Day 361: Weekly Prayer: Your Trust

February 13, 2013

The chapter in Omartian’s book that I prayed through for this act was about your trust. It emphasized the importance of maintaining your trust and the affect broken trust would have in our relationship. I’ve definitely broken your trust in certain areas and am working at rebuilding it. Omartian is right that broken trust in one area has a negative affect on an entire relationship.

Omartian emphasized three areas in which maintaining trust is extremely important. The first is sexual integrity. I prayed that I would be above reproach in this area, that there would not even be a hint of sexual infidelity in our marriage. This doesn’t just include affairs! Affairs often are the product of years of compromise. Fidelity includes integrity on the internet, with the TV, with where I look when I’m in public, and with . . . well . . . masturbation. If I don’t have integrity in these areas, even in areas that seem minor, then I’ve broken your trust.

The second area of integrity is money. I need to work hard to provide for you and the girls and I need to use our money wisely. The latter is difficult when there is pressure to spend money on you guys because I think it’ll make you happy. It does make you happy for the moment, but long term it doesn’t. Maintaining your trust in this area sometimes involved disappointing you by not spending money on something we or you want but don’t need.

The third area is loving and respecting you and our girls. If I do something to disrespect you or the girls or I don’t act in a way that’s loving, your trust is broken. Obviously I do stuff every day that isn’t so loving or respectful. But I think I can maintain your trust in this area if I’m consistently working toward loving and respecting you and the girls. This is a daily battle, sure, but nobody said it was easy.

Forgive me, honey, for areas in which I’ve broken your trust. May I consistently be a man of integrity, and by doing so, restore your trust.




Day 356: Weekly Article: Money Matters

January 24, 2013

I read this article, for my 356th act of love, on how to get along with your spouse when dealing with/discussing money matters. Dave Ramsey has been a favorite money expert of mine for a while. I’m one of the nerds that he talks about in the article: those who enjoy making budgets and have a hard time budging from them once they’re set. You, on the other had, are a free spirit: one who hates budgets and wants to be free with her money rather than put every dollar into its own budget category. Naturally, then, there is some tension between us when we go over money issues.

Ramsey had some good stuff to say, though, about being willing to compromise (which money nerds have a hard time willing) and about making a budget that we both can agree upon and that fits our income and needs. That’s so easy to write and incredibly hard to do. Even I have grown tired lately of sticking to a budget and have ignored financial matters somewhat in an effort to relieve my stress. But, long term, I think we’re on track, even though the road is long and steep! I think in 50 years we’ll be able to say (assuming we continue on our current path) that we did well with our money, even if there were bumps and setbacks (due to our mistakes) along the way.


Day 261: Anniversary Date #1

June 20, 2012

This year, a combination of two factors limited the way in which we could celebrate our anniversary. First, we didn’t have much extra cash. When some people say that, they’re trying to explain why they went on a ten-day rather than a two-week cruise. When I say it, I mean that I didn’t know whether I could afford a plastic ring from a vending machine. Second, we have our ten-month old, which means that we we couldn’t be away for very long. So I had to get creative. In the end, I managed to plan three inexpensive dates for us.

For our first date, we visited the observatory at Westmont College. On the way there, we went to the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in Montecito. I half expected to see Oprah or Steve Martin when we walked in. But to our surprise, not a single person was in the shop, let alone Lady O. The shop was closed. Still, the barista was nice enough to make us coffee anyway. We drank our coffees outside, enjoying the evening glow of downtown Montecito.

Those Christmas-tree lights in the background did their part to make up  Montecito’s “evening glow.”

After we finished our coffee, we went to the observatory. We were able to see Saturn through the telescope, which was really cool. But it looked fake. It reminded me of the glow-in-the-dark sticker of Saturn that I had on my ceiling when I was a kid.

Just outside the observatory, there was a deck from which we could see over Montecito. When we were done looking at the stars and planets, we stood on the deck enjoying the view and the quietness of the evening. Then, you said, “This is all I need.” “What?” I replied, “an observatory?!” Then I said, pretending to be you: “All I need is a dog, a farmhouse, and an observatory and I’ll be happy.” You hit me and laughed, then said, “I don’t need anything! Just a dog, a farmhouse, an observatory, and this paddle ball! That’s all I need! . . . Actually, I meant that I only need a quiet and peaceful place to live, like this.”

We both really enjoyed this date. At this stage in our lives, we feel special any time we have a few hours alone and out of the house. Happy anniversary!

Day 168: Fun Money

March 17, 2012

On Wednesday, I reworked our March budget to give you “fun money”: money to spend on whatever you want. It was only $20, but that’s a big deal given our tight budget. You absolutely love when I do that kind of thing, because you love to shop but you hardly ever get to. I’m almost certain you’ll plan on buying clothes for yourself, but you’ll end up using it to buy something cute for the girls. It happens every time.


Day 89: Clothes Money

December 27, 2011

Not long ago, you told me that you need new clothes. So yesterday, I withdrew our entire clothes budget for January out of the bank (I realize it’s still December). When I came home, I took you aside and said, “I know you need some new clothes. Here’s some money. Use it to buy clothes for yourself and only for yourself.” You started to say thanks, but something I said or some look I gave made you laugh. You tried to hold it back, but ended up showering spit on my face instead. (I give you money for clothes and that’s how you thank me?!) We both laughed hard. After we gained our composure, you said thanks and gave me a hug.