11 In Real Life/ The Dooley's

Our First Valentine’s Day as Mr. and Mrs.

I have to admit it: I became a Valentine’s Day Diva.

Really, I did.

I had higher expectations than I realized for our first Valentine’s Day as a married couple. The whole week I was anticipating what my husband would plan. He never mentioned the subject in the days leading up to it, so I figured it was probably a surprise.

I woke up on Valentine’s Day excited to spend the day together. He woke up and started getting ready for his workout — without mentioning any Valentine’s Day plans.

Hmm.

Before he walked out the door, I piped up and asked him if he’d be interested in handing out flowers to people downtown in the afternoon. I secretly hoped he would also bring up romantic plans for dinner.

I looked at him expectantly as if he would read my mind (because that’s what men do, right?).

While he still didn’t mention any Valentine’s Day plans, he agreed to join me downtown in the afternoon.

Excitedly, I grabbed my keys and drove across town to Target, where I bought eight bouquets of flowers. I also picked up some M&M’s and other goodies…which I ate most of on my way home…but that’s beside the point.

My early afternoon doctor appointment ran longer than expected and as soon as I got home, I began to gather up the bouquets we planned to share. He looked at his watch and pointed out that there was not enough time for us to pass out flowers together. He had to be at his next workout in an hour.

“Why don’t we do it tomorrow?”

A tear formed in the corner of my eye as my blood boiled. I gave him the look.

What about this does he not get?!

**Note to self: Men cannot read minds and I should not expect them to.**

I lost it, “The point is to do it TODAY! Have you really not thought about making Valentine’s Day plans? Do you even care?!”

“Of course I do but I have to go to football training tonight,” he replied.

**Trigger Valentine’s Diva**

“Seriously?! I hate football.” I mumbled under my breath, wishing I could take it back as soon as I said it.

We argued back and forth. The poor guy was really trying. I just wasn’t hearing it.

I threw my hands up in surrender, sighed dramatically, put my tennis shoes on, and grabbed my headphones.

I called over my shoulder as I walked out the door, “YOU KNOW WHAT? I TRIED! SO WHATEVER. I’M GOING FOR A RUN…HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY TO YOU!”

I huffed and puffed as I drove my feet into the pavement.

I was so angry and so disappointed and so sad. I was angry at myself for overreacting. I was disappointed that he hadn’t met my expectations. I was sad that our very first Valentine’s day as a married couple and it was already starting to go down as the worst Valentine’s Day I’d ever had.

As I jogged through windy streets and up and down hills, my mind raced.

This is so wrong. It’s not supposed to be like this. Isn’t this the one day of the year we’re not supposed to argue? Ugh, first grade candy valentine’s is trumping this right now…

At that very moment, I saw an elderly couple walking hand in hand and suddenly all the negative thoughts faded from my mind and my heart seemed to take a 180 degree turn.

It was such a sweet reminder of simple love and it hit me how much I had let my expectations dictate my emotions all day.

Isn’t it funny how we do that? Isn’t it frustrating? Ugh.

Anyway, after seeing that elderly couple, I realized how much I had focused on getting than giving. I figured I had been working hard and that it was my turn to kick back, relax, and receive romance and affirmation and fine dining. But right in the middle of my pity party, God used that little display of simple love the old couple shared and nudged me to step out of selfish love and back into selfless love.

An idea came to me.

I picked up the pace, scurried in the door, grabbed my car keys, and drove back to Target for the second time in one day. I picked up a frozen pizza, chocolate strawberries, some Valentine’s Day treats, a bottle of champagne, and twinkly string lights. When I checked the time, I realized that I only had an hour left before he got back. So, I raced home, popped the pizza in the oven, and got to work quickly. Let me just say that I struggled to set up a little blanket fort that would look semi-decent. Who knew traveling back to childhood would be so hard? 😉

I didn’t have time to shower. In fact, I barely had time to change clothes or fix my hair by the time he walked through the front door. It wasn’t exactly the romantic look I had envisioned myself rocking just hours earlier but the look on his face and the peace that surrounded our embrace made all the makeshift, messy pieces worth it. And the two hours of burnt pizza, mediocre strawberries, board games on the floor, and country love songs made our first Valentine’s Day a win in my book.

You know, I don’t share this story with you to complain or make myself look more like a diva than I would like to be. I share this story because sometimes there’s so much more to it than the pretty, cute, snuggly little bits we see from the outside looking in. And sometimes we need to celebrate the little things. Sometimes we need to look at disaster and disappointment right in the eye and say, “NOT TODAY, SATAN.”

Truly, the majority of our day felt like a disaster. Was it? Of course not. It wasn’t really that bad and I’m aware there are much worse problems in the world. But sometimes, unmet expectations and uncontrolled emotions in the middle of our every day can take us down a dark, downward spiral right into what feels like disaster. But out of the disaster, God made a beautiful demonstration of His love. He makes beautiful things out of dust, right? And that, to me, is worth more than any candlelight dinner and more life changing than any Hallmark card.

So if you’ve been experiencing disappointment or discouragement that’s beginning to feel like a total disaster because you feel like you don’t deserve it, I want to tell you what I needed to be told yesterday afternoon right around 4:00 pm.

First, when you feel like you don’t have anything left to give, give a little more. Seriously, do it. When I stopped dwelling in the disappointment that the enemy wanted me to live in, I had a renewed sense of joy. In fact, I wanted to serve…I wanted to give my husband a simple and sweet Valentine’s Day surprise. I wanted to step outside of myself and I felt like a giddy little school girl as I prepared everything to surprise him with. The world we live in tells us that serving ourselves and our own comforts is a sure way to happiness but it’s truly a set up for disappointment and misery. I mean, Jesus was really onto something when he commanded us to serve one another in love (Galatians 5:13). It’s not always easy to move from selfish to selfless — but it’s always worth it.

Secondly, we don’t need social media or Hallmark to tell us when or how to celebrate love. If you’re in a relationship, remember the very thing I forgot: every day is a celebration of your love — treat it as such. You don’t need a special holiday to love, serve, or give to the other and to God. Even if you’re not in a relationship, remember that every day is a celebration of love. The enemy will use anything and everything to fix our eyes on disaster and disappointment. But God asks us to fix our eyes on His greatest demonstration of love: Jesus (Hebrews 12:2). You don’t need a special reason to celebrate that. It’s simple. It’s every day. Live in that love — even when your expectations are unmet.

Every day is a celebration of your love -- treat it as such. Click To Tweet

Lastly, don’t write off your situation as a disaster. Don’t settle for that lie. Trust that God can demonstrate His power, love, and victory over any and every disaster. You just have to keep your eyes open, your head up high, and run the race with endurance (Hebrews 12:1,3).

Friends, I was a Valentine’s Day Diva in the morning but by the evening, I realized that God made me a Daughter of Victory. Yeah, our Valentine’s Day wasn’t perfect and most of the day wasn’t all that cute… but God still made a way to make it a win. Just like He brought victory to Daniel in the lions den when all odds were stacked against him (Daniel 6:19-24), He brought victory to our Valentine’s day when it looked like all odds were stacked against us. And isn’t that what we’re really celebrating on Valentine’s Day anyway? Victory?

Perhaps we should call it Victory Day, then. Because that’s what His love does. It wins. Every stinking time.

You can view the video of our little victory on Valentine’s Day (one that I will treasure forever) here:

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11 Comments

  • Reply
    Alex
    February 16, 2017 at 2:35 am

    This is beautiful and so true. Sometimes it feels like the enemy goes into overdrive on “special” days like Valentine’s Day. At least he certainly does in my marriage… This year, he seemed to win, but no more! By the grace of God next year (and the days in between,) I’m committing to make days in which God is glorified and my husband is served by sacrificial love. Isn’t that how Jesus loves us? I think I’ll take my cues from Him… 😉❤ Thanks for sharing this!

    • Jordan Lee
      Reply
      Jordan Lee
      February 26, 2017 at 7:34 pm

      YES YES YES. Holding you to that, girl! 😉

      Love is messy and hard and so glorified but not always in the way we would expect it. Glory doesn’t always look glamorous while it’s working itself out in the process but it always shines brighter when we let God do His thing through the process!

      Keep loving your husband like Jesus and thank you for reading!!

      XO

  • Reply
    Jen
    February 16, 2017 at 3:56 am

    I wan to run and give you a hug for writing and sharing this. It doesn’t just apply to Valentines Day, but it really applies to anything where we have big intentions and our other half just doesn’t seem to be on the same planet. My current situation. So thank you for sharing.

    • Jordan Lee
      Reply
      Jordan Lee
      February 26, 2017 at 7:32 pm

      Thanks so much, Jen. You are right, this really applies to so many more situations than just Valentine’s Day! So glad to know it encouraged you!!

      XO

  • Reply
    Jackelyn
    February 16, 2017 at 10:06 am

    Hey! Thanks so much for being open and honest about what happened on your Valentine’s Day. It’s hard not to get caught up in what our culture tells us Valentine’s Day should be about. Your point about “when you feel like you don’t have anything left to give, give a little more”- is so true and good. The point that spoke to me most because I was struggling with this while celebrating Valentine’s Day, and also struggle with this at other times, is the whole little paragraph when you said to not write our situations off as a disaster. I do this and don’t ever really think that God can get glory and victory from those situations, but He can. This encouraged me so much and gave me a little freedom for when I feel like I messed up and am turning something into a disaster that God can use it for good.

    • Jordan Lee
      Reply
      Jordan Lee
      February 26, 2017 at 7:31 pm

      Hi Jackelyn!

      Thanks so much for reading and I’m so glad to know you’ve been encouraged by this story. We all need a little reminder when our emotions and worries send us in a downward spiral of dark and twisties, don’t we? 🙂

      Blessed to know it encouraged you – you’re not alone!

      XO

  • Reply
    Vee
    February 27, 2017 at 2:40 am

    I’m not married yet, but the one thing I liked about this was the transparency and honesty about struggles that take place in marriage and how with and through Christ you work on the issue. Sadly, not many share that, with wisdom of course, you cannot share everything with us 🙂 Lord help me with unrealistic expectations and how to handle them when they’re not met. Thank you Jordan 😊

    • Jordan Lee
      Reply
      Jordan Lee
      March 8, 2017 at 2:53 am

      Girl, the struggle is real! Marriage is no cakewalk — not even a Christ centered marriage. The first few months are full of little arguments and struggles and I’ve even asked, “is this normal?” Haha! It’s totally hard and we need to be real about that and support one another through it in prayer and encouragement and accountability! Thanks for reading! 🙂

  • Reply
    Amanda
    March 30, 2017 at 9:36 pm

    This is such a great post!! You really inspire me to write heartfelt posts on my blog, because I really feel that’s what people connect with most. I know I did on this one. My boyfriend and I have such stupid arguments, just like this, and I’m usually the one apologizing for being a little crazy and selfish. But I’m so blessed, because my boyfriend never gets mad at me, no matter how much I push his buttons. And that’s honestly love at its finest.

    • Jordan Lee
      Reply
      Jordan Lee
      April 4, 2017 at 3:29 pm

      Hey girl, thanks for reading! Totally – I think sharing our stories are so important but even more so, using them to connect with and impact others. They serve a purpose and using them to meet others where they are brings that purpose to life! Thank you for sharing a bit of your heart and for reading! XO

  • Reply
    Marleen
    April 27, 2017 at 2:57 am

    Thank you so much for this post! I’m married for 6 weeks now and to be honest it is really hard most of the time. We moved to another city away from our friends and family and especially my husband has a hard time with it. He misses his old church and friends. He also gratuated 4 months ago and has trouble finding a job. I try my best to be loving and supporting but at the same time I feel so insecure and just dont really know how to act. Instead of growing to eachother we are being more distant. But your post was a reminder that it’s normal that marriages take effort. And that the best thing I can do is to love my husband even if I feel unloved. Because Jesus loves me no mather what and He wants me to follow His example and love selflessly:)

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