That heart may deflate but the biggest one full of love never does. But are our hearts full?

©Joy Dunlap

I giggled with delight when a giant heart popped around the doorway quickly followed by my husband. Charlie surprised me last year with the biggest Valentine’s Day heart I’d ever received – large enough to cover my head – and my heart.

Like a waving banner, that heart caught my attention every day for weeks, then months.  Each time I thought of the love behind the gift, it felt as if my heart – my real heart – got hugged.

Anchored with a weighted holder, that heart stayed firm in place near our front door.  As I kept that symbol of love readily visible as I came up and down the stairs, it daily reminded me of love given.

Then, I decided to move that heart from where it had been easily visible to all, into a sitting room less frequently used. There I could see it – whenever I looked in – but others couldn’t unless they were inside and looking in that direction.

Amazingly that heart stayed fully inflated until… the fall. 

Finally, after Thanksgiving, when I went to put the Christmas tree up, that now much drooping heart got moved upstairs outside our bedroom door.  My gaze still landed on it, but rarely. And, over the next few weeks, it decreased in size so as to be barely visible over the tiny chair in the hallway.

No longer could I read the words on it.

The anchor still held that heart firmly and the ribbon still connected it, but…

The heart was no longer filled up.

No longer was it a visible sign of love.

No longer was it something I wanted others to see.

And, no longer did I find delight in it the way I once had.

Like that heart, if we’re not careful, our hearts may not delight in the presence of the Lord the way they once did.  We may move Him from the forefront to a backroom in our lives.

And, we may even relegate him so far from our thoughts, words and deeds that others don’t easily see Him in us.

The love and attention we direct to Him may deflate and diminish.

But God’s love for us never does. 

I will declare that your love stands firm forever, that you have established your faithfulness in heaven itself. Psalm 89:1-2 NIV

Today I’m remembering that heart and the feeling I had when I first received it.  As I contemplate the love that brought it to me, the joy in the gift returns.

I feel my heart filling up.

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3: 17b-19 NIV

And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5:5 NIV

  • What is one of the favorite gifts you’ve received (or given) on Valentine’s Day? 
  • Does knowing that God’s love is ever present and always available, give you peace, help you navigate daily struggles, stir delight?   
  • When is a time you felt your focus on God’s love, forgiveness, and faithfulness wane or diminish?  How did/can you respond to that? 
  • How full is your heart in God today?  Fully inflated? Losing air steadily? Somewhat deflated? Diminished so much that it’s challenging to read the Word and rest in His love?  Getting refilled?
  • What is it about God’s love that means the most to you? 

You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you. Psalm 86:5 NIV


Life is Better When It’s Full – Joy-full, Thank-full, Purpose-full and Friend-full! ™


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