Day 349: Weekly Prayer: Your Fears

November 29, 2012

In her chapter on fear, Omartian talked about some things that some women sometimes fear. (These fears aren’t unique to women, but men—or at least I—sometimes fear them too.) A woman might fear physical danger, lack of provision for herself and her family, or what people think of her. I would add to that, that people often fear death (but what is the fear of death? a fear that one will cease to exist or a fear of meeting the divine in judgment or a fear of the process of death or something else?)

I prayed, for my 349th act of love, that God would calm your fears. I prayed that the love of God would drive fear out of your life. At the same time, I prayed that you would fear God—the Creator and sustainer of the universe and your life and the one who will judge the living and the dead at the final resurrection.  Having said that, I’m not sure what an appropriate fear of God—a loving Father but omnipotent creator—looks like.

Anyway, I pray that God would cast out fear from your life. What reason do you have to fear? The God who loves you is also in charge of your safety, your provision, and your life. What he does with those things is for your good. And, what he, not your neighbor, thinks of you is what ultimately matters.

348: Loving Others: Rice and Beans

November 29, 2012

We’ve been trying to teach our daughters that they’re very blessed to have so much food to eat and so many clothes to wear. I want them to be appreciative of what they have and to be willing to give of their excess to those in need. The best way to get that across to them, I think, is by example. So, for act 348, we ate rice and beans for dinner and took the money that we would’ve spent on the rest of our dinner ($5, we estimated) and we gave it to someone who needed it.

Day 347: Out of My League

November 29, 2012

For this act of love, I wrote portions of the lyrics to our song, “Out of My League,” on some 3-by-5 cards and placed them in different locations around the house. I thought it would be fun for you to discover them throughout the day until you realized what they were. Here’s what I wrote on the different cards:

“It’s her hair and her eyes today”

“that just simply take me away”

“and the feeling that I’m falling further in love”

“makes me shiver, but in a good way”

“’cause I love her with all that I am”

“and my voice shakes along with my hands”

“’cause she’s all that I see and she’s all that I need”

“and I’m out of my league once again.”

You seemed to appreciate this act. The girls caught on quickly that there were cards hiding around the house and they made it their aim to find all of them.

Day 346: Family Movie Night

November 12, 2012

For this act of love, I planned a family movie night for us. I can’t remember what we saw, but I’m sure it was something with a pink or purple cover. We had popcorn, we turned off the lights (our oldest likes to do this because it reminds her of the drive in theater), and we snuggled together on the couch under a blanket.

Day 345: Cleaning Our House

November 12, 2012

On day 345, I got up before everyone else and cleaned our house for two hours. If I hadn’t done this, we would’ve had to clean our house together after the girls went to sleep. Instead, you were able to relax a little that evening.

Day 344: Cleaning Your Bike

November 12, 2012

On day 344, I cleaned your bike for you while you were gone at your parents’ house. It hadn’t been cleaned for a while, so it really needed it. You really appreciated this act and even took your shiny bike out for a spin.

Day 343: An Experiment

November 12, 2012

I decided midday on day 343 that, rather than commit a planned act for you, I would just describe the acts that I did for you up to that point in the day. I did this without considering beforehand how the morning went. I just wanted to see what the morning looked like. Was I selfish? Did I put you first? Did I serve you naturally or did it take some effort? I know this isn’t a very scientific experiment because I’m only looking at the results from a single morning rather than an extended period of time. Regardless, here are the results:

I let you sleep in while I watched the kids, I washed the dishes, I made us dinner in our crockpot, I read to our oldest for her schooling, I gave you a back massage, and I watched the kids while you took a shower.

As I think about it, this was not a typical morning (case in point: I gave you a back massage). I spend many mornings on myself. For example, every Saturday morning, you watch the kids while I go on a two-hour bike ride. When I get back, you usually have breakfast cooked for me and the girls fed. After my breakfast, you watch the kids while I take a shower.

But here’s something I noticed about my experiment. The things I did for you/us came naturally and without thinking. That’s not always the case. Sometimes I get upset if I feel like I’m carrying more of the load. But at least there are times when serving you/our family comes naturally. I thank God for giving me the grace to do that. And I’m positive that when you watch the kids and do stuff for me, you’re not typically thinking it’s a big deal. After all, we’re a team.

Wait: I forgot to tell you about one of my acts for day 343. I was making a sandwich for my lunch when you asked me if I would make you one. I said, as seriously as ever, “You’ve got two hands. Why don’t you make it.” Your mouth dropped in shock. I then proceeded to sit down and eat my sandwich while you went to the kitchen to make yours. Go team!



Day 342: Buying You Makeup

November 9, 2012

A while back, you noticed an advertisement for some sort of makeup variety pack in an Ulta brochure. You told me that you really wanted it, so I bought it for you for my 342nd act of love. I honestly have no clue what the little bottles and brushes and such that came with it are for, but you were super excited about it, so that makes me happy. When you got it, you kept taking out the various little bottles, dabbing whatever was in them on your finger, then rubbing the stuff on your face. Then you’d look at me and ask me what I thought. Of course I said you looked beautiful. To be honest, though, I think you look awesome with or without makeup. Still, I’m glad you like your little variety pack.

Day 341: Weekly Article: Driscoll on Leadership

November 9, 2012

For my 341st act of love, I read this article by Mark Driscoll on how men can better lead their families. Much of the advice he gave had to do with making sure men read the Bible on their own and with their families, and that they pray with and for their families. Through 365, I’ve definitely made great gains in these areas. Over time, I’m sure this will have a huge impact on the health of our family.

Another aspect of his advice had to do with physical touch. I’m glad to say that I hug and kiss each of our kids each day when I put them to bed and often hold them while sitting on the couch either reading to or talking with them. I’m also glad to say that you and I often snuggle together on the couch after the girls are in bed.

The other day, our pastor said that his wife is his best friend. He said that sometimes, they’ll sit at the dinner table and talk for a couple of hours after they’re done eating, not because they’ve scheduled that time, but because they can’t help but talk with and enjoy each other. I think that we lack in this area. Though I think we spend a lot of time together, we don’t often talk to each other just to talk or because we’re really enjoying each other. I don’t think we should be too hard on ourselves, though, since much of our energy is spent making sure our kids our happy and healthy. Still, I think we should make time for talking.

Day 340: My Last Skipped Day

November 9, 2012

I missed day 340. I’m not sure why. I could say that it’s because it’s very difficult to come up with new and exciting acts of love and that my mind drew a blank that day. But that’s no excuse. You don’t want something new and interesting necessarily. Instead, you want something that expresses my love for you. My act could’ve been as simple as giving you a flower or a hug or some words of encouragement. This has been a great lesson for me this year.