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 7, 2012
For my act of love last night, I picked something that catered to this blog’s readers rather than you (oopsie). I initially wanted to look for a need of yours to fulfill (see day 107), but decided that I would just ask you what you need. You said you wanted a back massage (surprise, surprise). When you said that, I thought, “If I keep posting on 365 about giving you back massages, I’ll lose reader interest,” then asked, “Is there anything else you need?” “Hmmm . . . how about a back massage,” you replied. “Anything else?” “It would be nice if you held our baby for a while so I could look at pinterest.” “You got it.” Afterwards, you asked if I would give you a foot massage, so I did. If I’m completely honest, my willingness to give you a foot massage was reader driven as well!
This all makes me wonder about my intentions for this blog (what they are, what they were when I started, etc.). Am I primarily interested in expressing and increasing my love for you (haven’t I read that somewhere?) or in gaining followers? I’ve been giving this, as well as some other issues related to my intentions, some thought lately. I believe strongly that I’m doing this blog for you, though at times I act like I’m not.
PS: For your weekly flowers, you’ve lately been asking me to get you potted flowers. Our house is starting to look like a nursery.
UPDATE: Who cares about reader interest. This blog’s for you. My loving acts for the next week will consist in back massages.
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.
December 21, 2011
Yesterday, I texted you this: “if there.s one thing i could do for u tonight what would it b?” You responded: “Man I love this new husband.” After thinking about it for a while, you said you wanted a back massage. I figured you would say that. When I agreed to give you one, you texted, “Wow. Impressive. Yep, thats my man!!! :o)” Funny that you sounded surprised, as if I would offer to do something for you then refuse to do it when you accepted. When I got home, I gave you your massage, which you heartily enjoyed.
I must say that I don’t enjoy giving you massages. However, I’m disliking that activity less and less because I’m doing it more and more. Something similar happened with my dislike of tomatoes, onions, and bell peppers. I knew they were good for me, but I didn’t eat them because I was repulsed by them. One day, I decided it was silly that I wouldn’t eat these healthy foods, so I attempted to change my appetite for them. How did I do this? I ate them, in little portions and with other foods, gradually eating them more and more and in larger portions until I could tolerate them. After many painful experiences (I won’t go into details; I’ll just my gag reflex was involved), I now like these vegetables and sometimes crave them. I systematically changed my desires (and sensations) by subjecting them to my reason and will. I’m now doing the same thing with my dislike for giving massages. I know you enjoy them, so I’m submitting my desires to what I know is good and acting in accordance with that good. Though there’s more to changing your desires than submitting them to your reason and will (e.g., God’s grace is involved), this is part of the process.
PS: You walked in while I was writing this post. Eek! I don’t think you saw anything.
December 19, 2011
You’ve had back issues ever since our youngest was born. So on Saturday, I gave you a back massage to help your pain. I turned on a movie and planned on massaging you for most of the movie, but our youngest woke up and needed attention. Still, I still got a good 30 minutes in.
December 8, 2011
I decided to do ten little acts for you yesterday, rather than one biggish one. Here are my “ten” acts:
(1) I texted you during the day to tell you I love you and to ask you how you’re doing. You said you’re surviving. I texted you back that “you’re a survivor/ you’re gonna make it.”
(2) I opened the car door for you when we went out.
(3) I held your hand as much as possible during the evening. Sometimes, certain little people prevented me from doing so as they often required more hands than both of us have.
(4) I cleaned the bathroom sink for you.
(5) I placed a love note on the bathroom sink for you.
(6) I placed a few pieces of chocolate on your pillow.
(7) I served you ice cream.
(8) I massaged one of your hands.
By the time I finished (8), I lay down on the couch and told you to wake me up in twenty minutes (who takes naps at 10 PM?). (9) and (10) never came because my nap lasted a tad longer than I expected. Around three AM, our oldest daughter needed some attention. As we took care of her, you told me that you found the chocolates and the note and that I was very thoughtful to do those things.