Mother loved Valentine’s Day. For that matter, Mother loved Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, Independence Day, Groundhog Day…any occasion to decorate the table and front door with cut-out animals, dressed in holiday colors.
Near the first of February, Cupids appeared in our windows and waved coyly from our front door. Two weeks later, chocolate bunnies smiled from our breakfast table. Homemade cards fancified with doilies and foil hearts were tucked into our school bags. As soon as we returned home from school on Valentine's Day, the baked-sugar smell of cookies sent us to salivating—and running—toward the kitchen. Of course Mother had used a heart-shaped cookie cutter!
It took a bit of time, but God taught my husband Alan to be romantic and thoughtful like Mother. On February 14, the door opened to harried florists who delivered bouquets of roses, heart-shaped ivy topiaries, and boxes of imported chocolates.
For years, Valentine’s Day served as an opportunity to stock up on chocolate, sweet-smelling plants, and send silly and serious “love” cards. Getting love mainly by the act of consumerism. Giving love in the same way.
I’m grateful for every cupid that expressed love through these gifts. But my favorite Valentine memory has nothing to do with what we got in the Lacy house, everything to do with what we gave in the Lacy house.
It was 2002. Alan and I facilitated a small group of newlyweds, who added vibrancy and friendship and the joy of babies into our middle-aged lives. As Valentine’s Day approached, we longed to do something “different.” Something Christlike.
The idea popped into my head when one of our groupies lamented their tight budget as February 14th edged closer. The price of an elegant dinner plus the cost of a sitter trumped any chance for our three young couples to enjoy candlelit, prime rib dates.
“Why don’t we cook for them?” I asked Alan. “Rather I’ll cook for them,” tumbled out as his face went white. “Thomas could be a waiter. You could be the maitre d’.”
Alan shook his head vehemently in his Eeyore way, then mused for a few hours. “I think it might work,” he said, as we ate dinner later that night.
“What might work?”
“That Valentine idea of yours. Just do me one favor.” He put his hand on mine.
Tigger-like, I bounced up and down in my chair. “What?”
“Don’t go overboard.”
“No problem,” I quickly agreed, my mind whirling with the possibilities. Two entrees, red meat and chicken. Tablecloths. A romantic room in our house for each couple. Personalized questions to discuss during dinner. Chocolate dessert. Candles. French love songs. Intimacy. Privacy. Romance.
By the afternoon of February 14th, even our son had been infected with the Valentine mood. He checked with friends who worked at restaurants and dug through his closet to create the perfect waiter ensemble. My cookaphobic Alan actually stirred a few pots, warmed a few rolls.
A wonderful Spirit settled over our home, as did the scent of home-cooked food, narcissus candles, and the soothing notes of French love songs. The couples dressed in their silk and satin and wool suits and played perfectly their roles. They sipped sparkling grape juice. Savored appetizers. Lingered over their entrees. Gobbled down the chocolate.
When we hugged the last couple good-bye, we Lacys sank into our easy chairs and savored the smells and sights and sounds of Valentine’s. Then three able-bodied adults tackled the trashed-out kitchen and private “dining rooms.” That one year, Valentine was about aching feet, dishwater-rough hands. About giving. About living.
May the Spirit of our Lord permeate Valentine’s Day and help you to make it special for someone. Can’t wait to hear YOUR special Valentine’s memories!
Front Page Headlines
Sequel to "Tattooed by Jesus!"
January 24, 2017
2017 brings three research projects...and a new book! » read story
"Tattooed for Jesus" cover
March 23, 2015
A cover picked from Illinois State University's gifted Design Streak Studio class! » read story
Book signing tomorrow!!! May 31 from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.
See you at Heyworth Public Library!+ » read story
April 16, 2014
Snowdrfits and -19 temperatures = great winter writing! » read story
"Reclaiming Lily" giveaway!
February 18, 2014
Bethany House generosity soothes winter blues!! » read story
2014 Begins with a Blizzard!
January 27, 2014
New writing partner? Hercules, the Arctic Vortex! » read story
Phases and Stages...
October 26, 2013
Oh, the phases and stages of life! ! I've said good-bye to relatives and dear friends this year, partnered with a talented friend to capture the memoir of an extraordinary Louisiana lady, and set aside for the moment work on three fiction projects. Through it all, God has placed His Hand on my shoulder and still whispers the words, the themes, the approach. » read story
Four projects...and a swirl of gray matter!
January 23, 2013
First it was the Irishwoman, way back in 2008. Next came What the Bayou Saw, a story from my roots. 2011 brought two books in one year. What's new for 2013? » read story
July 9, 2012
Jesus spoke of it often. Ha Jin novelized it.
» read story
It's official! I signed a contract with Bethany House to write the latest story God laid on my heart, Reclaiming Lily. » read story
The Rhythm of Secrets
July 25, 2010
Look for the Rhythm of Secrets in January of 2011! » read story
The Rhythm of Secrets
February 23, 2010
Manuscript My Name is Sheba transformed into The Rhythm of Secrets » read story
Contract for My Name is Sheba
January 20, 2010
Kregel Publications has signed a contract to publish My Name is Sheba!
Mardi Gras celebration going on here!! » read story
Even Old Dogs Learn New Tricks
December 1, 2009
This old dog has got a real-life blog! Why don't y'all come over and see me sometime?? » read story
Give thanks with a grateful heart.
November 1, 2009
Give thanks with a grateful heart,
Give thanks to the Holy One...
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, share a blessing, and you will be entered in a random drawing for a $15 Barnes & Noble gift card » read story/enter contest
October 30, 2009
Becky Tidwell, CONGRATULATIONS!
It was an IMPOSSIBLE task!
How did I DO IT? Burp! Burp! Read on!
P.S. Thanks for a month of laughs!!! » read story
Random drawing for nothing less than awesome!
October 16, 2009
Hey! Wanna visit my other blog? Read on! Or is that write on??? » read story
Writer returns to Southern roots
October 15, 2009
Metarie rocked as friends, family, and N'Awlins bibliophiles swamped one of American's most gorgeous Barnes &Nobles stores Oct 10. » read story
Writer again returns to roots--in the classroom!
October 15, 2009
Bleachers filled with scrubbed, smiling students--and God--provided supernatural energy. What a blessing it was to share my passion for writing! » read story
Calling All Mascot-Lovers. Rah! Rah! Rah!
October 1, 2009
In a rare spirit of compromise, this sports disliker will send a $15 Target gift card to some lucky visitor! The catch? Just name your favorite team mascot. » read story/enter contest
A Lose-Lose Situation!
September 30, 2009
Have you ever been in a lose-lose situation? Choosing ONE winner from this contest was IMPOSSIBLE--so I had my son pick a number from my "finalist" entries. The winner is.....Pat Grau!
Read on about an amazing wedding gift...at an amazing wedding. » read story
Wonderful times at area bookstores
September 28, 2009
Dear friends, my heart pulses with gratitude at your enthusiastic support during my appearances at the Hoerr Berean Grand Openings this past weekend. As always, I gain much more by YOUR appearance than you ever do by mine! » read story
The Miraculous Moment Arrives
September 23, 2009
As long as my synapses fire, I will cherish the mind's image of my daughter, aglow in her ivory gown, floating down the aisle on the arm of my husband, more handsome than he was when WE walked down the aisle 32 years ago.
» read story
HOW TO STAY BUSY PREWEDDING
September 14, 2009
Only FIVE MORE DAYS till we Lacys celebrate our FIRST WEDDING! What am I doing to stay busy?? » read story
54-year-old learns to blog!
September 11, 2009
So you CAN teach an old dog new tricks! » read story
September 1, 2009
For a $15 Barnes & Noble gift card, share a wedding memory! It can tickle my funny bone, bring tears to my eyes. Why am I doing this? READ ON!!! » read story/enter contest
August Contest Winner
August 31, 2009
Kudos to Carrie Turansky and Charity: water! You've won the August website contest! Read on, folks, to learn about a heroic group! » read story
Writer Returns to Scene of Crime
August 4, 2009
Oh, I had a blast whooping it up at Books A Million, scene of a former crime--I mean book signing--in Terre Haute. » read story
July 31, 2009
The unchurched in Bangladesh. An orphanage in the Ukraine. A soup kitchen in your own downtown. What organizations pull at your heart--and your billfold? For the August contest, I'm offering a $50 check to the registered charity of your choice AND a $10 Barnes & Noble gift card to the winning entrant.
» read story
Saving the Best for Last
July 30, 2009
South Bend has been added to my list of the Midwest's favorite cities. Wanna know why? » read story
Congratulations, Virginia Campbell
July 30, 2009
Dear readers, thanks for lovely memories! It was harder to pick one name than it is to choose a truffle from a Godiva box. How I'd like to choose every entry!
Here's the top choices. Enjoy! » read story
Leaving the best of me behind
July 25, 2009
I left the best of me in Marion...but it's time to move on » read story
Day three (continued)
July 24, 2009
Jamey Johnson's and Selah's music carry me onward and upward. » read story
Day three, Indiana trip
July 23, 2009
Uncommon persons of the Fort Wayne kind... » read story
Day two, Indiana trip
July 22, 2009
An author criss-crosses Indiana...and finds hospitality in the heart of Nagaland. » read story
Day one of Indiana Road Trip
July 20, 2009
Blessings about from the Hoosier state! Just for fun, I'm blogging about God-stops along the way. Read more... » read story
Another reason to write
July 14, 2009
God, you deliver new mercies with every morning. Oh, how I delight to see what's next... » read story
4th of July memories
July 1, 2009
For a $15 Barnes & Noble gift certificate, share your favorite Independence Day memory. Can't wait to hear from y'all! » read story/enter contest
A Writer's Dream Day
June 30, 2009
Number of pages written? Zero. Value of twenty-four hour period? Priceless. » read story
Congratulations, Jeanne Graves!
June 30, 2009
Apparently quite a few of my readers are itching to get away, several to the Holy Land! Read on... » read story
Critique partner does it again!
June 26, 2009
Don't miss Dream Chasers, by Becky Melby and Cathy Wienke! » read story
Calling all readers!
June 25, 2009
Don't miss The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society! » read story
Don't Miss This Opportunity!
June 12, 2009
Calling all writers! Don't miss this chance to improve your writing...and your relationship with God! » read story
When the world caves in, head to Warrensburg
June 11, 2009
How can a small library in a town of 1,500 people make a difference? Read on... » read story
Wanna Get Away?
June 1, 2009
If you had unlimited time and money--yeah, we're summer dreaming--what getaway spot would you choose? Think big, think bold--and you just might win a $15 Barnes & Noble gift card!
Now for a different take on summer vacation, read All That Chicago Has to Offer » read story/enter contest
May 31, 2009
Congratulations, Diana! YOU--and Estee Lauder--are the big winners of May's Perfumania winner. READ Diana's poignant story of perfume...and memory. Then check out the top ten fragrances! » read story
Why I Write
May 21, 2009
Bad reviews. Lonely early mornings...and late nights. Plummeting sales.
Why DO I write? » read story
May flowers...and memories
May 1, 2009
I've always loved the season that brings perky daffodils, elegant tulips, shockingly orange poppies with their sassy black eye. But Daddy introduced me to a glorious world of flower fragrance--at the men's cologne counter of a department store!
For a $15 Barnes & Noble gift card, name your favorite perfume, and describe it! » read story/enter contest
Easter Memory contest winner
April 30, 2009
Congratulations to Gayla Collins, the winner of the Easter memory contest. Thanks to the many who shared from their treasure trove of Easters present...and past. Be sure to read all about 'em under Favorites/Lists! » read story
Easter memory contest!
April 1, 2009
For a $15 Barnes & Noble gift card, share YOUR most poignant Easter memory. Contest begins TODAY and will end on April 30.
» read story/enter contest
Winner, March contest!
April 1, 2009
Thanks, all of you who submitted heartwarming entries for the latest contest. Congratulations to Susanne Schurter, the winner of March's "Your Hero" contest! Read more for a poignant article by a wonderful young writer. » read story
March 3, 2009
I have a new hero, my baby brother, who is159th Fighter Wing Commander of the Air Guard in New Orleans, Louisiana. He's fought against both human forces and the forces of nature who've tried to destroy us and recently gave this speech at the wing change of command ceremony.
For the March contest, tell me your flesh-and-blood, modern-day hero. Winner receives a $15 Barnes & Noble gift card! » read story/enter contest
March 2, 2009
Congratulations, Ariel! You won the February Memories contest. Read my five favorite memories!l And thanks, Readers, for sharing your romantic secrets! » read story
Valentine's memory contest!
February 1, 2009
Pull out old love cards, faded corsages, and empty chocolate boxes. For a $15 Barnes & Noble gift card, share your favorite Valentine's memory by February 29. Top entries will be posted under Headline News » read story/enter contest
Congratulations, Kelly Ann Thuet!
January 31, 2009
Congratulations, Kelly Ann Thuet, for your winning entry! READ these entertaining and poignant snow stories! And don't miss Diane Baum's poignant Christmas memory, which got lost in my mass of files.
Check out Favorites/Lists to see if YOUR entry made the Top Twenty! » read story
Congratulations, Rachel Robertson!
January 5, 2009
Congratulations, Rachel Robertson! You're December's contest winner!
Read Rachel's poignant Christmas memory--and the finalists who wowed me and my son Thomas, the judges! » read story
December's Christmas Memories Contest
December 1, 2008
For a $15 Barnes & Noble gift card, share your favorite Christmas memory! May the peace of Christ Jesus wash over you as you ponder His glorious sacrifice for mankind. Feliz Navidad! » read story/enter contest
November 30, 2008
Congratulations to Martha Artyomenko, winner of the November contest!
Get ready to salivate as you read all about it!
» read story
Winner, October Contest
October 30, 2008
Congratulations, Deb Cleveland, for winning a $15 Barnes & Noble gift certificate with your wonderful entry to the "It's Time for Revival Contest." » read story
It's Time for Revival!
October 1, 2008
October contest: "Revive us again, Lord. Revive us again."
For a $15 Barnes and Noble gift card, read more! » read story/enter contest
September contest: best school days memory
September 2, 2008
Congratulations to Christy Hawkes, winner of a $15 Barnes & Noble gift card. Thanks to all the wonderful entries--check out some of my favorites at the Favorites/Lists feature on this website. Now for Christy's entry... » read story
The Audience of One
August 9, 2008
Have you been slapped by a verbal rebuff from someone in the publishing industry? Spit upon by a rejection letter from that agent of your dreams? Perhaps this article is for you... » read story
August Contest winner: Deathbed memory
August 2, 2008
Congratulations to Jane Squires, winner of the August contest. Jane will receive a $15 Barnes & Noble card. Thanks for the fabulous entries! » read story/enter contest
A Bit o' Irish in All of Us
March 1, 2008
Kregel Publications has recently announced the release date of my first novel, tentatively titled An Irishwoman's Tale, as August 31, 2008.
To celebrate (and because March 17 is St. Patrick's Day), I'm honoring the Irish among us (or in us) for this month's contest! » read story
The 2007 ACFW National Convention in Dallas
October 17, 2007
Over five hundred writers gathered in Dallas to praise God, eat chocolate, fine-tune their writing craft, conduct a bit of business, socialize, did I mention eat chocolate? The keynote speaker, James Bell, admonished us to, "never stop learning, never stop writing, never stop reading." » read story
Patti's Writing News
September 17, 2007
An Irishwoman's Tale, Patti Lacy's first novel, will be published in the summer of 2008 by Kregel Publications.
Unsettled Waters: A Story of Deception, is now complete!
To read more... » read story
Freedom to Read, Even in Jail?
July 15, 2007
"Across the nation, religious texts are disappearing from America's prison libraries." » read story
Setting an Example
April 27, 2007
Ninety-six-year-old published for first time! » read story
The Raging Battle
April 22, 2007
A teacher's struggle to make a difference in the life of a student named Amber. » read story
A Slow Learner's Writing Plan
February 21, 2007
So you want to be a writer...What's your next step? If you've picked up a pen... » read story