Valentine's day has mysterious roots - perhaps St Valentine (as a priest) disobeyed an unjust Roman decree and married people in secret? Perhaps the festival was to 'Christianise'
the pagan fertility festival of Lupercalia? But whatever its estimated 150 million Valentine's cards are exchanged annually and maybe there is a kinder way to show our love?
1. Love Your Neighbourhood
Muddy Church is all about being a part of the place you live. Why not do something lovely for a neighbour - put their bin away (our day is Thursday, just saying!), give a mystery gift (chocolate bars fit perfectly through our letterbox) or getting the kids to make a list of the nice things they have noticed about their neighbour. I know it's not always easy but it will bring smiles!
2. Love is Tidy
I am sure somewhere in the list from 1 Corinthians this is there! But why not organise a litter pick in your neighbourhood. The little lane by our house is full of stuff that people have thrown and with a good old pair of marigolds and a black bag you can make a difference! (Hint: wear the marigolds (washing up gloves) and put litter in the black bag in case you were confused)
3. Love One Another
Seriously I would love you to imagine the happy, harmonic house I live in, with four children sharing and caring for each other. But it's more like a constant bicker accompanied by way too many screams of "mum... tell... to..." you can add anything to the dots, it really has probably been said. So if by chance your little darlings just happen to have a small difference of opinion challenge then to do three nice tings for their sibling/friend/whoever in the next 24 hours. The other solution is the massive t-shirt which they get placed into and have to get along for twenty minutes before they can escape!
4. Love and Laughter
Tree faces can be the best fun ever. Mix some mud and splat it onto the trunk, decorate with stones, leaves, sticks whatever to make funny faces. Although they can be a little bit scary late at night!!
5. You rock!
My kids have been doing this for a couple of years but still come back to it. Decorate some rocks/pebbles with love messages and distribute around your neighbourhood. They may not be noticed at first but you just don't know when it will brighten someone's day! (Sharpies work great - not an affiliate but if anyone wants to send me some!) Also worth sealing with clear nail varnish or pva glue.