Thursday, September 30, 2010

Day Nine - Hello Honey!

I was challenged to greet my honey with a smile and enthusiasm.  Huh, I thought.  I ALWAYS greet Ron with a smile.  I do!  Don't I?  Really?

(Note:  The graphics are not working on this site, imagine with me a great big smile right HERE)


No, I haven't.  I've greeted my husband with a tapping foot if he didn't walk in the door at 6:45 p.m.  A pained look if my days has been bad.  A brief 'hi dear" if the day was normal.  Heaven FORBID if he was late, or forgot something, or didn't have his hearing aides on.

Now, here is this man who works long, hard hours and I'm giving him a bad, ugly time.  Shame, shame, shame.

(Image a picture of one sexy, sweaty hard working and handsome guy right here ....or a pic of Ron -----KIDDING, it IS Ron, right here!)


I can really value how much he deserves having the good side of me.

Tommorow's Dare:

Do something out of the ordinary today for your spouse - something that proves (to you and to them) that your love is based on your choice and nothing else.  Wash his car.  Clean his den.  Buy his favorite dessert.  FOld the laundry.  Demonstrate love to them for the sheer joy of being their partner in marriage.

Psalm 32:10  Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall compass him about.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Day Eight - His Biggest Fan!

Really, I AM Ron's biggest fan.  I guess - if I'm going to be honest - I've had doubts as to whether he's my biggest fan. Our arguments are almost always about me.  My feelings.  My needs.  My loneliness. My expectations.  My disappointment.

I won't be so Pollyanna as to indicate that Ron doesn't have those feelings.  Some he does - some he doesn't.  My quandary is that I struggle with  the thought that he's married to a person who takes care of his needs while I'm married to a person who does not.  So, the truth?  This is all jealously.  All of it.  I've known it for a long, long time.  I just never said it out loud.

When I decided to take "The Dare", I figured I would have to face the fact that this was going to end up being all about me.  People think I'm really confident.  Actually, I'm pretty self conscious and do not like to focus on myself.  Even Ron has a hard time believing that I'm not fond of attention.  I get embarrassed easily, especially if it might be negative.  So, my jumping in with both feet into this is really crazy - but I knew it was necessary.

Well, long story short - I'm being challenged to be Ron's biggest fan which really means a true fan - which means letting go of the jealousy.  I've really REALLY got to work on that.  It's not going to be a one day process.  This is a big challenge.  BIG!

But I love Ron - and he is a good and wonderful man.  So obviously, he's worth it.

Tomorrow's Challenge:

Think of a specific way you'd like to greet your spouse today.  Do it with a smile and with enthusiasm.  Then determine to change your greeting to reflect your love for them.

Philemon 1:7   7 For we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because the bowels of the saints are refreshed by thee, brother.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Do Over

Hmmmm, I was suppose to write about Day 8.  Unfortunately, my behavior did not follow the prescribed outline.

So I'm declaring a 'do over'.

....and that's all I'm saying about THAT!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Day Seven - Pluses and Minuses

As instructed, I wrote two sheets of paper.  One listed all of the wonderful attributes Ron holds while the other listed those things that cause some distress.

My sister indicated that she had a hard time with the second sheet when she hit this task during her challenge.  Unfortunately, it was just the opposite with me.  I had lots and lots of things to put down - on both sides.  Luckily it told me to only participate in this activity for a few moments or I would be still going at it.  Then again, I'm a list maker, and I relish in it.  Still, it does appear that there is great truth in Ron's reflections yesterday that I am really particular.

According to today's Love Dare, I was to express gratitude to Ron for one of his attributes.  I was able to do that first thing in the morning.  I thanked him for his hard work, intelligence, and dedication to caring for his family.  I am truly grateful for these wonderful blessings in my life.  I really do hope that I've sufficiently honored and shown my gratitude for my amazing husband.

Tomorrow's challenge:

Determine to become your spouses biggest fan and to reject any thoughts of jealousy.  To help you set your heart on your spouse and focus on their achievements, take yesterday's list of negative attributes and discreetly burn it.  Then share with your spouse how glad you are about a success he recently enjoyed.

Romans 12:15:   Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Day Six - adding margins, subtrating negative motivations

I'm being challenged to react to tough circumstances in loving ways without any irritation. 

Huh.  To accomplish that, I'm being instructed to make a list of areas where I need to 'add margins' to my schedule.

So, time control is something I am very bad at.  I work from home.  I have an office.  I work on a computer.  If I turn the television on, it doesn't go off until I stop work for the night.  That is a waste of time.  How does that affect my marriage?  Well, I'm committed to putting in 110% to my job.  So if I don't do that in the daytime, I'm going to do it at night. 

So my margin is going to be to NOT turn on the television all morning and up to at least 2:00 p.m.  Having it on a little is not a problem because I have always have some mind numbing work that allows a multi-tasker like me to catch up on some low brain wave work every afternoon.  If I stick to that, I don't need to work at night AND I'm not watching shows Ron and I don't watch together (can anyone say "Project Runway?") when he's home.

Of course, Ron likes his television time too - not regular tv, because he absolutely loathes commercials.  He watches Netflix (the instant online membership version).  So, my task to avoid negative motivations is to recognize that just because I've cleared the evening for Ron doesn't mean he's going to clear it for me.  Ron works hard every day and he deserves to unwind how it best suits him.  So, that means that I find some positive ways to spend my evenings AND to bed on time without pouting if Ron doesn't come to bed with me.  (That's a hard one.  I've been having lots of problems with it.....Lots.  Big....HUGE)

Funny thing is, this journaling every night is not expanding my time - it is limiting it.  But sacrifices need to be made, and I can find the time if I prioritize.

Tomorrow's challenge is:

For today's dare, get two sheets of paper.  On the first one, spend a few minutes writing out positive things about your spouse.  Then do the same with negative things on the second sheet.  Place both sheets in a secret place for another day.  There is a different purpose and plan for each.  At some point during the remainder of the day, pick a positive attribute from the first list and thank your spouse for having this characteristic.

Phillipians 4:8  Finally, bretheren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, and whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Day Five - How irritating am I?

So after a busy day, Ron and I went out for "Missionary Splits', which is to say, we went as a couple with one of the full time sister missionaries.  After an intense type of day - Missionary Splits is an intense type of night for me (I've talked about this before) - but I did have a good time once I ignored the "flight or fight" voice inside my head.

So - before the splits, I picked Ron up from the bus stop with a bag of burgers and fries which I had kept hot by placing the bag on the defroster on high with the fan going full blast so that they would keep warm.  I THOUGHT we'd eat them at the the bus stop.  Ron pulled out the fries (which I don't eat) and left the bag with the burgers on the cold.  "Let's go," he said.

So I closed the bag and put it back on the defroster.

"I detect that you're annoyed with me," he observed.

"Not at all," I replied.  "I just like my hamburgers hot."

Then we discussed why I wasn't eating my burger (because I was driving AND because I didn't want to eat my burger until he ate his)

"I wish you wouldn't do that," he said.

Well - it CERTAINLY seemed like a good opportunity to complete my "Dare for Day Five."

So I asked him - "What three things am I doing that irritates you?

"Well, this is a good example", he explained.  "You have a control issue.  You like things your way and you don't like it when you loose control."  (Fair enough)  Then he looked at me.  I nodded my head.

"You want three things?"  I nodded my head.

"Well, everything I can think of comes from that same point," he said.  (Fair enough)  I nodded my head.

"I'm suppose to ask you now, right"? 

"No, not at all.  No strings."

"Oh, okay," he replied.  Silence.......more silence......continued silence.

"So, what three things am I doing that irritate you?" he asked.

"Can I wait for a while before answering that because I don't want it to seem like I'm just giving you a rebuttal?" I asked.

Ron nodded his head.  I nodded my head. We finished our burgers.  We went to splits.  Not a bad exchange.

Tomorrow's challenge:

Choose today to react to tough circumstances in your marriage in loving ways instead of with irritation.  Begin by making a list below of areas where you need to add margin to your schedule.  Then list any wrong motivations that you need to release from your life.

Act 24:16  And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.

NOTE:  I'm confused - I mean....."..where I need to add margin to my schedule????  TRANSLATOR, please!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Day Four - Calling just to check in

I couldn't get a hold of Ron to "ask how he was doing and if there was anything I could do for him" because his cellphone doesn't work at the hospital he works in.  I started panicking when his answering machine message came on....what....what....what to say?

So I sang to him.  Badly.

"I just called to say I love yewwwwwwwww"

It was fun.  Wish I could have seen the look on his face when he heard it.

Tomorrow's challenge:

Ask your spouse to tell you three things that cause him to be uncomfortable or irritated with you (besides bad love songs on answering machines).  You must do so without attacking them or justifying your behavior.  This is from the their perspective only.

Ecclesiastes 10:12  The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious; the but lips of a fool will swallow up himself.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Day Three - Putting my money where my mouth is

I'm losing patience.  So much going on.  Pressure, stress, mental exhaustion.

In the midst of it all, Ron's being Ron.  Pessimism extraordinaire.  Sigh.

What I usually do is get hurt.  "Why did you say that?"  "That's so mean."  "What do you mean by that?"


I don't know how to act now.  Do I tell myself that he doesn't mean what I think he means?  That he isn't trying to make me feel bad and that I have a choice in how I take things?

Well, of course it does.

Of course that has more to do with the challenges from Day One or Two.....but I'm trying to keep up on the lessons learned.  so it's still on my mind.

So the challenge today was to invest in Ron by buying something that says "I was thinking of you".  I kinda do that all the time, so it's not hard.  I went looking and decided on something that he would find perfect.

Inexpensive, simple, something he loves and something I won't eat.  That was easy

Tomorrow's challenge:

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.

Philippians 1:3  "I thank my God upon every rememberance of you."

Sunday, September 19, 2010

End of Day Two - Act of kindness was better.  I'm working through the stupid emotions - humiliation, degradation and anger.  It's not something I'm proud of, but those are the emotions I've developed from years of thinking I was an underdog and....well I think I'm most angry that I allowed myself to put myself into a ridiculous corner.  Okay, enough of that!

Today I worked on remaining polite AND finding a positive gesture to express my love.  Being that it was Sunday, I think it was a lot easier to accomplish.

My "gesture" was peach pie.  And it was the best peach pie I've ever made.

Ta Da!  (nah, this isn't was even BETTER!)

Tomorrow's dare is as follows:

"Whatever you put your time, energy and money into will become more important to you.  It's hard to care for something you are not investing in.  Along with restraining from negative comments, buy your spouse something ta says, "I was thinking of you today".

James 3:16  "For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work"

Wow!  Let's just address our weakness straight on, eh?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

End of Day one - Naughty or Nice?

So 1 minute into the first day - and I am talking about 12:01 A.M. - I was already mad.  Dang....this is going to be hard, isn't it?

Still, in the light of day all went well for this first challenge.  I kept my temper and I paid attention to what came out of my mouth.  If I felt like my words were heading into a negative direction, I apologized or said something positive.  It felt good. Good to see Ron relaxed and happy.  Good to know that I could be a civil human being.  Good to know that I had control over my thoughts and actions.

Tomorrow the challenge is as follows:

Dare 2

I addition to saying nothing negative to your spouse again today, do at least one unexpected gesture as an act of kindness.

Proverbs 19:22

The desire of  man (is) his kindness; and a poor man (is) better than a liar

Being kind is something I really value.  "The worth of a man's soul is great in the sight of God,"  so who am I not to understand that value?  My husband is one of the most talented and hard working men I know.  He's also very kind to those in need.  I am happy to have a chance to show him the kindness he deserves.

Friday, September 17, 2010

I'm signing in for "The Love Dare"

My beloved sister, Audrey Escarzaga has made the decision to take "The Love Dare", which is a book she discovered that takes the reader through 40 days of challenges to strengthen one's marriage (this book comes from the Christian movie "Fireproof".)  She's been blogging about her experience.  I am intrigued and I want to try it also.  So I will spend the next 40 days taking 'The Love Dare".

The reason is clear and simple.  I am married to a lovely, deserving and honorable man.  He's not perfect, but then again, I'm far from perfect myself.  The greatest blessing in my life began the day I met Ron.  I want to see him happy and I want to be happy myself. 

Like my sister, I'm going to take this opportunity to utilize this blog to chronicle my experience and lessons learned.  I hope you are amused and that I don't muddle about being silly.

Dare 1

The first part of this dare is fairly simple.  Although love is communicated in a number of ways, our words often reflect the condition of our heart.  For the next day, resolve to demonstrate patience and to say nothing negative to your spouse at all.  If the temptation arises, choose not to say anything.  It's better to hold your tongue than to say something you'll regret.

James 1:19-20

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.

For the wrath of man worketh no the righteousness of God

What a perfect place to start.  Just the challenge of keeping my mouth shut will be exercise enough!  I thought I might start today, but I only made it until early afternoon before my sharp tongue got the best of me (sigh).  So tomorrow will be my first day to make it through an entire dare.  I will let you know how it goes!