Friday, May 29, 2009

Love Dare~Days 33-35

Day 33~ "Love completes each other"

"If two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone?" -Ecclesiastes 4:11

Today's Dare:

Recognize that your spouse is included in your future success. Let them know today that you desire to include them in your upcoming decisions, and that you need their perspective and counsel. If you have ignored their input in the past, admit your oversight and ask them forgive you.

To Journal:

~What are some upcoming decisions you can make together?
~What did you learn today about the role of your mate?
~Were you able to complete today's dare?

Day 34~ "Love celebrates godliness"

"[Love] does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth." -1 Cor. 13:6

Today's Dare:

Find a specific, recent example when your spouse demonstrated Christian character in a noticeable way. Verbally commend them for this at some point today.

To Journal:

~What example did you choose to recognize?
~How many other ways could you celebrate their growth in godliness?
~How could you encourage them to perserve in it?
~Were you able to complete today's dare?

Day 35~ "Love is accountable"

"Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed." -Proverbs 15:22

Today's Dare:

Find a marriage mentor-someone who is a strong Christian and who will be honest and loving with you. If you feel that counseling is needed, then take the first step to set up an appointment. During this process, ask God to direct your decisions and discernment.

To Journal:

~Who did you choose?
~Why did you select this person?
~What do you hope to learn from them?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Love Dare~Day 32

"Love meet sexual needs"

"The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband." -1 Cor. 7:3

A few notes from today's reading:

~It's true that sex is only one aspect of marriage. But as time goes by, one of you will likely value its importance more highly than the other. As a result of this, the nature of your oneness will feel threatened and endangered.
~Sex is not to be used as a bargaining chip. It is not something God allows us to withhold without consequence. Though there can certainly be abuses to this divinely designed framework, the heart of marriage is one of giving ourselves to each other to meet the other's needs.
~If you allow distance to grow between you in this area, if you allow staleness to set in, you are taking something that rightly and exclusively belongs to your spouse.
~When the love of Christ is the foundation of your marriage, the strength of your friendship and sexual relationship can be enjoyed at a level this world can never know.

Today's Dare:

If at all possible, try to initiate sex with your spouse today. Do this in a way that honors what your spouse has told you (or implied to you) about what they need from you sexually. Ask God to make this enjoyable for both of you as well as a path to greater intimacy.

To Journal:

~Was this a satisfying experience for you?
~If it didn't turn out the way you'd hoped, what do you think is complicating matters?
~Have you committed this to prayer?
~If it was a true blessing for both of you, what can you learn from this for the future?
~Were you able to complete today's dare?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Love Dare~Day 31

Nine more days, guys & gals!! I'm so proud of us for making it this far into the journey! I've talked to a couple people who have kinda been struggling with the past couple weeks. Honestly, I have too! I just don't feel like alot of this applies to me or my marriage, so it's been hard to put it into practice. But what I CAN tell you is that, I have gotten ALOT out of this study so far!!!! God has changed my heart in a lot of different ways, and taught me to love more UNconditionally! So, even if you feel like you're not getting something out of EVERY day/dare...just remember that God might have you doing this only to get a few things out of it! :)

"Love and Marriage"

"A man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh." -Genesis 2:24

A few notes from today's reading:

~Unity is a marriage quality to be guarded at great cost. The purpose of "leaving", of course, is not to abandon all contact with the past but rather to preserve the unique oneness that marriage is designed to capture. Only in oneness can you become all that God means for you and your marriage to be.
~"Cleaving" carries the idea of catching someone by pursuit, clinging to them as your new rock of refuge and safety. This man is now the spiritual leader of your new home, tasked with responsibility of loving you "just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her." (Eph 5:25). This woman is now one in union with you, called to "see to it that she respects her husband." (Eph 5:33)
~As a result of this essential process, you are able to acheive oneness in your DECISION MAKING, in your PRIORITIES, and in your SEXUAL AFFECTIONS.

Today's Dare:

Is there a "leaving" issue you haven't been brave enough to conquer yet? Confess it to your spouse today, and resolve to make it right. The oneness of your marriage is dependent upon it. Follow this with a committment to your spouse and to God to make your marriage the top priority over every other human relationship.

To Journal:

~Has this been a hard thing for you to deal with?
~How has it affected your relationship?
~If the worse offender in this area is your spouse, how can you lovingly move this toward a better situation?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Love Dare~Day 30

Okay, I am dragging BIG time today....and I'm gonna need loads of motivation to #1)catch up on some of the Love Dares I slacked on, #2)get my work done today, #3)kill all these spiders that have made nest in my office over the weekend, and #4)just stay awake!!! I loveddddddd my 4 day weekend, but it was incredibly hard to get up this morning and get back to the real world :( So...let's see what Day 30 holds for us! DAY 30!!!! Can you believe we've made it this far?!?! Only 10 more days...I hope God has been doing some incredible things in your marriage over these past 30 days! He has been reshaping me in so many ways!!

"Love bring unity"

"Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given me, that they may be one even as We are." -John 17:11

A few notes from today's reading:

~Wives-what would happen if you made it your mission to do everything possible to promote togetherness of heart with your husband? What if every threat to your unity was treated as poison, a cancer, an enemy to be eliminated by love, humility, and selfishness? What would your marriage become if you were never again willing to see your oneness torn apart?
~Therefore, love this one who is as much a part of your body as you are. Serve this one whose needs cannot be separated from your own. Honor this one who, when raised upon the pedestal of your love, raises you up too in the eyes of God, all at the same time.

Today's Dare:

Isolate one area of division in your marriage, and look on today as a fresh opportunity to pray about it. Ask the Lord to reveal anything in your own heart that is threatening oneness with your spouse. Pray that He would do the same from them. And if appropriate, discuss this matter openly, seeking God for unity.

To Journal:

~Did the Lord open your eyes to anything new that might be giving fuel to this point of disagreement?
~How did you intend to respond?
~What do you hope to see God do in your spouse as well?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Love Dare~Days 27-29

Ok, I slacked off yesterday and I am SO sorry! There's really no excuse for it at all....we were a lazy family ALL day yesterday, and I just kept putting it off until I completely forgot about it! Sorry, gals! So, I'm going to put up yesterday's dare, today's dare, and tomorrow's dare. That way I won't forget again during this holiday weekend :)

Day 27~ "Love Encourages"

Today's Dare: (yesterday's dare)

Eliminate the poison of unrealistic expectations in your home. Think of one area where your spoue has told you you're expecting too much, and tell them you're sorry for being so hard on them about it. Promise them you'll seek to understand, and assure them of your unconditional love.

To Journal:

~When you place high expectations on your spoue that they don't feel internally motivated to attain, what does that tell you about yourself?
~What are some better ways to deal with these disconnects?

Day 28~ "Love makes sacrifices"

Today's Dare:

What is one of the greatest needs in your spouse's life right now? Is there a need you could lift from their shoulders today be a daring act of sacrifice on your part? Whether the need is big or small, purpose to do what you can to meet the need.

To Journal:

~How much of your mate's stress is caused by your lack of concern or initiative?
~When you expressed a desire to help, how did they receive it?
~Are there other needs you could meet?

Day 29~ "Love's Motivation"

Today's Dare: (tomorrow's dare)

Before you see your spouse again today, pray for them by name and for their needs. Whether it comes easy for you or not, say "I love you", then express love to them in some tangible way. Go to God in prayer again, thanking Him for giving you the privelege of loving this one special person-unconditionally, the way He loves both of you!

To Journal:

~How will this change of motivation affect your relationshiop and reactions?
~What does this inspire you to do?
~What does it inspire you to stop doing?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Love Dare~Day 26

"Love is Responsible"

"When you judge another, you condemn yourself, since you, the judge, do the same things." -Romans 2:1

A few notes from today's reading:

~Love doesn't pass the blame so easily or justify selfish motives. Love is not nearly as concerned with its own performance as with others' needs. When love takes responsibility for its actions, it's not to prove how noble you've been but rather to admit how much further you have to go.
~Pride is very resistant to responsibility, but humility and honesty before God and your spouse is crucial for a healthy relationship.

Today's Dare:

Take time to pray through your areas of wrongdoing. Ask for God's forgiveness, then humble yourself enough to admit them to your spouse. Do it sincerely and truthfully. Ask your spouse for forgiveness as well. No matter how they respond, make sure you cover your responsibility in love. Even if they respond with criticism, accept it by receiving it as counsel.

To Journal:

~What does your mate need to see in order to believe that your confession was more than just words?
~Were you able to complete today's dare?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Love Dare~Day 25

15 more days of the Love Dare!!!!!! Hope everyone is doing good with it. The past couple weeks have been so deep and in a way, I don't feel like any of it has really applied to me. RED FLAG!! I probably need to go back and read through them again and really open my heart to what God is wanting to show me. But I'm kinda looking forward to this being over so I can start "blogging" again! haha...I guess I could blog on personal issues at the same time, but it would just be too much for me and this blog! ha!! :) So..let's get on with Day 25:

"Love Forgives"

"What I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, I did it for your sakes in the presence of Christ." -2 Cor. 2:10

A few notes from today's reading: (good stuff!)

~Forgiveness HAS to happen, or a successful marriage will NOT work!
~Torture. Prison. When you think of unforgiveness, this is what should come to your mind, for Jesus said, "My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart." (Matthew 18:35)
~We see all kinds of dangers and risks involved in forgiving others. But when you forgive another person, you're not turning them loose. You're just turning them over to God, who can be counted on to deal with them HIS way.
~It's about freedom. It's about letting go.
~"Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord." (Romans 12:19)
~How do you KNOW you've forgiven? You know it when the thought of their name or the sight of their face-rather than causing your blood to boil-causes you to feel sorry for them instead, to pity them, to genuinely hope they get this turned around.
~Great marriages are not created by people who never hurt each other, only by people who choose to keep "no record of wrongs." (1 Cor 13:5)

Today's Dare:

Whatever you haven't forgiven in your mate, forgive it today. Let it go. Just as we ask Jesus to "forgive us our debts" each day, we must ask Him to help us "forgive our debtors" each day as well. Unforgiveness has been keeping you and your spouse in prison too long. Say from your heart, "I choose to forgive."

To Journal:

~What did you forgive your spouse for today?
~How long have you been carrying the weight of it?
~What are the possibilities now that you've released this matter to God?
~Were you able to complete today's dare?

forgiven & forgiving,

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Love Dare~Day 24

"Love vs Lust"

"The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever." -1 John 2:17

A few notes from today's reading:

~The progression of lust: from eyes to heart to action. And then follows shame and regret.
~We can lust after people, possessions, power, or prideful ambition. We see what others have and we want it. Our hearts are decieved into saying, "I could be happy if I only had this." Then we make the decision to go after it.
~It's time to expose lust for what it really is-a misguided thirst for satisfaction that only God can fulfill. Lust is like a warning light on the dashboard of your heart, alerting you to the fact that you are not allowing God's love to fill you. When your eyes and heart are on Him, your actions will lead you to lasting joy, not to endless cycle of regret and condemnation.
~Begin with setting your eyes on the Word of God. Focus on being grateful for everything God has already given you rather than choosing discontentment.
~Lust is the best this world has to offer, but love offers you the best life in the world.

Today's Dare:

End it NOW! Identify every object of lust in your life and remove it. Single out every lie you've swallowed in pursuing forbidden pleasure and reject it. Lust cannot be allowed to live in a back bedroom. It must be killed and destroyed-today-and replaced with the sure promises of God and a heart filled with His perfect love.

To Journal:

~What did you identify as an area of lust?
~What has this pursuit cost you over time?
~How has it led you away from the person you want to be?
~WRite about your new committment to seek Him-and to seek your spoue-rather than seeking after foolish desires.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Love Dare~Day 23

"Love always protects"

"Love always protects" -1 Cor. 13:7

A few notes from today's reading:

~There are some battles you should be willing to fight in your marriage. These are battles that pertain to protecting your spouse.
~Your mate and your marriage need your constant protection from things like:
-Harmful influences- too much Internet, television, or long work hours
-Unhealthy relationships- not everyone has the material to be a good friend. Don't hang out with people who constantly put negative thoughts in your head.
-Shame- You need to protect your wife or husband's vulnerability by never speaking negatively about them in public. Love hides the fault of others. It covers their shame.
-Parasites- Anything that latches onto you or your partner and sucks the life out of your marriage. Addictions: gambling, drugs, or porn.
~Wives, you have a role as a protector in your marriage. You must guard your heart from being led away through novels, magazines, and other forms of entertainment that blur your perception of reality and put unfair expectations on your husband.

Today's Dare:

Remove anything that is hindering your relationship, any addiction or influence that's stealing your affections and turning your heart away from your spouse.

To Journal:

~What did you throw out first?
~Are there others that need to go as well?
~What do you hope the removal of these things will do for you, your marriage, and you relationship with God?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Love Dare~Day 22

Ok, so I've had a VERY busy week/weekend!!!!!!! I am so sorry for slacking with the Love Dare, but I at least wanted to make sure I posted the dares for everyone! I am still struggling a little bit with my current attitude towards this book?! It just seems like satan is working overtime trying to discourage me along the way! Ahhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!! But anyways, I'm praying myself through it....I just hope it gets better soon! :)

"Love is Faithful"

"I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness. Then you will know the Lord." -Hosea 2:20

A few notes from today's reading:

~Our love for each other is supposed to be how people distinguish us as Christ's disciples. (John 13:35)
~So if love is what we were created to share, what do you do when your love is rejected? How do you handle it when the one to whom you've pledged your life stops accepting the love you're called to give?.....
~"Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you." (Luke 6:27-28)
~If love is to be like His, it must love even when its overtures are returned unwanted. And for your love to be like that, it must be His love to begin with.
~You can give undeserved love to your spouse because God gave undeserved love to you-repeatedly, enduringly. Love is often expressed the most to those who deserve it the least. (WOW WOW WOW WOW!!)

Today's Dare:

Love is a choice, not a feeling. (I'm going to repeat that) Love is a CHOICE, not a feeling!!!!!!! It is an initiated action, not a knee-jerk reaction. Choose today to be committed to love even if you spouse has lost most of their interest in receiving it. Say to them today in words similiar to these, "I LOVE YOU. PERIOD. I CHOOSE TO LOVE YOU EVEN IF YOU DON'T LOVE ME IN RETURN."

To Journal:

~Why is this kind of love impossible without the love of Christ beating in your heart?
~How does His presence within you enable you to love, even when it's primarily one-sided?
~Were you able to complete today's dare?

loving unconditionally,

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Love Dare~Days 19-21

I am SO sorry that I didn't get a chance to put yesterday's dare up!!! Being out of town makes it very difficult to get this done! Ahhhhhhhh!!!!!!!! So, I'm going to put up yesterday's and then go ahead and post today's and tomorrow (simplified versions) :)

Day 19~"Love is impossible" (without God)

"Let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God." -1 John 4:7

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.

To Journal:

~What do you believe God is saying to you?
~Is there a stirring in your heart?
~What decision have you made in response to this?

Day 20~"Love is Jesus Christ"

"While we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly." -Romans 5:6

Today's Dare:

Dare to take God at His Word. Dare to trust Jesus Christ for salvation. Dare to pray, "Lord Jesus, I'm 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."

To Journal:

~Write about what this experience has been like for you.
~Even if you are only renewing your committment to receive and express His love, what has He shown you today?

Day 21~"Love is satisfied in God"

"The Lord will continually guide you, and satisfy your desire." -Isaiah 58:11

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, or reading a chapter in the Gospels. 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.

To Journal:

~How do you think spending time daily with God will change your situation and perspective?
~How can you make Him a bigger part of your day?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Love Dare~Day 18

"Love seeks to understand"

"How blessed is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding." -Prov 3:13

A few notes from today's reading:

~Some of the problems you have in relating to your spouse are simply because you don't understand them.
~Ask yourself these questions:
-Do you know his/her greatest hopes or dreams?
-Do you fully understand how they prefer to give and receive love?
-Do you know what your spouse's greatest fears are, and why they struggle with them?
~Here's what you can do:
-Ask questions. Proverbs 18:15. Love takes the initiative to begin conversations.
-Listen. Proverbs 10:14. The goal of understanding your mate is to hear them, not to tell them what you think.
-Ask God for discernment. Proverbs 2:6. The Lord will show you what you need in order to know how to love your spouse better.

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 an area that you've rarely talked abuot. Determine to make it an enjoyable evening for you and your mate.

To Journal:

~What did you learn about your spouse that you didn't know before?
~How could you continue this process of discovery in other ways, at other times?
~What were some of the moments that made this evening memorable?
~Were you able to complete today's dare?

Ok...I can already tell you that I will not be able to complete today's dare, TODAY! Me and Abby are leaving for the beach today, and Michael will be coming tomorrow. So....I won't be at home tonight to cook dinner for him :( BUT...I will DEFLY be making this one up, because we realy need this dinner for two! Like I said, I'll be outta town all weekend, so I'm not sure how I'm going to work out the next couple of days....they may be a little later than normal, but they'll be here! :)

trying to be more understanding,

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Love Dare~Day 17

Whew....does this seem to be getting harder for anyone else?? Not only are the dares getting deeper, but they're getting a little harder!! I can handle buying Michael little happys and running errands for him...but dying to myself and putting him first, even when he doesn't deserve it....that's HARD!!!!!!!!!! So, here's Day 17:

"Love promotes intimacy"

"He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends." -Proverbs 17:9

A few notes from today's reading:

~INTIMACY is a great blessing but is also the site of great danger. Someone who knows us this intimately can either love us at depths we never imagined, or can wound us in ways we may never fully recover from. It's both the fire and the fear of marriage.
~Which of these are you experiencing the most in your home right now? Are the secrets your spouse knows about you reasons for shame, or reasons for drawing you closer? If your spouse were to answer the same question, would they say you make them feel safe, or scared?
~The atmosphere of your marriage should be one of freedom.
~And yet God, who knows secrets about us that we even hide from ourselves, loves us at a depth we cannot begin to fathom. How much more should we-as imperfect people-reach out to our spouse in grace and understanding, accepting them for who they are and assuring them that their secrets are safe with us?

Today's Dare:

Determine to guard your 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.

To Journal:

~How much of an effort is it for you to hold back from saying something, critical or otherwise?
~What have you learned about your spouse today, simply from listening?
~Were you able to complete today's dare?

longing for a deeper intimacy,

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Love Dare~Day 16

I just have to admit that satan is trying to have his way with me!!!!!!!! I have had such a bad attitude the past couple of days, and last night instead of honoring my husband-I fought with him!! It was over something kinda silly, but I just could not let it go for some reason?! So, I guess you could say that I didn't complete the dare YESTERDAY....but I do, and will continue to, try to honor my husband everyday!

"Love Intercedes"

"Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers." -3 John 2

A few notes from today's reading:

~Most couples spend a large part of their time trying to change their spouse.
~At some point you have to accept that it's not something you can do. But here's what you CAN do. You can become a "wise farmer." He can plant the seed into fertile soil, give it water and nutrients, protect it from weeds, and then turn it over to God.
~But you won't be able to do this alone. You will need something that is more powerful than anything else you have. And that is effective prayer.
~Have you ever wondered why God gives you overwhelming insight into your spouse's hidden faults? Do you really think it's for endless nagging? No, it's for effecting kneeling. No one knows better how to pray for your mate than you!
~One of the most loving things you can ever do for your spouse is pray for them. "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." (Matthew 7:7)

Today's Dare:

Begin praying today for your spouse's heart. Pray for 3 specific areas where you desire for God to work in your spouse's life and in your marriage.

To Journal:

~Have you experienced the power of prayer in the past?
~What did you choose to pray about?
~Was it easy for you, or did it feel foreign to you?
~Were you able to complete today's dare?

I think I'll add myself to this dare. I (my attitude) need prayer just as much as Michael does! :)

a praying wife,

Monday, May 11, 2009

Love Dare~Day 15

SIGH.....Oh my goodness, I am so exhausted this morning! We had a VERY busy weekend that included 16 hours of being in the car!! YUCK!! But it was well worth it to get to spend the weekend with my brother and sister in law in Georgia! So, like I said in my last blog...I went 5 days without seeing Michael, and finally got to see him last night!! Needless to say, some of these last few dares having been kinda hard to complete! I think I'm pretty caught up, except for the "Love fights fair" dare. I just wanted to let yall know that I have not completed that one yet, but I DO plan on sitting down with Michael very soon and working that out! So, let's get on with Day 15:

"Love is Honorable"

"Live with your wives in an understanding way....and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life." -1 Peter 3:7

A few notes from today's reading:

~To honor someone means to give them respect and high esteem, to treat them as being special and of great worth.
~Honoring your mate means giving him or her your full attention, not talking to them from behind a newspaper or with one eye on the television.
~There's also another word that calls us to a higher place in our marriage. HOLY. To say your mate is "holy" to you doesn't mean that he/she is perfect.
~He/she is sacred to you, a person to be honored, praised, and defended.
~Love honors EVEN WHEN IT'S REJECTED!!!!!!!!! (WOW!)
~Love treats its beloved as special and sacred even when an ungrateful attitude is all you get in return. (DOUBLE WOW!)
~That's what love dares us to do-to say, "Of all the relationships I have, I will value ours the most. Of all the things I'm willing to sacrifice, I will sacrifice the most for you. With all your failures, sins, mistakes, and faults-past and present-I still choose to love and honor you."

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 mate that he/she is highly esteemed in your eyes.

To Journal:

~How did you choose to show honor?
~What was the result?
~What are some other ways you could demonstrate honor in the coming days?
~Were you able to complete today's dare?

I hope everyone has a great Monday!!!!!!!!!! :)

striving to honor him more,

Friday, May 8, 2009

Love Dare~Days 12-14

Okay...for the next couple of weekends, we'll be on the road alot. So...I'm going to make it a little easier on me and post the weekends at the same time (just the dares), because I'm afraid if I don't do it while I have time then it won't get done! So, I'll do day 12 as normal, and then just post the dares for 13 and 14.

Day 12-"Love let the other win"

"Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others." -Phil 2:4

A few notes from today's reading:

~Defending your rights and opinions is a foundational part of your nature and makeup. It can steal away time and productivity, and also cause great frustration.
~We need to be more "willing." It's an attitude and spirit of cooperation that should permeate our conversations.
~"Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus." (Phil 2:5)-the attitude of willingness, flexibility, and humble submission.
~It means laying down for the good of others what you have the right to claim for yourself.
~The wise and loving thing to do is to start approaching your disagreements with a willingness to not always insist on your own way. That's not to say that your spouse is necessarily right or being wise about a matter, but you are choosing to give strong consideration to their preference as a way of valuing them.

Today's Dare:

Demonstrate love by willingly choosing to give in to an area of disagreement between you and your spouse. Tell them you are putting their preference first..

To Journal:

~What issue did you choose?
~What did giving in cost you?
~How will this help you in the future?
~Were you able to complete today's dare?

Day 13-"Love fights fair"

Today's Dare:

Talk with your spouse about establishing healthy rules of engagement. If your mate is not ready for this, then write out your own personal rules to "fight" by. Resolve to abide by them when the next disagreement occurs.

**A little sidenote from the reading:
~"We" boundaries are rules you both agree on beforehand, rules that apply during any fight or altercation. "Me" boundaries are rules you personally practice on your own.

To Journal:

~If your spouse participated with you, what was their response?
~What rules did you write for yourself?
~Were you able to complete today's dare?

Day 14-"Love takes Delight"

Today's Dare:

Purposefully neglect an activity you would normally do so you can spend quality time with your spouse. Do something he/she would love to do or a project they'd really like to work on. Just be together.

To Journal:

~What did you decide to give up?
~What did you do together?
~How did it go?
~What new thing did you learn about your spouse?
~Were you able to complete today's dare?

I hope everyone has a great weekend!!! :)

giving up hardheadedness,

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Love Dare~Day 11

So, I can tell that the next couple of days are going to be hard for me since Michael is out of town. I'm having to be real creative with these dares, because there's just not much I can do FOR him while he's 4 hours away!! :( But I was able to complete yesterday's dare, and I choose not to share it...just in case he checks my blog while he's gone (or someone tells him:) So, here's Day 11:

"Love Cherishes"

"Husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies." -Eph 5:28

A few notes from today's reading:

~The verse above speaks to husbands, but notice how each member is viewed. They are both considered to be the same flesh. You must treat them with the same nurture and care that you treat yourself. When you show love to your spouse, you are showing love to yourself as well.
~When you attack your mate, it is like attacking your own body.
~It's time for you to realize that your spouse is as much a part of you as your hand, your eye, or your heart.
~When you look at your mate, you're looking at a part of YOU. So treat them well. Speak highly of them. Nourish and cherish the love of your life!!!

Today's Dare:

What need does your spouse have that you could meet today? Can you run an errand? Give a back rub or foot massage? Is there housework you could help with? Choose a gesture that says, "I cherish you" and do it with a smile :)

To Journal:

~What did you choose to show that you cherish your mate?
~What did you learn from this experience?
~Were you able to complete today's dare?

So, here's another difficult one for me. I'll just have to find a need that I can meet being 4 hours away from him!? I'm sure it can be done :) I hope everyone is having a great week....only one more day til the weekend!! wooohoooo!!!!

choosing to cherish,

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Love Dare~Day 10

Today is my day off and I am running late late late!!!! Abby and I have a Dr. Appt this morning, and I've gotta leave the house in 30 min!!!! Abby is still asleep, I'm still in my pj's, and breakfast is still on the stove! Ahhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!! So, let me post today's dare, and I'll check in later :)

"Love is unconditional"

"God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." -Romans 5:8

A few notes from today's reading:

~If your reasons for loving your spouse all have something to do with his/her qualities-and then those same qualities suddenly or gradually disappear-would your basis for love be over?
~The only way love can last a lifetime is if it's unconditional. The truth is this: love is not determined by the one BEING loved but rather by the one CHOOSING to love.
~Agage love is selfless and unconditional. So unless this kind of love forms the foundation of your marriage, the wear and tear of time will destroy it.
~There must be a stronger foundation than mere friendship or sexual attraction. Unconditional love, agape love, will not be swayed by time or circumstance.
~Love that "bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things" (1 Cor 13:7) does not come from within. It can only come from God.

Today's Dare:

Do something out of the ordinary today for your spouse-something that proves that your love is based on your choice and nothing else. Wash her car. Clean the kitchen. Buy his favorite dessert. Fold the laundry. Demonstrate love to them for the sheer joy of being their partner in marriage.

To Journal:

~Has your love in the past been based on your spouse's attributes and behavior, or on your committment?
~How can you continue to show love when it's not returned in a way you hoped for?
~Were you able to complete today's dare?

Yall have a great day! :)

missing my baby, (he's on a work trip til sunday)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Love Dare~Day 9

I'm going to start today off with a prayer request!!! Abby has had the "crud" for the past couple of days. Runny nose, cough, scratchy throat. Normally I wouldn't think too much of it, but with all this talk about the swine flu, I'm finding myself worrying to death over it!!!! Just please pray for Abby today...that if there is anything harmful going on in her little body, that God will heal her. And also, pray for me....that I'll allow the Lord to calm my fears, and that I'll put my trust in Him. Ok, now let's see what dare Day 9 has in store.

"Love makes good impressions"

"Greet one another with a kiss of love." -1 Peter 5:14

A few notes from today's reading:

~Dealing with the way you greet your spouse each day may seem inconsequential, but this small issue carries surprising significance.
~Here's something you probably don't stop to consider-the difference it would make in your spouse's day if everything about you expressed the fact that you were really, really glad to see them.
~A good greeting sets the stage for positive and healthy interaction.
~A loving greeting can bless your spouse through what they see, hear, and feel.
~Think about your greeting. Do you use it well? Does your spouse feel valued and appreciated? Do they feel loved? Even when you're not getting along too well, you can lessen the tension and give them value by the way you greet them.

Today's Dare:

Think of a specific way you'd like to greet your spouse today. Do it with a smile and with enthusiasm. Then determine to change your greeting to reflect your love for them.

To Journal:

~When and where did you choose to do your special greeting?
~How will you change your greeting from this point on?
~Were you able to complete today's dare?

I hope everyone has a great day!!

longing to be moved,

Monday, May 4, 2009

Love Dare~Days 7 & 8

I am SOOOOOOOOO sorry that you haven't heard from me in a couple days. Yesterday we had real bad weather and ended up losing power til about midnight last night. Then, I get to work today and we had no internet!!!! So...before I do anything else, I'm going to post Days 7 & 8!

Day 7~"Love believes the best"

"Love believes all things, hopes all things." -1 Cor. 13:7

A few notes from today's reading:

~You categorize your spouse into 2 different rooms: The Appreciation Room and The Depreciation Room.
~Appreciation Room includes things like "honest", "intelligent", "diligent worker", "wonderful cook", "beautiful eyes", etc. THe more time you spend meditating on these positive attributes, the more grateful you are for your mate.
~Depreciation Room includes things like bad habits, hurtful words, and poor decisions.
~Everyone fails and has areas that need growth. Everyone has unresolved issues, hurts, and personal baggage. But we have the tendency to downplay our own negative attributes while putting our spouses's failures under a magnifying glass.
~Love refuses to fill in the unknowns with negative assumptions.
~The only reason you should glance in the door of the Depreciation Room is to know how to pray for your spouse.

Today's Dare:

Get two sheets of paper. On one, list all the positive things about your spouse. On the other, list the negative. Place both sheets in a safe place for another day. At some point, pick one of the positive attributes and thank your spouse for having that characteristic.

To Journal:

~Which list was easier to make?
~What did this reveal about your thoughts?
~What attribute did you thank your spouse for having?
~Were you able to complete today's dare?

Day 8~"Love is not jealous"

"Love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire." -Song of Solomon 8:6

A few notes from today's reading:

~Jealousy is one of the strongest drives known to man.
~There are actually two forms: legitimate jealousy and illegitimate jealousy
~If selfishness rules, any good things happening to only one of you can be a catalyst for envy rather than congratulations.
~A loving husband doesn't mind his wife being better at something, having more fun, or getting more applause.
~A loving wife will be the first to cheer for her man when he wins. She does not compare her weaknesses to his strengths. She throws a celebration, not a pity party.

Today's Dare:

Determine to become your spouse's biggest fan and to reject any thoughts of jealousy. To help you set your heart on your spouse and focus on their acheievements, take yesterday's list of negative attributes and destroy it! Then share with your spouse how glad you are about a success he/she recently enjoyed.

To Journal:

~How hard was it to destroy the list?
~What are some positive experiences that you can celebrate in the life of your mate?
~How can you encourage them toward future successes?
~Were you able to complete today's dare?

Okay, I gotta go run to a friend's house for dinner!! Hopefully we'll be back on track tomorrow :)

believing the best is yet to come,

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Love Dare~Day 6

Ok, so I'll start off by admitting that I have not fully completed Day 5!!! I did my part and asked Michael to tell me 3 things that cause him to be irritated with me, but he never gave me a straight answer. So, along with today's dare, I plan on getting an answer from Michael...because I KNOW I irritate him sometimes, and I want to work on that! :) So, let's get started on Day 6.

"Love is not irritable"

"He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city." -Proverbs 16:32

A few notes from today's reading:

~To be irritable means "to be near the point of a knife." Not far from being poked.
~People who are irritable are locked, loaded, and ready to overreact.
~A loving wife is not overly sensitive or cranky but exercises emotional self-control. She chooses to be a flower among the thorns and respond pleasantly during prickly situations.
~There are at least 2 key reasons that contribute to people becoming irritable:
2)Selfishness (have yall noticed that we seem to talk about selfishness every day?....must be a big problem!)
~Being easily angered is an indicator that a hidden area of selfishness or insecurity is present where love is supposed to rule.

Today's Dare:

Choose today to react to tough circumstances in your marriage in loving ways instead of with irritation. Begin by making a list of areas where you need to add margin to your schedule. Then list any wrong motivations that you need to release from your life.

To Journal:

~Where do you need to add margin to your life?
~When have you recently overreacted?
~What was your real motivation behind it?
~What decisions have you made today?
~Were you able to complete today's dare?

Honestly, I'm kinda confused about today's dare? I'm gonna have to dig a little deep today and figure out what it means by adding margin to my life? If anyone has any assistance they can offer, please do :) I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!!!!!!!!!!

exercising emotional self-control,

Friday, May 1, 2009

Love Dare~Day 5

I hope everyone had a great day yesterday! I completed the dare!! And I hope you were able to complete it also :) Here we go with Day 5:

"Love is not rude"

"He who blesses his friend with a loud voice early in the morning, it will be reckoned a curse to him." -Proverbs 27:14

A few notes from today's reading:

~Rudeness is unnecessarily saying or doing things that are unpleasant for another person to be around. To be rude is to act unbecoming, embarassing, or irritating.
~If the wife desires to love her husband, she purposefully avoids things that frustrate him or cause him discomfort.
~"It is better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife." -Proverbs 25:24
~There are two main reasons why people are rude: ignorance & selfishness
~Test yourself with these questions:
-How does your spouse feel about the way you speak and act around them?
-How does your behavior affect your mate's sense of worth and self-esteem?
-Would your husband or wife say you're a blessing, or that you're condescending and embarassing?
~Here are 3 guiding principles when it comes to practicing etiquette in your marriage:
1)Guard the Golden Rule- Treat your mate the same way you want to be treated.
2)No double standards- Be as considerate to your spouse as you are to strangers and coworkers.
3)Honor requests- Consider what your husband or wife already asked you to do or not to do. If in doubt, then ask.

Today's Dare:

Ask your spouse to tell you three things that cause him/her to be uncomfortable or irritated with you. You must do this without attacking them or justifying your behavior. This is from their perspective only.

To Journal:

~What things did your spouse point out about you the need your attention?
~How did you handle hearing it?
~What do you plan to do to improve these areas?
~Were you able to complete today's dare?

Well, I'm off today, and we're going to spend the day in Jackson! So, I gotta run....but I hope everyone has a blessed day!! love yall :)

sometimes ignorant & selfish,