Here's the thing. I've never loved Valentine's Day, and no, I don't think it's because I spent so many of them as a single gal. I don't even love the hype now that I'm married. Sure, it's really nice to get a note from my husband and have someone to eat dinner with, but I've never appreciated the insane expectations that come with the day. Our tradition for the past three years has been to keep it simple -- we write each other notes, order Chinese food, and watch a movie. We're also on a budget so ain't nobody trying to buy $100 worth of flowers.😂

I spent 27 years without having my own person on Valentine's day. My daddy always gave me some roses. And my mama always wrote me a poem. And now that I'm married I get to enjoy sweet gifts my mother-in-law sends to us both, which is super fun because I do love surprise gifts.😍 My best friend would always mail me a Valentine. One year some married friends in New York had ice cream delivered to my office in Tennessee so that I would know how valued and loved I was on Valentine's day. I get a little teary just thinking about how much that meant to me!

Those are just a few of many examples of people who called me, texted me, and sent me letters on Valentine's day for years to make sure I knew I wasn't forgotten.

I've heard "you are significant with or without a significant other." That is 100% true. But I also know how incredibly difficult it is to believe, especially on a day like today. And even if you can bring yourself to believe it, that doesn't take away the loneliness you might feel or the longing for Jesus to fill that void in your life.

I always told myself that if I ever got married, I didn't want to forget what it felt like to be single for so long. That doesn't mean I can't celebrate my marriage or be incredibly excited about all the good changes marriage brings! But I don't want to forget that long season or the people that might be experiencing it now.

I'm not saying you can fill the entire void for your friends. But I am saying that you can be present with them, and years from now I promise you they will be grateful for the ways you were there for them. I know I am.

What I'm trying to say is this: you don't need your own person, but you do need your own people.

So this Valentine's day, let's celebrate the love we have for our community -- our significant others, our family, our friends, our brothers and sisters. And come up with fun ways to let them all know that they matter. Who's with me?

P.S. This is the first photo Shane and I ever took together -- March 2017 -- just over a month into dating. It makes me giggle because I remember how nervous/excited I was to finally have a picture of us! We've come so far.😊