Sunday, October 31, 2010

Dare 33 - Heading Towards the Future Together

First off, I have to laugh at the scripture reference.....

"If two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?" - Ecclesiastes 4:11

I'm PRETTY sure we're not talking about what it looks like we're talking about.  Honestly, I THINK the point is that together we generate progress that can't possibly be achieved by oneself.

I followed the directions and talked to Ron about working together.  We both feel that we do work well together when we have common goals.  But there are times when our vision is completely opposites.  Retirement is a good example.

Ron really wants to retire to .....

I want to retire anywhere that has.....

I do worry whether we can find happy mediums in these goals.  Right now, we have problems even taking vacations together.  Ron is such a risk taker....I mean real REAL scary stuff.

Okay, maybe not quite this bad, but then again...... he can be really, really scary.
Yup, that's Ron, on top of a bridge.  This, my friends, is NOTHING

I really want him to be happy, but I also want him to be careful and ...well.....alive would be good.

So how do we have a happy medium when we feel so diametrically opposed in this matter?  Ron wouldn't be happy being tied down, but I am constantly afraid of him or someone else getting hurt.  I think I have reason to fear.  He's constantly living on the edge, convinced that he has some sort of super power keeping him safe.  I don't think there is any such thing a being protected from being stupid (I know, that sounds so mean - but that's how the courts, the rescue team, innocent by-standers and the evening news would view it too).

So do I really stop worrying?  Well, I've been trying to.  Unless it's a circumstance where someone is in definite danger (Ron on a cell phone while driving is a good example), I am working on letting him have the room he needs.  I'm just not at the point where I can be with him when he's doing his death defying acts.  If I am there, I'm not happy!

But I appreciate him, and I recognize that Ron just plain has more fun than I do.  I can understand that my way (the SAFE way) isn't always the ONLY way.

But I still can't watch.

Next Challenge - Day 34  Find a specific, recent example when your spouse demonstrated Christian character in a noticeable way.  Verbally commend then for this at some point today.

Psalm 101:2  I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way.  O when wilt though come unto me?  I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.

Dare 30 AND 31 AND 32 - United Together

I'm stuck.  I've tried to work on it.  All in all, I think Ron and I are pretty united in most things, but there are those things where it's just a matter of who get's their way.  That's the way of marriage, though, isn't it? 

Somehow, this particular challenge doesn't seem to be such an issue to me, and I've pondered on it long enough.  The next dare is the same:

Dare 31  Is there a "leaving" issue you haven't been brave enough to conquer yet?  Confess it to your spouse today, and resolve to make it right.  The oneness of your marriage is dependent upon it.  Follow this with a commitment to your spouse and to God to make your marriage the top priority over every other human relationship.

I'm married to Ron for time and eternity.  It is the greatest blessing of my life. We've had rough times in the past and who knows what the future holds - but the one thing I am sure it does hold is being married to Ron.

So, I've nothing more to address - time for the next dare.

Dare 32:  Oops - this is about intimacy.  I accept the challenge, but I am NOT going to talk about it.  I've always felt that it is the most sacred part of my relationship with Ron. 

So, zooming through - we find ourselves at...

Next Challenge -Dare 33:  Recognize that your spouse is integral to your future success.  Let them know today that you desire to include them in your upcoming decisions, and that you need their perspective and counsel.  If you have ignored their input in the past, admit your oversight and ask them to forgive you.

"If two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?" - Ecclesiastes 4:11

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Dare 29 - I love you, I love you, I LOVE you!

Well, I have absolutely NO problem telling Ron that I love him.  The bigger problem is praying.  I mean, I pray - but I don't do it very WELL.  I am so hyper, I either loose my train of thought, fall asleep, or can't think of a thing to say.  It's all quite sad, I'm afraid.  I'm sure Heavenly Father just shakes his head at me.

Still, I decided to take this quite seriously.  "Dear Heavenly Father, bless my husband.  Because I LOVE him."  We kneel down every morning - rolling out of bed before we do anything else.  I found myself just stopping and hugging him. 

I love praying for him, his health, his happiness, his needs.  I get so excited when I see those prayers answered.

Ron, by the way is such a man of prayer.  He can pray for hours.  Sometimes it's just annoying!

Next Challenge - Day #30 - Isolate one area of division in  your marriage, and look on today as a fresh opportunity to pray about it.  Ask the Lord to reveal anything in your own heart that is threatening oneness with your spouse.  Pray that He would do the same for them.  And if appropriate, discuss this matter openly, seeking God for unity.

Ephesians 5:25  Husbands, love your wives (wives, love your husbands), even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

Monday, October 25, 2010

Dare 28 - But what do you NEED?

I asked Ron if he had any unfulfilled needs.  He was as stumped as I was.

So I figured out that I had to come up with something on my own.

...and I did!

There is something Ron asked for this week:

He REALLY wants to use the fireplace.  We have all this wood and this perfectly good wood stove.  We just read that electrcity is going to go up 8% this month.  It's gonna cost so much to use the heater this winter. 

Ma and I are dubious, especially since the wood stove is in her area, but since she's at my sister's this week I decided it would be a good time to experiment.  Next he asked if I would consider keeping it stoked in the daytime. 

I said no.  I was pretty sure Ma wouldn't like all that heat in the daytime.

Then I thought about it again....and I did it because he wanted it. 

I found out that it doesn't get too hot if I keep it going and use whole pieces of wood rather than chopped up raw wood.  AND keep the dampers shut completely down so it burns slower.

Unfortunately I learned it by getting Ma's apartment up to 80 degrees.

Sure glad she's not here while I learn all this.

Now the fun part.  Seeing if I can get Ma to go along with it.  It sure would save money, but if I don't do this right she's not going to be happy.  I hate having Ma unhappy more than I hate having Ron unhappy (which is why I said "no" first time.).

So, I'm going to trust God and Ron and do my best.

....and I'll let you know.

Next Challenge - Dare 29  Before you see your spouse again today, pray for them by name and for their needs.  Whether it comes easy for you or not, say “I love you,” then express love to them in some tangible way.  Go to God in prayer again, thanking Him for giving you the privilege of loving this one special person – unconditionally, the way He loves both of you.

Ephesians 6:7 With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Dare 27 - I'm sorry for being so hard about being so hard

"I'm sorry that I'm difficult sometimes about wanting things to be my way, honey".

"Uh huh..." he mumbles, looking intently at his computer.

Tap, tap, tap, tap (that's my foot on the floor)

"I'm so sorry honey that I lose my patience when you don't give me attention when I'm asking for it", I say a little louder.

His eyes turn towards me - even if his head still stays pointed at the screen.

"Like now......" I point out.

"Oh," he says, as he breaks his computer trance.  "Oh, yes.  Ha ha ha.  Yes.  I get it."

Okay, that's better.

"I love ya honey", I say sincerely.

Next Challenge - What is one of the greatest needs in your spouse's life right now?  Is there a need you could lift from their shoulders today by a daring act of sacrifice on your part?  Whether the need is big or small, purpose to do what you can to meet the need.

Galatians 6:2  Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Dare 26 - Forgiveness in Return

So I asked Ron to forgive me for being unfair and unkind.

He said 'huh, sure'.

So there you go.

Simply Ron

Next Challenge - Dare 27  Think of one area where your spouse has told you you're expecting too much, and tell them you're sorry for being so hard on them about it.

Psalm 25:20  O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed ; for I put my trust in thee.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Dare 25 - True Forgiveness

Warning - this is going to be messy.  Probably shouldn't post it....gonna have to think about it before I hit 'publish'.

Ron is Bi-Polar.  He just is.  He tried for years to hide from it.  I tried many times to push it on him.  We can talk about it now, but we couldn't for years.  It's been hard on both of us.  I can't imagine what it's like for him - grand, glorious, hard, ugly, confusing, infuriating, humbling, binding, exciting and soooooooo scary.  As I mentioned yesterday, I am jealous of Ron because he has such freedoms - because "HEY", he's Bi-Polar, ya know.  He can just say "I can't help myself".

Yet he is in a bondage that I will never have to face.....ever.  So there are times that he has been less than stellar.  He has said things and acted in a way that was frightening, out of line, or just off center.  There's no such thing as relaxing around Ron.  One of the things that kept me sane was the fun of being with someone as unique, exciting and talented as Ron.  So it bothered me quite a bit when I started reading over the signs and symptoms of Bi-Polar (ism?).

So much of what's unique about Ron I found out isn't so much.  The daredevil antics, the brazen confidence, keeping groups of people enthralled with his stories.

That was just Ron being Bi-Polar. 

Then again, the comments that flatten me out on the floor, the inability to say sorry or "I was wrong".  The need to always come out on top.  Death wishes, driving like a mad man, scaring people, taking ridiculous risks.  Well, you get the idea.

That's just Ron being Bi-Polar.

So adjustments had to be made.  I've had to keep the house quiet.  I've had to hide stressful situations - or plan how to get Ron prepared to meet them.  I've had to tone down holidays and preplan vacations to the minutest detail.  I've had to bite my tongue.  I've had to forgive and forget so many times I couldn't possibly count them.  I've had to get over being terrified.....really, really terrified.  And being called out, and saying something incorrectly....and being so embarrassed I wanted to crawl under the table and die.  I've had to make sure that there was SOMEWHERE Ron could go to get away form the noise and turmoil less he were to BLOW HIS LID in front of God and everybody.  I've had to be the responsible one....the calm one.  I certainly had to hide my tears or fears because  - of course - Ron couldn't handle them.  Most of all, I had to hide myself, because during these episodes there was no room for Nina in the Jones house.  And it made me mad and resentful and that anger and resentment changed me.  And so did the fear.  There's nothing quite like the fear of not knowing whether your husband could make it through another day - well, unless it was the fear of not knowing whether it would be your husband or children who would self destruct first.* see note below

But that is Bi-Polar World.  Sometimes it's a rainbow of bright flashy colors, other times it's black and white....and here and there it's just plain ol' black.  And that is the life I entered into.  And as much as I've been afraid of it, and resentful of it, it's also given me opportunities and life experiences that the normal family will never EVER know.  At the very least, it certainly keeps the dinner conversation interesting.

So I've been pondering a lot on today's scripture.  "Forgive  Ron, for he knows not what he does".

I obviously need to let it all go and just forgive him.  No, maybe I need to go even farther than that.  I need to accept him.   Everyone has ups and downs, every marriage has its challenges.  But I really wouldn't give up my life with Ron.  Lord knows - after all - Ron has a lot that he has to put up with me and my basket of personal paranoia.  And lest I paint an unbalanced picture, Ron brings SO much joy to our marriage - passion, excitement, talent, perfection (nobody will do a better job on anything - ever), dedication, hard work and lots and lots of love.  My life is scary - exciting - challenging and where I want to be - most of the time at least.  How lucky am I?

You know, I've known this forever.  Just been fighting it.  I look so good being the patient, long suffering wife.  But here's the big secret ....... It's all a facade.  That's not really me at all.

I heard a quote today that really wraps it up.

"Marriage is an act of faith, the holiest of all promises and you have got to believe in one another.  If one of you starts to doubt, then it's kind of like letting a weed take over.  After you've worked hard planting and nurturing something beautiful, the last thing you want is weeds choking it out."

Time to pluck out the weeds, baby.

* It is EXTREMELY important to point out that Ron has never ever EVER laid a hand on me.  That, as they say, would be a deal breaker.  No one should tolerate physical abuse - and mental abuse is nigh unto it....if Ron called me names or was hateful, that would also be intolerable.  Ron is a good man, and I am safe.  Just in case anyone was worried - thank you - but no need.

Next Challenge - Dare 26: Take time to pray through your areas of wrongdoing.  Ask for God’s forgiveness, then humble yourself enough to admit them to your spouse.  Do it sincerely and truthfully.  Ask your spouse for forgiveness as well.  No matter how they respond, make sure you cover your responsibility in love.  Even if they respond with criticism, accept it by receiving it as counsel.

Romans 2:1  Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Dare 24 - Lust...who me?

So it dawns on me that last night WAS the lust part.  I'm always thinking about the tv and the computer and the incessitant phone calls with all the people who 'need me', which we all know plays heavily on my ego.

But the lust?  That's my lust for Ron's freedom and power.  He does what he wants, takes no prisoner.  He can ignore all those other voices.  Heck, he doesn't even hear them in the first place.

There are times - lots and lots of times that I want EXACTLY that.  Freedom.  To be free.  No expectations.  No timelines.  No phones, e-mails, text, doorbells, alarms, shout outs, calendars, chores, yada, yada, yada.....

Meanwhile, I really do know that I wouldn't be happy in the Ron Bubble.  So why am I trying to push him out of it?

Aha.....LUST and JEALOUSY.

Dang it.  So much to work on.

Next Challenge - Dare # 25  Whatever you haven't forgiven in your mate, forgive it today.  Let it go.  Just as we ask Jesus to "forgive us our debts" each day, we must ask Him to help us "forgive our debtors" each day as well.  Unforgiveness has been keeping you and your spouse in prison too long.  Say from your heart, "I choose to forgive."

Luke 23:  Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

Bump in the road

I'm still working on yesterday's challenge it appears.  Ron had a bad night - trying like the devil to fix my phone. 

It was suppose to be a 10 minute fix.  Two hours later, my screen was fixed, but my phone was broken in a different way and it frustrated Ron.  So....he didn't behave himself - quite - uh....perfectly?  I thought that was unnecessary and immediately felt attacked.  It wasn't necessary, but he wasn't really trying to be mean, he was just feeling extremely frustrated and I was the first target to walk across his range of sight.

So I can go ahead and feel slighted, or just realize that we're both frustrated and move on.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Dare 23 - Let go of addiction and influence

This one is easy - but I asked Ron to identify it just to be clear...

Ron will always say that I spend too much time in front of the computer and the television.  I've tried many times to say I would get off of the computer and tv when Ron got home, but then....:

  1. Ron goes to work on his fish tank or his tractor, or the hot tub, or his computer; or
  2. I am behind in my work and HAVE to work in the evening to catch up; or
  3. There is a show on that I want to watch; or
  4. There was a show I recorded that I wanted to watch, so I watch it in the daytime - which puts be behind, which makes me need to - - - - work at night to catch up.

Lots of excuses.

Time to get back to a real commitment.  If I wait for Ron to do the right thing then I'm letting go of the opportunity for ME to do the right thing regardless.  But it will only work if I can learn not to expect this standard from Ron.  Whether it's right or wrong must become irrelevant.  I can give Ron my time and attention because I know it will make us both happy, or I can be unhappy because I expect him to make the same decisions I'm making.  But that only harbor resentment and failure.  Is that REALLY what I want?  Resentment and failure?  And if I'm the one feeling that way, can I really hold Ron responsible?

Next Challenge - Dare 24 - End it now.  Identify every object of lust in your life and remove it.  Single out every lie you've swallowed in pursuing forbidden pleasure and reject it.  Lust cannot be allowed to live in a back bedroom.  It must be killed and destroyed-today-and replaced with the sure promises of God and a heart filled with His perfect love.

1 Peter 2:16 - As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Dare 22 - Unconditional Love

Honestly, this doesn't quite work because Ron loves me and tells me he loves me and returns love to me.  Nooooooo problem.

We R Twitterpated

But do I love Ron unconditionally?  I'm so confident that I do, and then he does something to tick me off and I certainly act as if I don't.  Shame, shame, shame.  Unconditional love doesn't have to get the last word.  It doesn't chomp at the bit to 'tell em like it is'.  With unconditional love there is no 'top' and 'bottom', no 'he said, she said'.  It just is.  People talk about constructive criticism all the time.  I don't believe in it.  To me, all criticism is meant to be destructive.  Ron disagrees, because he feels that reality is THE most important goal.  Unfortunately, reality is near impossible to find, because we all operate off of our own perception of the truth. 

Maybe there is such a thing as accepting honest opinions.  It would certainly make life easier for Ron if I didn't take everything he said as an opportunity to judge me and just understood that Ron is as straight a shooter as there comes.

Next Challenge - Dare #23 - Remove anything that is hindering your relationship, any addiction or influence that's stealing your affections and turning your heart away from your spouse.

Job 22:23  If thou return to the Almighty, thou shalt be built up, thou shalt put away iniquity far from thy tabernacles.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Dare 21 - Intention in my prayer and reading

I have been reading the Lectures on Faith.  This is some deep and heady stuff teaching about what faith was, is and can be.  Faith is an amazing truth and a wonderful tool.  I really would like to learn how to use it fully.

From reading I learned that the faith of God is what made the heavens and earth and not physical exertion. Who knew that Heavenly Father needed faith?  I am really enjoying learning more every day.

I have tried to focus my prayers and efforts on others.

I'm still stumbling and backsliding, but I'm learning and I'm opening myself up.

My husband is amazing and wonderful. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to see this more and more everyday.

Next Challenge - Dare #22 - Love is a choice, not a feeling.  It is an initiated action, not a knee-jerk reaction.  Chose today to be committed to love even if Ron has lost most of his interest in receiving it.  Say to them today in words similar to these, "I love you.  Period.  I choose to love you even if you don't love me in return".

Psalm 119:30  I have chosen the way of truth; they judgments have I laid before me.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Hey It's Good To Be Back Home Again...

Well, it's been quite a week.  I've been to California.  I've booked my next trip in three weeks to Idaho and Utah.  We had Clara's funeral.  It's been an emotional and physical rollercoaster.

I'm anxious to get back to normal.  I know that's rather cliche, but so be it.  I've had enough drama.  Enough.  I'm going to love getting back to concentrating on Ron again.

So, it's time for Dare #21. Be intentional today about making a time to pray and read your scriptures.  As you do, immerse yourself in the love and promises Heavenly Fther has for you.  This will add to your growth as you walk with Him.

Psalms 145:16  Though openest thine hand, and satifiest the desire of every living thing.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Day 20 - Trust

Today's dare is more about me then Ron.  Well, I guess most all these challenges are more about me, now aren't they?  But this one takes on a different flavor because of what is happening in my life.

You see, my dear friend, Clara Duce passed away this evening.

I love Clara.  I only got to know her in May of this year, but from the beginning we became fast and dear friends.  We studied scriptures together, we prayed together, we cried and laughed and sat in silence together.  We shared our love for each other and our families and our God.  I saw her join her heart to the Lord in baptism, sealed to her family for eternity in the Temple and I saw her struggle at the chasm between life and death.

But death is not a victor, and Satan has lost all power because our dear Clara has triumphed over the mortal and entered into the immortal.  She is at peace. I can't say I'm sad that she is gone because death is such a release from the agony of her last days.  But she was a warrior - so brave and so loving and today's challenge is no challenge at all.  I trust Heavenly Father because he showed me love and courage through sweet Clara.  I am so grateful that he let me be a part of her life.  I love her with all my heart.  I'll miss her, but somehow I think she's a part of me forever.

Prayers for her loving and dear family.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Day 19 - Reflection

Let's review: 

The Challenge - Look back over the dares from previous days.  Okey dokey.

Were there some that seemed impossible to you?  You betcha'

Have you realized your need for Heavenly Father to change your heart and to give you the ability to love?  Good golly, YES!

Ask Him to show you where you stand with Him, and ask for the strength and grace to settle your eternal destination.  I'm trying so hard and look forward to handing this need over to Him.

So, in reflection I am amazed how easy it has been to get through some of the dares that I was positive I'd never be able to tackle.  Conversations with Ron are easier.  Prayers are heard.  Love is free flowing.  I'm so grateful.

Next Challenge - Dare 20

Dare to take God at His Word.  Dare to trust Jesus Christ for salvation.  Dare to pray regarding Their power in helping you to change.

Isaiha 63:9  In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Day 18 - Just the two of us

Well, I needed to modify this dare.  Ron and I have dinner alone allllllll the time AND tomorrow's Fast Sunday.

We went out to lunch at Applebees.(eh, pretty mediocre this time around) AND I spent a good portion of the day with him, helping him to unstick his Kubota from the mud, actually.  Some FUN!  Then shopping, eating, shopping, eating.  But we're fasting now.

And we talked.  We had fun.  It was a lovely day and I enjoyed it.  Now we're just vegging in front of our respective computers (yawnnnnnn).  Just a rainy, lazy day.  I like how our relationship is going.  This is a good exercise.

Tomorrow's Challenge - Dare # 19 

Look back over the dares from previous days.  Were there some that seemed impossible to you?  Have you realized your need for Heavenly Father to change your heart and to give you the ability to love?  Ask Him to show you where you stand with Him, and ask for the strength and grace to settle your eternal destination.

Matthew 19:26 - With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Dare #17 - Ron's Guard Dog

The challenge is to guard Ron's secrets.  His privacy.  His feelings.

I talked to Ron about this.  I apologized for the times I haven't considered his feelings and needs.

"You see," he said "I have no pride.  Nothing bothers me.  I really don't care."

Ron is unique.  And special.  And marvelous.

So I will guard him, because I do care....about Ron.

Next challenge - Dare #18. Prepare a special dinner at home, just for the two of you.  The dinner can be as nice as you prefer.  Focus this time on getting to know your spouse better, perhaps in areas you've rarely talked about.  Determine to make it an enjoyable evening for you and your mate.

Proverbs 4:7  Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom; and with all thy getting get understanding.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Day Sixteen - Praying for Ron

I'm being challenged to pray for my husband.  I want to take this very seriously and reverently.  I don't want to pray for him to do something for me.  I don't want to try to ask for Ron to 'improve'.  I just want Ron to be blessed.

So, I'm going to pray for three things:

  1. That Ron can continue to be very healthy throughout the remainder of his life.
  2. That he can retire early enough and securely enough to really, truly enjoy it - and in doing so, be able to continue to serve his fellow man and Heavenly Father and his family.
  3. That his children will gain the peace, security and a strong testimony in Heavenly Father which is the deepest desire of his heart.
These are the things that would give Ron the greatest joy and the strongest base for an eternal marriage.

I'll try to remember these in my daily prayers.

Tomorrow's challenge - Dare #17

Determine to guard Ron's secrets (unless they are dangerous to him or you) and to pray for them.  Talk with Ron, and resolve to demonstrate love in spite of these issues.  Really listen to Ron when he shares personal thoughts and struggles with you.  Make him feel safe.

Song of Solomon 6:3  I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine; he feedeth among the lilies.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Day Fifteen - Showing Some Respect

Since I've started these challenges, I have been pretty consistently respectful of Ron's great heart and intelligence.  How wonderful it is to unload that burden of anger and jealously and hurt in order to enjoy the light and blessings of a wonderful man.

Anyway, it certainly made this challenge a snap.  I didn't have to do anything different today then in most days.  Oh, I know, I'm something to do something above the norm....but I do the listed examples everyday already because I LOVE to treat Ron.  He's fun to spoil.

Gotta love that man!  It's impossible not to.

Next Challenge:  Dare 16

Begin praying today for your spouse's heart.  Pray for three specific areas where you desire for God to work in your spouse's life and in your marriage.

John 9:31  Now we know that God heareth not sinners; but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Day 14 - Just Hanging with the Man

I took the challenge to devote an evening to Ron head on.  I skipped "Dancing With the Stars" with my Momma and followed Ron around like a puppy.

"What do you want", he finally asked me?

"You"!  I replied.

"Oh" he said.

So, he told me that he needed to go save some coral in his fish tank.  I finished up a few after dinner tasks and joined him in the Den.   He was busy, so he didn't talk, and I didn't want to distract him, so I didn't talk either.  I had my phone - so I played a few games.  Started nodding off.  Got up and made the guest bed and straightened up.  Then I grabbed my computer and helped Ron look up the type of mushroom he found the other day.

WOW! That's some mushroom, eh?

Anyway....I just spent time with him.  It t'was nice.  I want to do that at least once a week.

....and I caught the last 10 minutes of "Dancing With the Stars", which was just enough to find out who got voted it wasn't even a sacrifice.  Maybe I will need to make sure that I'm truly being dedicated and not just throwing Ron the scraps.  I really do want to make him first.

Next Challenge:  Dare 15

Choose a way to show honor and respect to your spouse that is above your normal routine.  It may be holding the door for him.  It might be putting his clothes away for him.  It may be the way you listen and speak in your communication.  Show your mate that he is highly esteemed in your eyes.

Jeremiah 30:19  And out of them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of them that make merry; and I will multiply them, and they shall not be few; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Day Thirteen - Let's get these rules straight, buddy!

Check, check, check!  Ron and I established our 'Rules of Engagement" for any future disagreements:

1.  Try to find common ground
2.  Someone doesn’t have to be wrong for one to be right
3.  Silence doesn’t solve anything
4.  Work on not speaking for the other person

Fair 'nuff.

Next challenge -

Dare #14 - Purposefully neglect an activity you would normally do so you can spend quality time with your spouse.  Do something he or she would love to do or a project they'd really like to work on.  Just be together.

Proverbs 23;26 - My son, give me thine heart and let thine eyes observe my ways. 

Day Twelve - Ron's number one!

So yesterday's instructions were to place Ron's desires first - and to "give in" on any disagreement.

That's such an interesting term, because when I feel like I'm 'giving in' it also makes me feel like I'm 'loosing out'.  That's a big problem, and one that I need to be clearly aware is happening.  So I was determined not to allow the "what about me" attitude to invade my thinking.

An opportunity did arise - quite nicely, actually.  Ron has been REALLY wanting to buy a new and far superior fish tank.  Haven't really liked the idea, I'll be honest.  I'm far too cheap for expenses.  But he saw this super duper model and he's in love.

"What do you think of this deal," he asked me last night?

"I think it's completely up to you and I support you 100% in your decision," I replied.

He wrote the seller back and said "I'll take it!".

Then, after a terrible night's sleep he said "No, I can't."

So, does that nullify the challenge?  Hmmmmmmmmmmm.

NEXT Challenge - Dare #13

Talk with your spouse about establishing healthy rules of engagement.  If your mate is not ready for this, then write out your own personal rules to "fight" by.  Resolve to abide by them when the next disagreement occurs.

Romans 12:16  Be of the same mind one toward another.  Mind not high things, but condenscend to men of low estate.  Be not wise in your own conceits.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Day 11 - Meeting Needs

Knowing that I'm being challenged about Ron's needs, again - and recognizing that I live my life addressing Ron's needs, I obviously need to go further in this challenge - I need to see the purpose and the lesson in this challenge. 

The scriptural reference to this one confused me at first.  Mark 10:51. 

At first, it seemed disjointed and unrelated.  But I read it again. 

And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee?

The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight.

Well, OF COURSE that is exactly what I was asking.

So, hopefully by turning my thoughts towards the needs of my beloved - and with JOY, I will receive my sight.

Tommorrow's Challenge:

Dare 12:  Demonstrate love by willingly choosing to give in to an area of disagreement between you and your spouse.  Tell them you are putting their preference first.

Romans 12:18 - If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men (even Ron - lol)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Day Ten - Something Extrordinary

So I had to come up with quite a challenge.  Doing something that would really say "I love you" through doing something I don't normally do.  I do a lot, because I love to do a lot.  But there is something I'm not at all fond of.  I am embarrassed to say that I do not like working on his fish tank at all.  It is.....mossy and squishy and gross and I get gaggy just thinking about it.

On the way out of the door, Ron saw that the fish tank was really low on water and asked me if I would take the time to put water in.  It's not a hard job, but it's something I would have wanted to avoid.  So it seemed perfect.  I said yes... with a smile!

Again, nothing big, but I was happy to see how easy it was to - and I feel blessed.

Tomorrow's challenge is:

Dare 11:  What need does your spouse have that you could meet today?  Can you run an errand?  Give a back rub or foot massage?  Is there housework you could help with?  Choose a gesture that says, "I cherish you" and do it with a smile.

Mark 10:51  And Jesus answered and said unto him, What willt thou that I should do unto thee?  The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight.