Find Real Love in the Month of February

Real Love in February

Yes, February, the month of love, is almost upon us. If you haven’t noticed, I use the term “love” to describe a lot of things. I love my amazing husband. I love my two little C’s. I love a good DIY project. I spend a lot of time “loving,” but even so, I feel like God has been teaching me some lessons about love lately, through a children’s book of all things.

I recently purchased Max Lucado’s book You Are Special for the C’s. {I think Max was probably chuckling to himself while writing this book, knowing that parents would buy it for their kids but actually learn more from it themselves.}

In the book, little wooden people called Wemmicks spend their days passing out stars and dots to one another—stars for achievements and accomplishments, dots for mistakes and mess ups. The main character, Punchinello, keeps to himself, embarrassed by his many dots, until one day he meets Lucia, a Wemmick with no stars or dots. Wondering how this could be, he asks her about her mark-less status, and she directs him to Eli the woodcarver, their maker. Punchinello goes to visit Eli, who lets him in on Lucia’s secret, “She has decided that what I think is more important than what they think. The stickers only stick if you let them.”

The stickers only stick if you let them. I was immediately comforted when I read this, thinking, “Yeah! Other people can’t give me dots! I only care what God thinks of me. It doesn’t matter what they think!” What an encouraging thought. I must be an awesome mom to instill such wisdom in my children. {haha}

But as soon as I had encouraged myself that others’ dots don’t matter {a wonderful truth, for sure}, God seemed to whisper, “You can’t shed the dots and keep collecting stars.” Ouch. Well wasn’t that just a slap in the face?

You see, I have lived most of my life like the Wemmicks, striving to collect others’ stars while avoiding their dots at all costs. I wanted others to see me as the girl who has it all together {I certainly don’t}, who is never seen without make up {it’s scary, but it happens}, who flawlessly organizes and decorates her home {far from it}, who raises smart, well-behaved children {they’re wonderful, but oh-so-wild}, etc., etc., etc. But what was I gaining by collecting meaningless stars?

Or, more tragically, what was I losing? I think of how many of my relationships have probably suffered because I have been so busy preserving my “stars” that I wasn’t willing to be with someone in the midst of their “dots.” After all, how will I love “my neighbor” if I spend all of my time crossing to the other side of the road to stay out of their mess?

To take it a step further, how many opportunities have I missed because I was too busy handing out my own stars and dots? I was sitting in church one Sunday waiting for the service to start when I began people-watching. Without realizing it, I had started subconsciously distributing dots, thinking things like, “Eh, I really wouldn’t have worn those shoes with that outfit.” “Somebody needs to dye her roots.” “That necklace? Really?”

The Holy Spirit was certainly alive and well in the sanctuary that day because no sooner had those thoughts crossed my mind than I heard, “How will you love them if you’re too busy judging them?” Busted. What was I doing? I was sitting there criticizing trivial things about people who I didn’t even know in a place where I had come to worship the One who knows all about my faults and loves me anyway. There was something seriously wrong with that picture.

Since that day, I’ve been on a mission to rid my life of stars and dots–accepting them AND distributing them. It’s not an easy process. As Eli tells Punchinello, “It will take time. You’ve got a lot of marks.” Fortunately, though, Eli also tells little Punch the secret to becoming an unmarked Wemmick, “The more you trust my love, the less you care about the stickers…Just come to see me every day and let me remind you how much I care.” We can’t do away with stars and dots out of sheer willpower; if we try to do it on our own, we will fail every time. We need to be so consumed with God’s love that we are bursting at the seams and can’t help but spill that love out to everyone in our lives.

Our Maker, the Creator of the Universe, thinks we are special because He made us. And if our security is in His love, why would we ever need dots or stars? Let’s go see Him today and be reminded of how much He cares.

This post contains an affiliate link. View my disclosures here.


  1. Thanks for sharing this, Abby! What a neat story. A precious reminder of God’s unconditional love for us and how much we need Him.

    1. abbylawson says:

      Thank you, Dawn! So true…thank goodness His love IS unconditional or I’d be in BIG trouble! Thank you so much for reading!

      ~Abby =)

  2. love the analogy!
    thanks for linking up with us!

    1. abbylawson says:

      Thank you, Edie! Thanks for hosting!

      ~Abby =)

  3. Oh, my! You Are Special is one of our family’s favorite books! It is a wonderful message, isn’t it? My husband is the one who first discovered it in a bookstore near a courthouse where he was trying a case. Lunches are long in court, so he walked around the picturesque town and saw the cute Christian bookstore — that he didn’t realize was Christian! — and stopped in. You Are Special just jumped out at him and he bought it when we only had one child. He has read it to all 3 of our children numerous times since, and it has strengthened our faith and understanding of God’s nature!

    Thanks so much for sharing, Abby! Your little ones are so adorable, and you look lovely!

    1. abbylawson says:

      Thank you, Jeannine! You are so sweet! What a cute story of how your husband found the book, too–it is a great one! Thanks so much for visiting my blog!

      ~Abby =)

  4. Colleen Oakes says:

    Just found your blog and love it! Thanks for your gorgeous thoughts. *Dots and stars* – I need to be less attached to them!

    1. abbylawson says:

      Aww, thanks, Colleen! Thank you for reading!!

      ~Abby =)

  5. Cousin! Love this post! I’m taking a break from working and perusing your blog. Cracked up because when I searched for the book online (wanted to Wish List it so I could remember to get a few copies for some friends’ kids later), I saw that Barnes and Noble had rated the book… with 5 “stars”. 🙂 Sending many many hugs to you from Ireland! Hope you’re enjoying your vacation!

    1. abbylawson says:

      Lol! That is ironic! I’m loving following your adventures on your blog! I can’t wait to have you over when you get back so I can hear all about it in person! Love you, cousin!

      ~Abby =)

  6. Hello Abby,

    Wow. I just wanted to take a moment to thank you.

    I just sat down at my laptop and googled ‘How to become organised?’ because quite frankly my life is a mess right now. I read one of your posts about time blocking which was very helpful and continued on reading random posts until I read this one.

    This post wasn’t what I was expecting at all but was exactly what I was looking for without knowing it. It was a much needed shock to the system.

    A few things that amazed me about my experience with your blog:
    (I like lists too)

    – I am a student with a love of creativity. I love the idea of blogging, living a healthy life style, being productive etc etc etc… but my attempts have always been fueled by good intentions and short term motivation. I seem to find life getting the better of me more and more lately. Basically your blog stands out to me as a reminder of the person I have been trying to be and really want to be. Your writing and life experience has inspired me to stay motivated and do the best I can to figure things out for the long term not just as a quick fix solution.

    – I recently started attending church. Which I must admit is a very strange thing for me to do due to my past experiences but somehow I ended up attending a lovely local gathering that has started to become a big part of my life. I know it will be a slow journey for me but it was encouraging to read that you are a christian. This post in particular actually helped my attempts at trying to understand what it means to live as a christian and what it means to live a good life.

    – I have started trying to make my own blog, mainly for myself to help collect my thoughts and a chance at recording some of my experiences. I think it is important to read about other people lives and talk about your own. It all comes down to connection right? Basically I found myself identifying with you greatly in this blog in terms of the kind of person I want to be and how I would love to try and create my blog. You seem to be lovely, genuine, honest, kind and humble. All traits I admire greatly.

    I guess what I am trying to say is thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences here as they have inspired me and filled me with motivation to stick to my goals and attempts to improve my life. I never had much of a role model growing up and I’ve noticed it has become something I like to search for in other people. You are a wonderful role model for young women and I am very happy have stumbled upon your blog.

    I hope you do not mind me wanting to express my opinion, I just felt like I needed to thank you. I appreciate your time spent creating this blog. It has helped me greatly.

  7. Lizza Streicher says:

    Great post and I positive addition! I’m loving reading your blog and getting to know you from from day 1! I don’t want to skip chapters but I actually might need help organizing my home office so I might need to skip but I promised I will read every post 🙂

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Aw, thank you so much, Lizza! So glad you are enjoying it!

      ~Abby =)

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