For my second-to-last act of love, I gave you a back massage because you love them so. (It’s my second-to-last act, but I’m doing a final post, “day 366,” after day 365.) This was a great reminder of several things. (1) Loving you isn’t about me. I still don’t like giving massages, though I can now tolerate them after so much practice. Still, you love getting massages, and that should be enough for me. (2) Doing something for you, even if it’s something I don’t like to do, is much more enjoyable for me when I know that you’re enjoying it. That motivates me to do such things for you. (3) Massages don’t take that long, they’re not that difficult to give, and you get so much out of them. I should just man up and give you them. Anyway, you enjoyed your massage. There are many more where that one came from.
I baked you an apple pie for this act of love, which was the first apple pie I’ve ever baked in my life. I thought it tasted okay, but you really liked it. I believe this was the first time I baked a pie in my life, which was for 365 Acts of Love. Since that time, I baked a blueberry pie for Thanksgiving and one for Christmas. That makes four pies, all because of 365 Acts of Love. If nothing else comes out of this year-long project, it was worth it for the delicious pies.
For day 353, I told you I would watch the girls for the day while you did whatever you wanted (I made sure to tell you ahead of time). I expected you to drive to your mom’s to go shopping or to read a book in your room for hours or to go out with one of your friends or a combination of these. Instead, you said you didn’t want the day away, but wanted a few hours alone to get some rest. I tried to convince you to take the whole day, but you insisted that you didn’t want it. So, what could I do but honor your request? I watched the girls while you took a few hours for yourself to get all rested up. These times away should be a regular occurrence!
For my 333rd act of love, I read this article from Focus on the Family about serving others as a couple. We’ve done a bit of serving together and it’s always made us closer and more unified. But, as the article points out, serving others isn’t about the benefit that we accrue, but the benefit of others.
As the holiday season approaches, I’m becoming more and more mindful of those who are in need. I think we should begin planning how to incorporate acts of giving to the needy into our holiday tradition. I’m sure that’ll make our holidays more meaningful (for us and others) and it’ll be a great example to our kids.
For act 323, I baked you (and the girls) some blueberry muffins. They didn’t taste great, but it was fun to surprise you with them.
On Wednesday (8/8), I was a little frustrated about 365 Acts of Love. I kept thinking about how far behind I was on the blog (I’m now even further behind) and I couldn’t think of what act to do for you. So, I asked you:
“Why don’t you pick my act of love for the day? This project is so tough. I can’t think of anything to do.”
“Okay,” you replied.
“You have to pick it today, it can’t be tomorrow, and it has to be something that I can pull off today. See how tough this—“
“A foot massage!”
“I want you to give me a foot massage. You’re so right–that was really tough!”
“Very funny. Now try doing that every day for a year . . .”
You quite enjoyed your foot massage.
I came home from work on day 301 and you were so exhausted and frustrated from taking care of our dear little ones that I immediately suggested that you go to Starbucks with a Nancy Drew novel for a few hours. You said you were too tired to do even that, but asked if you could take your break in our room. That sounded fine to me. So you lay on your bed and solved the mystery of the whistling bagpipes with your dear friend Nancy while I watched the kids and made dinner.
365 Acts of Love‘s really taught me to look out for your needs and desires and to meet them. Of course, recognizing that you needed a break that day didn’t require Sherlockean powers of perception. Still, before 365 I probably would’ve thought something like this:
She seems pretty tired. I would give her a break, but I just got home from work and I really need to sit down for a while. Maybe I’ll watch the kids in the living room while she makes dinner.
Of course, “watching the kids in the living room” would’ve involved barricading them in the room so that I could sprawl out on the couch with a book.