As Valentine’s Day approaches, the Friday Five girls decided to put together different ways of showing love. While the sense of security money provides is one way my darling shows his love for me, dropping cash on a bunch of flowers or candy can seem wasteful. Often the most thoughtful gifts don’t require a large financial investment.

Winter Jam 2015

364 days ago, Jay and I attended a concert together. The romance didn’t come through the music, but rather in the act of togetherness.

Winter Jam is a concert series, including around a dozen Christian rock bands. While my darling loves music, his favorites land in the classic country genre. Skillet, my favorite band and the show’s headliner, performs hard rock.

Jay couldn’t understand any of the lyrics, so I attempted to text the words to him of a For King and Country song:

Fix my eyes oh-oh

Oh-oh

On you

Oooohoooh

Oooohoooh

Fun times. The concert felt like heaven on earth for me – music I loved, praising my Savior, and my love seated next to me. While it may seem silly, he demonstrated sacrificial love to me that evening.

Cost: $10 per person at the door. Plus snacks. I love stadium snacks.

Laundry day

Over a year ago, my church launched the (((LoveLoud))) initiative. The directive of the project encouraged each Bible study class to participate in some type of local mission project, directly interacting with those outside the walls of our church.

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My class chose to serve at a laundromat and have done this on several occasions. We share quarters, laundry detergent, and fabric softener to those willing to accept. In some cases, people allow us to help with the laundry process – from moving an item from the washer to the dryer (in order to free up their time to run an errand) to folding the laundry, and even holding their babies while they get their laundry going.

This past trip to the laundry facility, a lady asked if we knew of a place she could donate her son’s old clothes. She didn’t want them to be sold, but rather to give them away at no cost to the recipient.

As the Holy Spirit would arrange it, a couple arrived shortly thereafter to do laundry and brought their baby with them. After a brief discussion, our new friend gave the clothing to this couple. Because of our ministry, God blessed this couple in a way we had never planned!

While fundraisers and coat drives are beneficial, they leave a comfortable distance between those who are donating and those being served. Instead, the church called us out of our comfort zones and on to the front lines meeting the needs of people in our community.

Cost: A roll of quarters

Card in the mail

I have some friends who feel this is an outdated sentiment. Rather, I have one friend who has vocalized her disdain for snail mail and any hand-written notes it may bring.

Conversely, an elderly lady from my church has expressed her disappointment when she doesn’t regularly receive cards from me. She gives her mild chastisement in a way only senior citizens can get away with. Her disappointment highlights just how much she appreciates when I do send her cards.

card-edited

I lose only minutes out of my day while her entire day is brightened. The contrast between my friend and the lady from church, however, does bring up an important point about expressing love. Knowing one’s audience, or recipient in this case, means the difference of wasted effort/annoyance and being a blessing in someone’s life.

Cost: $0.49 cents

Food

To some, food could be a love language all its own. My mother-in-law is an incredible cook. This past Thanksgiving she made more desserts than people in attendance for the meal. When she comes to visit, she always brings a gallon sized bag full of Chex Mix for Jay.

Whether it be after the birth of a baby or the loss of a family member, church members have long recognized this basic need and sought to fill it. When Jay’s grandfather passed away, I learned that his West Virginia kin perpetually refers to KFC as “funeral chicken.”

When someone you love is too busy, upset, or otherwise distract to take care of their own meals, providing their daily bread is a time-tested way of saying “I love you” without words.

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Of course, I also enjoy my random just-because cookie deliveries from my friend Lori. Any day is a good one to show family and friends love. Especially when they are Mexican wedding cookies!!

Cost: Between $13.99 (8 pc bucket) and $28.99 (20 pc bucket)

Gleaning

In Levitical law, the Israelites were commanded to leave the outer portions of their fields for harvesting by those in need. While most of us don’t have fields, we can still give from our excess.

As I type this, I’m currently wearing pants loaned to me by a friend. I needed a different size and she had them in her closet. (Thanks Rach!) A friend of my sister’s loves to shop, so every season we get a trash bag or two of her cast-offs to sort through.

This, of course, extends to the truly needy as well. A local homeless ministry has said that underwear, socks, and jeans are perpetually in demand. Food pantries welcome donations year-round.

A few years ago, Jay and I sat down together and picked a child to sponsor via Compassion International. Each month when our $38 is taken out of our checking account, not only do I see God’s love working to help Suman, I also feel the love of my darling hub-sand who sought my heart that Valentine’s Day.

Price: Starting at $0

What types of gifts make you feel most loved? Do you buy gifts for your family this time of year?

Click over to Kelly’s and see what the other ladies had in mind.

 

 

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