Just Got 2 Tell

Anything & Everything I Feel Compelled to Share with the World!

Run November 2, 2013

Filed under: Christianity,Comfort,Friends,God,Jesus Christ,Spiritual Growth — Anna @ 11:29 PM

“Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”  Hebrew 12:1b

The verse has so much meaning to me, especially lately.  Of course its true meaning is the race of life and the course God has set for us. Let us not give up because things in life happen that are tough or hard to go through. But as a runner (I run, so that is what I am. Add that to the other hats I wear.), it is so much more real to me. Perseverance and endurance means running through the rain, the mud, the dark, the hot, the cold. It means not giving up just because it’s a monster hill or staying inside because you’re feeling tired, the true word for that is spelled L-A-Z-Y, LAAYZZEE!!

We often do that with life. We give up on relationships because we’re tired of working at it or because we’re tired of this or tired of that. We didn’t know that friendship or that relationship would be so hard to maintain. God never said it would be easy. Now my head starts singing the song. Remember, the devil is a roaring lion trying to devour us. His way of devouring us might not be killing us. Honestly, I really think Satan’s favorite way of destroying Christians and roadblocking our work for Christ, is by making us feel tired. We have a tendency to get selfish in that tiredness and think someone else needs to take up the load we feel like we’ve been carrying. We pull out of things because it’s too much, we’re doing too much. We let friendships fall to the side, because we’re tired of always being the one to call or make things work. But what we don’t always realize is how much God wants us to be involved.

Let us not run away. Let us run the race marked for us, and run it with endurance. Because what’s waiting at the finish is so much better than anything they got up there. Under the sea… so much better than anything that we could try to plan for ourselves.

It’s going to be hard. We’re going to want to give up. Trudging and crawling through thick, goopy, suction cup-like mud today was hard, and I really didn’t know if I could take one more mud pit. That last one was tougher than any of the other obstacles throughout the whole race. I didn’t think I could do it, but I knew that finish line was just around the corner. All I had to do was make it to out of the mud and it was in the bag.

Keep going. Never give up!

DSCF3841                DSCF3842
DSCF3843                   DirtyDanDash 1


It’s Just A Number April 29, 2013

I’ve always struggled with my weight. Since kindergarten, when a boy called me “slow-poke”. I’ve been through many failed attempts at getting healthy, though “healthy” was not always my goal. Many times I just wanted to be ‘skinny’ or at least ‘not fat’. But see, I’m cursed. I love to eat and I live in the South. And I grew up in a Baptist church. And my mother and grandmother are fantastic cooks. And I hate sweating and being hot, or at least I did growing up. And my favorite hobby was reading as opposed to athletics.

I admit, I cheated in P.E. when we had to run the mile every Friday. I usually only ran 3 laps instead of the required 4, but taking longer than 15minutes to finish meant running again on Monday. I didn’t like to run, not unless it was to get away from my brother or chase him down for some reason I felt was important then.

One of my biggest problems has been what I call ‘stick-to-it-iveness’. I’m really not sure if it’s a word or if others have used it as well or even claim a copyright on it, but I use it. I start something and do good for like a week then the motivation wanes and I fall back to old habits. The most I was able to stick to ‘getting healthy’ was in college. Oddly enough I didn’t have a problem with the Freshmen Fifteen, I’d already gained some from spending a summer as a missionary in Houston (those church people fed me well). Gym on campus was paid for by tuition, so I might as well get my money’s worth. By the time I had moved home Christmas ’07, I had lost 25lb. But being back home where their eating and activity habits hadn’t changed, those pounds slowly came back.

Moved out again two years later, was going to start afresh. Tried walking and running on the road, taking the dog with me. Beagles do not make good running companions. They always want to follow their nose, and plus my oldest (who was my only then) does great on the way out and most the way back until he realizes we’re close to home and then stops, refuses to walk. I thought at first he was just tired by then, but no. He didn’t want to be inside or on the chain. Can’t let him loose, too stubborn to come when called.

In September, I joined a gym that’s not far from the house and despite spraining my ankle and the typical overeating during the holidays, I’ve lost 29 pounds. Most weight I’ve lost ever. And I feel great. My right ankle is still weak, but it has come a long way from where it was. In November 2011, I started having problems with my knees, an annoying clicking sound when going up hills and stairs and pain after extensive use. Mild arthritis was the eventual diagnosis. I can’t remember the last time I took a pain pill for my knee, though the clicking is still there.

It’s different this time. I know it is because my focus for getting in shape is a lot different from just looking good or being ‘not fat’. My goal as I burn calories and push myself to run farther than I ran the week before is so that I will be ready and able to do that which God has called me to do. How can I be a wife and mother, taking care of others, when I can’t take care of my own body? There is no limit to what God may give me, to what He may ask of me. So if He asks me to take His love to the top of a mountain, will I be able?

It’s still a hard battle. Day by day. (step by step, day by day…..theme song to Step by Step from ABC’s TGIF, stuck in my head now) It’s a conscious choice every moment, and yes I fail. Still have failures everyday, but it’ll get better. One day I’m going to enjoy raw tomatoes, though I’ll always have to pass on that “mater samich” slathered with Duke’s mayo.

** Update July 31, 2013. I DO enjoy raw tomatoes now, though it is still better not by itself, and I have eaten a “mater samich” with a very small amount of Duke’s mayo.


God will answer January 18, 2013

Lately I’ve been convicted over and over regarding my pining for a husband, not just a husband, but the one that God has been planning for me since before I was born. God is a planner, an awesome planner, and I do love to look for His hand in things. I love that even when the first sin occurred God was already revealing parts of His plan to us for restoration to Him. (Yes, I get sidetracked. A lot.)

But friends and others around me are getting married and having children. Others are in relationships. Some I admit I feel no jealousy toward at all, but some do make me yearn and wonder when it will be my time.

Only God knows how many times I have given it over to Him. Again and again. The reason I have to keep re-giving? Because I keep taking. I let Satan worm his way into my mind, believing him when he says I’m all alone, I have no one. That I am incomplete without that ring on my finger. In the garden Satan convinced Eve that God was holding out on her, that there was more for her outside of His will for her, that it would be better if she took control of her life and made her own choices. I do NOT want to fall prey to Satan any longer. I will not search for my own way, search for my own romance, my own husband.

This morning as I felt the longing for marriage again, it hit me. Really hit me. Whenever I find myself pining for that man, for that human relationship—intimate & good and godly as it may be—I am telling God that He is not enough.  In that moment, I’m telling Him that His love for me is not enough for me, that I need more.

And as I confessed this to Him, and asked forgiveness, He answered. Not the answer that many would expect to hear, but an affirmation that I was/am heading in the right direction.

How did He answer? Two songs back to back on Pandora.

“None but Jesus” by Hillsong United

There is no one else for me.
None but Jesus
Crucified to set me free
Now I live to bring Him praise

and then “All I Need” by Shawn MacDonald

All I need is Your love
To come and fill this heart of mine.

All I need is Him. All we need is Him. Nothing else. Nothing but Him can make us whole. Nothing but Him can make us complete. Only God and His love can fill the longing, the cravings, the desires that are within us. Because that is how He created us, to need Him, to long for Him. To crave Him.


Hope, Faith, and Assurance July 22, 2012

Filed under: Christianity,Comfort,God,Jesus Christ,Love & Life,Saving Grace — Anna @ 12:51 PM

Death seems to be running rampant around me lately. There has just been so many to lose loved ones in my community. I haven’t felt a terribly great loss, most of them I have not known. But my heart goes out and my prayers go up for their families. Unfortunately there have also been two much closer. My grandma, coming from a large family, has lost a brother and a sister barely a month apart. Both were sooner than expected, but it wasn’t shock and surprise when it happened. I was not able to make it to my aunt’s funeral, but there was no keeping me away yesterday from Uncle Sonny’s. We may not have always seen eye to eye, and I may have gotten frustrated a time or two with his constant question "Got a boyfriend yet?" But I always got a smile and a hug from him and an encouraging compliment.

He and I attend(ed) the same church, thus I probably saw him a lot more than any of Granny’s other siblings. But the funeral was in the same sanctuary that I have seen so many other things happen; it’s a place that feels just as much like home as my parents’ house. The service was uplifting, encouraging, and comforting. It was also a time for those who may not regularly attend church to hear the gospel of Christ. I LOVE it when that happens. Never give up a chance to share Jesus with others.

But so there is no reason to mourn the loss because I KNOW where Uncle Sonny is. And that is something you cannot get anywhere else. The thoughts running through my head during the ceremony were praises to God that Sonny was with Him. I honestly do not understand why people follow other religions. There is only hope there, no assurance. I’ve had the opportunity to talk with an Islamic leader, I’ve studied other religions and even in their religion they do not know where they will go. They go through life hoping they will make it to heaven. They hope their good outweighs their bad. In some they must depend on friends and family to pray them into heaven after their death. There are still others that must have all wrongs forgiven by those on earth before they are allowed into heaven. Now while I know that the only true way into heaven is from Jesus Christ, how sad it must be going through life never sure of your eternal destination, only having hopes.

PRAISE GOD!! that we as Christians have ASSURANCE of where our eternity will be spent! With that assurance comes peace and comfort. We can live our lives without worry of the afterlife. Instead we can spend our days focused on the work which the Lord has called us to: serving Him by loving others.


Seasons of Life May 16, 2012

Filed under: Comfort,Forgiveness,God,Jesus Christ,Love & Life — Anna @ 10:54 PM

Seasons of life, we all go through them, periods of our life that seem to be ruled by certain themes. It may be a period of several months where depression ruled, 2 years of rebellion against God, a year of learning complete and total dependence on God, etc.

I wanted to take this time to reflect on the seasons of my own life. There’s a theme that has run over the last 10-11 years, only it has generally existed on opposite ends of this spectrum. In high school I was very involved at church, serving in handbells, youth choir, going to Sunday & Wednesday night youth group, Sunday School, teaching 3rd & 4th grade Sunday school class, just about every retreat. I served 2 whole summers in missions, which I loved doing. I’d also done a decent (as even then there was much room for improvement) job of personal quiet time and bible study. I’ve gone back through papers that I’d wanted to keep but didn’t know where to file them. I’ve found some of my journaling, I’d taken my daily Bible readings and written my own devotional explaining its importance in life, what one should do with this knowledge. I don’t say this to brag at all, I say this with remorse that I’ve lost much ground and have not stayed the course.

Instead I fell away. Like the prodigal son, I came to believe I could do better on my own. It wasn’t an outright decision to ‘not pursue God’ rather a laziness to sleep in, to fill my time with other things, easier things. It’s a shame to say that though going to a Christian college, I did not grow stronger in my walk with God. Reading the Bible became homework, Christian service became a requirement for graduation. I did those because I had to, not out of a joy to serve and commune with God.

Moving back home after graduation I began moving forward again, began feeding myself good, whole, spiritual food again. I began serving again, but soon after I began moving in the right direction, I found myself falling away again. Moving away from my parents, working in a town 45min from home & church being 45min in a different direction from the house and my lack of stick to itiveness, I slept in rather than personal quiet time. Financial strains made an easy excuse to not go to church except on Sundays, so there was no Tuesday night women’s Bible study. I was teaching the Young Adults Sunday school class, though I doubt I did much service to them, as I know I never prepared as I should. It was one of those things where when I was asked to serve, I prayed for guidance and was never told no, and thus since I didn’t have any valid reason to not teach, I couldn’t really say no. I prayed about finding a church closer to where I was living, even found one I enjoyed attending, but it’s so hard to have grown up in a church where you have such a support system, even if at times you feel very disconnected from them and then try to go to a church where I know no one, I thus didn’t know how to go about serving, etc.

In His love, God has brought me back to Roxboro in work and currently home at least until June in which I’ll be living a little South of Roxboro. But through this, He has renewed my love for studying His Word. He’s brought me a sense of community and support in both a Sunday School class and the 2 Women’s bible study groups I’m a part of. Since October, my life season has been about feeding, nurturing, renewing, and reviving my soul.

And yes it is wonderful to feel and know that I am learning and applying God’s truth to my life once more. However, I’m still missing something. We are not called to solely fill ourselves up with God, to merely seek an intimate relationship with God, but also to shine and be a light for Him to the world. We are to serve Him by ministering to others in need. I refuse to fill my schedule with every service opportunity just to say that I am serving, to busy myself with every ministry and thus be too burnt out to find joy in Bible study and prayer & devotion. My prayer is for Him to reveal how and where I serve.


My Testimony May 11, 2012

Filed under: Comfort,God,Jesus Christ,Saving Grace — Anna @ 10:25 PM

By definition a testimony is “evidence or proof provided by the existence or appearance of something.” Oftentimes we think of testimony as the spoken or written statements given in court as proof or evidence of a crime or something similar.

In Christian terminology, a person’s testimony is his/her story of how Christ saved him/her. So many wonderful speakers, evangelists, pastors, writers have a dramatic testimony. They may have been raised in church or by unbelievers, but they pursued a life away from God, fell down the wrong paths, did the wrong things, were bad people. And then one day, God got a hold of ‘em and they made a complete 180, they were headed one way and made a complete u-turn to head God’s way. These are beautiful testimonies and portray the strength and power of Christ Jesus, His ability to save anybody from anything. These are the testimonies that relate to others who are currently going down the wrong path and give them hope that Jesus can save them, too. I love listening to these people tell their stories. I am always awed by how God speaks to people who are not looking for Him, to those who want nothing to do with Him. These testimonies are powerful tools used by God to reach the lost.

But there are also those of us who were saved at a young age. I myself became a daughter of God at the age of 11. There aren’t too many terrible choices an eleven year old could have made (yes there are many 11 yr olds nowadays in some serious stuff, but that was most definitely not me). But I knew I was a sinner, I had done wrong and that Jesus died for my sins. There was no dramatic change in my life. I had spent the first 11yrs of my life in church and I have since spent the next 13 years in church, bible study, prayer, missions, etc.

I’m not exactly sure why. I’m not sure if it’s our American mentality to compare/rank others or what exactly, but for those who do not have a dramatic testimony, they often do not feel adequate to ‘share their testimony’ as a form of evangelism. When compared to the dramatic “I was heading to hell in the fast lane, then Jesus saved me, and now I’m on fire for Christ’”, the “I grew up in church and asking Jesus into my heart was just as natural as any other thing in life” just doesn’t seem enough.

I know I have felt this way in the past, and I’ve gotten comments from others about it as well. At camp one year, one of the speakers talked about this fact, comparing two aspects of God’s grace: saving grace and sustaining grace. I’d like to explain it comparing to different aspects of God, his role as a Savior and also a Protector. Now of course each Christian experiences salvation and protection from our Lord and Savior, but just as each person’s life is different, each person receives from God differently.

It’s easy to see the saving power of Christ in those who have that ‘dramatic testimony.’ Yet there is an equal amount of protective power of Christ in those who are saved at a younger age. It took my a while to see this in my own life, but there are so many things that God protected me from and I have no doubt that it was because I chose to follow Him at a young age.

By nature I am a people pleaser. I have that desire to be accepted by others, to be appreciated by my friends, to liked, to make others happy. And I am certain that were I not a Christian long before I started high school, I would have done a lot more to try to fit in. Having been raised in the church and deciding before middle school to give my heart to Christ and follow Him, I put what He said ahead of what others said. There were times when I messed up, for instance a summer or two when my clothing was not as modest as it should have been. But for the most part God put a protective shell around me. I never had the opportunity to say no to drugs; it was never offered to me. I never had the opportunity  to not put myself in a compromising situation with a guy; a guy never asked me out.

For the longest time I thought there was something wrong with me, that I was not pretty or pleasing or acceptable to the opposite gender. But God showed me how His hand was over me during this time, protecting me from the bad apples, not allowing me to be led astray, keeping me pure and whole.

For us, we have a different strength of testimony. We can stand strong before our children and tell them it is possible to save yourself for marriage, it is possible to have a full and exuberant life without experiencing drugs, sex, alcohol, peer pressure, etc..


A God-shaped Hole May 9, 2012

Filed under: Comfort,God,Jesus Christ,Love & Life — Anna @ 9:49 PM

I hope you are all having a fabulous week. I’ve been slowly reading a book called Captivating by Stasi & John Eldredge. In addition, the young ladies bible study group I’m a part of is studying Beth Moore’s So Long Insecurity. They are both beautifully written and inspiring. I encourage any woman who has ever questioned their purpose in life to read both. Any man brave enough to delve into the ‘mystery of a woman’ would benefit greatly from Captivating as well. This is a quote from Stasi & John.

The curse for Eve & all her daughters cannot be limited only to babies and marriage. If that were true than all single women without children would escape the curse. The meaning is deeper and the implications are for every daughter of Eve. Woman is cursed with loneliness (relational heartache), with the urge to control (especially her man), and with the dominance of men (which is not how things were meant to be, it is the fruit of the Fall and a sad fact of history). Isn’t it true? Aren’t your deepest worries and heartaches relational–aren’t they connected to someone? Even when things are good, is your vast capacity for intimacy ever filled in a lasting way? There is an emptiness in us that we continually try to feed.

Why did God curse Eve with loneliness and heartache, an emptiness that nothing would be able to fill? Wasn’t her life going to be hard enough out there in the world, banished from the Garden that was her true home, her only home, never able to return? It seems unkind. Cruel, even.
He did it to save her. For as we all know personally, something in Eve’s heart shifted at the Fall. Something sent its roots down deep into her soul–and ours–that mistrust of God’s heart, that resolution to find life on our own terms. So God has to thwart her. In love, he has to block her attempts until, wounded and aching, she turns to him and him alone for her rescue.
“Therefore I will block her path with thornbushes; I will wall her in so she cannot find her way. She will chase after her lovers but not catch them; she will look for them but not find them.” Hosea 2:6-7
Jesus has to thwart us too–thwart our self-redemptive plans, our controlling, thwart the ways we are seeking to fill the ache within us. Otherwise, we would never fully turn to him for our rescue.

We were created for intimacy with God. In the beginning, before the fall, Man & Woman walked with God. That was their specific purpose in life. That same purpose is passed to us. God has added on to that by telling us to proclaim the Good News to the ends of the earth, that others may know Him as well and that they too may fulfill their purpose of walking with Him. But our main goal in life is walking intimately with God.

Turning to other things to fill the emptiness inside of us will never work. There is a God-shaped hole in our hearts that only He can fill.


Where Does Your Passion Lie? April 26, 2012

Filed under: Comfort,God,Jesus Christ,Love & Life — Anna @ 10:35 PM

One of the great things I love about being back in Roxboro, working and living, is being able to be a part of Tuesday Night Women’s Bible Study once again. It’s a huge blessing to be a part of a supportive community of like-minded Christian women of all stages in life. Though I’m younger than most, it’s a great opportunity for me to learn from the older ladies. Not that I consider any of them old.

Our current study is in Nehemiah, a man with the desire/passion to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, a passion that “he did well to have in his heart.” I was asked to think of my own passions. What am I passionate about?

The first answer would most obviously be children, though sometimes I am discouraged and do not always see how I am the best one for the job. I’m passionate about missions, or I have been in the past. The last few years, I’ve been more selfish, pulling away from church and serving opportunities for the reason of living out of town, but was mostly just being selfish and not wanting to give of my time. God is rekindling that passion, I have felt it recently and know I need to be more involved in serving Him.

Since high school, Guatemala has had a unique place in my heart, most specifically the children, the orphans, of the country. I do not know exactly why Guatemala. I took Spanish in high school & loved it which would have given me an interest in Hispanic countries, but I don’t know why Guatemala. This passion (though it has not always been a fierce desire) has remained over 7-8 years. I know that God has put those people on my heart for a reason.

Anyone who knew me 2nd semester senior year, knows that one of my passions is purity. Take a look in PHS 04-05 yearbook, and you will find my quote “Abstinence is SEXY.” Purity though is more than just waiting until marriage to have sex. It is about living a life that is wholly pleasing to God in the things that you do, listen to, watch, and the relationships you have. I had honestly wanted to write my senior research paper against high school dating, which has man flaws, but knew it would have been harder to find resources.

Yet one passion that took a while to realize is one that many people connect to me within my church, yet I didn’t initially consider my writing to be a passion. I love writing; I have stories rolling through my head way too often. My mom complains that I have so many stories started, yet so few have been completed. Yet it is something I do. It is something I enjoy. I honestly do it mostly for myself, helping me understand or explore a concept. But often God has used my writings to help others as well. I do not want to write fluff, just happy pieces, just entertainment. I want to write with meaning and purpose. Similar to how Jesus told His parables to help the people understand a more complex point, I want to write fiction to point to Christ Jesus.


Horseshoes and Hand Grenades February 18, 2012

Filed under: Comfort,God,Jesus Christ,Love & Life,Saving Grace — Anna @ 9:44 PM

The two things that comprise the title of this article have one thing in common. It’s the only time ‘being close’ ever counts. In just about any other thing one attempts, close is still failure. Plain and simple as that. A basketball that just barely misses the goal still renders 0 points on the scoreboard. This will tie end by the end, but first some explanation.

Last week in the homework of the Bible study I’m participating in, I read this “Jealousy takes root in the soil of insecurity.” Valentine’s Day, also known among some circles as Singles Awareness Day, I realized I was still battling with such insecurity when I thought I was doing pretty good for February 14th. Then on Wednesday, I began meeting with a group of fellow young women with a common goal to say “So Long (to) Insecurity.” So when I began looking at my psychology homework and saw this as a discussion topic:

You have successfully completed this course, received your degree, and are now faced with the task of using your knowledge of child development to change the world! Choose a problem behavior facing our youths today, such as drug and alcohol use, teenage pregnancy, obesity, or eating disorders, and explain why you think this issue is such a serious concern. What factors do you see contributing to the issue and what types of programs would you implement in order to address the problem?

I had to take a step back. If I were a betting woman I would take the gamble to say that just about every young woman that struggles with eating disorders, drug/alcohol use, or is faced with teen pregnancy, has insecurity issues. If we were to focus on that common root problem, I’m positive we would see a drastic change in our nation’s teenagers.

Now what does this have to do with horseshoes and hand grenades? I started typing my discussion forum post and wanted to ‘Google’ some other information about self-esteem, value, insecurity. I ended up checking out this link: http://community.feministing.com/2010/11/14/self-value/

I started reading, taking it all with a grain of salt, noticing Feminist in the URL. But I was truly surprised by what the author had to say. She hit the nail on the head with the first paragraph.

Here are some questions I believe we can all answer…Have you ever felt like a “loser” because you don’t have that “special” someone? Have you found yourself eating Ben and Jerry’s on your couch, watching the romantic movies to remind you what you don’t have? Have you watched your phone countless times to see if he called?  It happens and I know first hand how that feeling constructs your mood, your self-esteem, your value as an overall human being.

Sounds about right to me. I’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt. And she rubs noses with the truth in the second paragraph.

…We want to find the moment when we become the exceptions instead of the rules. We want to find that sparkling Edward Cullen to protect us from the world. Princes, heroes, the “bad” boys, the loves at first sight…the “sexy” and most wanted men that we cannot live without…

There is an innate longing in each woman—no matter their color, race, or creed, no matter their social status, language, upbringing, etc.—to find a love that will last forever, to find a love that beats all odds, that protects and stands up for her, a love that loves not because of what she looks like or what she does, but just because she is. Up until now the author of this article has written something very similar to things that I have said or thought in the past. But here’s where she bounces off the rim and flies across the court, straight into Satan’s basket.

Instead of reading those self-help books on how to find love, why are we not told that the first love we should have is with ourselves? Why should our happiness be placed on this other person to the point that it manages our value? If he doesn’t call, then he’s the one that will miss out. If a guy doesn’t find you attractive or hit on you, who cares? This doesn’t mean that love should be totally forgotten, but the point is that we need to value ourselves and not base it on someone else. Not all women may feel this way, but if anyone who has found themselves in this situation, remember this quote: “If any female feels she needs anything beyond herself to legitimate and validate her existence, she is already giving away her power to be self-defining, her agency.” -bell hooks.

Gag? Seriously!? No, a forever romance is a beautiful thing, but it can never come in the form of a sparkling, vegetarian vampire, Prince Charming, or Superman. They are all fictional characters, yet there is Someone so much better than all of the good qualities of those men combined (and then some), Someone who is Real and Alive, Someone who has beaten the worst odds of all time and not only died for us, but came back from the dead!!!

So in closing, yes insecurity is a huge problem in our society. But the problem isn’t in guys being jerks, or girls being mean to each other. The problem comes from trying to squelch the longing that God put in us to point us to Him, from trying to find our worth in ourselves, when we should be finding it in Him. He’s the one who believed and still believes that we are worth dying for.

Be Blessed,

<>< Anna


Valentine’s Day In A New Light February 8, 2012

Filed under: Comfort,Friends,God,Jesus Christ,Love & Life — Anna @ 6:47 PM

All right, so Valentine’s Day is coming up, a day I seriously have no love for. Maybe it’s because I’m always single. Or it could be because I absolutely abhor the color pink, with the exception of the right combination of hot pink with lime green or black or orange.

But this year feels different for me. Nothing has changed. I’m still single; I still hate pink, but this year I’m looking at the day differently than previous years. It is known as the day of love, the day everyone does a little something extra to show their love and appreciation for those people in their lives. Generally, it is the day for boyfriends and girlfriends and husbands and wives, but they are not the only ones who can benefit.

I guess the difference for me this year is that I have my own classroom. I’m in charge of the lessons and get to decide what we study and how we study it. I teach preschoolers so the more I can discourage ‘boyfriend/girlfriend thinking’ the better, so Valentine’s Day in the class is definitely not about that. Instead I’d rather focus on friendship. Friends, you know those people who put up with your weirdness, who listen to you complain about your job or the jerk who just cut you off. They are the people you lean on during those tough times. Sometimes they have other labels, too, like mom, sister, brother, daughter, husband, or wife, but no matter what a friend is someone we need very much in our life.

So the question is: What have you done for your friends to show them how much they mean to you?