We are all inventors, each sailing out on a voyage of discovery, guided each by a private chart, of which there is no duplicate. The world is all gates, all opportunities.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, September 27, 2010

Love Dare #28 Love Makes Sacrifices

Alright, I really need to get back in the habit of typing my daily dares. Here's hoping I will keep up with transferring it from my journal to B&I:

DARE 28: 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 the need. 

I have realized that my lack of initiative may be contributing to Hubby's stress when he comes home. Well, let me rephrase: My lack of initiative does not relieve any stress Hubby may be under when he comes home.

At the end of the day, I'm dead tired. I've most likely weathered and corrected countless tantrums from our toddler, cleaned, cooked several times a day, cleaned some more, potty trained, fought to keep Baby Boy in his room at nap time, straightened up the inevitable toddler messes, been teacher at learning time, disciplinarian when tantrums fly, and mommy when owies need kissing. Needless to say, staying home is not a glamorous (or easy) job, but it's well worth it. So, this bedraggled, emotionally frazzled, starved-for-adult-conversation mama is who welcomes my man home at night.

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad to see Hubby and I try to make him feel welcome. Sometimes being in his arms and hearing his voice is the only thing that can soothe me after a rough day. Nine times out of ten, there is a hot dinner waiting for him, I greet him sincerely thanks to Dare 9, and now thanks to Dare 15 I honor him by giving my full attention, setting the laptop aside and leaving the TV off in the evenings unless Hubby turns it on. But I believe that I can go an extra step; especially at times when I know something is bothering him.

I can tell when his neck injury is really hurting him. I sense when things did not go well at work, or when being on his feet for 12 hours a day takes its toll. But what do I do about it?
Most of the time I'll ask if he needs a massage and when he says "No thanks, Luv." I leave it at that.

Or I'll ask what's wrong and he'll go into a long monologue about his rough day and I find myself cutting him off, giving him a solution and my very strong opinion on the matter. My outburst usually leaves us both thinking, where in the world did that come from? I have an opinion for everything.
My parents began calling me Miss Opinionated when I was very young and even now I get chided with the nickname when I'm being especially ornery. Why can't I just listen to Hubby? Let the guy vent a little? I will not hesitate to tell him when he's giving me an opinion and I wish he would just listen, so I've decided the least I can do is to give him the same consideration when the situation arises.

So tonight, I saw that Hubby's feet were really hurting. After he ate, he said he wasn't up for much conversation and wouldn't mind if I wanted to use the laptop that evening. I shrugged and opened up the laptop. After a little while, I just couldn't get lost in my usual research/email/general doing nothing online. I shut the laptop and asked Hubby how he was. He said fine, but I saw how he winced whenever he moved his legs.
I asked if he needed a massage. He said "No thanks, Luv."
I tossed one of the couch cushions on the floor in front of him and to his surprise, proceeded to massage his poor feet.

The Bible shows over and over again that when Love sees a need it makes adjustments to fulfill it.
God does it for us, through his provision. We needed salvation and God provided a way through Jesus' death on the cross. The mere fact that we wake up in the morning is due to God's grace and love.

Why can't I see a need in Hubby's life and fill it with no thought of being repaid, just acting out of love? I think it's possible, but will take some practice. I know I can't do it on my own, I'm too selfish. I need the Lord's patience and love so I can in turn love Hubby unconditionally and act on that love.

After a few minutes, I saw that the massage was making a difference to Hubby's aching feet and by the end of it, he was visibly relaxed.
Now, was I tired? Yes. But I know how hard it is to get a good night's rest when ones feet are swollen and throbbing from standing 12 hours a day. I used to work retail too.
And I know the sweet relief a massage can give to those hard working feet.

With that simple act, my love for Hubby was deepened, which is so not what I expected! It proved to me that a selfless act can benefit the giver as well. So selfish motives are the only reason one can be unhappy when showing love because there are high expectations about being repaid. I'm overwhelmingly thankful that the Lord continues to teach, no matter how stubborn I am. And I'm happy to know that such a small gesture made such an impact on both Hubby and me!


Proverbs 28:20a A faithful man shall abound with blessings:

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