February 14, 2012
Your sixth of seven back massages went down without a hitch.
I’ve been wondering whether some think that a blog like this, by its very nature, cannot be done with pure intentions. Maybe they think that it goes against an appropriate humility. There might be some initial plausibility in what they say. After all, I’ve made this blog public, which means I’m intentionally doing my good deeds before others. But even if it wasn’t public, perhaps cataloging my loving acts, then presenting the finished work to you, necessarily involves some bad motive on my part like an inappropriate desire for recognition.
However, I think that it’s not the nature of the blog that makes the difference, but the nature of my heart. If I’m posting my loving acts here in order that others might think, for example, that I’m some sort of swell guy, then that’s bad (Mt. 6:1). But, if I’m doing so in order that God might be glorified and lives might be changed, then that’s good (Mt. 5:14-16).
I’m not saying my intentions are pure. It’s difficult for me to determine what’s in my heart, so I’m not even sure what my intentions are. But I do pray often that God would use this blog for his glory, not mine.
February 13, 2012
Saturday’s back massage almost didn’t happen. After dinner, we worked on stuff for several hours. Then 11 rolled around and I went to bed, while you stayed up to go on pinterest. Around midnight, I shot up from my sleep because I somehow realized that I didn’t give you your massage. Though I thought about the fact that I had to get up in six hours and though I wanted to stay in bed, I didn’t even consider skipping the massage. I simply got out of bed to do it, without hesitation and almost instinctually.
This is exactly the result I want from 365—that doing loving things for you would be so ingrained in me that I can’t help but do them. I guess this needs to be further ingrained, though, since I went to sleep before I even realized I missed my daily loving act.
February 11, 2012
Back massage #4 went okay. Just before I started, you said something that really got under my skin. I gave you your massage anyway, but my heart wasn’t in it. Instead, I bit my tongue the entire time and tried to put the remark out of my mind. The massage changed neither of our attitudes, though we did work through our issue afterwards.
This morning I talked to a good friend on the phone. When the conversation came around to you, he told me that I married up. I certainly did. You do get under my skin on occasion, but that’s what happens when two imperfect and very often selfish people try to make a life together. I love you, Francine, and can’t believe a gal like you married a guy like me.
February 10, 2012
Three massages down, four to go.
Since day 131, I’ve given my intentions for this blog some thought. I’ve asked myself questions like “Why am I doing 365 Acts of Love?” and “What do I hope will result from it?” Here are some answers. For one, I want to express and increase my love for you and that for many reasons, including the betterment of our relationship, the growth of our character, the good of loving you, the glorification of God (which I take to be primary), etc. For another, I want others to be spurred on to love their spouses deeply and to praise God for what he’s doing in our relationship. So maybe this sums up my intentions: I want to express and increase my love for you for our sake and others’ sake, and all this for God’s sake.
But the above is ideal. I’m sure other, less noble intentions creep in. Like what? Well, perhaps I’m doing 365 because I want you to recognize what I do for you. Or maybe, I want to use it as leverage later in our relationship (“Remember I wrote that blog for you? Can’t you do this one thing for me?”). Maybe I’m blogging because I want recognition from others. I hope that none of these motivate me. Frankly, none are worth the effort 365 requires.
I do recognize that I’m prone to some of the above ulterior motives. But that’s part of the reason I keep this blog anonymous.* Sure, I’ve told some friends and family. [Hi, “Danielle” and “Kyle”!] But for the most part, I’ve kept it a secret.
At any rate, I want my motives for this blog to be good, rather than bad. May God’s grace put and keep me on track.
*Disclaimer: I’m not sure I’ll always keep it anonymous.
February 9, 2012
After dinner, yesterday, we went to a church function, which blessed us but increased our level of exhaustion. When we finally got home and put the kids to bed, it was 10. After that, we needed to talk over some sensitive family issue, which caused some tension between us. At 10:30, I said I would give you your massage. You said that you weren’t in the mood (never in all my life would I have imagined you saying that). “No,” I said, “I’m giving you a massage” (which I intended for your sake, not the blog’s). “Fine,” you said. I gave you your Kindle Fire so you could watch a show or something, then I gave you a massage. When I finished, both our moods had changed. We were still exhausted, but at least the tension between us was gone.
February 8, 2012
I gave you your first of a week of back massages last night. When I told you that I would do this, you gave me a look that I couldn’t figure out. Was it confusion? Suspicion? Incredulity? I’m not sure. But then you smiled and said you can’t wait. I did make a qualification, though—I told you I get to decide how short or long the massages are. You agreed to that, but I think I know why. Whenever I finish giving you a massage, you say, “That’s it?” and you give me this sort of pouty look. I can’t help but say, “No, it’s not,” and resume the massage. (I don’t think it’s manipulation, but honest disappointment.) So really, you’ll determine their length.
February 4, 2012
For yesterday’s act of love, I wanted us to listen to the second Love and Respect CD. It’s been a long time since we listened to the first one, but I’m intent on finishing them all before 365’s up. You thought it was a great idea, but said you were so tired that you didn’t think you could concentrate on it. “What do you want to do instead?” I asked. “What do I want? A back massage,” you replied. I felt a tinge of disinclination, but said yes anyway. In the end, I quite enjoyed giving you a back massage and you quite enjoyed getting one.
January 26, 2012
Yesterday was a good day at work. I got some good results from my work, but those results required a huge mental push on my part. When we finally put the girls to bed, it was all I could do to sit on the couch (I thought I might get sick). For my act of love, then, I simply held your hand (and the baby) while you watched one of your shows.
January 16, 2012
On day 107, I decided that, for the next week, I would commit the kinds of acts from the first 100 days that you liked best. Well, I’m starting a day early. My first act was a back massage. You practically beg me to give you these, so I almost can’t go wrong by complying.
Sometimes, I know you have a certain need, but I’m not sure how to meet it or I know how to meet it but don’t have the right resources to meet it. Meeting your need for a back massage is so straightforward and easy. I love it!
January 10, 2012
In my effort to tone down my acts of love (for now) so as not to overwhelm you, I committed a very simple act yesterday: I gave you a long hug and told you that I love you and I’m glad I married you. You very much enjoyed that act of love and reciprocated my words of affirmation with your own. Though my big acts of love are great memory makers for us, I think you enjoy the little acts of love almost, if not just, as much.