Day 242: Scrabble Message

May 30, 2012

This Sunday, before I went to church, I left you a message:

The girls saw it before you and were excited because they just knew it was a love note to you from dad. I guess I’m pretty predictable.

When I came home from church, you glowed when you thanked me for it. Seems like I scored a lot of points with this move.

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Day 241: Your Mother’s Day Celebration

May 30, 2012

Due to my Mother’s Day faux pas, we decided to celebrate Mother’s Day on May 25th.

The kids woke up extra early, for some unknown reason, so I let you sleep in while I watched them and made your breakfast. What was on the menu? Eggs in a bread bowl. I took a round loaf of bread from Trader Joe’s, hollowed it out, and filled it with eggs, feta, prosciutto, and basil. I then baked it for 50 minutes. Here she is:

Along with your bread bowl, I served you watermelon, cherries, orange juice, and tea:

You absolutely loved your breakfast. Afterwards, I told you to take a shower and get dressed and to take as much time as you needed. When you were done, I handed you your gift certificate for a professional massage and sent you out the door.

When you were gone, the girls and I made you your pictures using water colors, paint, dry noodles, and cheerios. They  had so much fun doing something special for you while being creative at the same time.

You came back from your massage very relaxed, yet a little giddy. For the rest of the day, you didn’t stop talking about it.

For lunch, I made us a picnic. I planned on taking us to the duck-and-turtle park, but Saturday was really windy. So we had our picnic in our front yard.

After lunch, I let you take a nap while I watched the kids. Eventually, we all fell asleep.

I had another thing planned for the evening, but I learned that we had a graduation party to attend. So, I put that on hold.

I hope you enjoyed your “Mother’s Day.” It might seem a little like my penance for taking you to Chuck E. Cheese’s, but really, I did it from a sincere heart because I love you. You’re a great mom and you deserved this day.


Day 236: Custom Key Chain

May 24, 2012

I made you a custom keychain for my 236th act of love: I went online and ordered you a key chain with a picture on it (of us eating at Joe’s Crab Shack for Valentine’s Day) and with “my hubby loves me” as a caption.

I can’t tell you how proud I was for thinking of this. I imagined you walking around with your fancy key chain, proudly displaying it to all your friends and saying to them, “see, my hubby loves me.” I imagined them getting jealous and asking their husbands why they don’t have a fancy key chain. I was so excited that I couldn’t wait the estimated 7 to 11 business days to melt your heart with my debonair deed.

So, I told you: “Guess what?” “What?” “I made you a key chain with our picture on it and under the picture it says ‘my hubby loves me.’ You’ll get it in the mail in a couple of weeks.” “Thanks . . . that’s super cheesy,” came your immediate reply.

When you said that, my deed no longer seemed to me debonair; rather, it seemed Napolean-Dynamite-esque and I wondered why I didn’t just build you a cake. “So,” I replied, “should I cancel the custom shirt I ordered? It’s purple and has a picture on it of us riding a flying unicorn through rainbows and waterfalls with floating castles in the distance.” (Okay, I didn’t say exactly that, but something like it.) “Yeah, maybe you should. But I’m looking forward to that key chain.”


Day 234: Reading Up on Marriage

May 24, 2012

A necessary condition of becoming a better husband, of treating you as I should, of making a better marriage, etc. is getting an accurate picture of what marriage is, of what’s required for husbands, of how husbands should treat their wives, etc. For this act of love, then, I read some John Piper articles about marriage that I found at desiringgod.org.


Day 233: Heart Brownie

May 23, 2012

You and I made brownies for all of us, including my sister and Daow. Before the brownies were done, though, you left for a meeting. I cut this brownie out for you while you were gone:

 


Day 225: Love and Respect CD #4

May 13, 2012

I wanted us to (re)listen to the 4th CD of the Love and Respect Conference for Thursday’s act of love. When I suggested it, though, you said something to the effect that you were so exhausted that you only had enough energy to wash the dishes then go to bed. Tears formed in your eyes.

I was also exhausted. I’m talking about the head-throbbing, eye-burning, stomach-turning type. “It’d be nice if you could just skip the dishes and go to bed,” I said, “but they must be washed tonight.” You agreed. “What if I offer to wash them for her,” I thought. Everything inside me screamed “No!” at such a thought. Still, I blurted out, “Go to bed. I’ll wash the dishes.” “Are you sure?” “‘Yeah, I’m sure.” “I’ll tell you what. Why don’t you wash half the dishes, then I’ll wake up early to wash the rest,” you said. “Okay.” When you woke up in the morning, you were surprised that I actually took you up on your offer!

Before we got married, I never knew how much of a battle love is. It was certainly easy to “fall in love” with you. But when the intensity of those feelings faded, every day became an opportunity to decide who to put first, you or me. If I weren’t so self-seeking, perhaps willing the former would be easy. But, as it is, every day and even every hour is a battle to put your needs, desires, etc. first. To put you before me. May I stand strong in the midst of this battle.


Day 212: On My Knees to Love You

April 29, 2012

Since my brother and his family will be here for the weekend, I decided to keep 365 things simple: for the next few days, I’m going to pray for our marriage for my acts of love. Even though that’s simple, it’s one of the most important things I can do to love you and to help our relationship.

On Friday, then, I (literally) got down on my knees in our living room and sought help for our marriage from my heavenly Father. Nothing I prayed was new or exciting, but everything I prayed was important. I asked God to give me the grace I need to love you sacrificially, to give me a passion for you, to protect our marriage from infidelity, to make us people of integrity, and to do all this for his glory. In asking for these things, I’m not implying that I don’t need to do anything to bring them about. In fact, I anticipate doing some dang hard work.

I don’t expect that our marriage will be successful if we pray for it intermittently (though God can use many means to accomplish his ends). Instead, it’ll come from (among other things) daily and sincere cryings out to the only true God. In this light, I hope that prayer for our marriage doesn’t (simply) occur as an act of love through this blog, but is such a part of our lives that we can’t imagine living without it.


Day 211: I Treasure You

April 28, 2012

I had no clue what to do for my act of love on Thursday. I wanted it to be interesting, but couldn’t come up with anything. Finally, I thought, “Who gives a crap if it’s interesting, as long as it shows Francine that I treasure her.” But that thought gave me an idea: to email you this:

stock photo : old wooden chest with gold coins. isolated on a white background.

stock photo : cute lamb

That last picture is supposed to be of a ewe. I have no clue if it is.

UPDATE: You replied to my email message with this: “haha, first i thought it was eye gold lamb… haha thanks! I gold lamb you too! :0)” Maybe it is a lamb; if so, it can’t be a ewe.


Day 208: Foot in Mouth

April 27, 2012

Lately, it seems that I’ve been demanding and overly harsh with you. And from this you’ve taken it that I think you’re not doing much well. To counteract this, I decided to figure out something that you excel in, and then praise you for it. Your love for others immediately came to my mind. In this, you definitely excel—our girls are growing up in a home filled with love thanks to you and our neighbors and friends have experienced your love as well.

When I told you I was thinking about things you excel in, the first question you asked was, “How many did you think of?” I wasn’t sure what to say, because once your love for others came to mind, I stopped trying to come up with stuff. I should’ve explained that I only tried to come up with one thing and that you excel in a lot of things. Instead, I answered in one of the worst ways: “At least one.” It struck me at first as a clever answer that might get me out of a fix, since saying that I thought of at least one thing is consistent with thinking of 100 things. But as the words came out of my mouth, I knew I was in trouble. You interpreted my answer as you should have: as “Only one,” and took it to imply that “You only excel at one thing.” Sadly, this implication had the opposite effect than what I intended for the act of love; that is, it served to confirm your suspicion that I think you don’t do much well. Sheesh. You were gracious, though, and simply rolled your eyes and gave me a hug.

When I actually told you what I came up with, you appreciated my answer.


Day 207: Loving Others #3

April 27, 2012

After getting back from the church retreat last Sunday, our pastor gave us some of the retreat’s leftover food. Since it was a decent amount, we decided to share our wealth. For this Sunday’s act of love, then, I delivered some of the food to a family in our church.