Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Love Dare

I have to admit that I have not seen the movie Fireproof. But I did pre-order it. :o) So once it comes out on dvd, I will own a copy. :o)

For those of you that have not heard about it... click on Fireproof and see what it's about. Soaring Amongst The Clouds and JC went to see it in the theaters. They felt it had a great message. I look forward to seeing it.

Well for Christmas I bought my Knight the book mentioned in the movie. The book is called Love Dare. The book is a 40-day challenge for husbands and wives to understand and practice unconditional love. Click on the title to read more about it. I can't wait for us to read the book together. I also bought him a t-shirt that says, i love my wife. I would of bought myself the one that said, i love my husband, but they didn't have my size. :o( I'm going to order it online. ;o)

My dear sister in Christ, Lady Blue, shared a site she came across. I thought I'd share it too. Click on Your Daily "Love Dare", to start receiving daily love dare tips. Since I haven't read the book yet, I don't know if they are the same as the ones in the book. I find that I look forward to receiving the tips daily. Makes me stop and think, what else I can do to help our blessed marriage even more of a blessing. :o)

In reading through the daily tips, I've realized that some of it doesn't only apply to married couples. It can be applied to ANY relationship. Anything that helps us to be a better person and work on relationships has got to be good. :o)

I'm looking forward to taking the Love Dare. Now... I dare you...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Enjoy Unconditional Love In Your Marriage

Let me start off by saying, no marriage is perfect. That's because no one is perfect. But it's something we should all strive for. I fall and mess up all the time. One thing I don't do is give up. I keep persevering.

I know this sounds selfish, but I want (that's the selfish sounding part) to have the kind of marriage God speaks of in Scripture. It's what He intends for us. We're (I'm) the one that messes it up. We (I) keep letting "flesh" get in the way.

I have to admit, that in the 26 years that my Knight and I have been married, I have never "not loved" him. My love for him has been unconditional. I KNOW, that his love for me has been unconditional too. Believe me... I REALLY know!

This was one of my devotions and I felt led to share it. It really spoke to me and I hope and pray that it blesses you too.

Lady G~

You love your spouse ... as long as he or she fulfills your expectations. Your spouse loves you ... unless you do something wrong. Does this sound like your marriage?

You and your spouse can love each other like God does - unconditionally - with His help. Here's how:

Choose to love.
Recognize that love is a choice, and decide to act in love no matter what your current feelings or circumstances. Trust that the Holy Spirit will give you the power you need to do so. Know that loving choices can bring about substantial, positive changes in your heart and marriage.

Look for God in the ordinary as well as the extraordinary.
Understand that God is present with you and your spouse at all times and in all situations - not just in exciting "mountain top" experiences. Be willing to trust God and choose to love your spouse in the "valley" of your daily grind as well.

Imagine the possibilities.
Read stories of God's work in the Bible, and listen to testimonies of how He is working in people's lives today. Recall the ways He has answered your past prayers. Then, as you consider God's awesome power to transform lives, imagine how He could change your marriage. Understand that each person and each marriage is a work in progress. Ask Him to give you a vision of hope for your marriage so you can see it from His perspective.

Embrace your spiritual identity.
Know that you are a beloved child of God. Accept the gift of His deep, unconditional love for you. Let your own experience of God's love help you more fully understand how to love your spouse unconditionally. Understand that God has chosen to love you no matter what, and strive to choose to love your spouse no matter what.

Look for true fulfillment only from God.
Realize that no human being - not your spouse, or anyone else - is able to fulfill all of your expectations. Expect your spouse to fail to measure up because every person in our fallen world is imperfect. But also know that God has the power to fulfill your greatest hopes and dreams. Look to Him alone to fulfill you.

Be patient.
Ask the Holy Spirit to help you stay in step with God so you're not running ahead of His perfect pace for your life. Ask Him to give you His perspective on challenging people (including your spouse) and difficult situations so you can handle them with patience. Remember that God is patient with you, and take the time to thank Him for that.

Fight negativity with kindness.
Avoid the dangerous habits of criticizing and condemning your spouse. Never treat him or her with contempt. Instead, be proactive about finding as many ways as you can to be kind to your spouse. Treat your spouse with courtesy, honor, and respect. Then watch how your kindness changes the dynamic of your relationship.

Choose contentment.
Don't compare your marriage to that of someone else. Understand that God has made you and spouse unique individuals, and that He has unique purposes for your marriage. Make a regular habit of counting your blessings and thanking God for what you do have so you can break free of envy.

Focus on who you are, not what you do.
Realize that God cares about who you are as a person much more than your accomplishments or circumstances. Rather than trying to impress God or other people, choose to rest in God's unconditional love for you.

Choose humility over pride.
Don't fight with your spouse just to prove that you're right. Realize that it's not worth it to win an argument just for the sake of winning, because by doing so you lose out on your relationship. Strive to look at a problem or conflict from your spouse's perspective.

Seek to serve instead of being served.
Rather than asking, "What can my spouse do for me?" ask, "What can I do for my spouse?". Ask God to give you a servant's heart so you can work for the good of your spouse before your own good. Express your love for your spouse regularly by looking for and grabbing opportunities to help him or her. Know that God will reward you for your efforts if you think of others first.

Manage your anger well.
Ask the Holy Spirit to help you manage your anger effectively, so that you get angry about only the right things and are able to control your anger to channel it toward constructive solutions. Seek to understand your thoughts and feelings before lashing out. Pray for God to give you His perspective on whatever is making you angry in your marriage.

Don't keep score.
Avoid keeping a record of wrongs to use against your spouse. Instead, be willing to forgive your spouse every time he or she does or says something hurtful. Remember that God will give you the power you need to forgive, and that He expects you to forgive others as He has forgiven you. Don't hold grudges. Instead,strive to give blessings whenever you have an opportunity.

Be honest.
Don't pretend that you're doing better than you actually are in your marriage. Be honest with God and your spouse about the recent losses and conflicts that have taken a toll on your marriage. Get support from friends, pastors, counselors and others as you pursue healing.

Remember that God's love is for always, and never fails.
Remind yourself that God will never stop loving you, and that you can rely on Him even when everyone else has failed you.

Accept the messy life.
Understand that your marriage will never be perfect in this fallen world. Choose to live in the messiness of imperfection and failure by accepting yourself and your spouse as you are and relying on God for grace.

Change yourself, not your spouse.
Realize that you can only take responsibility for your own attitudes and actions. Stop wasting time and energy trying to change your spouse, and focus on yourself instead. Know that by changing yourself, you'll change the dynamic of your relationship.

Live in the present.
Let go of the past and leave the future up to God. Anchor yourself in the present, aware that God is with you and giving you faith, hope, and love.

Adapted from, I Love You Unconditionally ... On One Condition, copyright 2004 by Joey O'Connor.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Night Out... Just The Two Of Us.

My Knight and I decided to go on a date. It was a last minute date. Sometimes those are the best. He had a Little League Board meeting. So we decided to go after the meeting. The meeting ran longer than anticipated. But we still wanted to go out.

Would you believe that after 26 years, we still hold hands. Not just when we walk, but even in the car. Holding his hand makes me feel wanted, protected and loved. I'm sharing this cause while we drove to the restaurant, we held hands. Yes, we still do that, even when driving. Please don't turn us in. :o)

During dinner we talked a little and a lot about everything. Let me share how in tune we are with each other. The other day we went to the stores together. He saw some digital picture frames and mentioned, "That's what I need for my office." I told him, I was planning on getting him one, but wasn't sure which one to get. Well, tonight he mentioned what he was thinking about doing with the Christmas bonus. I smiled and told him, "Funny cause that's exactly what I was thinking."

Mind you this doesn't mean that we always see eye to eye on matters. I respect his views and he respects mine. Because we love each other, we put the other first. It goes without saying that God comes first though. :o) But you know what I mean. Since we put each other first, it brings balance to our relationship.

I LOVE my Knight. He is not perfect, neither am I (we all know only Jesus was perfect), but he's perfect for me. He makes me whole. I'm so thankful that God saw fit to bring us together. I'm so blessed!

You all know I'm a lover of words and I love quotes. A friend recently shared a quote and I thought it's perfect for this entry...

"Immature love says: 'I love you because I need you.' Mature love says 'I need you because I love you.'"
~Erich Fromm

my cup runneth over...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

In Sickness Or In Health

Twenty six years ago, my Knight and I took a vow. We were young (19 & 18). Did we really understand the vows we were making? We committed to love one another in sickness or in health. Little did we know what the future really held for us.

We have been really blessed. If I wasn't a Christian, I would say we've lived a charmed life. But I am a Christian and I know that luck has nothing to do with anything. God has everything to do with it. For that I'm thankful.

My Knight and I have always been healthy and active. We love and enjoy sports. Not just watching, but actively participating too. When we first got married, we played raquetball, tennis, worked out with weights. Through the years we've continued playing different sports. If one of us wasn't playing a sport, we would be on the sidelines cheering on. He's played basketball, football, softball and volleyball. I've played softball and volleyball. I love it when we are in the same team. We have always been very supportive of each other. He has never criticized me or belittled me. He's always been an encourager. Needless to say, I've always felt my Knight can do no wrong.

Back in 1998, I was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (lupus or SLE). I started having symptoms while I was pregnant in 1993. But it was a while before I was diagnosed. Mainly cause I was having so many different symtoms, it was hard to pinpoint what was the culprit. Once I was diagnosed, it was hard to accept, so I went through a denial stage. But my Knight was unbelievably supportive. He read everything he could, so we could understand what it was all about. He ROCKS!

In the fall of 2003, I was diagnosed with Chiari Malformation II and Hydrocephalus. My brain had herniated 12mm down into my spinal canal. I had a shunt installed to help with the hydrocephalus. Once I was stable enough from the shunt surgery (6 months later), I had the decompression surgery. There is no cure for chiari, but the surgery helps alleviate the symptoms. Recovery from the surgeries was long. My Knight and my family were awesome. But I have to honestly say, I have no recollection of what happened during my recovery. I know that I couldn't of done it without the love and support of my beloved family.

Now I'm not saying cause I want people to feel sorry for me. I'm doing great. My memory isn't good, but I'm feeling great. :o) I'm sharing because I want everyone to know what an AWESOME husband (and family of course- but this blog is about my Knight) God has blessed me with. For my surgeries, there was talk about shaving my head. Sinful that I am, I was concerned of how I would look. My Knight told me, he loves me with or without hair. Not many would say that and mean it. I know he meant it. He took care of cleaning my incisions. He washed my hair, well... what was left of it. LOL! He slept with me on the couch, cause I couldn't sleep in our bed. He was there for me EVERY step of the way. Why? Because he was committed to me. Because he loves me. Because he's a man of his word. Because he loves God and made a covenant with Him and me.

Our children have grown up seeing his example. Our Fair Maiden's future husbands have big shoes to fill. Not that they have to be like my Knight, but he surely has raised the expectations. My prayer is that our Fair Maidens be more blessed than I have been (if that's possible) and that our Squires be a blessing to their spouse. May my Squires be just as blessed too.

Twenty six years ago we made a commitment to one another. We were kids then. We've grown up together. We have honored those commitments and will continue to keep our covenant. God has truly blessed us. I keep thinking, this is the best , it can't get any better than this... but it has and it will continue to get better. My cup runneth over...

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Loving Actions

Increasing Your Intimacy 100 Percent...

Genuine love doesn't necessarily spring from feelings. Its basis is primarily a concern for the welfare of another. Although the feelings of affection will follow, genuine love is initially an action directed toward fulfilling another person's needs.

-From "It Takes Two to Tango" by Gary and Norma Smalley

My thoughts:

Feelings come and go. You have to choose daily to love, accept, forgive and stay committed.

I know I've said it a million, gazillion times, love is a verb... it's an action. You can say I love you, but are you showing it with your actions?

When God created Adam, he saw that it was not good for man to be alone. So he created Eve. We are to be as one. This doesn't mean we lose our individuality as the "world" sees it. This means we grow close to our spouse and become one. We balance each other. We support one another. We are there for one another in good and bad times.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Simply Romantic... Tips

Romance is the process of keeping your courtship alive long after the wedding day.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

I Blink...

... and then, we are celebrating our 26th wedding anniversary. I love my Knight more today than I ever dreamed possible. To think that on our wedding day, I thought I couldn't possibly love him any more than what I did on that day. But I do...

... he is my Knight in shinning armor. The Prince I dreamed of marrying. The kind man every parent dreams their daughter will marry. He's my wish come true. My answered prayer.

My Dearest Knight,

I remember as a little girl, thinking and wondering what kind of man I was going to marry. I made a mental list of I wanted him to be and how he would look.

At first my list went something like this...
* Blue eyes
* Someone like my dad
* Likes to play football
* Taller than me
* Stronger and faster than me ( I don't want a sissy boy)
* A policeman or a soldier
* Someone who wants a motorcycle

As I got older my list changed (somewhat) and it went something like this...
* Someone like my dad
* Someone who will love me and wants me for being me
* Someone who wants lots of children
* Someone of honorable character (faithful, honest, courageous, responsible, virtuous, etc...)
* A Knight among men
* An athlete
* Someone with blue eyes
* Someone with morals and values

Looking back, you are everything I ever dreamed of and more. Marrying you at the tender age of 18 was the best decision I have ever made. You've encouraged and uplifted me every step of the way. You have helped me to grow and blossom. I am the woman I am today, because of you. The past 26 years have been the best years of my life. Every step of the way I've thought, "It can't get any better than this." But is has. I look forward to the years ahead. I love you so much that at times I can't even find the words to express myself. The thought of you leaves me speechless. I'm so blessed you chose me to be your wife. Te amo...

forever yours...
Your Lady~