Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Sunday, March 18, 2012
This is a bit of a departure from my other Spirt of Sunday posts, but I think it's okay. Usually I share my thoughts about a particular passage or subject. But this week, our couple bible study in Acts has led me to more questions than answers. Why does God seem to work differently now than He did in the days of the early church? Wouldn't it be so much easier if you saw His work performed by His emissaries in miraculous ways? Surely miracles do occur today, I have no doubt. But I don't hear of them occuring purposefully AT the hand of, say, a pastor or missionary or what-have-you. I'm not quite sure what to make of God's purpose in this - why do our miracles seem to come quietly, through prayer or through science and modern medicine? Why does God work this way in the world today? Sometimes it would seem so much more, I don't know, efficient if God revealed himself in grandiose, miraculous miracles through men. I don't doubt God's plan, but I will admit that I certainly don't always understand it.
Saturday, March 17, 2012
We've gotten a bit behind in our Love Dare, having to take a few days off. But we are still plugging away. Day 5 really got to us (me?) and created some tension. Here it is:
Ask your spouse to tell you three things that cause him or her to be uncomfortable or irritated with you. You must do so without attacking them or justifying your behavior. This is from their perspective only. The words from the mouth of a wise man are gracious (Ecclesiastes 10:12)
James and I had differing conceptions of what type of things should be used as the three examples. I picked three very concrete actions or behaviors in a specific scenario. He chose some overarching behavioral traits. I got upset (just like I wasn't supposed to, I know). My introvertedness is a sensitive spot with me. I don't like to think of it as a flaw, and I don't like when extoverts think that shyness is a moral failing. Now, that's a seperate post in and of itself, but my real point is that I became piqued and allowed that to interfere in the joy of our Love Dare exercise. James was very gracious and apologized. He's been doing that a lot lately. It's a startling thing to realize that for years you've had a false sense of pride - that YOU were the more mature, kinder, more considerate person. This Love Dare is about marriage and our relationship, but I'm learning more about ME and me alone than I would have ever imagined, when we started this.
Friday, March 9, 2012
Thursday, March 8, 2012
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
In addition to saying nothing negative to your spouse again today, do at least one unexpected gesture as an act of kindness. What is desirable in a man is his kindness (Proverbs19:22)
The don't-say-anything-negative portion of the dare was not as challenging as I thought it would be yesterday, but the act of kindness was a bit so. I kept allowing my own selfish pursuits and pleasures get in the way of getting my act of kindness done and I found myself scrambling around like a madwoman minutes before James made it back home, throwing all the garbage cans from the house into the dumpster and running it out to the curb. I did make it, but barely, and it reminds me that too often I fail - citing my own busy schedule. I am busy, but I get to chose what my priorities are in life, and kindness towards my spouse should be much higher. I wanted to share this quote from the book, and I think I'm going to sticky it to my computer for the week "It is difficult to demonstrate love when you feel little to no motivation. But love in its truest sense is not based on feelings. Rather, love determines to show thoughtful actions even when there seems to be no reward. You will never learn to love until you learn to demonstrate kindness."
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Monday, March 5, 2012
For some folks, my husband included, this is a relatively easy challenge. But for me, this is HARD. I am so not good at holding my tongue. I remember as a child and teen, reading books, that some wrong or slight would be done to the heroine and I'd get frustrated, thinking "well, why doesn't she just speak up and tell them what happened". While I think speaking up has its merits, I know that I do it too much. I'm a very verbal person, so I like to talk. A lot. But negative speech is not productive speech. I need to be aware of that tendency in myself and guard against it. So far I haven't been put to the test by my spouse (he left the house pretty early this morning and we've only communicated once via text), but we shall see what the day holds.