You are a blessing and a gift.
I want to wrap you up in green and red and then…. Nevermind. That’s private.
Our kids are 3 and 4. Our house is a little cluttered. Our budget is a little thin.
But I’d rather be nowhere else for this Christmas.
I love you, Sweetie!
Today you made gingerbread ornaments.
Five nights ago you were getting a headstart on the wrapping.
You’ve been doing little Christmas things nonstop with our kids.
You kick butt as Ms. Claus, especially since you’re married to Scrooge. 😉 Actually, I’m not so bad.
This just reiterates how much you always do to give our kids little shots of joy.
I love you for all of that!
At this point in the book, the authors share the Gospel. While I could use this as an opportunity to do the same with the 4-5 people who occasionally read this blog, I will not do so.
I do want to point out this verse that is quoted in the book: “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers… This is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.” (1 John 3:16, 23).
Simply, I need to be willing to lay down my life for you and our kids, regardless of my mood, your mood, whether you’re ‘worthy’ of it at a particular time or whether I feel like it.
You deserve a husband whose life is laid down on your behalf. Better yet, whether you deserve it or not, I must lay my life down for you. I might not need to take a bullet—I might, but I doubt it, but I do have to lose any sense of entitlement to my own need for ease, comfort, etc.
My desire is to be poured out for you. That’s the example. That’s my calling.
Love Dare Day 21 Preview: Love is Satisfied in God. These dares start working less on my doing little acts of service for you but on focusing my heart on God. This one is similar…. To set aside time to pray and read the Bible daily. I’ve not read the full dare yet, so I’ll reserve response till then.
To love your spouse like Christ loves the church is not possible without the love of Christ flowing through. I get that. But I better be careful here.
It could be misunderstood to mean that I find it impossible to love you. I don’t. You do inspire me to love you. You are fully lovable and worthy of my affection.
The impossibility of love has little to do with you. It’s all about how I, as a person, am not capable of sustained selflessness. I have to grow in it. I have to get better at being selfless.
I have to submit my life to Christ and live in light of the cross in all relationships, especially with you. If I die to myself, then I can get close to it.
My prayer today was that I love you in a way that you need it from me. Of course, this was immediately tested because you called me in the midst of a dizzy spell. I felt a little hopeless and completely unable to know how to best be there for you at the time.
Like a dude, I started spouting out ‘helpful’ suggestions. I felt like maybe I needed to listen and just be there with you on the phone for a bit, but I honestly didn’t know how.
Like I said I need to grow in this. I need to get better. I need to die daily to myself and allow the love of Christ flow through me. I need His example of how he loves the church to be my source. I need the Holy Spirit to be my Counselor and to fill me with the necessary skills.
So… Love is impossible. While we all have our moments—I know both of us can have our difficult moments at times—you’re fully worthy of and a total joy to love.
What is possible is that I can submit better. I can realize that I’m not entitled to anything, yet I’ve been giving way more than I deserve.
I love you and hope that you are confident in that. What I realize with this dare is that I can live a very self-centered life. I pray today for God to shed me of that so that I am truly a selfless husband.
Sometimes I don’t know what to do with a situation that, honestly, wasn’t fun (at all) but still reminds me of what it means to love you.
Sunday morning, you let me sleep in a little bit. I came downstairs and discovered you hadn’t fed breakfast to the kiddos. I said some smart aleck comment or otherwise was ‘ungentle’ in my handling of the situation.
It hit a nerve with you. We’ll leave that there.
The problem was that I wasn’t sure exactly what nerve I hit. Honestly, as of this writing (3 days later), I’m still not sure what nerve I hit.
What the situation brought up in me is that I wanted to figure it out. And if I want to understand you better, then I know I need to do better at getting to know you during the times when we’re not in mini-crisis mode. I need to seek to understand you.
I love you because you are a mystery. I’ll never finish getting to know you. I’ll never finish getting better at being your husband and friend. I’m excited that these little hiccups reveal that I got work to do.
I know that sounds strange, but it’s actually exciting. You’re a mystery. I’m working on it. It’s fun.
The dare for this day was to prepare a special dinner at home for just the two of us. The focus should be go get to know you better. This sounds strange since we’re married, but all married folks understand that wedding vows do not equal completion.
While I’ve prepared dinners, I’ve not set up the dining room table and made sure we ate, I’m embarrassed to say, away from the TV. After we feed the kids, it’s what we do: make dinner, chat over the TV, and relax.
Well, this dare is all about doing these things:
- Asking Questions: Revisiting some of those old dating type questions like ‘What are your dreams?’ ‘What are your goals?’ ‘What are your fears?’
- Listening: There’s no better time to listen then at a quiet table, across from each other.
- Asking God for Discernment: Learning how to hear your heart in what you say and do.
All this to say that I don’t want to be held up by Day 18. I’m going to continue on this journey, but I will treat this as a ‘pass’. I will make sure to come back to it later.
The main thing is that I need to continue to learn about you. I need to continually find out what’s going on inside your head. I need to get your counsel. I need to be aware of what your fears are and what you’re hoping to do and what you’re developing an interest in.
Heck, how else can I pick a decent Christmas gift for you?
Love Dare Day 19 Prep: Love is impossible. Simply put, this is the dare about how we can’t truly love selflessly without the love of God working through us. While some will debate this idea, I definitely think that it’s true for me. Without that love, I’m kind of a selfish ass.
I have some meatballs in a crockpot waiting for me back at the house.
You’ve been upping the game in the culinary department, and the prospect of spaghetti and meatballs tonight is making me extremely happy.
Some of your other recent creations:
- Pumpkin spice cookies
- Chocolate chip blondies
- Chicken pot pie
- King Arthur Flour biscuits (you’re always finding tasty recipes)
- Chicken quesadillas
- Spinach quiche
Thanks for taking good care of my belly!