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About the Writer:

Cynthia discovered the value of being organized out of necessity. She and her husband, Kevin, have six children. Kevin serves as a Pastor with the Berean Fellowship of Churches. Their home is affectionately known as “grand Central Station”. It was critical to have a home that was welcoming to family and friends, often at a moments notice. In 2001, Cynthia started "Simply Put", an organization service for families in her Wyoming area. She's available as a speaker for women's retreats, MOPS groups and other events.


An African Adventure (Well, Sort Of!)

A Valentine Reflection

By Cynthia Workman

As I ran down the hallway, both propellers whirring as they stuck out the sides of my bright yellow beanie cap, I must say I attracted some attention. An eighteen year old college freshman does not necessarily understand honor and dignity quite yet. It was not my intention to draw attention to myself. It was my intention to enjoy life and live up to my nickname of “Tigger.”

Unbeknownst to me, one of the people in the hallway that evening that noticed me was my future husband. As any good college freshman, I had no intention of marrying and was there to prepare for a life of service in the wilds of Africa. But, I had been noticed and my conservative, farm boy, husband to be, thought I exhibited spunk. A trait I think he later came to rue in certain situations and at certain times.

All of that took place 27 years ago. This past summer we celebrated 25 years of marriage with our natives, our six children, atop a mountain in Wyoming. I hadn’t made it to Africa, but I had had some adventures! As I think of the upcoming celebration of St. Valentine’s Day, I am filled with gratitude and awe that I have been loved unconditionally and mostly patiently for the last 25 plus years by one man who thought I looked spunky one night in a college hallway.

I recently read that one of the most significant reasons couples stay together over the long haul is not because of love, flowers, or even commitment. It is because of appreciation. That is the infinitely valuable quality of looking at another individual and choosing to see things that are good. Obviously, every one of us has enough shortcomings and faults to fill a book, but true love looks past the whirly beanie and finds something good.

Just as there have been times my “spunk” has caused a measure of annoyance to my spouse, there are times the qualities that attracted me to him have taken a different flavor. I have so admired his steadiness, faithfulness and the fact he is “solid as a rock.” There is a different way of looking at those characteristics though! Some one with those qualities may be reluctant to book passage to Africa! But those are the wonderful qualities over 25 years that have provided strength and solace to me time after time.

As you celebrate St. Valentine’s Day with those you love, don’t be distracted by chocolates and flowers, which are here today and gone tomorrow. Instead, celebrate the qualities in those you love by appreciating them for who they are and focusing on the positive traits you love and admire in them. Webster’s tells me appreciation is a “sensitive awareness.” Think of that next time you gaze with delight or frustration on your loved one, and give them the gift of appreciation. It may be as thrilling as a walk in the jungle! Remember, the Apostle Paul tells us “ always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” I Corinthians 13:7-8.



Copyright © February 2007 – Cynthia Workman. All rights reserved.


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