…we were able to have a more relaxing holiday weekend.
This post might be solely about myself, but I actually felt like I had a full vacation even though it was only a 3 day weekend. I had no access to work email from my phone. That helped me not be so wrapped around the axle if a client dropped me a note some time on Saturday on an issue I couldn’t get to until Tuesday. Those things always cause me to stress and, therefore, keep me half-plugged in to work all the time.
Of course, I probably need to shut the phone off period here and there, but this is a start. Both of us do, actually. Maybe by the time you read this, we’ll have the tech thing fully under control.
I enjoyed hanging at the Chattahoochee Nature Center nearly all day on Saturday with the kids while you helped my mom with her outreach.
I enjoyed hitting Cogburn Park on Sunday afternoon to kick around the soccer ball and play on the playground.
I enjoyed washing the cars with the kids on Monday and grilling some burgers.
It was an all-around nice Memorial Day weekend.
And we were able to chill with our date on Friday night: steak, fine china, good conversation, and a Harry Potter movie (etc.).
That sounds way more creepy than it is. It’s just the day I’m finally going to act on day 18 in Love Dare
It’s simply a night where I will pull out the fine china, grill a steak, cook some rice, and toss a salad.
We’ll eat at the dining room table together while the children slumber or otherwise occupy themselves in their rooms.
My hope is that we will have a fun time connecting.
Since it seems like we spend an awful lot of time talking about our parents’ health problems or our children, I’m printing out this handout from North Point’s MarriedLIfe . Maybe it’ll be a fun thing to do (at least the conversation part).
Perhaps it’ll lead to a deeper understanding of each other. If not, a fun in house date night is always a fun thing.
I feel like I need to sit on this dare for a while.
Love seeks to understand. There are moments when it seems like I really need to share more than I do, but in the end, I need to create safe space for you to speak your heart and your mind.
I don’t need to be passive sharing my heart with you. Or my fears or stresses or even failings.
But this dare isn’t about my working through that particular issue. This dare is about you. It’s about my understanding and seeking to understand and being a student of you.
And why is that important? Because you are important. You are precious. You are a gift. You are worth hearing and listening to. You are wise. You have important things to say. Plus I just plain love you. And I’m called to hear you and listen to you.
If husbands love wives like Christ loves the church and He hears our prayers, how much more should I become better at hearing your heart?
I’m scared at what I might hear sometimes, but that’s a ‘me’ problem. 🙂
So… until I have the dinner that is called for in this dare (I’m supposed to cook for you, and I’m sure you won’t remember when this dinner took place because my goal is that you don’t see this blog until 5/14/2015 (our 10 year anniversary).
My goal.. my desire to make good on this dare, as I mostly laid out yesterday:
- Ask you questions: Good questions and not just one, but follow up questions. I’m not gonna let you wiggle off the hook. Not that you’re a worm that I’m going fishing with, but you get the picture.
- Listen to you: I’m not going to cut you off. I’m not going to go after a distraction.
- Pray: See God for better understanding if I don’t get it or if something you says touches something off in me.
- NOT solve problems unless you ask me to: I’m going to hold my tongue as long as possible in the solution area. There’ll be plenty of time for that later.
The point of understanding
You’ve suggested before that you, in the past, didn’t think your words or opinion mattered. Your emotions might get cut off. You might not feel totally heard or validated.
I want you to feel the complete opposite with me. Period.
I fell off the wagon on this project after Christmas.
And I’m not sure if it’s a good idea to jump in in the middle of the 40 days, but we’ll go for it. It can’t hurt.
I did this date a few months ago during my first attempt. By ‘a few months ago, it appears to have been over a year ago. Man I suck at this stuff!
So the dare is to prepare a special dinner at home, just for the two of us. I will do this tomorrow or Thursday or Friday (May 21, 22, or 23).
We have so much life going on right now – my dad’s surgery, the end of the school year, Memorial Day weekend.
The main point of the dare is to simply:
- Ask questions
- Ask God for discernment.
I don’t have to cook you dinner (although that’s fun for me) in order to do this dare.
What would be better for me to do is this:
- Put the phone on a shelf
- Make sure the kids are occupied.
- Etch out at least 10 minutes to ask you questions.
- Put fear on the shelf – because sometimes I’m scared to open certain topics. I need to do that, though.
If I want to know you, I can’t be afraid of talking about certain things. That’s so important. It’s a glitch with me: I never want to ruffle feathers. And maybe it’s something that if I don’t fear so much, then you’ll get practice talking about tough things, whether budget stuff or family stuff or faith stuff.
It’s time I start putting on the scuba gear and diving deep.
We’re going to see Matthew Perryman Jones tonight in Duluth.
He was gracious enough to play his song Lead Me to the Waters at our wedding a few days over 8 years ago.
It was nearly impossible to find this song online. It’s not really in his current rotation, I don’t believe. Still, I dropped a hint on his Facebook page in hopes he’ll decide to play it. Heck, we’re bringing 2 other couples who haven’t heard him before. That should count for something, right?
Plus… it’s a beautiful song. If the ‘You’ reading this isn’t my wife, then you should click on the link above. It’s a sweet song.
I can’t always love you because of something sweet, cute, fun, adorable, or whatever that you do.
Same goes from you to me. I know you’ve loved me through being quite the ass at times. I’m thankful for that.
This morning you were in a foul, foul mood. I wasn’t a fan, honestly. I was a little angry. I was a little frustrated at the end of it.
But I’m not called to love you when it’s all rainbows and unicorns and marshmallow clouds.
I’m called to love you even if you don’t want me to. I’m called to love you whether you are providing for my emotional needs at any given moment or not.
I’m simply called to love you. I’m always brought back to the Bible verse that commands me to love my wife like Christ loves the church. That’s unyielding, unflinching, through thick and thin love.
I don’t do it perfectly like Christ does, but I don’t have a choice to lower the standard either. It doesn’t say, “Husbands, love your wives like Christ loves the church when they are fulfilling all your needs and being perfect examples of biblical womanhood.” It’s an unconditional call.
So, sweetie, I love you today, even this morning at like 7:18 when we were having the moment. I love you.
Today is our anniversary. We’ve made it through 8 years.
You are a wonderful wife. You bring me joy. You help me to grow. You make me laugh.
You are a wonderful mother. You are creative. You are consistent. You are determined. You are loving.
We’ve been through a lot in these few years, and I’m thankful that we are still growing individually and together.
I know, for sure, that you have been used by God to help make me a better person: sometimes by your grace, sometimes by your encouragement, and, yes, sometimes by the fact that being married is hard work that requires us to allow the Holy Spirit to dig deep and change us.
You are lovely and beautiful. You make me smile. Sometimes life is a little stressful and hard. But it’s always worth it and it’s getting more and more wonderful.
I love you and look forward to what’s in store.
I don’t think I’ll risk losing the secrecy of this blog, so I’ll go ahead and post this picture. If you happen upon this and know us, feel free to contact me, but please don’t tell my sweet wife yet. 🙂