Thursday, May 28, 2009

POST #50!

I just realized that the last blog was #50! I think I finally managed to start a blog and keep it going! Woo HOO!

Day 33- Love completes each other

If two lie together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? --Ecclesiastes 4:11

Today's Dare-

Recognize that your spouse is integral to your future success. Let them know today that you desire to include them in your upcoming decisions, and that you need their perspective and counsel. If you have ignored their input in the past, admit your oversight and ask them to forgive you.

What are some upcoming decisions you can make together? What did you learn today about the role of your mate?

I am just in awe at how the right dares seem to come along at the right time... We are currently apartment hunting in an effort to reduce our budget so Havie can go back to school. I have been working on it for weeks and I found what I felt like what the best deal for an apartment that we would still be comfortable in. I made it a point to schedule an appointment while he was in town because even though he was saying that he didn't care- I wanted his input.

My husband doesn't like to make decisions. He doesn't typically like to share his opinions. I honestly refuse to make decisions completely on my own, so it has been a big source of trouble for us. I've been telling myself that it was just his personality, but I have come to the realization that he doesn't think I value his opinions, so he just keeps them to himself.

I am a very intrapersonal communicator. I am constantly talking to myself in my head. Running through things, contemplating things, analyzing things. I've always looked at an issue from all angles before I even bring it to anyone else. So many times he gives an opinon and I immediately give my rebuttal. It's not that I'm trying to argue, I've just already thought of that and decided that it's not a good idea. He takes it very personally, and I can see why. It looks like I don't value him.

So, yesterday I found out about another apartment that would only be $15/month more than the one I've already picked out, but it is a two bedroom with a garage and shared fenced yard. The drawback of the two bedroom is that it is much older and is in a not as nice neighborhood. After I explained all of this to Havie, I asked him what he thought. At first he said that he didn't care. I told him that I valued his opinion and didn't want to make this decision alone.

He started to give his opinion, and I caught myself about to shoot down something he said. I stopped and really listened to what he had to say. I realized that (shocker!) I don't know everything. If I am doing all of this analysis on my end- it is all based on my opinion of what is most important. The book says, "don't try doing all the analysis yourself." I have always wanted our decisions to be mutual (and I think that many of them are), but I have discredited many of his opinions and that has to stop.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Day 32- Love meets sexual needs

**WARNING- Once again, this blog contains information that is likely to induce blushing and make you feel uncomfortable... Proceed with caution**

The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband. --1 Corinthians 7:3

Today's Dare-

If at all possible, try to initiate sex with you husband or wife today. Do this in a way that honors what your spouse has told you (or implied to you) about what they need from you sexually. Ask God to make this enjoyable for both of you as well as a path to greater intimacy.

Was this a satisfying experience for you? If it didn't turn out the way you'd hoped, what doyou think is complicating matters? Have you committed this to prayer? If it was a true blessing for both of you, what can you learn from this for the future?

This chapter struck a chord for me. In the chapter, it said "If you let your mate know- by words, actions, or inactions- that sex needn't be any more than you want it to be, you rob from them a sense of honor and endearment that has been set in place by biblical mandate. You violate the "one flesh" unity of marriage." This hit me like a ton of bricks. I have been so selfish, and to be totally honest- I have used the lack of sex as a punishment. I'm sure I make myself out to be the worst wife ever... and maybe I have been. At the time, I told myself- why am I going to have sex with him after he has made me so mad today? I hope that I'm not the only person thinking that way.

The chapter goes on to say "now it is your turn to pay the loving price to win the heart of your mate. When you do, you will enjoy the pure delight that flows when sex is done for all the right reasons." How beautiful.

Initiating sex is really hard for me. I think it makes me feel really vulnerable, and I absolutely HATE feeling that way. But, I really wanted to complete this dare. In fact, I know that this is one of my husband's strongest desires is for me to initiate sex. He has often asked me why I don't and has asked me if I am not attracted to him. I had a few days to pray about it and ask for courage.

So anyway... Mission Accomplished! It was satisfying, but all of this just makes me realize that the self-esteem/insecurity stuff has got to be dealt with. I just don't know how you really fix it. If you have any suggestions, I am absolutely open!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Day 31- Love and Marriage

A man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. --Genesis 2:24

Today's Dare-

Is there a "leaving" issue you haven't been brave enough to conquer yet? Confess it to your spouse today, and resolve to make it right. The oneness of your marriage is dependent upon it. Follow this with a commitment to your spouse and to God to make your marriage the top priority over every other human relationship.

Has this been a hard thing for you to deal with? How has it affected your relationship? If the worse offender in this area is your spouse (with your in-laws), how can you lovingly move this toward a better solution?

Fortunately, this is one issue that we don't really have in our marriage. This chapter is all about breaking the ties of our families and putting our spouse first. Our relationships with our family have to change when we get married because we have to find our own path as a couple. They give an example that your parents should step into the role of counselors to be respected, but can no longer tell you what to do.

I actually know a number of friends who struggle with this. They never really "left" home in that their parents still have more weight in their life than their partner. They haven't found a path as a couple and all of their decisions are made by their parents or family members.

We have both felt pulled by our families at one time or another. We've felt the need to please them and comply with their wishes, but we have somehow found a way to come together and make the choice that was best for us. I know that at times, those choices have left his family thinking that I make the decision for him. Havie changed ALOT once we decided to get married. All of his priorities changed. So, I can understand that it might look like I'm the one controlling everything because they can't imagine him making that choice.

I would like to make it clear though, we never make a decision alone. Period. I truly honor his opinion and I don't do anything that he disagrees with. We work hard to find a win-win solution. Sometimes we have to compromise, but we can live with that. At the end of the day, we know that we did what we had to do for us. And that's all that matters.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Day 30- Love Brings Unity

Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are. --John 17:11

Today's Dare-

Isolate one area of division in your marriage, and look on today as a fresh opportunity to pray about it. Ask the Lord to reveal anything in your own heart that is threatening oneness with your spouse. Pray that He would do the same for them. And if appropriate, discuss this matter openly, seeking God for unity.

Did the Lord open your eyes to anything new that might be giving fuel to this point of disagreement? How do you intend to respond? What do you hope to see God do in your spouse as well?

I would have to say that unity is the one marital quality that I've desperately wanted and have been unable to sustain for any length of time. We've seen spurts of it here and there, but for the most part- the marriage has (at least for me) often felt more like a battleground and we're on opposite sides of the field. So it's not actually one area of division, but rather "the" division in our marriage that prayed about.

God has been revealing an issue that is threatening our unity throughout this process. It's a number of things that all really boil down to my self-esteem. I don't believe that anyone could truly love me, and so I'm always looking for confirmation of that fact. My insecurity rears it's ugly head and has even led me to bully my husband. I've tried to convince him that he is the issue. I am so ashamed of the way I have behaved. I nearly ruined this gift that was given to us.

It occurs to me that God loves me unconditionally- flaws and all. I believe that with every fiber of my being. If He can love me, maybe my husband can too. I don't have to be perfect to be lovable. I will keep praying that I will receive God's love and share it with my husband. Maybe I will then be able to accept and receive my husband's love.

I pray that God will help Havie receive my love. That he will be able to let go of what I've done and see that it is different now. I will continue to try regardless.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Day 29- Love's Motivation

Render service with a good attitude, as to the Lord and not to men. --Ephesians 6:7 HCSB

Today's Dare-

Before you see your spouse again today, pray for them by name and for their needs. Whether it comes easy for you or not, say "I love you," then express love to them in some tangible way. Go to God in prayer again, thanking Him for giving you the privilege of loving this one special person-- unconditionally, the way He loves both of you.

How will this change of motivation affect your relationship and reactions? What does this inspire you to do? What does it inspire you to stop doing?

This was a pretty simple dare to complete, but I can see it's effectiveness immediately. It is going to be a few more days before I see my spouse again, but I pray for him and his needs everyday. I am grateful that we are not in a place where we are reluctant to tell each other "I love you." There are many couples at this stage in the game who are so low down that they refuse to say it. I thank God we never made it to that point.

I chose to express my love by having dinner delivered to Havie yesterday. I was able to surprise him with pizza and pasta. I wanted him to be able to relax instead of cooking before he went in to work. He seemed really happy about it.

When I finally made it to my bed last night (long story, sick puppy...) I remembered to thank God for providing Havie for me to love. I thanked God for creating such an amazing man. I am truly a lucky girl and I need to remember that.

This morning, when Havie called and woke me up at 5:30am, he asked me if I have been taking our dogs on walks. This brought up an anger in me. I just said yes I have and that was that, but I was angry. Didn't he know that I would take care of them? Why did he want to know? etc.

But a voice in my heart said, "Let it go." It doesn't matter. You are walking the dogs and now he knows that too. I felt the anger subside and I was truly grateful. I would have called him back, asked him why he asked me that, and it would have turned into an argument. It has happened so many times before.

I wasn't thinking at that moment- oh, I should be motivated by God's love... I reacted by instict because I am filled with God's love. I've been waiting for this to happen. For my response to be guided by love instead of frustration. I am just amazed and blessed and grateful.

Monday, May 18, 2009


Okay kiddos, I am back on my game! I am completing day 29 today, so be on the lookout for a new Love Dare blog tomorrow!

I wanted to go ahead and blog because I am just feeling so much motivation this morning and I want to keep it going! Thank you God!

I had a productive day yesterday- finally stopped moping and got some stuff done. If I am making this sacrifice- it had better be worth it. My husband is working hard, so I need to be on my A game too!

I have found a walking/workout/get-me-out-of-the-house buddy! We are getting started tonight! Thank you so much Michelle!!!

I am not going to start an official "diet" program, but I am just going to eat right. I have read enough books, done enough dieting, etc. I know what I need to do, it's just a matter of doing it. And the first and foremost is to actually eat 3 meals a day and do some cooking.

I am also going to start packing because we are moving in about a month. I am going to have a whole new batch of items for sale very soon!

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

It's getting harder

It's going to take me a few more days to get back into the swing of things, but I promise that I will. I am just processing everything, and trying to figure out how this new situation is going to pan out.

Last night was Havie's first actual work day. He's had tests and orientations all week, but last night was the first real shift. We got to talk when I got out of work until about 6ish. Then he had to turn his cell off and leave it in the car because he could get fired for having it in the refinery. It was excruciating not being able to just call him up and say hi. I just wanted the comfort of being able to hear his voice and know that he was okay. I finally just had to call and listen to his voicemail and then of course leave a tearful message to let him know just how much I missed him.

When he took his lunch break, he got my message. He was tempted to come back home, and truthfully I've been tempted to ask him to come home. BUT we are only 3 days in to this and it will get easier. He called me when he got off this morning at 5:30 am, but I was still so sleepy that I wasn't much for conversation. By the time I was fully awake and ready to talk some more, he was asleep...

The truth is, I know that this is what we need. I have been far too reliant upon him. I need to remember how to take care of myself becuase we want to start a family. It's going to be a hard lesson to learn, but necessary.

Friday, May 8, 2009


I just don't know how else to title this blog... The past few days have been a whirlwind and rollercoaster that have exhausted me emotionally, but blessed us immensely.

On Wednesday, I blogged about love making sacrifices. I put myself full force into the sacrifices I chose to make. I listed several items on Craigs List, put them up on Facebook, and was shocked that we got immediate responses!

Wednesday morning, Havie went to work and by 8 am, he had quit. When Havie couldn't find a harness that he wasn't even responsible for, his boss asked him, "Are you stupid or just lazy?" That was the last straw for him. He said that he only did it because I had told him that it was okay.

By Wednesday evening, we had made a little over $1,000 and Havie had a promising job prospect... in Louisiana. It was going to be a 4-5 month job doing new construction on one of the biggest refineries in the country. We already knew that there was no work here in Corpus Christi because Havie had been looking for months. Havie was really excited because the job was going to pay him $5.50 more per hour, plus 20-30 hours of overtime each week, and they are paying an additional $420/week in living expenses. He was also excited because it is going to be challenging and rewarding experience.

It took me a little bit to get excited, but we started figuring out that if we followed through with lowering our expenses and were very frugal over the next few months, we could pay off all of our debts (except for student loans) and save enough for Havie to go to school without going into debt! I felt like this was another sacrifice that I could make for my husband.

Thursday rolls around and Havie gets the job! Then it hits us, we need a 2nd car! We knew one of our friends was planning to sell their '97 Ford Taurus for $1,000. Lucky us, we just made $1,000 bucks! So, Havie calls our friends up and they proceed to tell us that they felt God was leading them to GIVE us the car. Despite our protests, they assured us that this is what they wanted to do, but were waiting until the time was right. Our heads are spinning, trying to figure out how to accept such a gift. Why us? Surely we aren't deserving...

Within two hours, we had our answer when our Suburban broke down. It had been acting up for a few days, but we just thought it was the alternator going out. We had it towed to a local shop when it couldn't be jumped. Turns out the fuel pump had gone out and caused some other problem. I bet you won't guess about how much it's going to cost to fix it! :)

Are you following all of this with me?!? God is too good. Havie could have been in the middle of nowhere when this happened. This all could have happened so differently. I am just amazed and grateful.

The night ended with us rushing to the ER because Havie's dad was having chest pains. He was really sick and dehydrated. They kept him overnight, but it looks like he's going to be okay.

By the end of the day today, we will have two operational vehicles. Sunday morning, Havie will be leaving for Louisiana. This might pose a question about The Love Dare, but don't fret, I will continue to do it long distance! Lots of people do it, especially in the military! I have faith that it will all be okay because it is God's Will.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Day 28- Love makes sacrifices

He laid down His life for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers. --1 John 3:16 HCSB

Today's Dare-

What is one of the greatest needs in your spouse's life right now? Is there a need you could lift from their shoulders today by a daring act of sacrifice on your part? Whether the need is big or small, purpose to do what you can to meet their need.

How much of your mate's stress is caused by your lack of concern or initiative? When you expressed a desire to help, how did they receive it? Are there other needs you could meet?

My husband's biggest need right now is his career situation. He is miserable and doesn't see a way out. The economy has put an end to the type of work that he's been doing for years. So, if he leaves this job, he won't be making nearly as much money and he will have to start all over in a different line of work. He doesn't want to hurt us financially, especially since I am already making less money now than I was a few months ago. I've tried to tell him that it is okay and that we are going to be alright, but he's not buying it.

I decided that the biggest sacrifice I could make would be to sell off a bunch of things to make us some cash and move into a smaller and cheaper place to live. This will help us in two ways- If our monthly bills are smaller, then Havie will be able to find another job AND we will be able to put him in school so he can start working toward the career he really wants.

We have been living below our means already, but I am really going to strap down now and do whatever it takes. I know that his biggest stress comes from feeling like he has to provide for me. And he has been a wonderful provider. But now, I need to turn the tables and provide for him so that later he can provide for his family and be happy about it.

He understands why I want to do this and he is grateful, but at the same time apprehensive. He doesn't want me to be unhappy, and I won't be. I thought that I would, but I can see that I am going to be okay. I don't need the stuff and the nice home to make me feel good anymore.

There are lots of needs that I can meet, and I plan to meet those needs as well, but for now this is my main concern.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Day 27- Love encourages

Guard my soul and deliver me; do not let me be ashamed, for I take refuge in You. --Psalm 25:20

Today's Dare-

Eliminate the poison of unrealistic expectations in your home. Think of one area where your spouse has told you you're expecting too much, and tell them you're sorry for being so hard on them about it. Promise them you'll seek to understand, and assure them of your unconditional love.

When you place high expectations on your spouse that they don't feel internally motivated to attain, what does that tell you about yourself? What are some better ways to deal with these disconnects?

I chose to apologize to my husband for being so hard on him about his joking around. Havie has never come right out and said that I'm expecting too much of him, but I can tell by his reactions and the fact that he hasn't changed any. One aspect of it that he has truly tried to restrain from is his degrading remarks about himself. A few week ago, I expressed to him that it really bothered me that he was willing to talk so badly about himself.

I often take his joking way too personally and feel disrespected by it. Not that he is saying anything degrading about me. I want to make that clear. I've never really considered his motivation behind it which is to make me happy. I am sure this all sounds silly, but our fights often begin with him making some joking comment that I get all booty hurt about and then it spirals from there.

This chapter made me realize that I need to relax, consider his motivation, and see it at face value. I also need to really consider if I am truly offended or if I am just irritated and wanting him to change because I've asked him to. It is so small, but it's grown to be a big problem. I need to let it go.


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