Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

My hubby and I met in the tenth grade, while attending the same high school.  I saved the first Valentine he mailed to me, with a .05 cent postage stamp on the envelope!   He wrote on the back, S.W.A.K. [sealed with a kiss].  I wonder if that's still written on envelopes today??  

Our wedding cake was cherry nut, so I made a cherry nut cake for a Valentine's treat this year, but to be used in parfaits rather than eaten as cake. 

2013 Valentine's tablescape for two.

I've had these cute porcelain Valentine's plates a long time.  I bought them at J.L. Hudson's Department Store before it ceased to exist. 

The demitasse cups don't hold much tea, but the saucer is heart shaped as well as the cup handle, so they were perfect for use today. 

Bennigan's Baked Potato Soup.  I don't think that restaurant exists anymore either.

Below are the parfaits I concocted - layers of cubed cherry nut cake, cherry pie filling, and tapioca pudding.  I haven't made tapioca pudding in years, but it sounded good to me and my hubby likes it too. 

Our youngest son, Jeremy, took his daughter, Isabella, to her first Daddy and Me Valentine's  dance last weekend, so I had to include that picture in my post.  [Grandma's have bragging rights, you know!  ;-)]  Isabella is seven years old, and was born on her Daddy's birthday.  

But the greatest love note of all time didn't come from my husband, my children, or  my grandchildren.  It comes from God's Holy Scripture:  "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."   John 3:16 [NIV] 

The title of my devotion today piqued my interest - Love and the Tea Kettle.   I'm including it for those who may want to read it:  

"My poor old tea kettle had finally kicked the bucket. I walked into the kitchen one morning and found water covering the stove top. It had whistled its last whistle. But I knew one thing for sure. I didn't want a new electric one to replace it.

With all kinds of electrical gadgets, TVs and now even computers adorning kitchens, I was determined to keep at least one thing that embodied for me a slower, gentler, less complicated era—a simple, stove-top tea kettle. Besides, we didn't have room on the counter anyway.

There was just one problem. My husband really wanted one.   After a trip to visit his sister, he came home raving about electric kettles. They cut the boiling time in half and don't heat up the whole kitchen! Since we live in Florida, he thought this was a real plus in their favor. But I couldn't be persuaded. I'd rather die of heat exhaustion before I cluttered up my counter.

However, since I hadn't found the exact kettle I wanted yet, I began using a small pan. What a mess. It poured everywhere except in the cup, left hard-water stains on the interior and seemed to take forever to boil. The longer the situation went on, the more frustrated I became. Why couldn't I find the kettle I wanted?

Then Philippians 2:4 brought the answer into focus:  'Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.'

I knew I needed to want the kettle that my husband wanted. Isn't that how love is supposed to work? And isn't that how it worked when we first got married? We actually enjoyed wanting what the other one wanted, not because we really wanted it ourselves, but because we loved them and they wanted it.  I realized this was an opportunity to give my husband the gift he had so often given me—the gift of wanting what the other wants.

So early the next Saturday, I said, 'You know what? I think we do need an electric tea kettle. You want to go help me pick one out?'  I wish you could have seen my husband's face as he nearly jumped out of bed. He couldn't get ready fast enough!

But it turns out God had been waiting for this very change of heart to give me something much more than just a tea kettle.

We soon found one that we liked and it was even on sale. But I would have been willing to pay much more for the special light it brought to my husband's eyes that day. As he squeezed my hand and led me excitedly through the store toward the kitchen appliances, that light clearly said,  'This is my wife and I love her. She cares deeply about every detail of my life—even tea kettles.'

Yes, I would have paid dearly for the priceless gift that seeing those thoughts gave me.

And surprise, surprise—there was room on the counter after all, without looking cluttered.
Imagine that!

Now I'm the one raving about how fast the water boils and also, about the filter which keeps all the hard water "gunk" out of the cup. Had I known about the totally clear tea I could have been drinking all along, I would have gotten an electric one years ago.

But I'm raving even more about the God who loves us too much to stop working in our hearts.

Sometimes, we just don't know what we're missing by wanting what we want. We think that what we want is the best choice and that it will make everything good and right and better. But often our choices are actually settling for so much less. I'm very grateful that God didn't allow me to settle for what I thought I wanted.

Now as I pour another steaming cup of tea and set the kettle back in place, I know I always want to make room on the counter of my life for what God wants to put there—a wonderful blessing that I may be resisting"

Copyright © 2013 by Debbie Burgett

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I'm linking to Antiques & Teacups for Thursday Tea Things and Talk


  1. Happy Valentine's Day, Phyllis! Lovely post... your granddaughter's picture is beautiful, and she looks pleased as punch!

  2. Happy Valentine's Day! Wishing you a TEA-lightful day! This is a beutiful post! What a sweet photo of your son and granddaughter!

  3. What a wonderful devotional, thank you for sharing it with us! And your Valentine's table is lovely, what a nice touch to use the same type of cake from your wedding in your dessert. Your son and granddaughter - oh, what a wonderful picture! Her smile is so bright and just precious. I hope you have a great, happy day full of love and blessings.

  4. What a wonderful lesson...for Valentine's Day and every day. Isn't it wonderful how the Holy Spirit can take a scripture and make it so relevant to even the small things in life?
    Happy Valentine's Day to you and thanks for sharing a wonderful chapter of your life.

  5. Your tea kettle story is very sweet. And your granddaughter is a beauty!

  6. Phyll, A wondeful post. It reminds me of the lessons God is teaching each one of us. Also how I am learning to lean on Him and remember in ALL things in HIS time.

    Cute picture of Jeremy and Isabella.

    Have a great day at Jeremy's.

  7. How wonderful that you still have that first valentine! Oh, that's just terrific!

  8. Hello Phyllis
    I think I still have old VD cards for my hubby that I met at high school too, I'll have to look. And, we used to put SWAK on the back of the envelope too!
    A daddy and me VD dance is new to me, love the idea and seeing your handsome son and granddaughter.
    The kettle story has an important lesson to it and I'm glad you found guidance for your decision. Since I'm the only one to boil water here, the whistler on the stove is my choice.
    Have a good day.

  9. What a lovely Valentine post. I especially loved seeing the beautiful smile on your grand daughter and her dad. How very special that was. I remember one father daughter dance at my high school and so sad that I didn't have a dad to take me. I hope those girl's without dad's found a special someone to take them too.

  10. What a great devotional--and I loved the rest of this lovely post as well! Your wedding photo is gorgeous--you looked like a wedding Barbie! And your son and granddaughter, ohhhhh, how sweet. Cherry parfaits? Mmmm. And your pretty table, made even more special by the J.L. Hudson dishes. Love this!


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