Tuesday, September 29, 2015

DAY 1477-1487... THE LOVE DARE PART 2

 Day 11 – Love Cherishes

Today’s Dare was to meet my spouse’s needs. I was to choose a gesture that says, “I cherish you” and that does it with a smile.

I kind of hate driving to Idaho Falls.
I just do.
It’s a boring drive to get to a place that has more than we have but still not enough.

I had already gone to Idaho Falls with my Mom earlier that day (I even drove), with both kids, and all I wanted to do was to rest and chill at home.
But that never happens, right?

Spencer wanted to go to Idaho Falls.

So I packed up the kids and we went. I smiled and we really did have a great time.

I feel as though I may have went above and beyond in this one because when it came time to eat, he suggested Panda Express. Now, I love Chinese food, like I crave it when I’m not craving Mexican food love it, but I personally feel as though Panda isn’t the best and is way overpriced. But I smiled and said, “Great choice”. The food was really good and it made my Panda obsessed 3 year old so happy!

I feel as though because I really pushed myself to do these things that maybe I really didn’t want to do, I was blessed by having a great time and tasting amazing food.

Attitude really changes everything!
I guess my Dad was right about that too.

Day 12 – Love Lets the Other Win

Today I was to demonstrate love by willingly choosing to give in to an area of disagreement between me and my spouse.

We have actually been having a significantly less amount of disagreements since I started this dare, and the day was pretty calm.

Spencer has been talking about wanting to buy his parents some sort of tablet to use. I was confused at why this was our responsibility since he is the youngest child and still in school and we have other needs to meet.
I mean he has older siblings who have real jobs and are in real life and are more than capable of doing something like this for their parents.

Do I see that my husband is trying to be an amazing son and do something nice for his parents? Of course! I think his intentions are amazing, I just didn’t really get why this was our responsibility.

So I made a point to agree with him and support him in this decision to help his parents out by buying them something like this.

The part of the dare I didn’t do was to tell my spouse that I was putting their preferences first. I felt like making a statement like that would be what would start an argument or make the entire situation blow up past where it needed to be for sure. So I ignored it.

Day 13 – Love Fights Fair

Today I was dared to talk to my spouse about establishing healthy rules of engagement, and then abide by them when the next argument occurs.

This is something that we have tried and tried and tried in the past and it only leads to worse arguing and nothing is ever accomplished.

But, it was my dare, and so I did it.

Although I was really nervous that having this discussion would lead to an argument, it didn’t. We only laid 1 ground rule for future arguments, but, in my opinion, it is a really BIG one and will greatly lessen the length of the argument.

Day 14 – Love Takes Delight

Today’s dare was to neglect an activity that I would normally do so that I could spend quality time with my spouse.

Today was a rough day. I just really felt on edge and Spencer got a haircut and was late getting back so Aniston was 4 minutes late to dance/gymnastics and there is almost nothing I hate worse than being late. I would definitely rather not go than be late. And I really dislike taking responsibility for someone else’s actions.

Anyway, I took a deep breath, calmed myself down and relaxed.

Spencer was using a new program for a school project and needed some help. Of course, he needed help right during my workout. Although I have been trying really hard to work out and to drop the baby weight, I stopped what I was doing to edit his project and help Spencer with his project.

Not only did I help him during this time, but I made sure to praise him and to let him know that I thought that the work he did was great.

I’m sure there are a thousand ways I could have made this dare so much better, but I was impressed with myself for even accomplishing this dare on such a rough day.

Day 15 – Love is Honorable

Today’s dare was to show honor and respect to your spouse that is above your normal routine.

Sometimes, I feel like I already do a lot for Spencer, so that made finding something that was out of my normal routine tough to find.

It was a clean check day… Doing clean checks for 168 college guys can be rough and stressful. We didn’t get done until super late and we hadn’t eaten. I quickly ran to McDonalds, ordered up his favorite and brought it home for him to enjoy.

Have you noticed that most of my good deeds involve food?
Is that unhealthy?
Like, not unhealthy because it was McDonald’s, but unhealthy psychologically?
No wonder I can’t get rid of the baby weight.

I know it probably wasn’t the most grand or amazing thing that I could have done for Spencer, but it was something that went above normal and a way, that I felt, expressed my respect for him and all his hard work around our apartment complex.

Food makes everything better.
It’s unhealthy.

Day 16 – Love Intercedes

Today’s dare was to pray for my spouse and to specifically pray for three areas where I desired God to work in your spouse’s life and in my marriage.

I didn’t want to do the dare today.

I am so annoyed with Spencer today and with his time management skills… or lack thereof, and I am feeling incredibly stressed because the University is coming to our complex today for an inspection.

I feel as though I have gone above and beyond in my duties and had to do Spencer’s as well because working out and eating were more important than getting these jobs done by the deadline. I feel as though he doesn’t understand that anything that he does incorrectly or doesn’t get done at all falls back on me and I get to take the blame for it. I absolutely HATE taking responsibility for another’s actions.

To make matters worse, Benson is super clingy and teething and is crying all the time because he absolutely needs to be held 24/7. Holding a screaming, teething baby on top of my office hours and my hours alone with the kids at home while Spencer is in school makes for a pretty rough and long day.

Sometimes I feel as though I have gotten absolutely nothing done.
Either that or that I have annoyed all my tenants because they have to put up with that when they come into my office.

But I have learned that prayer can truly help you in life especially in those moments where you feel as though you are about to break.

So, today’s dare was perfect.

It’s funny how many times I have said that, but I’m finding that some of these dares are falling on the most appropriate days for them. Crazy how it works out like that.

Today I prayed for patience in my marriage, I prayed for Spencer to have a clear and open mind so that his school work would come easier to him, and I prayed to love Spencer more.

Praying to love someone more may seem like a really weird thing. But I prayed to love him more because I feel like when you are reminded of love that you have for someone and feel that love frequently, you can be more understanding and forgiving and you become more willing to work harder towards your relationship.

I needed to pray today.
So I did.

And you know what?
I felt so much better afterwards.
I felt peaceful and less anxious about our inspection.
I felt like I could handle Spencer a little better.
Benson didn’t stop crying.
But I guess you can’t win them all right?

Don’t get me wrong here.
I still felt plenty mad and annoyed.
The prayer didn’t cure me of all my ill feelings.
But somehow I was able to push them aside for a while and get the stuff done that needed to be done.

I definitely prayed more than once today.
For the same three things…

Day 17 – Love Promotes Intimacy

Today’s dare was to talk to my spouse about issues that we may have, and resolve to love my spouse despite these issues.

It was really important to me that during this dare that I really take the time to really listen and to do my best to understand what issues are most important to Spencer and also to be able to voice my own issues as well.

This was an uncomfortable and unproductive conversation in my opinion.
It’s always awkward and weird to talk about problems and issues you have with someone who you are constantly with, but obviously it was something that needed to be done.

The conversation was short.

The resolution to love despite these issues is something that I have to choose to do. I have to make that a priority.

This dare was not one of my favorites.

Day 18 – Love Seeks to Understand

Today’s dare was to prepare a special dinner and to spend this time focusing on getting to know your spouse better.

So in our world, dinner is tough.
So we did breakfast instead.

Spencer and I really had a whirlwind of a courtship and engagement.
From first date to wedding date… 6 months.
I know… that’s straight up insane.
Add to that finding out you’re pregnant on your 2 month wedding anniversary.
We really didn’t get to know each other as well as some other couples may.

I feel like I really do learn new things all the time about Spencer.

I find that the best way to get to know your spouse better is to constantly ask questions.
Sometimes that means pretending to like something that maybe usually you wouldn’t have an interest in.
But I know that when people do that for me, it means the world to me.
So why would I not want to do that for others?

This is definitely something that I have to constantly be working on and continuing all the time. This is not a one-time ask questions for a day then it’s over.
This is a 24/7 job and I absolutely have to be willing to dedicate my time and energy to be able to get to know Spencer better all the time.

This dare was enjoyable for me and I think that Spencer really enjoyed me asking questions and digging deeper into who he is and what he enjoys.

Day 19 – Love is Impossible

Today’s dare was to review the past dares and to consult with and ask God for strength and grace in order to meet my goals in my marriage.

I can pray.
I definitely know how to pray.

I am no stranger to asking for help from my Heavenly Father.

I prayed for patience… again.
I prayed for patience to be able to understand Spencer and to not raise my voice or my temper when things were not going the way that I intended or wanted.
I prayed for strength to be mindful of Spencer’s needs and wants.
I prayed for the motivation to see this challenge through until the end. There are definitely days where I feel like things have already improved so much that I don’t’ need to keep going.
But then I remember that I’m not even halfway through.
And if things have already gotten so much better after 19 days, then I can’t even imagine how amazing they will be after 40.
I prayed for understanding and knowledge.
You name it, I prayed for it.

The motivation and desire I feel to be better after I pray is amazing!

Day 20 – Love is Jesus Christ

Today’s dare is to take God at His Word and to trust Christ.

I can do that.

I’m surprised at how these dares have changed from focusing purely on Spencer to changing my focus more towards Christ, but I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing.

I have seen in the past how as my love for Christ has grown, so has my love for those around me.

I feel strengthened by this dare.

It’s like one of the Sunday school teachers at church said on Sunday, “I feel as though I can do no wrong when I feel the Spirit.”

I feel as though I can do no wrong when it comes to my marriage if I have the Lord’s help and especially if I consider myself strengthened by the Lord.

If you want more information about the Love Dare check it out here.


  1. I have been loving this. It has made me want to start. Keep it up Jenn

  2. Thank you!!! Do it! It's been so amazing! I think it could definitely strengthen any marriage no matter how amazing it is.