Have you heard of this book, The Love Dare? A friend of mine at playgroup was passing it around, and I was intrigued. It's essentially a devotional book for couples, written as a 40-day challenge to love your spouse unconditionally.
In May Mike and I will be married 12 years. We dated for another 3 years before that. I know that in the grand scheme of things that isn't a long time ( my parents will be married 50 years in October!), but it's long enough in marriage years for things to get a bit rusty at times. Add kids, working together under the same roof, and unpredictable income to the mix and you have the potential for some fireworks in your marriage. Not the good kind of fireworks, no . . . the kind that blow up in your face.
We've been at this long enough to know that if you don't expressly work on loving each other and communicating well, it doesn't take long for those 4th of July fireworks to turn into the kind that earn you a trip to the emergency room. So I bought the book, showed it to Mike, and we're giving it a go.
I won't bore you with details on every day's dare, but if something really stands out to me I plan on sharing it here. Maybe it will inspire someone else to do something kind for someone they love as well.
Today's dare was about kindness. The challenge today was to do something unexpectedly kind for your spouse. We had our van in the shop today, and the plan was for Mike to go pick it up and then pick up Elena from school. Eli was down for his nap. You know how much I crave my alone time, and I had a million ideas for how I was going to spend that hour while Eli was napping and I had the house to myself. Just as Mike was getting ready to leave, we heard Eli crying upstairs. An hour and 15 minutes would be a sufficient nap today, he'd decided. Mike left, I got Eli up, and I tried not to think about the long afternoon I had ahead of me. A few minutes later Mike calls.
"Get Eli changed and ready. I'm going to swing by and pick him up on my way to get Elena."
Sweeter words were never spoken.
My whole attitude about the afternoon has changed, all because my husband did something kind and thoughtful. It cost nothing, but meant everything – mostly because it says to me that he's paying attention. He knows how I need my quiet time, and he respects me enough to make sure I get it.
And now I'm going to use that time to think of something extra kind for him.