I’m No Victim

A few weeks ago my  blog post was entitled, “Unconditional Love.” It was about Robertson McQuilkin caring for his dear wife Muriel who was stricken with Alzheimer’s. It is a beautiful story of unconditional love. A love that is not dependant on what you receive but on what you can give.

For Valentine’s Day I wanted to share another short story by Dr. McQuilkin about a very special Valentine’s Day he and Muriel shared. I hope this story reminds you of your love for that special someone God has placed in your life. I hope it moves you to make Valentine’s Day extra special this year. I hope it reminds you to cherish every healthy minute you have together. And I hope it reminds you of God’s unconditional love for you.

“I’m No Victim” by Robertson McQuilkin:

Valentine’s Day was always special at our house because that was the day in 1948 Muriel accepted my marriage proposal. On the eve of Valentine’s Day in 1995 I read a statement by some specialist that Alzheimer’s is the most cruel disease of all, but that the victim is actually the caregiver. I wondered why I never felt like a victim. That night I entered in my journal: “The reason I don’t feel like a victim is—I’m not!” When others urged me to call it quits, I responded, “Do you realize how lonely I would be without her?”

After I bathed Muriel on her bed that Valentine’s eve and kissed her good night (she still enjoys two things: good food and kissing!), I whispered a prayer over her: “Dear Jesus, you love sweet Muriel more than I, so please keep my beloved through the night; may she hear the angel choirs.”

The next morning I was peddling on my Exercycle at the foot of her bed and reminiscing about some of our happy lovers’ days long gone while Muriel slowly emerged from sleep. Finally, she popped awake and, as she often does, smiled at me. Then, for the first time in months she spoke, calling out to me in a voice clear as a crystal chime, “Love … love … love.” I jumped from my cycle and ran to embrace her. “Honey, you really do love me, don’t you?” Holding me with her eyes and patting my back, she responded with the only words she could find to say yes: “I’m nice,” she said.

Those may prove to be the last words she ever spoke.

Love is something we give away, and you will never know how much your spouse needs to hear you say those three little words, “I LOVE YOU!”

You can find the complete article on Christianity Today’s website.

33 Great Date Ideas

With only a few days left before Valentine’s Day, I thought you might like a few of the date ideas from this article.

33 Great Date Ideas” by LifeWay Staff:

Dinner and a movie again? Boring! This Valentine’s Day (or anytime), get out of your dating rut with your spouse or significant other. Be creative, playful, simple, or romantic. It doesn’t matter as long as you’re talking, laughing, and celebrating life – together. And you don’t have to spend a lot of cash.

If you’re stuck for great date ideas, here are thirty-three fun ideas to get you out of the rut:

  1. Take a hike. Enjoy the beauty of God’s creation together (you can conclude with back and foot rubs).
  2. Create your own progressive dinner. Go to four different restaurants for appetizer, salad, entrée, and dessert.
  3. Recreate your first date (or another special memory you share).
  4. Walk hand in hand along any kind of water – river, lake, ocean. Throw in a sunset for the perfect romantic moment.
  5. Visit a pet store and ask to hold the puppies and kittens. The experience will be warm and fuzzy, and the prices will probably discourage a purchase (unlike a trip to the pound).
  6. Eat dinner someplace new. Experiment with restaurants that serve ethnic food you’ve never tried.
  7. Go for a bike ride together.
  8. Put together a jigsaw puzzle or play a board game together.
  9. Take in a museum. Make your day of discovery relaxed and more about being together than prepping for an imaginary pop quiz.
  10. Use your imagination. Create a date for $10 or less. Try to spend that exact amount doing as many things as possible.
  11. Be a kid again – go to a playground and swing, hop on the merry-go-round, fly a kite together, feed the ducks at the lake, and go out for an ice cream cone.
  12. Rent or download your favorite romantic movie. Pop some popcorn and don’t forget to snuggle together.
  13. Go camping. If it’s too hot, create an indoor camp-out.
  14. Dream a little. Share your hopes and dreams for the future.
  15. Cook a meal together and eat it by candlelight.
  16. Go to a flea market or yard sale together, and buy each other a gift for under $5.
  17. Plan ahead. Go to a restaurant early, and ask the waiter to bring a rose to your spouse each time he visits the table when you dine there that evening.
  18. Visit a rock climbing gym. Belaying, or working the safety rope, for each other will build trust and partnership.
  19. Be spontaneous. Make no plans and just go with the flow.
  20. Road trip! Get in the car and see where the road leads you.
  21. Go canoeing or kayaking (or even paddle boating, if you prefer less speed).
  22. Get dressed up, eat at home, then go to a nice restaurant for dessert and coffee.
  23. Lie on a blanket and watch the clouds during the day or watch the stars and hold hands at night (or do both).
  24. Go on a picnic – inside, on the roof, in a park, or at a beach or lake.
  25. Grab a latte at a coffee shop and slow down and talk about life.
  26. Go to a play or a concert.
  27. Paint your own pottery. (Many towns have studios that provide the pre-formed pottery and paint, and they fire it for you.)
  28. Play in the rain together.
  29. Take some sort of lessons together. From painting lessons to horseback riding lessons, learn something together.
  30. Serve together at a local soup kitchen.
  31. Look through photo albums together (from yourselves as babies). Take turns telling stories and sharing favorite memories together.
  32. Rent a convertible and go to a drive-in movie.
  33. Be a tourist in your own town and visit those places you may never have visited.