I’m often asked where my design ideas come from. What the inspiration for a particular card was.
Sometimes, I honestly don’t know. I sit down with a pen and something just sort of comes out on paper. Other times, I can pinpoint something specific.
With the “You Are Loved” card we released for Valentine’s Day 2016, I know exactly where the inspiration came from. Or, I should say, who provided the inspiration.
My Aunt Penney
She is my father’s older sister. She is in her 70s. She’s been a huge supporter of me over the years.
I remember going to her house every summer with my brother growing up. We were dropped off by my dad with $20 each (which we subsequently blew in one trip to Toys R Us) for an entire week with our aunt. And we loved it.
She took us to the movies. She helped us build forts out of bed sheets. She played Barbie with me and Gremlins with my brother. We made up some of the dumbest games to play at her house. She made us laugh.
She took us to 6 Flags and rode everything with us. Everything. Even the stuff that turned you upside down and inside out. We had an absolute blast.
She loved us and we knew it.
She did her best to teach us about love. She played hymns for us on her piano. She took us to church even though we didn’t go when we were at home.
Inspired to Love All
I think about her every Valentine’s Day.
You see, she’s never been married. I don’t even recall her having a boyfriend. She doesn’t have any children of her own. Valentine’s Day has probably been pretty lonely for her for many years.
So when it was time for me to think about designs this year to celebrate what is often advertised as a “day for lovers”, I had her in mind.
I designed a card I would want to send her. That she would be proud to receive. That would celebrate her and my love for her.
Everyone needs to hear they are loved. Love is not an emotional response that is exclusive for those in romantic relationships. Love, in it’s truest form, isn’t even rooted in romance.
Agape love is considered to be the highest form of love. It’s unconditional love. And we’re only capable of extending this kind of love because we were loved first.
Love this great - like the kind that I have for my Aunt Penney - comes from God.
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us.” - 1 John 14:18-19
As great as romantic love can be, it has limits. Romantic love is reserved for just one person in your life. But there’s a whole world of people out there who you can share God’s love with.
This Valentine’s Day, don’t just celebrate the one you love, but celebrate all those you love.
Someone needs to hear they are loved. From you.
Take the time to make sure they hear it.My Aunt Penney sure will.