Where yesterday's dare was to be positive and patient, today I was to extend AT LEAST one unexpected gesture, while ALSO being positive and patient.
I sent my hubby a mushy (but honest and heartfelt) text first thing this morning. This was his response. It really meant something to him, yay!
I tend to be an overachiever, so I didn't stop with one gesture. Dinner was something new, but contained a lot of meat - his favorite. When he offered to help, I suggested he relax and enjoy some down time. I played some of his favorite music while preparing dinner, to which he was very grateful, sorry Beiber (teenage and preteen daughters). After a few more gestures he started getting suspicious. Woops, laid it on a little too thick...
He finally asked what I read in my devotions this morning - God MUST have told me something! I didn't say a word, but I started thinking. At least he didn't think I was drinking wine while I made dinner! He didn't ask if I was sick or something. He didn't ask if I was trying a new supplement to make me extra "nice"?
He never put a word to it, but it was clear it was different and he liked it. Regardless of how good I can think our relationship may be, it is evident I can always be MORE INTENTIONAL and LIBERAL with my words and acts of kindness towards him. Now to figure out what gift I can pick up tomorrow, for day three. Yes, I read ahead! ;)
being, environment, joy/restoration, romance, friends and family, finances, purpose/career, spirituality, and personal development – romance came out on top for the both of us.
We then took a look at why we feel this way, discussed it and decided for the next thirty days we are going to focus on this area above everything else. This doesn’t mean we are abandoning the other areas. We will continue on with our goals in those areas, it just means if any goal threatens follow through with the goal we created we believe will improve ROMANCE, we will choose romance and let the other slide.
Typing it out makes it seem so formal and sterile even, but we both really enjoyed the conversation and getting it out on the table, without too much emotion involved. I’ll keep the deets to myself, but MAKING TIME for one another is a big key for us. We go and do SO much for our kiddos, we weren’t surprised this was the case. We rarely have fifteen minutes alone with one another, to just talk. There is always something or someone around to talk with or see about. Even our beloved pets like to poke their heads between us when we hug. We literally feel like we have to go away to have quality one-on-one time with one another!
Which, we are! Our anniversary is next month, just ten days after Valentine’s and I AM STOKED. We get to do something he loves, I get to visit a dear friend, and we both just get to be with one another. Thinking about this, I felt like I wanted to do something “extra” in the days leading up to it. Sure, cooking every day and making Whole30 meals will help (I learned during the challenge my hubby loves walking in the door to the aroma of a meal being prepared). Supporting and encouraging one another to workout will also help (he loves when he gets to work out). And the hour together, will be awesome, no doubt. But, I wanted to do something he didn’t know about, something every day leading up to our anniversary and trip. I thought of the Love Dare.
Remember it? The book came out in 2008 and Fireproof hit the theaters the same year. While I watched the movie, I never actually completed the book. The movie was a godsend for us at the time! It came at a time when we needed it most. No surprise why it would come to mind now. So, I am going to do the dare starting today! I must say, I love how God is bringing this to mind now. With Valentine’s just over a couple weeks away, our anniversary and trip, PLUS the fact the Shepherdess Rise Up Devotions will be focusing in on improving relationships with our spouses – I KNOW God is in it, and I can’t wait to see what He has in store!
Today happens to be on patience, which I admit I sometimes need (who doesn’t?!). I might let ya know how it goes ;) And hey, if you're up for it, join me! Your spouse may love the little surprises leading up to Valentine's and the intentional attention that follows.
I was getting ready for church last Sunday and felt God's presence rather strong. I began praying and just allowing His Spirit to lead me from one prayer to the next. I prayed for the service, our pastor, worship, God's presence, my family and friends, and a few very specific prayers of confirmation for myself. It was God letting me know He needed someone to usher in His Spirit, so He could love on others and let them know He was in fact listening to their prayers. I was honored (and I'm sure there were others praying in similar fashion).
As soon as I went to sit down, I knew God was going to be there. One of the dear friends I had prayed for was sitting a lone, and the minute I sat beside her, I knew God was showing up for her. Once worship service began, I knew He was showing up for the congregation. Once we were invited to step up to the alter, I knew He was loving on a lot of people who needed to be in His presence (including myself). I also knew He was confirming a couple things in my heart. As the service went on, I knew He was answering my prayer to move forward, regardless of the "failings" in the past couple of weeks (my perspective, not His).
This series on Margin, and the third sermon, is really just what I needed. I had been shrinking back from being more public about devotions and the journey I have been on. Yes, it came at a time when I knew I was not allowing enough margin in my life to be who I needed to be to my husband and children, but I also turned it into an opportunity to run away from some things I knew God was asking me to do. I know, no one else ever does that! Ha!
I started convincing myself no one needed to hear from me. With the plethora of information out there online, in books, and so on, my two cents certainly didn't matter. With all the great leaders for women like Beth Moore, Lysa Terkeurst and Courtney Joseph - what could I possibly add? I was seeing it all wrong. I was thinking on a larger scale, when God needed me to see it on a smaller, more intimate scale.
This journey I have been on has led me to some really amazing women! Women I might not have met or grown so close to, had it not been for some of the challenges we have experienced together. These women are ALL in my area and we have the pleasure of seeing one another in person on a regular basis. Some of us share the same church home, but not all of us. What we do share is our love for Christ, our husbands, our children and our community. The devotions, the food, and the healthy living are all bonus subjects we get to discuss with one another. God helped me to see, I do have something to offer and that is encouragement, online throughout the day and in person when our paths cross for a moment or two.
Today, I hope you are encouraged! I hope you are part of a group of people whom you feel deeply connected with, receive encouragement from, are able to discuss things with, and are able to just turn to for prayer and edification when you need it. If you aren't, I pray you discover them. I pray you see where God may be opening the door for you to be able to enjoy the company of others who make you stronger. And please know, I am more than happy to connect with you if you are looking for encouragement.
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