Here we are at week three already! Can you believe it?! I don’t know about you, but I am learning so much through this challenge already. I am also proud of myself for keeping up with it this far, this week wasn’t the easiest to keep up because I was working on my blog and design (more about that later) while Josiah was away. But, I did it, I kept with it and boy did I learn a ton!
Day 15 – Love is Honorable
Today’s Dare: “Choose a way to show honor and respect to your spouse that is above your normal routine. It may be holding the door for her. It might be putting his clothes away for him. It may be the way you listen and speak in your communication. Show your your mate that he or she is highly esteemed in your eyes.”
1/26/2015 – I showed honor and respect by listening and keeping my mouth shut. And when I did speak up, I made sure it was clear that I was on his side and was there to support him and tried to encourage him the best I could.
Day 16 – Love intercedes
Today’s Dare: “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.”
1/27/2015 – Praying for Josiah has been something that I have been trying and wanting to be better at. Surrendering him to God has been one of the best things I have done for my marriage. Finally realizing I can’t “fix” or change him and then turning him over to God I have seen more results. But surprisingly those results are not just in him but in me as well.
Day 17 – Love Promotes Intimacy
Today’s Dare: “Determine to guard you mate’s secrets (unless they are dangerous to them or to you) and to pray for them. Talk with your spouse, and resolve to demonstrate love in spite of these issues. Really listen to them when they share personal thoughts and struggles with you. Make them feel safe.”
1/28/2015 – Intimacy had been something I thought just came along with marriage and for years it frustrated me that we didn’t have that closeness but, honestly, I never let him in. I was too afraid to let him see the yucky parts of me, afraid he wouldn’t accept me. That led us to lots of problems. But after a time where I had no other option other than to walk away from my marriage or let him in, I spilled my guts. I let him in, most he had already known and accepted about me much to my surprise. After that point and with much time we have been slowly rebuilding intimacy both emotionally and physically. I have also learned that just listening and not being critical at a time of vulnerability has brought more intimacy and trust. There is a time for correction and critiquing and it’s NOT during a time of vulnerability.
Day 18 – Love seeks to understand
Today’s Dare: “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.”
1/29/2015 – Josiah is away this evening but we did have a nice long conversation on the phone, uninterrupted. It was nice to just talk and hear about his day and discuss life without any distractions. I tried to make a point of really listening to what he had to say and understanding from his point of view. It was nice to finally be at a point of mutual respect for the others opinion and have the confidence of knowing we both made the decision to stick it out, work on our marriage and learn to properly love each other.
Day 19 – Love is impossible
Today’s Dare: “Look back over the dares from previous days. Were there some that seemed impossible to you? Have you realized your need for God 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.”
1/30/2015 – There are many times in the past that I have wanted to go through this book. Many times that I needed to learn what I have been learning over the past 19 days. These dares and lesson’s would have saved me and probably us much pain. But here I am, during a time where I am open to God’s teaching and working, going through this book. Honestly it hasn’t been too difficult of a process and for that I am thankful. But it still has taught me so much, really has opened my eyes on how I can love my husband better and how much I need God’s help and strength. The last couple weeks (months really) have been really hard for our family, but thankfully in learning to love my husband properly and selflessly we have been working as a team and supporting each other through tough times – times we previously would have been at each others throats.
Day 20 – Love is Jesus Christ
Today’s Dare: “Dare to take God at His Word. Dare to trust Jesus Christ for salvation. Dare to pray, “Lord Jesus, I am a sinner. But you have shown your love for me by dying to forgive my sins, and you have proven your power to save me from death by your resurrection. Lord, change my heart, and save me by Your grace.”
1/31/2015 – I renewed this commitment about a year ago now. I laid it all out and all down at the cross. When I had nothing, God was there. He took control of my life, I gave up all that I held so tightly on. I gave up all the fear that bound me so tightly. I fully surrendered my life, my marriage, my everything to Him. I dove into His word, into His teaching and have watched Him transform my life. It hasn’t been easy, actually it’s been really really hard, but God has given me strength to get through, the strength to make changes, the strength to be what He needs/wants me to be. He continues to show His hand and continues to give grace when I trip and fall. He continues to put people in my life to encourage me or for me to be a light to. He continues to bless the things I keep Him forefront of and He continues to work in my marriage. Our life isn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but His hand is SO evident everyday.
Day 21 – Love is Satisfied in God
Today’s Dare: “Be intentional today about making a time to pray and read your Bible. Try reading a chapter out of Proverbs each day (there are thrity-one – a full month’s supply), or reading a chapter in the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). As you do, immerse yourself in the love and promises God has for you. This will add to your growth as you walk with him.”
2/1/2015 – After yesterday’s lesson, can I just get an AMEN?! When I let God fill me, when I turn to Him to satisfy, He is all I need. He helps me get through the times where Josiah is distant or doesn’t meet my expectations because I am not putting that load on Josiah, I am giving it to God. Making Him first helps me respond in love and doesn’t make me feel empty when Josiah (my human husband) or life doesn’t deliver like I expected. What peace and contentment it brings me to know my God is in control and promises to meet my needs and love me unconditionally. “God is your everyday supply. Of everything you need.”