The first year we were dating, I found a trail of roses covering my day. From brushing teeth to driving to school, locker to homeroom I collected a dozen red roses left for me by my boyfriend. It was wonderful and a little embarrassing and the best Valentine’s Day I’d ever had.
A few years later that same boyfriend gave me the gift of Skittles. But a whole box of just the red and purple ones, because he knew they were my favorite. He hand sorted bags and bags of colored candies – well before you were able to buy single color M&Ms or custom order your favorites online. Just two of the many reasons I married that boyfriend 😉
As we’ve gotten older and our family has grown, love looks a little different than it used to. It’s become less about the extravagant displays and more about intentionally loving one another in all 365 days – not just one day in February. It’s looking for ways to serve the other person – whether it’s our spouse, child, co-worker, mother, sister, friend – in ways that impact their hearts and meet a need. Sometimes it’s sharing a link to something we think they would love, spending a summer weekend landscaping, having friends over for dinner, or putting a card in the mail to tell someone we’re celebrating with them.
This Valentine’s Day? Love looks a lot like carrots.
I sit beside her and watch as her eyes fill with emotion. The story unfolds on the screen – raw and unedited, beautiful in the glorious ordinary of dirt and laughter. It’s her heart on screen and she’s planted the seeds to grow the garden that will leave a legacy.
She’s building more than buildings and gardens and community centers – it’s in these very necessary and valuable projects that roots are forming. A sense of place, belonging, education, joy, hope. It’s her home and she’s inviting us in, making herself a bridge from our homes to her homeland, and it’s terrifying and beautiful and I’ve never been more proud.
There is a little plot of land in Africa that has been reserved for a garden. A place for children to learn, eat, sustain and grow. 250 orphans and vulnerable children who could learn how to grow spinach, beans, tomatoes, corn, soya and … yes … carrots – enough to sustain their community and earn income. It’s the kind of garden that will change lives in the planting.
I’m completely cheating on the Five Minute Friday rules this week because this is so important to share. That garden? It will take $5,000 to fund and it’s only the beginning of an incredible project that Lisa-Jo Baker is launching today. If you’re looking for a last minute Valentine’s Day gift for your sweet grandma who loves to garden, consider making a donation in her honor?
UPDATE: You fully funded a garden today, y’all!! Woot woot!! Now what if we kept giving & built those sweet kiddos a kitchen to go with their garden?
If you’d like to send someone (or..ahem..yourself…) something special that also helps with the Maubane Community Center , you can purchase one of these three beautiful necklaces from Krafty Kash and $12 from each purchase will be donated! This offer will be available until Mother’s Day – woohoo!
Or if this is the kind of day that makes you feel a little left out, a little lonely, a little tired of the commercialism, will you join us in showing the world that love is about doing – not receiving? Let’s join together and send a gift far more valuable than roses. Let’s fall in love with the world next door and show them that this year?
Love just might look like carrots.