When You Hate Valentine’s Day

When You Hate Valentine’s Day

February 8, 2016

"The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:17-18 (NIV)

I remember the year I skipped Valentine’s Day and created my own personal boycott. I glared at cards and roses in the store as I shopped, snorted at commercials with lovey-dovey messages, turned my head away from couples holding hands and built a wall of protection around my aching heart.

Just months before I stared uncomprehendingly across the table as my first love and fiancé repeated his previous sentence, "I just don’t know if I can be faithful to you for the rest of our lives."

Suddenly, I felt an unfamiliar feeling. Instead of being drawn to this man, I had the overwhelming need to flee. My ears heard my mouth form the words, "Then I guess I can’t marry you," as I stood and walked out of the student union.

In the exhaustion of mid-finals study, my tired mind and thudding heart could hardly grasp what had just happened. Not only had I allowed myself to love deeply and completely, but I was convinced marrying that man was God’s plan for me.

Until that moment. When it all shattered.

Where once I felt loved, I now felt rejected. Where once I felt secure, I felt rocked. Where once I felt sure of my happy future, I now felt lonely and unsure of myself.

The despair lasted for months; the fog just wouldn’t lift. I kept trying to fix things, but the relationship was too broken. Still, I couldn’t seem to move on.

I continued my regular activities with a plastic smile to cover my broken heart. I even went to church and kept going through the spiritual motions, but instead of turning to God for healing, I withdrew inside.

One night, alone in my apartment, I felt God drawing me. At first I resisted. Finally, with a sense of dread (I was convinced God was angry with me for pushing Him away), I lay flat on my bedroom with my face to the floor. Waiting for God’s wrath, I experienced in a way I’ve never felt before or since, the overwhelming, physical presence of God’s love. He surrounded me, enveloped me, comforted me and began healing me.

Maybe you’re facing Valentine’s Day this year without that loving feeling. Maybe you’ve been betrayed by a friend, rejected by someone you love or rocked by a bad romance.

Can I gently remind you of an important truth? A truth that made all the difference to me?

If you are God’s child, you are involved in the greatest love story ever created. Jesus created you, knows you inside and out, and loves you from the top of your head to the tips of your toes. You can celebrate love this year just like everyone else, knowing that you’ve got a deeper understanding than anything that’s advertised or on the shelves in a store.

Twenty-seven years later, I think back to those devastating days with a wry smile. The younger version of myself, who thought that things couldn’t get better, has walked through the hurt into a future that has turned out to be bright — not perfect, but definitely joyful.

Jesus was there through every painful step of those early days of break-up, and He truly used heartbreak to do good things in me. Although I couldn’t see it then, God, in His infinite goodness, was there cupping His loving hands around my broken heart and shaping something beautiful. Even if you can’t see or feel that healing at work, I can confidently tell you He’s doing it for you even now.

God, I come to You shattered and brokenhearted but with a heart full of faith. I believe You not only can heal me but You can turn this despair into joy. You can use my healed hurt to make me more compassionate. I pray You would give me the determination to celebrate Your love story this Valentine’s Day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
John 15:9, "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love." (NIV)

Zephaniah 3:17, "The LORD your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing." (NKJV)

RELATED RESOURCES:
Amy Carroll’s book, Breaking Up with Perfect, is full of stories showing how God redeems the imperfect circumstances of life. Purchase it today for more encouragement.

Amy invites you to visit her blog today where she has a Valentine’s giveaway for singles. You can enter for yourself or for a single person you love!

REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Using the gift of hindsight, write a list of hard circumstances God has lovingly used to shape you.

When the opportunity comes, spend time listening to a hurting friend. When the time is right, share one of your stories of hope.

© 2016 by Amy Carroll. All rights reserved.

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Comments

  1. Melanie Moore says:

    I’ve been dreading this Valentine’s Day because my husband is spending the day and celebrating it with another woman. We’re going through a divorce and he is having an affair on me. My heart is most definitely aching and hurting. We have two little boys that will be my Valentines this year. This devotion is what I needed. I’ve been reading these devotions for several months now and there’s been so many that have spoke straight to my heart. They have been yet another sign that God is listeningood to my cries and he is here for me. I want to thank you all for doing God’s work.

  2. This seriously made me cry. And I don’t cry. I hate Valentine’s Day. I too have heard the words from my (ex) fiancé that it was over and the wedding was off. I have been a victim of all abuse from other men. Nothing about Valentine’s Day is okay with me.

    • Manda, I’m not much of a crier either. But when there are no words, tears are prayers. God hears your tears.

      Hear God through your tears: I love you with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3). I will never fail you. I will never abandon you (Hebrews 13:5). To everything there is a season: weeping and laughing, crying and dancing, finding and losing, keeping and giving (Ecclesiastes 3).

      Lord God, comfort Manda in this season of weeping. Fill her with hope, surround her with love. Amen.

      • “But when there are no words, tears are prayers. God hears your tears” — That’s so good Shirley! Thank you for sharing your wisdom!

  3. Genevieve says:

    Thank you Jesus. This message was specially crafted for me as I am at the same point you were 27years ago. I am going through a terrible break up at the moment and I am thankful valentine’s day falls on a weekend. It makes it a little more bearable. My intention was to stay indoors through it but I am opening myself up to God’s healing.
    God bless you Amy for being a vessel.

  4. Thank You Amy. Yep, my first time in 27 years of marriage I can say this is a hard Valentines. My husband has been cheating too. We have a beautiful 11 year old girl. I heard God say last night I’m your Valentine. So I will celebrate with God this year being my Husband. Thank you for the confirmation.

  5. I prayed for each of you. God is bigger and can stand in the way of your man; he may also pull you away from the wrong man to help protect you for the right one. The movie, “War Room”, is a good example of how prayer changes things.

  6. After 33 years of marriage, my “Christian” husband has decided that lying, cheating, deceiving and emotionally abandoning me is what he will choose for me. My heart is broken…

  7. Anonymous says:

    Just want to encourage someone today. There is no big deal about Valentine’s day. It’s just a day the world chooses to celebrate. Everyday in God’s eyes is “valentine’s day” and He’s crazy about you. Chris Tomlin’s good father makes me remember I’m loved by him.

    Oh, I’ve heard a thousand stories of what they think you’re like
    But I’ve heard the tender whisper of love in the dead of night
    And you tell me that you’re pleased
    And that I’m never alone

    You’re a Good, Good Father
    It’s who you are, it’s who you are, it’s who you are
    And I’m loved by you
    It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am

    Oh, and I’ve seen many searching for answers far and wide
    But I know we’re all searching
    For answers only you provide
    Cause you know just what we need
    Before we say a word

    You’re a Good, Good Father
    It’s who you are, it’s who you are, it’s who you are
    And I’m loved by you
    It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am

    Cause you are perfect in all of your ways
    You are perfect in all of your ways
    You are perfect in all of your ways to us

    You are perfect in all of your ways
    You are perfect in all of your ways
    You are perfect in all of your ways to us

    Oh, it’s love so undeniable
    I, I can hardly speak
    Peace so unexplainable
    I, I can hardly think

    As you call me deeper still [x3]
    Into love, love, love

    [x3:]
    You’re a Good, Good Father
    It’s who you are, it’s who you are, it’s who you are
    And I’m loved by you
    It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am

    You’re a Good, Good Father
    (You are perfect in all of your ways)
    It’s who you are, it’s who you are, it’s who you are
    And I’m loved by you
    (You are perfect in all of your ways)
    It’s who I am, it’s who I am it’s who I am

  8. To the beautiful women who are feeling the pain and devastation of relationship break-ups today I am praying for and with you. Valentine’s Day like Christmas and so many other commercialized days make heartbreak that much harder to move past and cope with. Like you, I am experiencing a very hurtful break-up as I discovered that a man who I’d met 9 months ago lied to me about everything and had been cheating on me the entire time. We were planning a future together and it was all lies for one specific purpose, to use me for personal gain. In anger and hurt yesterday I became vindictive, hateful, vengeful and downright mean. I was angry with him, his mother for not telling me the truth about the situation and mostly angry with myself. But it was at my lowest point while reading the book “A woman’s walk with God” by Elizabeth George that I discovered the one fruit of the spirit that would show me how to respond to my situation. As I was reading the passage on gentleness I began to weep uncontrollably because in that moment I realized that whatever I was suffering in that moment it was nothing compared to what Jesus had suffered for my redemption and salvation. The passage said that gentleness allows us to “take it” just as Jesus did on His way to be crucified. It allows us to forgive those who deceive and use us as Jesus forgave Judas. And although I still am moving through the hurt and pain of this situation, because I honestly thought that I was headed towards a future with this man, I know that our Father in Heaven has so much more planned for me and it’s even better than anything I could imagine for myself. So I weep with you my sisters in Christ but I also celebrate with you the bright and incredible tomorrow’s that God has placed ahead of each of us. We are beautifully and wonderfully created in Gods image. He is the lover of our souls and our most cherished Valentine.

  9. Found out for the first time exactly 1 month ago that my dear husband of 28 years had had an affair with a coworker 12 years ago – and had fallen back into it about a year ago. The nightmare began when I discovered incriminating emails on his phone. The fury and the pain has been devastating. We have 2 beautiful children after the trials of both infertility and adoption. Fast forward to a few hours ago when we both knelt together at the foot of our bed, crying and praying together through tears of faith, pain and repentance, asking for God to heal us and our marriage, for the power of the cross to redeem our shattered lives and to make all things new. God gave me the grace to forgive not only my husband, but also the other woman. This will be the most meaningful Valentine’s Day ever, because we both are experiencing the depth and reality of God’s love in the midst of incredible heartache. But God is stronger. Please pray for our family.

  10. Thank you! I needed that today. Beautifully written!

  11. Thank you for blessing me this morning,wonderful ???

  12. Lies, deceit, cheating…I have experienced that in my marriage. It destroys so much, but I survived by the grace of God! It is 10 years this year that he left me and the kids. We are better that he left in so many ways. I could not see it at the time. Hugs and prayers to each of you. May peace reign in your hearts.

  13. Stephanie says:

    About five years ago I went through a divorce after my husband of 12 yrs admitted that he’d been cheating for 10 yrs with 8 different people (all were people I considered casual friends aND knew we were married). The last 4 yrs of our marriage we also walked through infertility, including IVF the last year of that, bUT nevery were blesser with kids. Through returning to my relationship with the Lord and good counseling, I’ve been able to work through so many things and allowed the Lord to heal my shattered heart. Every day or moment isn’t necessarily good, but I’ve learned to truly bring my heart to the foot of the cross and leave whatever the issue is there. I have no idea what the future holds, but I know He’s used my past to shape me and has brought forth beauty from ashes. I encourage you to do the hard, hard work of healing and allow Him to use it for His glory. I’m still in a season of singleness and waiting, but I know what He will provide is better than anything I could build with my own hands or pursuit. Praying for each of you facing Valentine’s Day with shattered hearts.

  14. For years I have clung to Psalm 34:18, because Valentine’s Day is a mix of emotions for me. it is my daughters birthday, but on the day of her birth I severely hemorraaged and to save my life, the doctors preformed a hysterectomy. I was so angry at God and in a fog for several years, but eventually He allowed me to see possibility. We decided to adopt. There are many signs of God throughout our adoption story, but the best is that we were in Ethiopia and took custody of our son on Feb. 13. God is a redeemer!!

  15. This devotion is so needed. I believe there are many many folks out there like me who are not looking forward to Valentine’s Day. Thank you

  16. A month ago at Christmas someone I thought was the one God had for me broke my heart I am trying to fix it, I still love him, and want him back. Has I ready this devotional I was thinking this is how I feel, I can’t see what God is doing and I don’t know what will happen. I even tried to make a deal with God to get him back. I just need to trust God and have the faith that God is working everything out for good in me..thank you for your story

  17. Gwyn Eury says:

    Would love to give the book to a precious single friend. Thank you.

  18. This really ministered to my heart. God knows exactly what we need and when we need it, I needed this today!
    Thank you Lord for using Amy to soeak to my heart!

  19. Many thank for sharing your heart. And also, to the person who shared the words to Good Good Father. I had had a great memory for Valentine’s day. My husband officially purposed to me. I also have the last memory of our shared Valentines Day. It was our last one together. The children (5) made and served us the meal that evening. They all had a part in making it memorable. My husband was dying of cancer but he was acting so lofty . . . he was sure that he was being healed with the chemo and radiation. My heart sunk and I thought I jsut needed to wait this out. You see, we didn’t have a great relationship. I wanted a great marriage but he was content in jsut living the day to day being married and having a family. So, Valentine’s Day doesn’t have that too great of memories but I am desiring that God will jsut minister to me through that song, once again and bring healing.

  20. One week ago today I stood in my front yard as a deputy sheriff told my boyfriend of 8 years how to legally evict me from our home. (He choked me after I gave away my ticket to the circus…and I called 911 for help) I felt my heart was ripped from my chest. My world was turned upside down! My prayer partner texted me this morning and told me to read this. Amazed at the grace of God and how His love is everlasting…His timing, perfect! Yes…He’s a Good Good Father!!! And He is the REAL love of my life!!!

  21. I always find it funny when married people are the ones to preach to singles, like they know our struggles. Very similar to Catholic priests offering marriage advice. To me it loses credibility.

  22. FYI…..last post, my name is Kendra

  23. Dorothy Bloomer says:

    This is so true. When my husband left me after 23 years of not so blissful marriage, I just never I could never be happy. But after many tears, I felt Jesus comforting me above anything ever felt before. And now years later, I am married to a loving and Godly man. Thank you Jesus!

  24. That’s nice when you’re in college, young etc… But I’m 47 with 5 kids. My husband of 18 years left to go marry his step sister. I’m alone, hate valentines day and don’t have the hope a young college student would have of there being someone else. No one will ever want me…

    • Praying for you Kim. I’m 4 years younger than you but have kids as well. Our worth as women isn’t defined by being in a relationship, or meeting the world’s standards, but it’s still hard to be alone. I hate Valentine’s day as well.

  25. I despise Valentine’s Day. I’ve been married for 16 years and realized a year into it that it was a mistake, but we already had a newborn, so I have been stuck ever since. I have lived through abuse, both physical & emotional, crippling financial burdens due to his out of control spending, and most recently an affair he had with his secretary. He has no interest in me & has made it clear that I am not of value to him except as someone who cooks his meals & keeps his house. I have no options that would allow me to leave. Most of the time, I manage to cope & make the best of the life that I have & enjoy my children, but on Valentine’s, I am reminded just how empty my “marriage” is & how lonely I am.

  26. A year ago I was dating an emotionally abusive man who made Valentine’s day (and every day, really) absolutely awful. The day before Valentine’s had been our 1-year anniversary and he’d emotionally terrorized me the entire day. Still I went into V-day with an optimistic mindset. I was so broken and beaten down and manipulated that I didn’t know how to get out of the situation. I remember feeling completely exhausted and hopeless. After a day full of tears and anxiety, I drove home and prayed for God to show me a way out, to give me the strength to break away. Less than 24 hours later, I found out he was cheating on me. God had answered my prayer and given me a new-found strength. I broke up with him and never looked back. A lot of pain and soul-searching followed, but God restored the year(s) the locusts stole. Today, I am with the most wonderful, loving, caring man who shows me God’s love on a daily basis. We are planning to get married next spring.

  27. Thank you for this post. What was written I have been experiencing for nearly a year now. I just had a birthday last week and now V-day is coming and instead of feeling joy I am still struggling with heartbreak and depression and finding it difficult to let God back in. I have been going through the motions of going to church, singing in the choir, reading scriptures, and I just don’t feel “it” or Him anymore. I’m not some love struck teen but a woman in her 40’s who is raising a child alone and keep wondering why this is still the way it is. I feel lonely, isolated, and quite frankly alone even in crowd of people. This post really hit a nerve for me today. Thank you.

  28. A great true word. I too was engaged and called off my wedding. One of the hardest decisions I had made at that time in my life. Looking back now, I’m so thankful I was obedient to the Holy Spirit’s prompting.

  29. Deena Maga says:

    Amen, thanks I really needed to hear this today, oh thank you so much.

  30. Cindy Gatlin says:

    My husband William went to Heaven in October. He was only 53, as a matter of fact he died on his birthday after a long illness. I’m definitely heartbroken. ?

  31. Thank you. I needed to hear this. I’ve been in a fog for a year now. Convinced that God sent the love of my life to me only to realize, with much pain, that he is not. I’m trying very hard to give my pain and heartache to God, but it is difficult. When I find myself consumed with the thoughts and pain, I mentally slap myself as I know that this is not the end of the world – I have a roof over my head, I’m able to provide for me and my son, I have the love and support of family and friends unlike so many people in this world. But the heartache remains. How could I have been so wrong about the path I thought God wanted me to take with this man? Was it truly God sending me down this path or was it the enemy enticing me as I was (and am) lonely and enjoyed the attention? I don’t know. I know I want the pain to stop; I need the pain to stop. I pray for healing for all of us.

    • It is so natural to feel confused! The confusion and pain will subside in time!! Try to test in the arms of the Father as the healing continues!

  32. Wow, Jesus is my Valentines! This has been a hard week for me for the past 6 years. Six years ago is when my husband left me for another woman. Our wedding anniversary was the 12th of February. We would spend every anniversary at a bed and breakfast. We would have a date night every Monday (even right before he left me). I didn’t know he was seeing anyone else. I didn’t know he wanted a divorce until the papers were drawn. He never lead me too believe that he wasn’t content in our marriage. 16 years and 4 children, and even though we had our hard times, I didn’t know he was cheating or unhappy with me. He told me it wasn’t me, it was him with the problems. I was devastated…… Not anymore. I love my ex and always will. But the most important person in my life is Jesus!! And because of Jesus, I can forgive my ex and see where God used my heartache to be closer to Him. I have more peace than I’ve ever known. I’m happy and loved, not because of another person, but because of God’s love for me. How can I not see this as a blessing. He took my broken heart and made me whole. Thank You God that the circumstances of my life has drawn me closer to You. You are my Valentine, today, tomorrow, and Always!❤❤❤

    • I can truly relate! God has been so faithful to me and His presence fills me daily! Divorce is not the end to a relationship with the lover of our souls.

  33. I also wanted to say something to all the woman that are dealing with separation and divorce. I know it feels awful. It hurts so terribly bad, that words are hard to describe it. I will pray for you all. Remember God is with you and He will use your pain to restore you. 1 Peter 5:10 “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of grace, who has called you to eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm,strengthen,and establish you.” God be with and bless you all with courage, strength, kindness, and love. May the peace of God find you and dwell in you today and always. In Jesus name, Amen!

  34. Someone who cares says:

    For all of the beautiful women who are feeling lonely and unlovable, I pray you find strength in the Lord, and I pray that He shows you He is the God of all comfort. You are God’s precious masterpiece, the God of all creation created you in His image, He LOVES you farther and deeper and wider than any poor male human sinner deceived and misled by the enemy ever could. You do not belong to those misled men, YOU BELONG TO GOD. Dive into His word, accept His eternal love, His mercy, turn to Him, seek Him and you will find Him, draw closer to Him and He will draw closer to you. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Forgiveness will set you free. You will be made alive in Christ Jesus. These are His promises to you, His precious daughter. Trust Him to heal your brokenness. He will never break His promises. His love endures forever.

  35. Elizabeth says:

    PERFECT TIMING!! Thanks I needed this!

  36. Thank you for this encouraging Valentine Devotional! Sometimes Valentine’s Day can be difficult when you are single. I try to stay positive by of course remembering how much I am loved and adored by my Heavenly Father! Also, I enjoy sending Valentine Cards to close family and friends. An Act of Kindness to a stranger can also be uplifting.

  37. Kerry-Anne O'Malley says:

    Thank you for this lovely devotional. It is wonderful to have Proverbs 31 in my life.
    Accidently I deleted the devotional of a few days ago titled Fighting for your Husband.
    Do you think Amy that you could arrange to send it to me again.
    I wanted to share with a friend.
    Thanks and God Bless.
    Kerry-Anne

  38. Amy,
    Thanks for the soothing balm of truth. I still hurt. Everyday in my marriage.

  39. I absolutely hate Valentines Day! It’s a day, more than any other that reminds me that I am not loved! I will be 50 this Valentines Day and I will be alone. I don’t ever remember having a love filled Valentines Day. Yes, I was married for 25 years but never felt love. Never got a card or a gift, not even a hug. I’m divorced now and still alone! I am a Christian but I don’t even feel God’s love. I’m not sure why I was ever created!

  40. Amy Carroll says:

    Sisters, I’ve been reading your comments and praying for each of you during the day. Each of your hearts is precious to Jesus, and I’m praying He overwhelms you with His love for you.

  41. I feel like this was written for me!! Thank you for this devotion! My husband of 7 years has had several affairs and told me right before Christmas that he doesn’t know if he can be faithful! I have been with him since I was 15 years old! We have two little boys and have been through two deployments! Praying for Gods grace and comfort!! So thankful for Proverbs 31!!!

  42. I have a loving husband that likes to take me out for dinner and allot of the times he is away from the home and I have been heartbroken because I have my doubts inside me but I need to remember that verse Lysa wrote in her book on page 88. “Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past. See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” Isaiah 43:18-19. Enjoy what we have today because we don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow only God Knows. I am Praying for all the ladies who are broken hearted, you hold a place in my heart and so does God!

  43. Thank you so much! This devotion is for me. I am hurting everyday if I didn’t have GOD in my life to guide me and to put other people like you to remind me everyday, that the love of GOD is deeper.

    Thank you again!

  44. My fiancé ended things with me a week ago because He “didn’t have the same feelings for me anymore.” Sometimes the pain sneaks in but surprisingly I have seen so much more Love from God through my friends, family, coworkers, gym members, and athletes that I coach this past week that the sadness of the situation is slightly diminished! I know feeling through the hurt helps in the healing process but I honestly haven’t been able to rest there long because I’m aware of all the blessings surrounding me! God has never filled me with such comfort in being alone and excitement that I get to do things for and work on ME instead of US! I intended to write more about the depressing circumstances of my break up to ask for prayers but I’ve found myself scrolling through other posts and praying for my sisters! And right now I’ve never been more thankful to be going through this because now I am able to relate to you guys and your pain in a way I never could have before. God is good.

  45. This is my first Valentines Day without my husband in over 42 years. He’s having Valentines Day with Jesus this time in heaven. Never really thought about Him being mine too. I have dreaded all these “firsts” without him. I need to let Jesus fill my heart, and replace the dread with hope.

  46. LaDonna Bush says:

    I pray that I raised my own two children with a sense of continuity of following God’s direction to raise their own children. With 7 grandchildren I know that one of my own is overwhelmed with her responsibilities and I pray that she learns to lean and trust God more.

  47. Thank God for P31 ministry team!

  48. Happy Friday?. 2 years ago I was served with divorce papers the day before Valentine’s Day! Today I remember Who my real Valentine is, He died for me. He saved me. He sustains me. Today I say to Him as the psalmist said, “You are my God & I will give You praise. You are my God & I will exalt You. Give thanks to the LORD for He is good & His mercy endures forever.” Happy Valentine’s DAY.

  49. My husband of 10 years and with whom I have four children left me Sunday. I had an affair via text messages 5 months ago – never physical – but just as damaging. It made me realize what our relationship was lacking and we began to go to counseling. I thought that we were on the road to forgiveness when he told me that he doesn’t think that he can love me anymore and he moved out. He said that he still isn’t sure if this is temporary or the precursor to a divorce. I’ve prayed for a time machine to undo my actions. He does not share my Faith completely, but he does believe and attends, well attended, church with me. Valentines day is in 5 days and I am devastated. All I want is my family back. I would give up Valentine’s Day for an eternity if it meant I could have my husband back.

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