Love is Thoughtful (Love Dare Day 4)

I reread my last post on the Love Dare’s Day 4 challenge, and saw this line:

But it seemed like the call set a nice tone between us for the day. I shall practice it!

I don’t practice it with you like I should. There is still a small selfish part of me that is a little afraid I’ll catch you at a tough moment in the middle of the day. A moment when the kids are going bonkers and you’re stressed out. To my shame, I’d sometimes rather avoid hearing about the stress.

That’s selfish and something I need to work on. I should know by now that it’s helpful for you to have an adult conversation in the middle of the day when all you hear is 3 1/2 yr old and 5 yr old requests for snacks, juice, shows, the computer, or any number of other things.

Back to my quote: I said I’d practice it. I don’t call you nearly enough during the day to just hear what’s going on.  I hope next time I circle back around, this will be more of a practice.

Two notes:

1. We have a date night tonight. That’s awesome. I can’t wait!

2. My dare for Day 5? Ask you three things that bug the stuffins out of you. I don’t know if I did this last time. I’ll try it this weekend.


Love is not Selfish (Love Dare Day 3)

As I’m trying to go back through the Love Dare in a more conventional 40-50 days, I reread Day 3 (both in the book and my original post on the topic).

I loved this quote:

Why do we have such low standards for ourselves but high expectations for our mate? the answer is a painful pill to swallow. We are selfish.

Now, I don’t always feel selfish, but I know that it’ll take a lifetime time to ferret out all the gunk in my motivations behind everything that I do.

Acting Selfish vs. Being Selfish

I might do nice things or even beautifully selfless things, but is my heart always in the right place?

I suppose I could ask myself some questions:

  1. Why am I going the extra mile here?
  2. What do I feel if my efforts aren’t reciprocated?
  3. What do I feel if you don’t respond with verbal (or other) appreciation?
  4. Am I doing this to (a) get something, (b) pay penance, or (c) because I’m just truly, honestly being selfless and loving?

I’m sure somewhere in the middle of all of that is the truth. It’s a growth thing.

The fun thing about today’s dare is that it entails that I purchase something for you. We’ll see. Where we are financially right now, you might prefer that I don’t spend any extra money.

I did give blood yesterday and gave you the cool insulated American Red Cross cup that they gave me. Let’s go with that. We’ve been exchanging a lot of gifts lately. Perhaps I can do something unselfish tonight while you’re at your mothers of multiples meeting?

That would be nice of me. We’ll see. i’ll try to report tomorrow.

Because You Make Tie Dye Shirts

You do fun things with the kids. This week’s fun project: making tie-dye t-shirts I know you still have to make one more for the third child, but good on the work for the first two!

You do know how to bring the summer fun!

Love is Kind (Love Dare Day 2)

This is my second pass through The Love Dare.  I only got through day 23 and it took me like 6 months or so? I’m not sure.

Today I’m on day 2. I’m supposed to avoid negativity and do one unexpected gesture of kindness. The fact is, you are so used to it from me, that it’s expected. I can’t outfox you. 🙂

So, I did Day 2 once before back in October of 2011. Yes. 8 or 9 months ago. I was being kind when I said it had taken me 6 months to go through 23 days.

My unexpected move today will be that I gave you my $100 AmEx gift card (a work award) to you unexpectedly on Wednesday. Does that count?

Crowdsourcing an Act of Kindness

Perhaps I should do flowers… or, maybe if I get a reader or two to feedback, I can ask for suggestions. I’ll give some options here for the readers. Please leave one of these in the comments (or you can write something else in).

Options include:

  1. Create a small appetizer to cook when I get home from work (we’re having Italian, we have fresh basil at home, so maybe a bruschetta type of thing?).
  2. Flowers: I have to stop at the store, so some flowers? (although Day 3 is buy something).
  3. Foot rub: Obvious
  4. Back rub: It’s her woman week, so maybe some lower back rubbing would be just what the doc ordered?
  5. Cook the full meal and clean up afterword (no dish duty at all for her).
  6. Bottle of wine

Any other ideas?

Kindness Includes…

  • Gentleness: Speak the truth… in love, not in “Ha… I totally beat you with my air-tight logic!”
  • Helpfulness: When I get home, I don’t have a right to couch time (unless we discuss). I have the privilege of being a part of the family and helping out where I can. That’s why I need to leave my dang phone in the car.
  • Willingness: I’m pretty accommodating. I got that going for me.
  • Initiative: I must get better at this. You need this from me. Initiatve is about as much ‘fighting’ as most guys have to do for their wives in suburban America. I must take the initiative to plan dates, romance, budgets, trips, serving opportunities, etc.  You need to see that I think about us ahead of time.

With that, I shall leave you be. This blog will soon be too long for you to read all of it when I finally tell you about it. No worries!

Remember–if you’re a reader, drop a note on which of the random acts I should do.

(The Amazon links are affiliate links)

Love Dare Day 1b – Love Is Patient

This time, I’m going to try to power through all 40 days as consecutively as possible. So far I’m on Day 23 after 5 months or so.

I won’t go on about Love Dare Day 1. I’ve covered it before.  As a matter of fact, I’m not even going to go back and read it today.

My commitment tonight after work:

1. I will not be passive-aggressive (I don’t yell directly at you that often, just behind your back about the way you fill the dishwasher).

2. I will be patient, but I will speak openly and honestly.

3. Just in case something touches me off, I will allow myself to remain calm.

So as not to tempt you to be impatient, I’m publishing and heading out. I promised a 5:30 arrival time.

I love you!

Thank You for a Wonderful Father’s Day

You blew it out of the water this weekend!

Here are some of the highlights:

  • You let me sleep in on Saturday
  • You let me do yard work on Saturday
  • The ‘Kids’ gave me a shirt, a shirt, and some shorts for Papa’s day.
  • You replaced my Kindle–my standard one w/ a Fire (even thought because I was the idiot who left it on top of my car and drove off, thus destroying it). If ever a dude didn’t deserve small electronics, I’m that dude.
  • You set a great menu of Cuban sandwiches, black bean soup, and Summer Veggie Tian. And we went to my folks’ to eat it.
  • You let me cook a lot of it (I love to cook, so that’s fun for me).
  • You let me drink _______ and tonics.
  • You drove.
  • We all went to the pool on Saturday.
  • You let me do work in the yard (seriously, I love doing this–so relaxing).

You told me that I’m a good dad.

You give me a kiss or three, too.

Thank you for the appreciation. I love you.

Because You Hook a Brother Up…

…with Arby’s sandwiches and a fun family Friday visit.

It’s the first time, I think, that all kids came into my office, ate their food, had some chocolate, went to the bathroom and didn’t….

  1. Cry profusely at any person who attempted to talk to them (the boys… Mags is our social butterfly, as you know).
  2. Get chocolate all over a wall, floor, or other furnishing.
  3. Take off all of their clothes in the restroom because peeing requires that, apparently.
  4. Complain about not having enough frieds.
  5. General mayhem.

I’m kind of sad some of those things didn’t happen, but it was a much simpler, peaceful moment.

And it’s always nice to eat a roast beef sandwich in peace.

Thanks for the visit! Reminds me why I do this insurance thing.

Because of Grace

Not a person named Grace. Because of an unmerited gift (that old evangelical Christian definition of grace), I love you.

This gift runs two ways:

  1. You are a gift to me–one I didn’t earn and still haven’t ‘earned’. You are a gift of grace, fully unmerited favor.
  2. I can only love insomuch as I’m graced to be able to… this doesn’t meant that I only love you because God makes me. It just means that I only do it well when I’m walking more consistently under the grace of God.

So… you are a gift and my love to you is only powerful when it’s empowered by God’s grace.

Sometimes I think you deserve so much more than what I give. In the end, we all deserve so much more than any of us are truly capable of giving. More accurately, we all need so much more than any one person can provide. We don’t really deserve anything in particular.

We need tons. You fill a lot of that for me. And I hope I provide a smidge for you.

I love you!