What Is Love? Valentine’s Day Tree

Valentine's Day Tree from At The Picket Fence label

I had been having one of those days with my kids. I don’t really want to name any names.

But, it was mostly the oldest one.

After several “please stop doing that”s and “leave your sister alone”s and “don’t make me come up there”s, my patience level was on the edge.

And then it just got tipped right over that edge. I don’t remember the specifics but I know it had something to do with someone getting in someone else’s face and then someone not telling the truth about something and then someone tattling on someone and then…well…you get the idea!

Everyone was immediately sent to their respective rooms while I attempted to get back to the Valentine’s Day craft I had been trying to work on prior to the countless interruptions.

A sweet little craft all about love.

And I wasn’t feeling very loving.

Valentines Day tree tags2

But, as I tied those tags onto the red branches that I found on clearance at Target after Christmas, I started to really think about the words I had written on them.

And I realized that if you are going to make a Valentine’s Day Tree which answers the question, “What is Love?”, you probably shouldn’t lose your patience with your kids right before.

what is love tree tag2

Because, as I read through 1 Corinthians 13 I pondered each phrase.

“Love is patient.” Am I?

“Love is kind.” Do I always show kindness? And not just on the outside but in my heart too?

“It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” Ouch!

Ummmm…maybe I don’t like this craft after all.

I think this is what is known as Divine timing!

This simple little Valentine’s Day craft stopped me in my tracks. We all know that the flowers and candy and lingerie (which of course isn’t actually a gift for me  ;-)  ) aren’t really what love is all about.

We know that it means so much more.

But what about these definitions? Is this what comes to mind when we think about love?

What is Love Valentines Tree tag2

“It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.”

Well, ummm…yeah….I’m thinking the flowers and candy and yes, even the lingerie, sound a whole lot simpler than this definition of love.

And then I got to this verse.

“It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

It sounds so strong. Courageous even!

And it made me think about just how much courage it really does take to love…and be loved.

To give it and receive it.

what is love valentines day tree at the picket fence

And then, I got to the last verse.

“Love never fails.” 

Never? But I fail. I fail in this kind of loving. I might get some of it right some of the time but I don’t get all of it right all of the time and that is for sure!

Then again, I’m going to fail, right? I’m human. I’m going to lose my patience and get angry and be envious and prideful and all of those things.

But, maybe this verse wasn’t written as much to instruct me in how to love as it was to remind me of the One who truly does NEVER fail!

And that means my “What is Love? Valentine’s Day Tree” can sit on my dining room table and not make me feel shamed or frustrated because I know I won’t ever be able to be all of those things all of the time.

Maybe it can sit on my dining room table and daily remind me of how grateful I am to be loved so deeply.

Well, I guess I better go stare at my Valentine’s Day Tree now.

I can hear someone doing something to someone who yelled at someone else about the something they touched that belonged to someone and someone is going to come tattle on the other someone….

Thanks so much for joining me today at the Fence,


P.S. Did you notice the little keys I added to my Valentine’s Day Tree? Well, they reminded me of the awesome collection of typewriter key bracelets from JuNxtaposition! And right now they are all on sale for only $30!! And jewelry, unlike lingerie, is always a welcomed gift in this house!




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  1. Michael Reddin says:

    Of course, I didn’t have to practice the “fruits of the spirit” when you were young. Wasn’t necessary!! :-)

    Beautiful post! Love you, Mom

  2. I love this post! I needed to hear this today – just like you did :-)
    Vicki @ lifeinmyemptynest recently posted..Valentine’s BuntingMy Profile

  3. Oh, darling! What a post! Thank you for sharing the real you. All of us mothers have been right where you were at times. You’re so right. Our God is perfect love and how wonderful to know we can lean on Him when we are not so loving or not so whatever. Your post makes me think of another scripture – Perfect love casts out all fear. Oh, I could write a book on that one! :)
    You are the sweetie,
    shelia ;)
    Shelia recently posted..This One’s For The GirlsMy Profile

  4. This is truly a LOVELY Valentines Day craft project. We all could use daily reminders of the fruits of the Spirit. Thank you for sharing this.
    Angelina recently posted..Diy Valentines Pin CushionMy Profile

  5. Lovely post! It’s so encouraging to me when other bloggers who are moms open up about having “those” moments with the kids. Sometimes we paint such a pretty picture of our lives that we forget the realities that pop in from time to time. The tree is beautiful, and such a wonderful reminder. :)
    Amanda @ Serenity Now recently posted..How to Organize and Store Doll Shoes and Accessories (American Girl)My Profile

    • At The Picket Fence says:

      Thanks so much Amanda! I agree that we need to all be sure to keep it “real”. My life is definitely not always a pretty picture!

  6. This is the second time this week, and it’s only Wednesday that I have heard or read a message about having a loving, forgiving, and patient spirit. It seems like we ALL need reminding from time to time how to get along and play nice!
    Great post Vanessa,
    Lisa recently posted..Bathroom Cabinet MakeoverMy Profile

  7. Wonderful writing and wonderful idea, love those small keys and your “keywords”. Always good to be reminded of :-)
    Monsterscircus recently posted..DIY triangle leather pencil caseMy Profile

  8. What a “real” encourager you are to your readers. Thanks!
    Susan @ My Place to Yours recently posted..BUBBLE WRAP: Cheaper Than TherapyMy Profile

  9. What a powerful post. You are a wonderful writer and have a way of moving me with everything you say.
    Judy recently posted..Twine PearsMy Profile

  10. Jordan@the2seasons says:

    This is such a sweet way to incorporate valentines day. Plus it has a great message!
    Jordan@the2seasons recently posted..Painting a Washer and DryerMy Profile

  11. Oh Vanessa, what a perfect post! I really do love the little tree craft, but what you said and what you LEARNED and shared was my favorite part by far.
    Debbie recently posted..A Must Share Tip for DIYersMy Profile

  12. I think this is the sweetest and most poignant post! God reached down in our hearts if they are the least little open to him! And your heart is seems to be wide open!
    God bless you!

  13. I absolutely love your Valentine’s Day Tree! I’m pinning and sharing! Thanks for sharing.
    Leslie Stewart @ House on the Way recently posted..Valentine’s Day Bowl Full of CherriesMy Profile

  14. Oh, yes, sweet girl. That chapter is all about God’s love–love that prompted him to send Jesus into the world to redeem us, not to condemn us. Rejoice! How great is the love the Father has showered on us! The one who IS love is teaching us how to love. :)

    Your tree is great, by the way!
    Richella @ Imparting Grace recently posted..We cry because it’s realMy Profile

  15. Love this! Thanks!

  16. Absolutely beautiful, Vanessa. What a perfect way to share God’s Word and the message of one of the most cherished verses of all time. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it…not to mention the perfect tags which I can’t seem to get enough of EVER. ;)
    Thank you for sharing with us and for transparency, sometimes just as rare as true love these days.
    Off to share on fb.
    The Shop Around the Corner recently posted..Somewhere in Time Vintage Shoe TagsMy Profile

  17. I love this post about real life and true love! <3
    Sue recently posted..Game Face Football CookiesMy Profile

  18. LOVE this idea! I think my favorite line is “And I wasn’t feeling so loving.” How many times have I thought this! What a beautiful reminder and a great way to spread the joy on Valentine’s Day. Totally sharing!

    Thistle recently posted..$5 Custom Curtain RodMy Profile

  19. Oh, Vanessa,
    You had me laughing out loud at this post. What divine timing. I love the tree and what it makes us stop and think about. Thanks for sharing.
    Lynn Richards recently posted..Friday RamblingsMy Profile

  20. Great post Vanessa ~yes, I think we have all had those cranky days of the kids arguing! Love the little keys on your tree- so cute!!

  21. This is a wonderful idea! I love the little keys.

  22. Vanessa,
    This is such a pretty project and such a beautiful post!
    I needed to hear this today and be reminded about real love and all it means.
    I love that bible passage!
    Thanks so much for the inspiration!

  23. I think we all need to stop and reflect every so often- whether in the blogging world or in our own private lives. We all get so caught up in things and need to realize that we should go back to basics for our values and the golden rule! What a nice way to incorporate those ideals into this sweet Valentine tree, Vanessa. :-) Sue
    P.S. I’m gonna work on this today- I can get kinda “uppity” sometimes.
    Sue recently posted..Icy MemoriesMy Profile

  24. Wow, Vanessa. You stopped ME in my tracks with this post! Thanks for reminding us about some important facets of love that we all too easily forget in the midst of our daily busy-ness. And I adore your Valentine tree too!
    Laura / The Shed blog by Pet Scribbles recently posted..In a blogging rut? Me too.My Profile

  25. Not only is your valentine’s love tree stylish and so pretty but it’s also beautiful in sentiment too! I love all the thoughtful messages you added to your tree – what a beautiful decor idea for a family or friend! Pinning :D

  26. This is such a cute idea, and would make a great centerpiece for the holiday. Thanks for sharing it Vanessa! Check out some more craft ideas for you and the whole family here: http://www.care.com/child-care-41-easy-diy-valentines-day-crafts-for-kids-p1017-q24629994.html

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