daily devotional

Today is the designated day of love. But how many of us know, the high expectations of today often lead to major disappointment? Valentine’s Day is not a globally celebrated holiday, so just in case you’re listening from a country where all of this is new, let me explain. Today is a day most men dread because they feel whatever they do to show their love for their lady will not be enough, and it’s a day most women get their hopes built up for the ultimate demonstration of love, however she speaks in code, never really asking for what she wants. He says “do you want flowers?” She says “no, I totally don’t need flowers.” What he doesn’t understand is she is saying “yes, I want flowers!”

It’s woman code. “Nahhhh babe, you don’t need to buy me anything to prove your love” translates into DUDE YOU SHOULD TOTALLY BUY SOMETHING AND MAKE SURE YOU WRITE SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL IN A CARD.

Today is the day kids exchange Valentine’s cards and young love is professed. I remember my girls coming home in elementary school and bragging when the cutest boy in school clearly gave them the largest card in the pack. I also remember my 13 year old son spending every penny he had saved on the biggest teddy bear he could find, chocolates and flowers and balloons for a girl he had been talking to for a week. He didn’t know which she would like most, so he bought it all. She stopped talking to him 3 days later and he was sorely disappointed over all the money he had wasted.

Ahhhh, the day of love sure has become fussy hasn’t it? Before I dive fully into our special Valentine’s Day devotional, let me give all my lady friends, my gal pals, my girl gang, my sister tribe the best possible advice I have for today: DROP THE EXPECTATIONS. Expect nothing. Be grateful for everything. And let this day be more about you lavishing love on others than receiving it yourself.

Girl, you are loved every darn day. You are highly favored and greatly treasured. Today is no different. You are always the recipient of the unstoppable, relentless, powerful love of the almighty. Now just let his love flow through you and let it soak every one you come in contact with today. You know how a dog shakes when he’s wet, successfully soaking everything around him? Yes, let that be you. You are saturated in God’s love, shake it onto others today and share what you got! Let no one walk away from you today untouched by what God has covered you in. LOVE.

As a little girl, my Aunt CC always bought me a box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day. It was the mixed chocolates where every one was a bit of a mystery until you bit into it. There was a dilemma in that box of chocolates. I loved the caramel ones. I knew they were always square. But the orange cream ones were also square. It was like a trick to get you to bite into the worst one, thinking it was the best one. You never quite knew what you were going to get.

Forest Gump said it well, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.”

Isn’t that life? Some days you get your favorite, and other days you feel like you get the worst. And somehow this loving, all knowing, all powerful God of ours is the giver of them both.

You know, if I were in charge of the Russell Stover’s candy company, I would have never made orange cream chocolates. That stuff just ain’t right. And while we’re at it, I wouldn’t really make the strawberry cream either. Just the caramels and toffee. That’s all you would get!

And guess what, my box of chocolates would be kinda boring wouldn’t it? Oh you would be guaranteed to get the good stuff, but where’s the excitement in that?

Have you ever played bean boozeled? It’s the cruel game of jelly beans. Two beans look the same but one is bad and one is good. One is strawberry shortcake flavored and the other is vomit. You don’t know until you bite into it. One is buttered popcorn and the other is soured milk. Oh yummy, which one did you get? The green one could be delicious apple, or buggers. Hope you’re feeling lucky!

Do you ever feel like you straight up have bad luck? Like if something bad is going to happen, it’s going to happen to you? Funny thing is, the people who always say they have bad luck almost seem to attract it. Why is that?

Because God equipped each one of us with a magnetic super power that greatly impacts the life we experience. Oh yes he did! Maybe you’ve gone your entire life without knowing of your powers … well today is the day your world changes!

If you’ve watched my TEDtalk, you heard me teach on the network of neurons at the base of your brain called your Reticular Activator. Your Reticular Activator acts as the bouncer to your brain. You know at a night club there’s a bouncer at the door, and the bouncer decides who comes into the party and who is kept out. Well your Reticular Activator does the same for your brain. God gave you this so you wouldn’t go crazy. Your mind cannot contain the 400 billion bits of information flying at it every given second, so your Reticular Activator determines what gains access to your mind, and what is kept out as background noise, never coming into the party of your awareness. In fact, 99.9999% is kept out! You are only aware of a tiny, itty bity fraction of what is really happening.

This was God’s gift to you as his finest creation. Why is this a gift? Because you are the one who sets your Reticular Activator. You are in charge of what you see and what you don’t. You train your Reticular Activator with what you are looking for, and as a result of looking for it, that’s exactly what you will find.

Some people are looking for all the reasons life isn’t fair … uh ohhhhh, there they are in abundance. That must suck. Spending your days with unfairness everywhere. But that’s your choice. To me it’s kinda like seeking out the orange cream chocolates and only eating them. Go for it if that’s what you want. Seems to me there are better choices.

Some people are looking for all the reasons life is a blessing. Oh dang, now that’s the equivalent of the best chocolate in the whole box! And what’s crazy cool is, if you’re looking for blessings, you will find them.

Remember Jesus taught us this in Matthew 7:7 “seek and ye shall find”. What you look for you will find. Stop looking for the crap in life my sister. Stop thinking of worst case scenario. Hey, if you set your reticular activator to worst case scenario, it has no other choice but to show you what you’re searching for. Seek the struggle, seek the bad, seek the pain, seek the darkness and BOOM that’s what you see, that’s what you feel, and that’s what you experience.

Life is like a box of chocolates, and you never know what you’re gonna get. But God has given us the power to choose how we experience each piece. He has equipped us with the power to make it better or make it worse. He has equipped us with the power to find the good in the circumstances of dwell in the bad. He has gifted us with the amazing ability to set our intentions, choose our mindset, and as a result, experience a completely different life.

You see, I don’t know exactly what piece today is from my box of chocolates. It’s still a mystery at this point. I’m not in control of everything that happens. But I am in control of how I see it. And how I see it changes my total life experience.

Today you’re given a piece out of the box of chocolates. You decide what you do with it. Some of us are so afraid of getting something we don’t like, that we’ve stopped even tasting life. When you stop tasting life you are guaranteed of one thing for sure … you’ll never get what you want.

At this moment, you could be holding everything you ever wanted right in the palm of your hands. You could be right on the precipice of something beautifully amazing, but you’ll never know if you don’t step on into it. It might also be a messy disaster you’re stepping into, I don’t know.

But I know we have a great big, powerful, all knowing God who loves us wildly. He has a good plan for our lives and he’s using everything for good. I’ve set my reticular activator to the good God is doing in my life. It’s my chosen preset. It’s my default. As a result, that’s what I see every single day. I see God’s goodness. I see it everywhere. Even in the hard stuff, I see it. Even in the unknown, I see it. It’s our choice, our power given to us by our creator, let us use it well.

So, this Valentine’s Day, you get to choose what you’re seeking. Seek proof of God’s love for you. Seek evidence of his goodness at work in your life. Seek how you can be like a wet dog shaking what you have on you all over everyone else around you. Seek how you can saturate others with this love you have been given.

Seek and ye shall find!