Valentine’s Musings

IMG_2042In previous years my single friends often refer to Valentine’s Day as “Singleness Awareness Day”, often seemingly bitter about the fact that they do not have a person with whom to share the day.  I certainly understand the frustration, as 2014 will mark another year out of many that I am alone.

Yes, it is easy to look at couples with a certain amount of jealousy.  However, this year my perspective has shifted.  If you read this blog in late 2012 or early to mid 2013, you know that during portions of these timeframes I experienced very powerful and, one could argue, life-transforming feelings of love.  A multitude of days were punctuated with great hopes, uncertainty, and terrible fears; unfortunately, the grand adventure didn’t end particularly well.  I snapped the above photo while with the Sarvis campaign in Lynchburg on July 28th, 2013.  At that time, some small part of me wanted my dreams of love to hold fast even though they had already more or less melted away like a pile of snow in a spring thaw.

Like so many facets of life, the whole journey had its positive and negative consequences, but if I could focus on something positive for a moment, that experience led me to a whole host of new friends, political contacts, and a faith community in the form of the RISE Methodist Church in Harrisonburg.  Prior to that time, I had been without a regular church for a multitude of years, and I must say that I was glad for the opportunity to participate in worship with these new brothers and sisters in Christ.

The fact that I could discover love, even a strained, confusing, and often one-sided variety that it was, gives me hope that one day I’ll be able to find that exceptional woman with whom I can share the rest of my life.  This Valentine’s Day message is for her. 1890986_10151961470444077_599885035_n

As I posted on Facebook, RISE has honored me by asking me to join in their mission trip to Guatemala next month.  Although I am looking forward to the opportunity to serve, I do remember that one of my cousins met his wife on such a foreign adventure.  It is important to be mindful of opportunities when they present themselves.  Then again, I hear you often find love when you least expect it.

Friends, if you are single, don’t be bitter about Valentine’s Day.  Do I need to tell you that it is better to be single than to be with the wrong person?  I cannot count how many couples I have seen who are terrible for each other; nevertheless, due to the fear of being alone they make decisions that lead to unhappy marriages, dysfunctional families, and, ultimately, troubled children.  No one deserves to be subjected to an abusive relationship.  And, conversely, if you have succeeded in finding that special someone, remember that despite what the ads tell you, materialism isn’t the mark of true love; love isn’t properly measured by dollars spent but rather the strength of your relationship and your willingness to give of yourself to each other for the happiness of all.

But, then again, you may ask what do I know?  Obviously, I don’t have all of the answers.  Otherwise, why haven’t I found the right person yet?

Best wishes to everyone on this Valentine’s Day, both to the couples and to the singles. And, the next time Valentine’s Day comes around, I hope I can share a remarkable woman with the readers of The Virginia Conservative.

May each of you find that man or woman of your dreams and may you experience a love that surpasses your wildest expectations!

A Valentine’s Message from Pete Snyder

A few moments ago, Pete Snyder’s campaign, one of the seven candidates seeking the Republican nomination to be Virginia’s next lieutenant governor, released the following Valentine’s Day video:

Is it a bit cheesy?  There is no question.  But I have to admit that this ad is a pretty clever way for Mr. Snyder to connect to voters in a non-traditional fashion and, as I briefly mentioned in my write-up regarding the recent Middletown forum, he offers a message which particularly resonates with me given present circumstances.

In his rather brief candidacy thus far, Pete Snyder has adopted the theme of big, bold ideas.  Today, through this rather unorthodox video, his campaign has taken a bit of a gamble, but I believe that this move will pay off, capturing the attention of a good number of Republican delegates.  As his wife Burson wrote today, “…Pete works tirelessly in everything he does.  And he’ll do the same for our party and the Commonwealth.  He certainly worked tirelessly to win me over — and I’m so glad that he did!”

Ultimately, I hope that whoever proves him or herself to be the most conservative and liberty-minded candidate will emerge as the Republican lieutenant governor nominee.  But innovative campaigning is another critical element that should not be dismissed.  Therefore, I have to offer kudos to Pete Snyder and his campaign for this original Valentine’s Day maneuver.