowers this year. Not that I would miss them any year. (See this post for further thoughts on Valentines Day)
But I get to celebrate love.
I get to represent this organization that lives and breathes and oozes love out of every person and program and mission and adventure.
I get to experience a new country and a new culture and ask people how can we serve you which secretly translates to how can we love you.
I get to feed the fire inside me that craves adventure and new horizons; I get to spent two weeks exploring and encouraging and connecting and asking and explaining and wondering and hoping and dreaming big dreams for a country that has yet to meet the hope and healing we have to offer.
Sometimes I can’t help but fall to my knees in gratitude.
It will be hard. It will be long flights and 3am departures and pushing and shoving in baggage claims and customs lines. It will be a whole lot of people and noise and sweltering heat and taxis without upholstery or windows that roll down. It will be stretching and exhausting and exhilarating and while I am not unaware of the difficulties that are before me I still find myself falling to my knees in gratitude. Because while it is not easy it is an honor and a joy; and really, none of the biggest things we are ever called to do come easily. If it were all easy, it wouldn’t take any courage, or trust, or faith. I like all those things, and if I’m not mistaken, they are key ingredients to life to the full.
So today finds me needing to do about two weeks’ worth of schoolwork, cleaning my room, laundry, packing, writing a work blog, writing this blog, handing over some work details to a colleague, and painting my toenails… because heaven forbid I might run into someone important and not have a fresh pedicure.
So I’m going to get moving on those things.
And for you - regardless of where you are; in whichever country or city or home, in whatever relationship status or family situation, in your hopes and dreams and joys and sorrows… wherever you find yourself, may you celebrate love, life to the full, and all manner of goodness and joy this Valentines Day, and always.