Saturday, February 5, 2011

Love Is {NOT} ... Day 6

Where is the ME in Mommy

Love is not ... rude.
Love is not irritable or rude.  

FOR YOU:
Get your journal and start to list as many times as you can think of that you've been rude or irritable--either to your spouse, your children, or complete strangers.  Set a time and just list 'em for a minute or two.

Now, examine your list for common themes.  When are you the rudest or most irritable? Is it when you are stressed?  When you have your period?   When you are angry?  When you feel disconnected to your spouse or even yourself?

Really look at your common themes.  Are any of these "reasons" really a good reason to be rude or irritable?  Can you change the circumstances so you won't be so rude and irritable?

Consider these biblical reminders:

It is better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a irritable wife~ Proverbs 21:9
Fool shows their annoyance at once, but the wise overlook insults~Proverbs 12:16
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger~Proverbs 15:1 

FOR YOUR SPOUSE:
This challenge can be uncomfortable for both spouse; however, honest dialogue is a key to communication and intimacy.

Today, ask your spouse to tell you 5 "things" that make him uncomfortable when he is around you.  

Listen to him without being judgemental, angry, rude, defensive, or irritable.

Commit to work on your weaknesses. 

DO NOT force your husband to listen to "5 things I don't like about you" unless he invites the feedback. And then, only tell him in a spirit of love, not anger.

FOR YOUR KIDS
Do the same activity.  Ask your children to tell you what mommy does really well.  Then have them tell you what they wish mommy did better. 

Friday, February 4, 2011

Love Is {NOT} ... Day 5

Where is the ME in Mommy
What to know what the LOVE IS challenge is all about?  Click here!

Love Is Not ... Proud
You've heard it before--pride before a fall.  But what is pride?  Pride can be the satisfaction in a job well done.  Is that a bad thing?  I think not.  What about this definition of pride: a high opinion of yourself or your own dignity, importance, or merit; a lofty assumption of superiority.  Is that the kind of "proud" that is frowned upon?  I think so.

In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis stated, "Pride leads to every other vice.... Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. We say that people are proud of being rich, or clever, or good-looking, but they are not. They are proud of being richer, cleverer, or better-looking than others. If every one else became equally rich, or clever, or good-looking there would be nothing to be proud about. It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition has gone, pride has gone."

FOR YOU:
According to Beth Moore, "Often our society reviles Biblical humility as a sign of sickening weakness.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Being filled with pride is easy.  It comes naturally.  Humility takes a supply of supernatural strength that comes only to those who are strong enough to admit weakness.

Journal today on pride.  Is it easy for you to be prideful?  Why is that?  What are you proud about?
Is it difficult for you to be humble?  Why?  What sort of words come to your mind when you hear the word "humble"?  Why is humility hard? Do you struggle with comparing yourself to others?  Why?

Make a list of specific steps you can take to have a heart of humility.


FOR YOUR SPOUSE:
During "love is kind" you did an act of kindness for your spouse.  Today, do an act of service that requires humility.  What can you do to show your spouse you esteem him?  A dear friend and her husband wash one another's feet.  How about that?  Could you wash your spouse's feet?  

FOR YOUR CHILDREN:
Many people will balk at the idea of being humble before our children because it might show the parent as "weak."  I disagree.  If you would like to teach your children to be humble, I think we have to be humble.  Today, let your children see you being self-less and humble to others.  Be mild mannered and kinder than necessary.  Don't insist on your own way but give deference to others.

 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Love Is {NOT} ... Day 4

Where is the ME in Mommy
What to know what the LOVE IS challenge is all about?  Click here!

Love Is Not ... Boastful.
FOR YOU:
In your journal, define what boastful means to you.  Now, think of a time or two you've been boastful. What did you boast about?  Who did you boast to?

Now take out your bible and examine the following scriptures:
Jeremiah 9:23-24
Ephesians 2:8-9
Proverbs 27:1
1 Corinthians 1:31

Who can boast and what?
What does it mean to boast in the Lord?

FOR YOUR HUSBAND
Make a list of all of the things you boast about in the Lord as they pertain to your husband.  Think of all the ways he is your perfect provision from God.  Why are you grateful for your husband and to God for providing your husband?

Turn your list into a sweet note and hide it somewhere your husband will find it.

FOR YOUR KIDS
Do the same activity above except examine why you are grateful to God for your children.  What joys do they bring? What lessons do they teach.  Read your list aloud to children who cannot read.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Love Is {NOT} ... Day 3

Where is the ME in Mommy

Love is ... Not Jealous
FOR YOU
Take out your journal and write down some times you've been jealous of your husband.   To get you thinking, have you been jealous that he gets to work outside of the home and meet new people?  Are you jealous of his time away from children?

Look at the areas where you've been jealous and make a list of ways you benefit from what you are jealous of.  For example, if you are jealous that your husband works outside the home, note how you benefit from his income or how you benefit by all the memories you make with your children, etc.
Pray that God would give you Godly perspective.

FOR YOUR HUSBAND
If you are a SAHM and feel overwhelmed by the amount of time you spend with your kids, please recognize that your husband may feel overwhelmed by the amount of work he has.  Today, plan some time from your husband to be alone.  Give him twenty minutes to watch a show or arrange for a friend to take him to play pool.  If he normally bathes the kids, you do it instead and give him some time to relax.

FOR YOUR CHILDREN
Most likely your children are jealous for your time and attention. Today, read them a story or play a board game. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Love Is ... Day 2

Where is the ME in Mommy

Love Is ... Kind
FOR YOU
Take a moment and think of the last time someone was kind to you.

Now journal.  What is kindness?  Make a list of what kind looks like?  How do you feel when someone is kind to you?  How do you feel when you are kind to someone else?

Today, commit to being kind to all people you encounter.  This means upholding all those things on your "what kind looks like" list.

Pray that God would give you a spirit of kindness towards others.

FOR YOUR SPOUSE
Today do a random act of kindness for your spouse.  Try to do something for him that he dislikes doing or that he hasn't had time to do.  For example drop off his dry cleaning, iron his shirt, clean his sink, put the kids to bed so he can have some down time, etc.

FOR YOUR KIDS
Be the model of kindness for your kids today.  As a group, go out into your community and do a random act of kindness.  Go to McDonalds and buy the person behind you lunch.  Take flowers to a nursing home.  Take cookies to a neighbor.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Valentines Day--Ewww!

A week{ish} ago I posted a little DIY tutorial on making a "Dayt book" for your spouse.  Inside are 12 pre-planned dates.  The purpose: to get you to spend adult only, fun and romantic time with your partner.

I hope that from such posts you know how much I value romance and dating my husband.

Why then, would I say "Ewwwwwwww!" when it comes to Valentine's Day?

Well if you want me to be honest, I think it is a commercialized holiday.  Who was St. Valentine?  Beats me so why would I celebrate it?

I think Valentine's Day is nothing more than a way from companies to sell over-priced cards filled with sentiments we didn't write, candy companies to pawn off red, heart shaped boxes of chocolates to guilty husbands buying last minute because they forgot the holiday anyway, and restaurants to be filled with couples forcing the intimacy issue because today is, after all, Valentine's Day.

Some will say that it's just a day to celebrate love and if that's what it is to you, more power to you.  But I'd rather have the romance and intimacy mindset year round rather than wait for a "holiday" to tell me what to buy and what to wear, and where to go to be "romantic."

Though I generally protest Valentine's Day as a matter of principle, this year I've decided to take a different approach.  If I want my love life to be a mindset, why not practice what I preach?

I'm sure many of you have heard of or done the Love Dare.  The Love Dare is a forty-day intimacy increasing idea from a low-budget movie called "Fireproof." I'm NOT doing the love dare.  I know a lot of blogs are posting elements of the Love Dare for free and I disapprove of that; it robs the authors' of the rights.  So, if you are looking for a way to do The Love Dare for free, you'll need to find another blog.

I am, however, taking a basic idea--looking at scripture--and creating dates, acts of service, gifts, and personal challenges from what I read.

Everyday from now until Valentine's Day I'll be posting a "challenge."  On Valentine's Day I'll plan a special time of love and intimacy to celebrate meeting my challenges.

Hopefully this activity will make me cultivate the skill of intentionally seeking out my spouse,  build my character, and improve our marital intimacy--one day at a time.

Join me, if you dare!  If you do, please put the LOVE IS button on your blog so we can connect!

(P.S.  I will have a "caveat" on each challenge if you would like to do the challenge to make you a better parent!).

LOVE IS... Challenge #1
The first challenge address this issue: LOVE IS PATIENT.

FOR YOU
Take a moment and journal what you think patient is.  What does patient look like?  

Think of a time you have been patient.  How would that situation have been different if you were impatient? 

Think about a time you were impatient.  How did it turn out? What would have been different if you were patient, instead.

Are there certain things, as related to your spouse or kids, that make you impatient?  Make a list.  

Pray over the list.  Pray that today you would not be impatient with your husband or kiddos.

FOR YOUR SPOUSE

Think of a game or activity that takes quite a bit of time.  Tonight, block off a certain amount of time and spend it engaging in an activity TOGETHER than requires communication, time, and patience.

We'll be playing chess!

FOR YOUR KIDS

If you are like me baking/cooking with your children can be stressful.  Today make something in the kitchen with your kiddos.  Remind yourself to be patient and have fun! 

If cooking with kids doesn't ruffle your feathers, consider giving your kids a SUPER LONG, BUBBLY bath or playing with Play-dough--surely I'm not the only one who gets in a tizzy over those activities!

Participating on your blog?  Grab a button!

Where is the ME in Mommy