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.
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.
For my act of love on 7/13, I gave you a back massage. Your back was really sore, but you didn’t ask for a massage. So, I offered to give you one. Of course you took me up on the offer.
Today I gave you a back massage in a candle-lit room with our song—“Out of My League”—playing on our laptop.
When I prepared our room for your massage, I told you I would be upstairs for a few minutes, but didn’t tell you why. I also didn’t tell you that I recently bought our song from Amazon. (We haven’t listened to it in several years because we lost the CD.) So you were really surprised when you came into our room, saw the candle, heard our song playing, and I told you that I would give you a massage.
For this act of love, I stuck with something tried and true: a back massage. If ever I want to make you happy, this is all I have to do. The trouble is, getting myself to do it is the tricky part.
Since you love massages so much and I still don’t love giving them, I decided to buy you a gift card for a professional massage. I picked one in our price range—a 15-minute neck, shoulder, and upper-back massage. When I gave you the gift card, I braced myself because I knew you’d jump into my arms once you realized what it was. You did.
When we played that die game on Monday, you asked me if you could switch your prize from a chocolate bar to a back massage. I refused your request. So on Wednesday, I decided to make up for it by giving you your massage. Though I try to vary my acts of love, I don’t think you’d mind if 365 Acts of Love consisted solely of back massages.
On Monday, I wanted to play a game like Monopoly with you, but modified so that there were actual prizes for the winner. When I asked you if you were interested in doing this, you said that it sounded like fun, but that you were too tired for a long game. So instead, I listed six prizes on a sheet of paper and numbered them from one to six:
- I’ll do whatever chore you want.
- Dark chocolate bar from Trader Joe’s
- Snuggle time on the couch
- I’ll watch the TV show of your choice with you.
Then, I had you roll a die, with the stipulation that you would win the prize associated with whatever number you rolled. (If you rolled a six, you would’ve been able to choose any prize from one to five.)
You rolled a three. You asked me if you could have the massage instead, but I refused (per the rules of the game). You were fine with that. I bought you your chocolate on Tuesday:
Directly after the game, though, you turned on the show of your choice and started snuggling me on the couch. I asked you why you were claiming prizes from the game that you weren’t entitled to and you said something to the effect that your current actions had nothing to do with the game.
I’ve been so preoccupied with work lately, and for good reason, that I haven’t been focusing on this blog. So after a long day yesterday, I attempted to come up with an act to commit for you. All I could think of was sleep, so I decided to massage your hand while going to sleep. This woke you up, though, and you offered me your other hand once I was done with the first. Then, you offered me your feet. So, I ended up massaging your hands and feet for my act of love.
This preoccupation will end by Friday, though, so you can expect more thought out acts of love coming up. Right now, it’s all I can do to be consistent.
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.