I’m getting the hang of this.  It only took a week or so.  That’s not so bad, right?
Well, I’ve gotten the hang of the doing…not the posting of the doing.
Day 4-Love is Thoughtful
“When you first fell in love, being thoughtful came quite naturally.  You spent hours dreaming of what your loved one looked like, wondering what he or she was doing…But for most couples, things began to change after marriage.  You drift into focusing on your job, your friends, your problems, your personal desires, yourself.  After a while, you unintentionally begin to ignore the needs of your mate…..If you don’t learn to be thoughtful, you end up regretting missed opportunities to demonstrate love.  Thoughtlessness is a silent enemy to a loving relationship.”
DARE: CONTACT YOUR SPOUSE SOMETIME DURING THE BUSINESS OF THE DAY.  HAVE NO AGENDA OTHER THAN ASKING HOW HE OR SHE IS DOING AND IF THERE IS ANYTHING YOU COULD DO FOR THEM.
Again, upon reading this day’s thoughts and dare, I was not overwhelmed.  Matt and I usually talk a couple of times a day, and some days I do call (or he does) to check on how he is. But that’s not the whole dare.
I like to see how my honey’s doing, but I rarely think to myself, “I love him, so I’ll ask what else I can do today to add to my (already impossible) list of to-do’s.  So I did.  He just chuckled and said, “For me??”  There was actually nothing he wanted me to do, but I could tell it meant a whole lot that I took the time to ask.
Day 5-Love is not Rude
“Nothing irritates others as quicly as being rude….The bottom line is that genuine love minds its manners….’I value you enough to exercise some self control around you.  I want to be a person who’s a pleasure to be with.’….Two main reasons why people are rude: ignorance and selfishness…..Will you dare to be delightful?”
DARE: 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.  THIS IS FROM THEIR PERSPECTIVE ONLY.
Well, well, well.  This one hit close to home for me.  One of my weaknesses as a Christian, wife, mother, daughter has always been that I have more grace for others than my own.  I am more patient, tolerant, understanding, and gracious with others than I am Matt.  At the end of the day, I’m tired and tired of guarding myself….I just want to let it all loose, and while we are surely honest with each other, letting him have it is certainly not appropriate.  Especially if my nastiness has nothing to do with him!  It’s just very easy for me to relax too much with Matt and to let frustrations of the day come tumbling out.
Am I the only one like that?
Having Ava certainly ramped up my “crazy mom radar” and it’s been wonderful to take the time to examine my motives, my emphasis placed on self, and my heart for Matt…and to examine the actions that follow those feelings and attitudes.
I fully believe God places people in your life sometimes so that you may minister to them, and somewhere along the way, you are ministered to.  My friend who inspires me and is living out the faith I always talk about, thank you for inspiring me to take this journey.  It’s already been invaluable; a little self-reflection was needed around here.
I did ask Matt to tell me some things that bothered him, and he wanted to think about it a little.  Don’t worry, he gave plenty later!  When things would get sticky with the kids and I might snap at him, he let me know that’s really the only thing that irritated him.  I figure if that’s it, I better get my act together and work on it!   I do pray for more grace towards him and even Grayson….my stress has sky rocketed lately and I feel abnormally irritated with Grayson, even when it’s not that big of a deal.  Matt and I want to discipline well, but we do want to do it all out of love, not frustration and anger.
On a side note, I’ve also been convicted (thanks for the book referral, Lisa!) that it’s absolutely wrong to parent so that I may “look good in front of other parents” or have Grayson “perform” his manners and tricks.  I have always wanted to teach him the heart of Christ and His love for him, His creation, and then teach rules.  Loving Jesus will make a leader for Christ out of him….and it’s the same with parenting.  Teaching him to obey me just to obey me is not enough….I should be teaching him to obey me because God blesses children who honor their parents.  On that note, I don’t want him to see me parent out of frustration constantly; this negates all the wisdom in teaching he might gain.
Off to bed to get ready for another day…..
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