About the Author

Jen encourages women to embrace both the beauty and bedlam of their everyday lives at BeautyandBedlam.com. A popular speaker, worship leader, and author of Just Open the Door: How One Invitation Can Change a Generation, Jen lives in North Carolina with her husband, five children, and a sofa for anyone...

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
& you will too!
Find more at DaySpring.com
(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
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Reader Interactions


  1. All those rich traditions developed over the years are filled with memories that make the holidays what we yearn for!

    But as a pastoral counselor, I talk to many women whose traditions have been completely altered or smashed to pieces by broken relationships, painful experiences, death, divorce.

    Out of those life-altering experiences, we’ve got the opportunity to make a choice to start new traditions … ones that reach out to those around us who are even in a more desolate place than we are.

    REDEEMING VALENTINE’S DAY might give just a bit of hope that all our pain can be redeemed as we reach out to someone else …

  2. Great ideas, Jennifer! My kids are all in double digits, but it is never too late to start a new tradition. I might just incorporate one of your great ideas. Praying you are saturated with love on your crazy busy Valentine’s Day.

  3. I love the simple tradition of making homemade sugar cookies, with lots of pink frosting of course, and I have at least 5 different sizes of heart shaped cookie cutters. Our kids are grown, but they still love our family’s Valentine cookies! I make plenty to share with friends if they bring someone over with them, and sometimes, if timing works out, I let them do the frosting and decorating. ( I like when that works out!)

  4. I love to cook, so I usually handle the meals in our house, but on Valentine’s Day, my husband always makes breakfast. And we always eat it together.

  5. Thank you for sharing the 10 Things I Love about You idea. We are very tight on money, so this is perfect. I always tell my husband I love him, but I never tell him why.

  6. Thanks Jennifer! I loved the 10 things I love about you… printed and wrote before our celebration tonight (3 sports on Tuesdays). The power of words, especially those of encouragement, are just priceless. Have a great celebration with your family! We’re off to do our scavenger hunt!

  7. with all the extended family and homes that doe not have square footage to accommodate all in one space for holidays, we have the tradition of having heart days rather than having anyone feel they are not having the actual day wit whomever…..
    the little ones have grown up with this idea and are now taking this into their new extensions. it is having tremendously positive results..

  8. Jennifer, how great is your “10 things I love about you”? I love things that come from the heart…and I’m not a great baker, a good eater, not a good baker.

    BTW, I really appreciate the PS. So many times I feel this squeeze in my belly that I have to create the most memorable whatever. It can feel like such a major responsibility, instead of an outpouring of love. Thanks for your drawing us away from fear and motherhood legalism! You give freedom with your vulnerability!

  9. I found out I was pregnant on February 14 (9 years ago). It was a time of mixed emotion, as I was only 18, and her Father has never been in the picture. I’ve made Valentine’s between my daughter and I a celebration – of life, and family (her and I).
    Thank you for sharing some great ideas – along with the importance of tradition.
    My hope is that this, along with each blessed day would bring both of us greater healing and togetherness and love.

  10. THank you Jennifer, I printed out the cards “10 things I love about you” and it made breakfast with heart shaped pancakes so meaningful! Thank you for providing the encouragement and making it so easy!

  11. Loved the 10 things I love about you. My hubby and I tell each other daily that we love each other, but don’t usually express the why of that love.

    That is a wonderful & clever idea that I will start this month.