Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Day Two

Day two's reading was exceptionally good. It discussed the true meaning of love is kind. It definitely gives you something to think about. Kindness is broken down into four ingredients: gentleness, helpfulness, willingness and initiative. "You will never learn to love until you learn to demonstrate kindness."

Steve is a wonderful example of kindness. He is incredibly gentle toward me. He would never intentionally hurt me or cause me pain in any way. He speaks words of affirmation rather than insults. He goes out of his way to take care of me. He never has to be asked to help with anything. If he sees something that needs to be done, he just does it. He cooks. He cleans. He takes care of Claire, including diaper changes. He takes care of the yard. He does laundry. (I realize this sounds like I don't do anything, which is, of course, not true. But my point is that Steve can and will and often does help out with anything that needs to be done, all without being asked.) His gentleness, willingness, initiative and helpfulness = kindness.

Steve is also kind outside of our home. He has a ton of friends who adore him and rely on him. His supervisors and co-workers trust him. He has favor with every person he meets. He is extremely nice and patient and kind.

Dare: In addition to saying nothing negative to your spouse again today, do at least one unexpected gesture as an act of kindness.

This morning Steve got up early to run a business errand. (For those of you have read "The Story of Us" posts on our blog, you know that Steve had six jobs when I met him. He now has six jobs again, not counting his roles as husband and father, which I suppose would techinically give him eight.) He came home with these lovelies:

WOW! What a wonderful surprise! Steve is usually a "practical" giver. He puts a lot of thought into the gifts he gives, and he gives things that he knows the receipient will use. He doesn't give me flowers very often since they're really not very useful, so these were a very unexpected, out-of-the-ordinary surprise.

Steve followed up the roses with a trip to Chick-Fil-A for breakfast. I LOVE Chick-Fil-A! He's not the biggest fan, so we don't go there very often. But today he went for me.

Thank you, Steven. Thank you for the roses. Thank you for breakfast. Thank you being so kind and generous and patient. Thank you for being you. Thank you for being mine.

Steve has successfully completed the dare for the day. However, as I mentioned previously, Steve has six or eight jobs. He got up early to work on one of them this morning. He left before lunchtime to work at another and won't be home until 1:30 a.m. Tomorrow morning, he has another job and then will leave around lunch until 1:30 a.m. Friday morning. Friday he has a totally different job in the morning, and then he works again until early Saturday morning. Saturday and Sunday are both work days as well, taking him away from the house most of the day and night. His next day off is Monday. Given Steve's schedule, I have not yet had a chance to complete my side of the dare. So until I complete it, we are not moving on. So from now until then, we are speaking nothing negative to each other and are attempting to perform at least one unexpected act of kindness for each other daily.


Ahh shucks -- Amy is really the sweetest wife ever! She deserves everything I can give her and more! She takes care of our home and our daughter. She is thorough and ensures no detail is left undone. This month has turned into one of the craziest in our marriage. I've been teaching for the airline, and due to an unexpected turn of events what are supposed to be 6 hour days have turned into 12 hour days. (I really feel sorry for the students at the end of the 12 hour run.) This, in addition to the business I run from our home, has me stretched so thin that I'm not sure I'll get more than 4 hours of sleep tonight. A true unexpected gesture would be to throw caution to the wind and hang out in a hammock with my girls all day. Sadly, this could result in us living in a hammock, so I don't think I'll go quite that far. Next week things lighten up tremendously. Amy will be able to complete her dare; and I will be able to spend more time with my girls!

Thank you, Amy, for marrying me. Thank you for taking care of our home and baby. Thank you for being patient and kind. Thank you for taking care of the countless details; they don't go unnoticed.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Day One

A blog a day for forty days -- a lofty goal; one we may not exactly keep. Amy and I started the Love Dare last night. Our marriage is so perfect we thought 'Why not spice it up a little?' I'm kidding, kind of. Amy and I are truly made for each other, to put it Biblically she literally 'completes me.' She is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me, and I am VERY lucky to have her. We all know that a successful, meaningful, fulfilling, healthy, happy marriage takes work. It takes good communication and time investments to really get the greatest benefits. We work hard in both of these areas, always quick to discuss and resolve any slight disagreements. Amy is a wonderful communicator, and she helps to keep our marriage as healthy as any!

Recently we attended a married couples event at our church. We were given the book 'The Love Dare'. This is the book the movie 'Fireproof'' was based on. It challenges couples to commit to 40 days of 'dares' that promise to make our marriage and relationship stronger. Furthermore, we are encouraged to journal about our journey through these dares. We decided what better way than on our blog! Oh the transparency! Please know we have not read ahead; and we don't really know what we are in for -- so bear with us. Amy and I will take turns sharing our thoughts every other day, the non-authoring of the two of us will add comments at the end.

Receive this as a warning. This forty day journey cannot be taken lightly. It is a challenging and often difficult process, but an incredibly fulfilling one. To take this dare requires a resolute mind and a steadfast determination. It is not meant to be sampled or briefly tested, and those who quit early will forfeit the greatest benefits. If you will commit to a day at a time for forty days, the results could change your life and your marriage. Consider it a dare, from others who have done it before you.

(Note -- we have collectively decided that some of these forty days may be postponed in the event that I am absent for most of a given day. How can we succeed at the dare if I am away at work? So in the event we miss a day on our post, you will know why.)

Today's dare was to demonstrate patience and to say nothing negative at all to our spouse.

This was so difficult as we are typically Negative Nellies that never have a kind thing to say to anyone.

Of course I'm kidding! I was excited about this dare. I woke up this morning looking forward to the success of dare number one. Amy and I always choose our words carefully, although sometimes 'the truth hurts.' We are careful to never tear each other down or otherwise belittle one another.

Dare successfully passed! The most negative thing Amy said to me today was that I didn't look good in some pants that I was trying on at the store, which is fine because they were $50 more than the alternative. Of course Amy sees this as 'saving me' from looking like an idiot. I'm of course joking. If we took this that literally then the word 'no' wouldn't be allowed, and how would we ever keep Claire in line?

If you've followed our blog for very long, then you're familiar with this post. Steve and I take our marriage very seriously and put each other at the top of our lists of priorities, second only to God. In keeping with this, we have, since the first night after returning home from our honeymoon, read some sort of devotional together. The Love Dare is sure to be an exciting new step for us.
As for today's negative speech and demonstration of patience, all I have to say is "Have you met Steve?!" I have never met a more patient person in my entire life (unless he's hungry - then he acts like Claire). And no, my comment was not a negative, simply a statement of fact that anyone who has indeed met Steve would agree with. Steve is the most wonderful friend, husband and father. He is very patient with me and with our daughter. And Steve is also extremely positive, looking for the best in everyone and every situtation. As is typical for Steve 365 days a year, he did not speak anything negative to me today and was extremely patient with me.
And to clarify, he really didn't look good in those pants. But it was the pants' fault, not his. I helped him to find a better pair.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Steve has accepted a promotion as Manager, Flight Standards with the same airline, effective May 1st. So we're loadin' up the truck and movin' to Tennessee. Memphis, that is. Blues music. Bar-B-Q.

Details and pictures will follow.