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My heart jumped inside my chest!  Here these school moms were talking about Valentine boxes.  For a brief moment a wave of relief passed over me because they mentioned that the kids might be making their own in their classroom.  HALLELUJIA!  God was shining on me! 

You might be one of those mothers who eat that stuff up.  You love getting on Pinterest and discovering what Valentine box is going to accompany your child to their classroom party. I am not that woman.  I wish I was, because it would cut way down on the evil thoughts.  I loved Valentine boxes until I was about 30 and had to start making them.  Now, I think they are stupid.  What happened to the days when you slapped a red heart on a white lunch sack?

Anyway, a couple of days later on the way home from school Lucy informed me that she was in fact going to have to make her own Valentine box.  My palms got sweaty as I gripped the steering wheel.  Lucy said, “Yes, Mom.  I think I want to make a three tiered cake for my Valentine box.  Most everyone else is making castles.”  When I got to the party there was a castle.  ONE – not most everyone.  It was an awesome castle!

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“That will be great, Lucy.”  In my mind, I’m thinking, “I can handle this.  How hard can this possibly be?  I am not going to give Lucy a terrible memory of making her Valentine box.  I want her to enjoy this.  I only have to do this once a year.  PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER.”

We had some extra time before the other two were going to get out of school, so I suggested to her that we go to Hobby Lobby for supplies.  We went.  I spent a small fortune because what I was buying was worth it because it was going to make my life so much easier.  Her purchase included a bunch of stickers, battery operated lights, a hot pink wooden box to be the top of the cake and duct tape.  Obviously, I just let her have at it.

In those few minutes on the way home, I was trying to make myself feel better with, “You aren’t going to have many more years to make Valentine boxes with Lucy.  She is growing so fast.”  That didn’t work.  I have to tell you, I will be completely happy to never make a Valentine box again.  With all the sadness of them growing up too fast, you have to enjoy the perks. 

Then my mind wandered to something my very wise friend Sherri Durling, said, “You are not defined as a mother by the Valentine box your kid takes to school.”  THANK YOU!  That is the thing that made me feel better.  What does define me as a mother?  A lot of things define me as a mother. Here are a few:

I love them unconditionally and that means enough to help them make a Valentine box.

I listen to them because I know the things that seem small to me are big to them.

I give them a home where they can find peace and feel safe to be themselves.

I pray for them and with them, and we discuss scripture and how to apply it.

P.S.  We did complete the three tiered cake.  And when I say we, I mean my teenage daughter (who I gave $3 to) and Lucy.

Please stroll the gallery of Valentine boxes that were made by friends.  These women are allowed to say their Valentine boxes define them as mothers. 

Your turn.  Share some things that define you as a mother.  You can also post a picture of your Valentine box!

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