Welcome to Mellie's mind...

Where thoughts can be funny, can race at all hours of the day and night and can sometimes not make any sense!

Enjoy the ride!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Love Dare-Day Seven

For today's dare, get two sheets of paper. On the first one, spend a few minutes writing out positive things about your spouse. Then do the same with negative things on the second sheet. Place both sheets in a secret place for another day. There is a different purpose and plan for each. At some point during the remainder of today, pick a positive attribute from the first list and thank your spouse for having this characteristic.

"Love believes all things, hopes all things."  -1 Corinthians 13:7

In the deep and private corridors of your heart, there is a room. It's called the Appreciation Room. It's where thoughts go when you encounter positive and encouraging things about your spouse. You probably spent a great deal of time in this room prior to your marriage but have found as the years have gone by you do not visits this room quite like you did before. Down another dark corridor of your heart lies the Depreciation Room, and unfortunately you visit there as well. This room is where you go when encounter hurtful words, bad habits and poor decisions from your spouse. If you spend too much time in this room you get depressed and even may start to think you married the wrong person. Spending time in this room kills marriages.

Love knows about the Depreciation Room and does not live in denial that it exists. But love chooses not to live there. Love chooses to believe the best of people. It gives them the benefit of the doubt. It refuses to fill in the unknowns with negative assumptions. And when our worst hopes are proven to be true, love makes every effort to deal with them and move forward. It's time to let love lead your thoughts and your focus.

Today's dare was not really challenging but a great lesson and reminder that as a wife I need to get out of the Depreciation Room more often. I am the type of person I have the ability to love and move on when something comes against me. However lately I have been struggling with this ability.

Sometimes I feel as a wife I am not heard. Not that my hubby doesn't listen to me but when we have an issue that is hard on me he wants to quickly move on and forget about it. Yet I have the need to share what impact the issue had on me as a person and our marriage. When I am not given this opportunity it can create a world of resentment and build up inside me that eats at me.

"Love knows about the Depreciation Room and does not live in denial that it exists."

This is something I need to focus more on and keep telling myself. Yes, I think it is important that we listen and hear each other during times of frustration but I also need to step back and remind myself feelings do not control me.
Love is patient.
Love is kind.
Love is not selfish.
Love is thoughtful.
Love is not rude.
Love is not irritable.
Love believes the best.

All the lessons of the past chapters remind me that Love leads to inner joy and when I prioritize my needs with the well being of my hubby than there is no room to sit it the Depreciation Room complaining about what I did not get.

Today, I am going to sit in the Appreciation Room and remind myself of all the good things my hubby does for me emotionally. If my mind starts to wonder on negative thoughts I am going to force myself to go back to the Appreciation Room and focus on the good in life. I have a great hubby. We know each other like the back of our hands. He knows me like no other has ever known me and I love him for that. He is a good man who struggles with his own demons but wants to do what is right for our marriage. Today I will focus on the good and not waste time on the bad. This will allow me to truly lead my heart to be more open and love my spouse even more and it's a decision only I can make.



This was a difficult exercise for me to complete, namely because it is difficult for me to think about things that are truly "negative" about my wife. She is a Godly woman, and while she is no Saint, I don't consider what some may call negative attributes, to be negative. Rather, it is who she is (and I love her for it).

 My wife is selfless. She gives so much of herself to others. Sometimes, perhaps, too much. I think my biggest fear is that time is passing quickly. Some day, the kids won't be kids anymore. I want to make sure we as parents invest as much time and energy in them as possible, even if that means others get less time and energy.

That being said, the kids are loved and well-taken care of in every way. People often admire and comment at how loving and well-behaved they are. They are quick to smile and clearly enjoy life. This is not by accident. It is because they come from a family that is loving, open, but also very disciplined. We don't debate with our children. We tell them what we expect, why, and they know it had better get done. We are their parents above all else.

Michelle is a huge part of this. She sets the tone in the house. She runs the day-to-day affairs of the home, and ensures all is in place. I can get frustrated when I feel something that should have been done was not done. But all-in-all, she is on top of it and I love her for it.

I love my wife very much, and think of each day as another opportunity to develop as an individual and as man and wife.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Love Dare-Day Six

Choose today to react to tough circumstances in your marriage in loving ways instead of with irritations.  Begin making a list below of areas where you need to add margin to your schedule.  then list any wrong motivations that you need to release from your life.
He who is slow to anger is better than the might, and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city.  -Proverbs 16:32
Love is hard to offend and quick to forgive.  People who are irritable are locked, loaded and ready to overreact. When under pressure love doesn't turn sour.  Minor problems don't yield major reactions.  The truth is, love does not get angry or hurt unless there is a legitimate and just reason in the sight of God.  A loving husband will remain calm and patient, showing mercy and respect.  A loving wife is not overly sensitive or cranky but exercises emotional self control. She chooses to be a flower among the thorns and response pleasantly during a prickly situation.  A loving husband will remain calm and patient, showing mercy and restraining his temper.  Rage and violence are out of the question.  If you are walking under the influence of love, you will be a joy, not a jerk.  Ask yourself, "Am I a calming breeze, or a storm waiting to happen?"  Life is a marathon, not a sprint.  This means you must balance, prioritize, and pace yourself.  The increasing pressure of life can wear away at our patience and our relationships.  The Bible teaches you to let love guide your relationship so you aren't caught up in unnecessary arguments.  It also exhorts you to take a "Sabbath" vacation day every week for worship and rest.  This strategically allows you time to recharge, refocus, and add breathing room or margin to your weekly schedule.  When you are irritable, the heart of the problem is primarily a problem of the heart.  Being easily angered is an indicator that a hidden area of selfishness or insecurity is present where love is suppose to rule.  But selfishness also wears many other mask:  Lust, for example, is the result of being ungrateful for what you have and choosing to covet or burn with passion for something that is forbidden.   When your heart is lustful, it will become easily frustrated and angered. These strong cravings coupled with dissatisfaction lead you to lash out at anyone who stands in your way.  Pride leads you to act harshly in order to protect your ego and reputation.  These motivators can never be satisfied.  But when love enters your heart, it calms you down and inspires you to quit focusing on yourself.  Love will lead you to forgive. Love reminds you to prioritize your family rather than sacrifice them for a promotion at work. In each decision, love ultimately lowers your stress and helps you release the venom that can build up inside.

Looking back to when I first did this challenge on my own I can see that I am in an even better place now then I was just a few weeks ago.  "Pride lead you to act harshly in order to protect your ego and reputation." This is one of the biggest things I struggle within myself. Pride for me shows it's ugly head in the way I "think" I am being represented.  It's funny, I know not everyone is going to like me and I do no set out for everyone to like me BUT I do struggle with the way my reputation appears to others.  For instance, I have told my boys since they were little "make sure you represent the family in a good and positive manner."  The same holds true for my marriage.  If I think my hubby's actions are not representing me in the public eye in a positive manner it really hurts me and bruises my pride, thus causing me to react in a way that would not please God.  It is this pride that can cause problems in my marriage and go against everything I am working towards.  When I have thoughts of my pride being hurt in the past or I have fears that my reputation is not being honored I have turned to prayer and asked God to take this Pride from me and deal with it the way HE chooses. 

I have learned over the years, slowly but surly, that when my hubby is in one of his moods it's best not to engage with him.  I may not know what kind of day he has had or what stresses he is dealing with so when he finds himself angry and lashes out at me it is my practice, as of late, to not engage with him.  I will remove myself from the situation and allow him to have some time alone and peace.  I feel like if I demonstrate this kind of behavior to him then he will see I am not on the defense and ready to attack and he will feel more comfortable coming to me and discussing what issues he may be having.

My goal in my marriage is and always has been to have an open loving relationship where we can talk to each other about anything.  We have had a long road of challenges and hurt between the two of us.  I really feel if I continue on the path I am and allow God to take away my fears, stress and pride this will give me the loving heart that will allow me to be a better wife for my hubby.  I love my hubby and I love my marriage and my only goal is to be the best I can be in this marriage that leaves us both feeling loved, honored, appreciated and fulfilled.  I pray for this daily.



Pride and ego are a dangerous thing, especially because we all have them. I compare it to someone that has a poor relationship with abusing food--it is difficult to overcome because food is always present.

Today has been a difficult day in many different areas. A day of frustration, anger, hurt. Feelings we all experience from time-to-time. I am determined to stay positive and continue to do the things that I believe are right. When I make a mistake, I will acknowledge that mistake and keep moving forward.

I often times, perhaps in moments of senseless self-pity, do not believe that people truly understand what all I do and give of myself to make things work, personally and professionally. I do not communicate these types of issues well. Rather, I tend to withdraw. In fact, there is no 'tend" about it- I withdraw. A few months ago, I seriously considered an offer that would have moved my family to a different state. I was upset. Felt unappreciated. In other words, my pride and ego were affected and in the moment, I was within minutes of making a life-changing decision.

I don't know right now ultimately what the best and final decisions are going to be in my life, and for my family and those around me. At times I feel extremely exhausted and beyond my limits in many different areas.

But I do know that I continue to work hard each day to become a better form of me, to honor my wife and family and those that count on me. Sometimes, I am misunderstood. But, that's life. I just have to keep taking one day at a time.

Someone told me something today that I think carries a lot of truth to it: If you are being you, your authentic self, and are doing the right things--you have nothing to explain. If you have to explain yourself, that should probably tell you something.

I think this is a good litmus test for all of us, and is a principal that I can apply to my life daily.



Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Love Dare-Day Five

Ask your spouse to tell you three things that cause him or her to be uncomfortable or irritated with you.  You must do so without attacking them or justifying your behavior.  This is from their perspective only.

Love is not rude.  When a man is driven by love, he intentionally behaves in a way that's more pleasant for his wife to be around.  If she desires to love him, she purposefully avoids things that frustrate him or cause him discomfort.  The bottom line is genuine love minds it's manners.  Good manners expresses to your spouse "I value you enough to exercise some self-control around you.  I want to be a person who's a pleasure to be with."  There are two main reasons why people are rude: ignorance and selfishness.  Neither, of course, is a good thing.  You know the rules as an adult but you can be blind to how your break them or be too self-centered to care.  In fact, you may not realize how unpleasant you can be to live with.  If you're thinking that your spouse-not you-is the one who needs to work in this area, you're likely suffering from a bad case of ignorance, with a secondary condition of selfishness. Will you be thoughtful and loving enough to discover and avoid the behavior that causes life to be unpleasant for your spouse?  

Test yourself with these questions (YOU, not your spouse)
  •  How does your spouse feel about the way you speak and act around them?
  • How does your behavior affect your spouse's sense of worth and self-esteem?
  • Would your spouse say you're a blessing or that you're condescending and embarrassing? 
Here are three guiding principles when it comes to practicing etiquette in your marriage:
  • Guard the Golden Rule.  Treat your spouse the same way you want to be treated. (see Luke 6:31)
  • No double standards.  Be as considerate to your spouse as you are to strangers and coworkers.
  • Honor requests.  Consider what your spouse already asked you to do or not to do. If in doubt, then ask.
It is funny, this chapter is a hard one for my hubby and I to deal with.  Neither of us have sent our list to each other of the three things that make us uncomfortable or irritated.  As I was doing my hair I was trying to understand why he would not be willing to just send me the list.  Then something came to me.

We have been married for ten years.  We have seen each other through some tough times personally and together.  We have had a few sleepless nights, we have had many tears shared and even more laughs.  We are so tangled up in each other even when we once separated we were still together.

I don't need a list from my hubby pointing out my flaws, I know what I have to do in my marriage and he knows what he has to do.  We really do not need to send each other a list at this time to know if we are honoring each other or if we are fulfilling the others sense of worth.  We know each other.  We know how we tick.  We know how to love each other.  We know how to hurt each other.  We just need to make the choice in our own minds to move forward and start practicing more kindness towards each other.  By being able to be positive and focus on the positive rather than the negative I think this honors our marriage and each other better than sending each other a list of flaws.

I am going to honor the Golden Rule, I am not going to point out his flaws-he knows what they are and he does not need me to remind him.  I will not have double standards with him.  I will go out of my way to treat him better than I treat others and continue to show the honor I have with him by not doing the things that would dishonor him.  I will honor his requests and continue to remind myself of the things that I need to work on in my marriage so that he feels secure, honored and respected.



Every hour on the hour, I checked my text messages. Then my e-mail. Then, God forbid, by Facebook wall. Nothing. Nothing to improve on. No flaws. No wish list. No things that irritate her.

I knew I was perfect. All I needed was her validation.  I waited 10 years, and today...finally...I got it.

Then I read her blog.

Apparently I am NOT quite perfect, but there is no point in pointing out my imperfections, as it is obvious to her and me, so I read.

Seems brazen of my wife to suggest such witchcraft. Is this one of those reverse psychology things? I googled it....apparently it is not.

But, as usual, she is right. I have known her for a long time. She has known me for a long time. I know what sets her off. She knows what bothers me. Why point it out? We are both working on it.

The funny thing is, I  KNEW this was what she was going to suggest--that we not partake in this exercise, and rather just recommit to continuing to improve. Sometimes, you have to break the rules. While I have tried to convince my wife that this applies to marriage (breaking a few rules), in this instance I think I am finally right...today's rules needed to be broken.

I will say this: I was perfect, if only for a few hours.



Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Love Dare-Day Four

Contact your spouse sometime during the business day of the day.  Have no agenda other than asking how he or she is doing and if there is anything you could do for them.

How precious also are Your thoughts of me... How vast is the sum of them!  If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.  -Psalm 139:17-18

Love is thoughtful.  When you first fell in love, being thoughtful came quite naturally.  You spent hours dreaming of what your loved one looked like, wondering what he or she was doing, rehearsing impressive things to say, then enjoying every moment of the time you spend together.  Love requires thoughtfulness- on both sides- the kind that builds bridges through constructive combination of patience, kindness and selflessness.  Love teaches you how to meet in the middle, to respect and appreciate your spouse and how your spouse uniquely thinks.  Great marriages come from great thinking.

Yesterday was an unusual day for my hubby and I, a very sad day.  One of my co-workers, my hubby's employee committed suicide the night before.  This was not only a shock to all of us due to the act but because this is a man who escaped death a year ago and was given a second chance at life.  Although his life was never the same, it was more of a challenge for him, he was alive and living.

I actually went and had lunch with my hubby yesterday after we heard the news.  It was good to be close to him and not be isolated at home lost in my thoughts and sadness.  It also was a great reminder to me why I am working so hard to make MYSELF better for my marriage.  

We have been together for so long, we know each other so well.  I can tell when he is checked out, he can tell when there is something on my mind.  We can tell when each other is feeling lost.  Years of trials and tribulations have brought us to this very point that we are at now, it is up to us to learn from the years of struggle and move forward living the life we were meant to live... together.  So many people go through their marriages and have all these hard times and just when they are about at the end of their struggles they walk.  Why in the world would you walk when you hit rock bottom, you have seen the worst of each other, you have been through hell, you have caused each other unspeakable pain.... why walk.  There is no where to go from here but up.

My hubby sent me a card with some flowers awhile back and in his message he said "We have been on a long road, but I have come to appreciate every single step of the journey.  Let's start living our life for US."  I hold onto these words, I read them everyday and I remind myself he is right.  We have been on a long, hard road but we are just now getting to a place where we can move on and move on together, it would be a shame to walk away now not knowing the full potential that is out there for our marriage.

My hubby is my best friend.  I adore him.  We laugh together.  We wrestle.  We play tricks on each other.  We love each other.  We have fun being crazy together.  He is the one person I want to do everything with.  He is the only person I want to do new things with.  How many people can say that about their marriages?  So many people do things to escape their spouses, I try and only get closer to mine.

I still listen to that song "I won't give up" by Jason Mraz.  One part of the song says: "We had to learn how to bend without the world caving in"  So many people don't want to learn how to bend and how to come together, I think we get so stuck in fighting about the things we want in our marriage or the feelings we have we forget that we should be fighting to stick together and learn how to bend so that both parties are happy and fulfilled. 

Now, don't get me wrong.  I am not saying I have all the answers but what I have learned in my life and in this marriage is I am willing to learn how to bend to keep my marriage together and find a way to make my marriage solid.  Am I done? Did I master it?  No!!!  I am still working at it everyday.  I am still asking God for help everyday, I am still on my knees praying for strength and for guidance.  But like this song says, "I won't give up."



There is a book called "Mindset" which I strongly recommend to just about anyone. The bottom line, after hours of audio book, is your mind is a powerful tool. Your mindset, your outlook on things, really controls just about everything. Try it. Next time you are feeling upset or down--tell yourself you choose to be positive and hopeful. It really does alter how you interact with the outside world.

Right now, I am choosing to be the best possible man and husband I know I can be. I am choosing to let go of past fears, past patterns, regrets, worries, and anxiety. I read once that our minds holds onto these negative emotions because our ego and psyche so fear experiencing them again. But, I read, when we hold onto those negative emotions, we shape our lives around them. We constantly experience them, even when there is no direct cause.

Yes, I will be hurt again. I will be fearful again. I will do something I regret. But, I will deal with it when it happens and not hold myself hostage to those emotions. The fact is, I have a positive life. When bad things happen, which they do and will for all of us, how I react to those bad things is often more important than the actual event that occurred. It's all about my mindset.

I love my wife. I choose to make changes to my character to better our marriage. I choose to invest time and other resources in my spouse to honor her and demonstrate my love. I also choose to accept that my spouse will do things that are upsetting to me, but how I react and communicate will be more important to the event.

This is my mindset. I am mentally prepared for all that may come my way. I work hard to stay within myself, keep my emotions under control, and see the bigger picture. It is not easy. I fail at times. But I also succeed, and that makes it all worth while.

And, if all else fails...I will bury her in the backyard.

 ~ Joseph


The Love Dare-Day Three

 Whatever you put your time, energy, and money into will become more important to you.  It's hard to care for something you are not investing in.  Along with restraining from negative comments, buy your spouse something that says,
 "I was thinking of you today."

When a husband puts his interest, desires, and priorities in front of his wife, that's a sign of selfishness.  When a wife constantly complains about the time and energy she spends meeting the needs of her husband, that's a sign of selfishness.  But love "does not seek it's own" (1 Corinthians 13:5)  Loving couples-the ones who are enjoying the full purpose of marriage- are bent on taking good care of the other flawed human they get to share their life with.  That's because true love looks for ways to say "yes."  When you prioritize the well being of your spouse, there is a resulting fulfillment that can not be duplicated by a selfish actions.  This is a benefit that God created and reserves for those who genuinely demonstrate love.  The truth is, when you relinquish your rights for the sake of your spouse, you get a chance to lose yourself to the greater purpose of marriage.  Whether you like it or not, you have a reputation in the eyes of those around you, especially in the eyes of your spouse.  But is it a loving reputation?  Remember, your marriage partner also has the challenge of loving a selfish person.  So determine to be the first to demonstrate real love to them, with your eyes wide open.  And when all is said and done, you'll both be more fulfilled. 

I completed my challenge by restraining from negative comments and I bought my hubby something to let him know I was thinking about him.  It was not a large gift, nor was it something anyone would think to be a gift but I knew he needed these items and so I made sure that I took my time to go out and get them for him myself.  It was a way to be able to provide him something he needed without him having to go and get it.   I hope he saw it as a way for me to show my love for him.

Yesterday's challenge forced me to ask myself:

Do you really want what's best for your hubby?
Do you really want your hubby to feel loved?
Do you really have your hubby's best interest in mind?
Does your hubby see you looking out for yourself first?

The answer to all these questions is yes, hell yes!  From the moment I wake up in the morning till the moment I fall asleep I am always trying to be conscious of my hubby and his needs.  I go above an beyond what most wives do in taking care of him, not because he makes me or has asked me to but because it makes ME happy to do it for him.  I try and make his life as easy as possible.  In fact I get frustrated sometimes because he will say he has so much to take care of, yet he will not relinquish any more duties to me.  But I hope as the years go by, although it has been 10 years already, he will give up some of the family responsibilities and let me help or partner with him on them.  But until that day I will continue to do what I have control over to make each of his days better for him. 

As this chapter spells out, whether I like it or not I have a reputation in the eyes of my hubby and those around me.  I want to make sure it is a loving reputation and remind myself daily that my marriage is my purpose.  Making my bond with my hubby to keep our marriage strong in the faces of the storms is one of my purposes.  Not only for my kids but for ME.  I do not work at my marriage only because I do not want my kids to come from a broken home.... I work for my marriage because he is the love of my life.  He is the one I want to be with and he is the only one who has had a hold on me this tight and for this long.  He is the only one I have heard the voice of God saying to me..... "you're not done Mellie.... stay strong... stay there.. and keep fighting."

Life is hard.  Marriage is even harder.  But we are meant to love one another and live a happy life that is based on love, respect and Christ like and I feel in this day and age with so many people trying to get instant gratification we forget the real reason we are here on Earth.... to be happy and live our lives as best as we can and to the fullest that we can with God in our hearts and a love by our side.

Today was a good challenge.... not only was I able to show my hubby love... I was able to remind myself of the love that we have together and tell myself... "Keep working, it will all be worth it in the end."



I feel guilty today. I feel guilty because I did not complete this blog yesterday. Why, because I was busy. Because it was an emotionally draining day. Because it was raining. Because it was sunny. Because there was a threat of rain.

The point is, and ironic considering this day was a reminder to invest in the one we love, every day presents its own unique set of challenges, and I have to rise above them and get done what I need to get done. Yesterday, what I need to do was invest time in my wife and complete this blog. I failed.

But, I also learned. My failure serves as a great reminder that tomorrow will always be there, until it isn't. And for each one of us, some day we will have no tomorrow. Therefore, I am choosing to spend my "todays" focused as much as possible on the ones that I love.

I love my wife. I try to appreciate all she does for me. I provide for my family and have many various and competing demands on my time. But, my wife and family come first.

For the record, I did buy my wife a gift. Nothing dramatic. Nothing "wow". But, something that showed her I was able and willing to take time out of my day and invest some of my resources into her...time and money. Something I knew she would appreciate.

I feel I am well on my way to being a better man.



Monday, March 4, 2013

The Love Dare-Day Two

In addition to saying nothing negative to your spouse again today, do at least one unexpected gesture as an act of kindness.  

Love is Kind
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. - Ephesians 4:32

Kindness is a love action.  If patience is how love reacts in order to minimize a negative circumstance, kindness is how love acts to maximize a positive change.  The Bible key in this day's challenge is on the importance of kindness: "Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.  so you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man."  (Proverbs 3:3-4) Kindness is broken down into four basic core ingredients:
  • Gentleness:  When you are operating from kindness, you're careful how you treat your spouse. You're sensitive.  Tender. You speak the truth with love
  • Helpfulness:  Being kind means you meet the needs of the moment. Kindness graces a wife with the ability to serve her husband without worrying about her rights.  Kindness makes a husband curious to discover what his wife needs, the motivates him to be the one who steps up and ensures those needs are met-even if his own are put on hold.
  • Willingness:  Kindness inspires you to be agreeable. 
  • Initiative:  Kindness thinks ahead, then takes the first step.  The kind husband or wife will be the one who greets first, smiles first, and forgives first.
The bible describes a woman whose husband and children bless and praise her.  Among her noble attributes are these:  "She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is her tongue" (Proverbs 31:26)  How about you?  How would your husband or wife describe you on the kindness meter? How harsh are you? How grateful and helpful? Do you wait to be asked, or do you take the initiative to help? It is difficult to demonstrate love when you feel little to no motivation. But love in its truest sense is not based on feelings.  Rather love, determines to show thoughtful actions even when there seems to be no reward. You will never learn to love until you learn to demonstrate kindness.

My hubby and I did this challenge a few days ago, but have not blogged about it because it was our weekend.  

In addition to not saying anything negative towards him I needed to do one thing unexpected to show an act of kindness.  On this challenge rather than getting him a trinket or treat I decided that I would show my kindness towards him by sending him an email telling him how I felt about him.  So while he was out of the office running errands, I sent him a message.

This chapter really speaks to me because I really try and show my kindness to my hubby.  However there are times that I may say something to my hubby and unknown to me there is a tone in my voice that can set him off.  This actually happened over the weekend.  

My hubby was looking to me for some feedback, I started to give that feedback and then pause because I had a sudden urge that I was going to faint.  When he realized I had paused he questioned me and I answered back that I was light headed.  However, my tone to him did not display kindness it was quick and sharp to his ears and this upset himIt is NEVER my intention to speak with tone or rudeness to my hubby, sometimes I open my mouth and the sound of my mother comes out.  I understand this and I recognize it and try and be aware of it when I speak.

I have learned over this past year that not matter what, if I just lower the volume of my voice when speaking to my hubby it can really change the delivery of my message to him.  When I am louder in my talk even if I am not raising my voice it affects him like I am and causes him to shut down the communication. 

Reading how you break down the kindness in four basic core ingredients I can see a few areas that I as a person need to continue to work on.  I am moved with compassion when I am with my hubby and things are good.  I honor him and love him and cherish him.  When things are at a struggle is where I need to continue to improve.  It is easy to be in love and happy when things are going well, it's another thing when you are being tempted by evil and challenged on your every move.  This is where I need to enforce the core basics of love, when the roses are not blooming in our marriage.

Challenge is never going to leave our marriage, we are two people with our own ideas, our own thoughts and our own needs.  But the KIND of challenges that we face can change.  I no longer want to live in fear.  I no longer want to live in the darkness of a lack of trust.  I no longer want to live in the pain of the past.  This is my chance to arise out of the darkness and bring my marriage to a new level of happiness and security.

There is a saying.... "God wants you to hit rock bottom so He can show you He is the rock."  

I know God is my rock, I know that there is no where else to go but up in my marriage because there is no other place I choose to go but than up.  I pray for the knowledge to do what is right for me and for my hubby in our marriage and I pray that together we will take each day as a new day to show each other how we can out love and out respect each other from the day before.  

You speak the truth in love.  You honor one another with the truth.

FYI... the unexpected gesture from my hubby was he posted this video on my Facebook wall, which I loved and appreciated:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-ImCpNqbJw&feature=share&list=FLy2WfZtoIuhpkYv_wWqRhpQ


I have high expectations of myself. I always have. I place higher expectations on myself than anyone else I know. Yes, I have failed them at times--even some of the most basic expectations as a human being. Sometimes, I think, when you are shooting for the stars, you also have to remember to stay grounded in reality--do the right things. No just the dramatic "right things", but the mundane. The "when no one is looking" right things. At times, this can be harder than it may sound, but I have learned that being able to do the right things when no when is looking, when no one would find out that you didn't, is the true test of character.

I can be very impatient. I expect answers and information quickly. This works well, generally, in a work environment. I believe people understand that I do not accept excuses, but I will be there to support them as they reach new highs they never even thought possible.

In a marriage--not so much. My wife (and family) are not employees of mine. While I have toyed with the idea of giving my wife a quarterly review, something tells me I better come up with a better plan. Wherein an office environment I appreciate efficiency and results (if you have a question, ask it--if I need the long story behind it, I will ask you), I am learning that in a relationship the opposite is true.

I think what I have truly learned can be condensed down to: in a relationship, the answer is not nearly as important as the process; the result is not as important as taking the time to listen to my wife, understand what she is saying to me and communicating to me, and often times it is taking the time to listen and understand, that she is truly seeking. The answer, often times, is secondary.

So to me, Love is Kind means to me....Love invests the time. The time to be there for my wife, even when I really want to see the instant replay that her head is blocking. Taking the time to be there for my kids, when all I really want to do is lay down on my bed and decompress.

I think when I invest the time in my wife to be there for her emotionally, I will have less nights of me waking up in the middle of the night with her staring at me, and more nights of peaceful sleep for both of us.

For me, investing the time in my wife is the greatest love I can show her, and "time" is a seed for the other 4 basic ingredients.

Plus, that's why I pay for a DVR.......in case my show gets interrupted!