In celebration of the Month of Love, here are three things I’ve picked up through six decades on earth and forty-five years of marriage. Feel free to add to my list.

One ~ Love cannot read my mind. 

Frankly, I can’t even read my own mind most days. So, why should I expect my husband to know whether or not I want expensive flowers for Valentine’s Day? Sometimes, I want something gorgeous delivered to my office because it feels romantic, and it shows off to my coworkers that I have a great guy. (Let’s be honest.)

Other years, I want flowers in the house to celebrate the season, but I don’t need a surprise, and grocery-store blossoms are fine. So, I’ve learned to tell my hubs what I’m hoping for each year. This week, we will pick out a bouquet together and probably kiss in the parking lot. (Fair warning if you are nearby.)

Two ~ Love is not a competition

I just got a text from one of our daughters with pictures of her little guys. They were holding toys they bought with Christmas money from us. So sweet!  Yesterday, I saw a picture of those boys having a regular play date with their other grandmother, who lives in their town and goes to their church. I felt a twinge of jealousy for her Tuesdays. (Jesus already saw it, I might as well confess.)

My next thought was, “All the grandmothers I share with live closer to the kids than I do!” Fortunately, the Holy Spirit immediately reminded me that we aren’t competing for love; we are multiplying it. I’m so grateful for godly women pouring into all those lives. Grateful for pictures and videos they post. Grateful for friendships that have grown out of grandparenting together. Grateful that our kiddos are loved so much. (Grateful for repentance when I need it.)

Three ~ Love never comes out even

Recently, I invited a good friend to lunch, and I picked up the ticket in advance so she couldn’t pay. I gave her a chicken buffet with ice cream. She gave me encouragement, advice, laughter, and truth. (You can’t buy that stuff.)

I’ve bought lunch for my mom a few times this year, too. And we siblings have helped her through some health issues. Each time I leave the house, she tells me how much she appreciates all we do. I tell her we have a long way to go if we ever pay her back for raising us. (A job well-done, by the way.

The greatest of these is still love, Dear Reader.

And the greatest demonstration is still sacrifice. So, enjoy Love Month. Talk out loud. Share with others. And follow the example of the Greatest Giver of all.