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Monday Update: 2/12/07

Well, another busy weekend has come and gone and we are cozied up tonight, waiting for the next round of snow that is supposedly coming our way. Who really knows how much we will or won’t get this time!?
It’s hard to believe that we’re nearly half way through the month of February already! There has been a lot of ‘love’ talk going around, with Valentine’s Day just around the corner; commercials for jewelry, romantic dinners, special sales (nothing says ‘I love you’ quite like a new couch), love stories on TV…etc, etc. Valentine’s Day has never been one of my favorite holidays…it is just so commercial anymore and I hate the thought of your loved one buying you a gift because Hallmark says you should…it can be so insincere at times. But last Friday, we were privy to a shining example of what the holiday should be all about. We were surrounded by a group of people celebrating love and Valentine’s Day with the utmost sincerity and warmth. We were invited to attend our church’s annual Valentine’s dinner…a tradition which the church has continued for 50+ years. With our friend Paula (a wonderful cook) spearheading the dinner, how could we refuse?! We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves…there was wonderful food, good company, music and laughter. We were greeted with hugs, smiles, and hearty handshakes; and we felt so loved ourselves. We watched and listened as two men sang ‘Can I Have this Dance, for the Rest of My Life’…and several couples got up to dance. Watching these couples, some of whom have been together the majorities of their lives, dancing and smiling brought tears to my eyes. The words of the song were so touching, and rang true to me in so many ways. I saw these couples, and admired them for their commitments to each other. I just sat there and basked in the love they exuded. There were young couples, old couples, couples who met later in life…and some without partners. But the evening wasn’t just about love between a couple…it was about the love you have in your friendships, in your families, in your church…and of course, the greatest love of all. It was a moving night for me. Over the past months we have felt so much love from this church family…but on that evening, it was so natural and so genuine. We both felt like a true part of the family, and it was so very good. We both had such great relationships with the church family we shared back at my hometown church in Webster City as teenagers and as a young couple. But we have missed that sense of belonging, that sense of true family ever since. Westover has proved to us over and over what a wonderful, loving and giving church family they are, and we are so, SO blessed to be a part of it. We are looking forward to growing older in this church, and being as much a part of it as we can.

On Sunday, our associate pastor gave a sermon on love and afterwards she commented to me on how struck she was by our love…that she really thought we had ‘it’. And another woman whispered to me that she thought the sermon was about us…and as she looked over and saw Matt with his arm around me, she smiled to herself. It touches me to hear people comment on our love and commitment to each other. I hope that many years from now, younger couples will see Matt and I together and smile, thinking of the long history we’ve had together…and the love that, I hope, will still exude from our knowing glances and intimate smiles.

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