Sitting here on Sunday night getting myself ready to start The Love Dare tomorrow (see this post if you missed what that's all about). Excited to see what the challenges will be and knowing that God can and will bless our marriage if I choose to focus on Him as I change my heart for my husband. I told my husband today that he better be prepared because starting tomorrow I was going to "love his socks off." Of course being a man, his eyebrows shot-up and I can only imagine what he was beginning to draw up in his own mind of just what exactly I meant by that. I gently let him down in telling him that this wasn't a sex thing but assured him that he would be pleased nonetheless. So goodnight for now, I'll report back tomorrow.
Monday (day 1) - Ah...starting out with patience. This books means business! Today's challenge is to remain patient and say nothing negative to your spouse. I have to say it wasn't all that hard. First of all, my husband worked night shift last night so he slept most the day. And secondly, while I can get snippy and cranky I don't usually have a problem with being negative towards him (at least I don't think so, he may have something different to say!). But I did make a big effort to watch what I said and how I said it. I decided to practice patience on the children as well since that is where it is typically more of a struggle. I really noticed a difference until the last hour or so before their bedtime and then I began to wear down. In realizing that, I am going to make more of an effort to make nighttime a smoother transition especially when Jeremy is working and I am handling all 3 kids myself.
Tuesday (day 2) - Today calls for me to practice kindness by not only avoiding saying anything negative, but by doing at least one unexpected gesture as an act of kindness. My husband worked night shift again but this was going to be the start of his time off so he was planning to get up and watch the kids at 9 so I could go have coffee at a friends house. My act of kindness was to have coffee made and ready when he woke up. I also told him I would take the two older boys so he jut had the munchkin who would most likely nap while I was gone. You know what he said? "You sure are nice!" He noticed! It felt good to do something nice for him and have it noticed.
In the interest of full disclosure I didn't do so hot in the no negative talk. We got in a stupid tiff later in the day and I definitely did not stay patient. So hard when I get emotional! But something I really want to keep working on.
Wednesday (day 3) - What's the plan for today? Along with restraining from negative comments, buy your spouse something that says, "I was thinking of you today." I wasn't sure if this would work out because I wasn't planning on going anywhere today. But this afternoon a perfect opportunity presented itself when my husband and my two younger sons all fell asleep. Nathan and I ran to Starbucks and came back to surprise daddy with his favorite drink. This was a bonus I think because Nathan was pretty excited to be on in getting something for daddy.
I still am struggling with negativity. Again, I am not saying mean or rude things to him, but it is more of an attitude thing. When I get tired or cranky I feel myself getting short and snippy. I think that counts as negative and so I see that as a continued struggle. Maybe by day 40 I will be able to report progress in that area!
Thursday (day 4) - Love is thoughtful. On that note today's challenge is to contact your spouse during the day for no other reason than to ask how they are doing or ask if there is anything they need. I choose to do this with a text message since my husband was working overtime today and wouldn't have been able to answer if I called. We normally talk everyday on his lunch break but on this day they were having lunch catered so I texted him to tell him to enjoy his lunch and not worry about calling. I also asked him if there was anything he needed me to get done for him before he got home. He never did respond and when he got home he said that he had misread it and didn't realize I was asking a question. It was a great reminder of how easy it is to misunderstand each other and as a result to miss out on the opportunity to bless our spouse or be blessed by our spouse.
Friday (day 5) - I can't believe we are on the fifth day of this challenge! That means I will be sharing this with you all tomorrow. Let's see what is in store for us today. Love is not rude - Ask your spouse to tell you three things that cause him or her to be uncomfortable or irritated with you. You must do so without attacking them or justifying your behavior. That's a doozy! Boy do I struggle to take criticism in a gracious manner. I am glad that I had all day to pray on this one while he was at work. I focused on asking God to let me be gracious in receiving whatever he has to say and that I truly am able to take it to heart.
I really tried to go into this one with an open mind but unfortunately my husband wasn't quite as open to the whole thing. He felt like this was a great way to get a fight going and in turn called this whole project stupid. Needless to say, we DID end up fighting and at this moment I am not sure if I am going to keep up with the rest of the challenge. I am going to take the rest of the weekend to pray on it.
Wrap-Up: There you have it, the good, the bad and the ugly of week one of The Love Dare. I think this is an amazing concept and can totally see it's worth. I am struggling to see if this is worthwhile if only one person in the relationship is doing it. I guess that would come down to wanting to do it to better yourself. I want to make it clear that while this project hasn't ended well so far for me, it isn't because my marriage is bad or in trouble. I am not even doing this for that reason to begin with. I believe that marriage takes an ongoing effort and I am just really wanting to do my part to be a better wife.
Linking up over at Moogie Mama. Want to join us? (I promise, it's not as scary as it looks:)