Valentine’s Day – it’s for the birds

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In the Middle Ages it was popular belief that birds started looking for their mates on February 14th … Awe, lovebirds.  

In modern times, 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate line the shops for Feb. 14th …   
Now, I’m not against chocolate (trust me – I eat more than my fair share), but this Valentine’s Day we took a different route. We went with birdseed.

Even the birds need a little love.

I adore the scripture that reads:

“Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?” – Luke 12: 24

God cares for the birds, tends the grass and gives to the flowers – and He generously and watchfully cares for us too (in more grand and eternal dimensions than we can even comprehend).

“Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” – Luke 12:27

But here’s what I’ve been continually reminded of lately:
God meets our needs and showers His blessings upon us through the kind, obedient acts of others.

The non-winged angels around us seem to show up just when we need it. They offer a hug, a smile, a conversation, an act of service. And yes, these perfectly placed blessings flow forth from human hands and hearts, but there’s a root system below the surface that traces back every good gift to the God of this Universe. All roots connect to Him. He’s the One every everyday angel represents.

“The Lord answers our prayers, but it is usually through another person that he meets our needs,” President Spencer W. Kimball said.

So what’s this have to do with birds and Valentine’s Day?
We can cheerfully meet the needs of the Heavenly Father’s creations on the official day of love – especially the needs of the small, unassuming outsiders in our lives.

To the birds, our homemade suet treat comes completely unexpected (see recipe below). These little winged wonders can use any extra help they can during the cold months. To my children, this simple act offers a way to show love for creatures much smaller than themselves. And for me, it brings great joy – plain and simple.

Love for the birds – or any of His creations.
This Valentine’s Day watch for God’s creatures in need – they may be in your backyard, within your family tree, or amongst your community. Consider the outsiders, the cold, the lonely, the needy, the hungry … Really, anyone or any thing that could use a boost. Heavenly Father has countless children and creations to care for, and we can be the non-winged angels to extend His love. Now that’s something worth celebrating!

And in case you’d like to try making suet for your backyard birds, here’s a recipe my grandmother sent us:


1 Cup lard or shortening
1 Cup crunchy peanut butter

Microwave to make soft and moldable.
Then mix in:

½ Cup birdseed
½ Cup sunflower seed
½ Cup raisins (or any dried fruit)

Other mix in options: chopped apples, whole shelled peanuts, cornmeal.

Mix together and then pour into empty tuna cans or square containers that will fit a suet cage.
(We used silicone cupcake molds for some of the suet mixture and put some into a square plastic container that went into the suet cage.) Put the filled containers into the fridge or freezer until hardened. Then take outside and gift to the birdies!  (Note: Cold weather is an important element, as it keeps the suet formed well.)

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