Monday, January 31, 2011

love dare. day 23. love always protects..

What can I say..we are on day 23! Resolve to be consistent my friends! That is becoming my motto..Resolve to be consistent! Day 23
(love) always protects.-1 Corinthians 13:7
Love always protects.
"Unfortunately your marriage has enemies out there. They come in many forms and use different strategies, but nonetheless they will conspire to destroy your relationship unless you know how to ward them off."
Harmful influences: Such as Internet and T.V. draining time from your family and keep you separated.
Unhealthy relationships: Friends who undermine your marriage do not deserve the title of friend.
Shame: Exposing your husband or wife's vulnerabilities in public..not cool.
Parasites: Addictions that suck the life out of your marriage such as gambling, drugs, pornography.
"The Bible speaks plainly here about the protective role. God warned "My flock has become prey...and food for all the beast of the field. How so? They lacked a shepherd. Not because they were too weak but because they didn't pay attention!"
Today's dare
Remove anything that is hindering your relationship, any addiction or influence that's stealing your affections and turning your heart away from your spouse.

Questions for you:

  • What did you throw out first?
  • Are there others that need to go as well?
  • What do you hope the removal of these things will do for you and your marriage, and your relationship with God?

Thank you to those of you who are doing this dare...and thanks for stopping by! Love ya Mean it! Stephanie

image unknown/ book excerpts from the "love dare" by Alex and Stephen Kendrick

Sunday, January 30, 2011

love dare. day 22. love is faithful..

How are you doing? Hanging in there? Boy, this gets hard at times..while starting with good intentions is all has a way of making things I have found that lack of time is our enemy! lol But I believe that taking what you do have and making it quality can make all the difference! Day 22

I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness. Then you will know the Lord.-Hosea 2 :20

Love is faithful

Hosea the prophet completely has me in awe! "Against all logic and propriety, God instructed him to marry a prostitute. He wanted Hosea's marriage to show what Heaven's unconditional love looks like toward us"...this part of scripture is truly amazing because he went through so much with this woman and yet God called him to go and reaffirm his love for his wife despite what she was doing. Luke 6:27-28 says"Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you." And in Luke 6:32-33 "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same."

Today's dare

Love is a choice, not a feeling. It is an initiated action, not a knee jerk reaction. Choose today to be committed to love even if your spouse has lost most of their interest in receiving it.. Say to them today in words similar to these, "I love you. Period. I choose to love you even if you don't love me in return.

Questions for you:
  • Why is this kind of love impossible without the love of Christ beating in your heart?
  • How does His presence within you enable you to love, even when it's primarily one-sided?

A big one this encouraged! Thanks for stopping by! love ya mean it! Stephanie

image unknown book excerpts from the "love dare" by Alex and Stephen Kendrick

Saturday, January 29, 2011

love dare. day 21. Love is satisfied in God..

Day 21
The Lord will continually guide you, and satisfy your desire.-Isaiah 58:11
Love is satisfied in God
Today's dare
Be intentional today about making a time to pray and read your bible. Try reading a chapter out of proverbs each day(There are thirty-one-a full month's supply), or reading a chapter in the Gospels( Mathew, Mark, Luke and John). As you do, immerse yourself in the love and promises God has for you. This will add to your growth as you walk with Him.

Questions for you:

  • How do you think spending time daily with God will change your situation and perspective?
  • How can you make Him a bigger part of your day?

Don't give up! This takes dedication and I know it can be your best! I look forward to hearing from you!! Even if you didn't get a couple days done here or there..pick up and start here! thanks for stopping by! love ya mean it! Stephanie

image unknown book excerpts from the "Love Dare" by Alex and Stephen Kendrick

Friday, January 28, 2011

love dare. day 20. love is Jesus Christ..

Day 20
While we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.-Romans 5:6
Love is Jesus Christ
Today's dare
Dare to take God at His Word. Dare to trust Jesus Christ for salvation.Dare to pray, "Lord Jesus, I am a sinner But you have shown your love for me by dying to forgive my sins, and you have proven your power to save me from death by your resurrection. Lord, change my heart, and save me by your grace.
Questions for you:
  • Write about what this experience has been like for you.
  • Even if you are only renewing your commitment to receive and express His love, what has He shown you today?

thanks for stopping by! off on a date! Love ya mean it! Stephanie

image stephanie fay/book excerpts from the "love dare" by Alex and Stephen Kendrick

Thursday, January 27, 2011

love dare. day 19. love is impossible..

No dinner tonight..So I was unable to do this dare..oh, that's ok ..right? Danny is running late so another time I guess..I hope you were able to make a nice dinner for your it is on to the next dare! yay!! Day 19
Let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.-1 John 4:7
Love is impossible
Today's day19
Look back over the dares from previous days. Were there some that seemed impossible to you? Have you realized your need for God to change your heart and to give you the ability to love? Ask Him to show you where you stand with Him, and ask for the strength and grace to settle your eternal destination.
Questions for you:
  • What do you believe God is saying to you?
  • Is there a stirring in your heart?
  • What decision have you made in response to this?
Enjoy! Thanks for stopping by! Love ya mean it! Stephanie
image country living/ book excerpts from the "love dare" by Alex and Stephen Kendrick

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

love dare. day 18. love seeks to understand..

Day 18
How blessed is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding.-Proverbs 3:13
Love seeks to understand
"If you miss the level of intimacy you once shared with your spouse, one of the best ways to unlock their heart again is by making a commitment to know them. Study them. Read them like a book your trying to understand.
  • Listen to them
  • Ask questions
  • Ask God for discernment

"By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; and by knowledge the rooms are filled with all the precious and pleasant riches" (Proverbs 24:3-4)

Today's dare

Prepare a special dinner at home, just for the two of you. The dinner can be as nice as you prefer. Focus this time on getting to know your spouse better, perhaps in areas you've rarely talked about. Determine to make it an enjoyable evening for you and your mate.

Questions for you:

  • What did you learn about your spouse that you didn't know before?
  • How could you continue this process of discovery in other ways at other times?
  • What were some of the moments that made this moment memorable?

Thanks for stopping by! love ya mean it! Stephanie

image unknown/ excerpts from the "love dare" by Alex and Stephen Kendrick

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

love dare. day 17. Love promotes intimacy

Prayer was easy for me today because Danny asked me too! hahaa He woke up and said "Will you pray for me today? I'm so stressed between school and having so little work.." I love that he knows I pray for him..many times he has said he felt them throughout the feels like we are connected even while we are apart.. Day 12
He who covers an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.-proverbs 17:9
Is your marriage a safe haven to your spouse? Does your spouse trust that you have his or her back when trouble comes a calling?
" Marriage has unloaded another persons baggage into your life, and yours into theirs. Both of you have reason to feel embarrassed that this much has been revealed about you to another living soul. But this is your opportunity to wrap all this private information about them into a protective embrace of your love, and promise to be the one who can best help him or her deal with it."
"Some of these secrets may need correcting. Therefore, you can be an agent of healing and repair- not by lecturing and criticizing, but by listening in love and support.
"Some of these secrets need to be accepted. They are part of this person's make up and history. And though these issues may not be very pleasant to deal with, they always require a gentle touch."
Today's dare
Determine to guard your mate's secrets(unless they are a dangerous to them or to you) and to pray for them. Talk with your spouse and, resolve to demonstrate love in spite of these issues. Really listen to them when they share personal thoughts and struggles with you. Make them feel safe.
Questions for you:
  • How much of an effort is it for you to hold back from saying something, critical or otherwise?
  • What have you learned about your spouse today simply from listening?

God be with you! thanks for stopping by! love ya mean it! Stephanie

image/ country living/ book excerpts from the "love dare" by Alex and Stephen Kendrick

Monday, January 24, 2011

love dare. day 16. love intercedes

I chose to honor Danny today by telling him how much I trust means alot to me that he is acknowledged..he has been there for me as I made my way back from some trauma that I had experienced early in my life..he loved me through that and has made it possible for me to get the help I needed..he has worked extra hard to help me with trusting others and himself..I thank God he is a such a great helpmate to me.. Day 16

Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers-3 John 2

Love intercedes

This dare is about interceding on the behalf of your beloved...when we pray for our spouse we go humbly before the Lord with good intentions..turn your complaint into prayers..God can do a much better job at "changing" the heart of our spouse..pray for his heart, his attitude, his relationship with Christ..and then pray for your hearts desires- for love and honor to become the norm..

Today's dare

Begin praying today for your spouse's heart. Pray for three specific areas where you desire for God to work in your spouse's life and in your marriage.

Questions for you:

  • Have you experienced the power of prayer in the past?

  • What did you choose to pray about?

  • Was it easy for you or foreign to you?

Thanks for stopping by! love ya mean it! Stephanie

Sunday, January 23, 2011

love dare. day 15. love is honorable

Ahhhh...Love delights...beautiful....just like when we first set our eyes on our beloved..we are delighted to give and receive...and that is why is it so important to practice our next dare... Day 15

Love is honorable

"To honor someone means to give them respect and high esteem, to treat them as special and of great worth."

I love this ..listen up.."There is another word that calls us to a higher place, a word that isn't often equated with marriage, though its relevance cannot be understated, it's a word that actually forms the basis for honor- the very reason why we give respect and high regard to our husband or wife. That word is holy. Not perfection. But, set apart for a higher purpose. A person who has become holy to you has a place no one can rival in your heart. He or she is sacred to you, a person to be honore, praised and defended. Two become one in holy matrimony." Joining with the Lord...Beautiful.

"Is that the way it is in your marriage? Would your mate say you honor and respect them? Do you consider them set apart and highly valued? Holy?"

Today's dare

Choose a way to show honor and respect to your spouse that is above your normal routine. It may be holding the door for her. It might be putting his clothes away for him. It may be the way you listen and speak in your communication. show your mate that he or she is highly esteemed in your eyes.

Questions for you:

  • How did you choose to show honor?

  • What was the result?

  • What are some ways you could demonstrate honor in the coming days?

Well there ya have it..I have to share that my husband has been totally enjoying this love dare..he has known I'm doing it... so each day he looks for what I may do in the day to show my love for him..he has a sparkle in his eyes and had given back as much as he has been given.. the biggest compliment we have gotten has been from our kids who have thanked us for showing Christ love to them through our marriage. God Bless them babies of ours! And may you all love and honor each other.. therefore, honoring our Heavenly Father..thanks for stopping by! Love ya mean it! Stephanie

image country living/ excerpts from the "Love Dare" by Alex and Stephen Kendrick

Saturday, January 22, 2011

love dare. day 14. love takes delight..

Day 14
Love takes delight

Enjoy life with the wife you love all the days of your fleeting life.-Ecclesiastes 9:9 hcbs

Today's dare

Purposefully neglect an activity you would normally do so you can spend quality time with your spouse. Do something he or she would love to do or a project they'd really like to work on. Just be together.

Questions for you:

  • What did you decide to give up?
  • What did you do together?
  • How did it go?
  • What new thing did you learn (or relearn) about your spouse?

Thanks for stopping by! I'm off to do something with my babe! love ya mean it! Stephanie

Friday, January 21, 2011

love dare. day 13. love fights fair..

Love and lets the other win and now we have to fight fair..hmmm.Now, here's a dare that will really have ya thinking! I'm going on a date with the love of my life and I'm pretty excited..however, there is always a little tension 'til we figure out where we are gonna go for dinner as I can only eat certain things which limits our selection..he usually tries to be accommodating bu,t I do feel for him, being that we have such few we compromise alot and manage to work out the little things..we haven't had any real issues that we cant work out seems like we figured out a way to get through things that we can our mouths and thoughts..somethings you cant control though and you have to find ways to be gracious and forgiving and move along..we have a pretty good handle on I'm pretty proud of us! Not perfect, just a good handle on it..I'm gonna post the dare and get outta here..I love ya, but nothing is keeping from my love and our date! continue on! Day 13
If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. Mark3:25

The Love Dare says.. "We" boundaries are rules you both agree to before hand."

  • never mention divorce
  • never bring up old unrelated items from the past
  • never fight in public or in front of kids
  • call a "time out' if needed
  • never touch each other in a harmful way
  • never go to bed angry
  • failure is not an option..whatever it takes do it.

"Me" boundaries are boundaries you personally practice on your own:

  • I will listen before speaking (I'm seeing where the challenge
  • I will look at the speck in my own eye first
  • I will speak gently and keep my voice down

Disagree with dignity people!

Today's dare

Talk with your spouse about establishing healthy rules of engagement. It your mate is not ready for this, then write out your own personal rules to "fight" by. Resolve to abide by them when the next disagreement occurs.

Questions for you:

  • If your spouse participated with you, what was their response?
  • What rules did you write for yourself?

Thanks for stopping by! Can't wait to hear how its going! Love ya mean it! Stephanie

image flickr/excerpts from the "Love Dare' by Stephen and Alex Kendrick

Thursday, January 20, 2011

love dare. day 12. love lets the other win..

Hey there! What!? Day 12 already! yeah! It is glorious thinking how marriages are growing stronger as the days go by! Cherishing our husbands are a gift to ourselves! And I can see your enjoying it! So, what does day 12 hold? let's see!

Day 12

Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others-Philippians 2:4

love lets the other win

"The Bible applies to us in one sentence summary statement: "Have this attitude in yourselves which was also Christ Jesus" (Philippians 2:5)-the attitude of williness, flexibility, and humble submission. It means laying down for the good of others what you have the right to claim for yourself."

This speaks for itself..continue on to the dare!

Today's dare

Demonstrate love by willingly choosing to give in to an area of disagreement between you and your spouse. Tell them you are putting their preference first.

Questions for you:

  • What issue did you choose?
  • What did giving in cost you?
  • How will this help you in the future?

Thanks for stopping by! love ya mean it! Stephanie

image flickr/ book excerpts from the Love Dare by Alex and Stephen Kendrick

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

love dare. day 11. love cherishes..

Dear friends..I hope you are all doing well! How was dare 10 for you? I really loved easy one for I took some time to write a love note to Danny..he loved it! Now, I cant wait for dare 11! I'm gonna shorten my posts though ok? I'm taking to much time writing these things and want to just summarize the content a little more.. I really hate to do it.. but, I have to be realistic about my time.. I know you will understand! I wanna do a dare! How about you?

Day 11
Husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies-Ephesians 5:28
Love cherishes
I love this verse! "Husbands ought able to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it."
"This verse speaks to husbands, but notice how each member is viewed. Both are considered to be the same flesh. You must treat them with the same nurture as you treat yourself..when you show love to your spouse you show love to yourself. When you attack your mate you attack yourself."
"Realize that your spouse is as much a part of you as your hand, eye or heart. They need to be loved and cherished. If they have an issue with pain or frustration you need to care for these injuries as much as if it were a bodily issue."
"Don't let the culture around you determine the worth of your marriage. To compare it to something that can be discarded or replaced is to dishonor God' purpose for it."
Treat yourself (husband) with love today! Cherish and nourish him, you will feel great for it!
Today's dare
What need does your spouse have that you could meet today? Can you run an errand? give a back rub or foot massage? is there housework you could help with? Choose a gesture that says. "I cherish you" and do it with a smile.
Questions for you:
  • What did you choose to show that you cherish your mate?
  • What did you learn from this experience?

Don't become discouraged if your mate at times doesn't respond as you would like..remember that this is about becoming more loving even when you don't feel like it or they don't seem to deserve it! And please I want to add to this dare- I want you do do something nice for yourself today..take a walk, drink a special cup of coffee, spend a little time in the Word! Take care of you, so you can take care of him! love ya! mean it! Stephanie

image flickr /book excerpts from the Love Dare by Alex and Stephen Kendrick

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

love dare /day 10/ love is unconditional

Greetings my friends! I dont have alot of time tonight! So, here ya go! Love ya mean it! Day 10
God demonstrates hos own love towards us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.- Romans 5:8
Love is unconditional
Today's dare
Do something out of the ordinary today for your spouse-something that proves(to you and to them) that your love is based on your choice and nothing else. Wash her car, clean the kitchen, buy his favorite dessert. fold the laundry. demonstrate love to them for the sheer joy of being their partner in marriage.
Questions for you:
  • Has your love in the past been based on your spouses attributes and behavior,or on your commitment?
  • How can you continue to show your love when it's not returned in a way you hoped for?
Thanks for stopping by! love ya mean it! Stephanie
image unknown/ book excerpts from love dare alex and stephen kendrick

Monday, January 17, 2011

love dare/ day 9/ love makes good impressions..

Mylanta! Was the last dare hard or what!?!? Writing the list about my husband..well,the positive was easy..the negative was worse that going to the dentist..I am gonna tell you, I wrote the positive with flourish and the negative in tiny letters ..I guess in hopes if i didn't write them in large letters they wouldn't really mean felt like a betrayal and I hated every minute of it..I wont lie.. the minute it was done I got rid of triggered feelings that I didn't want to look at and I was crabby and unsure all day..So to be able to get rid of it was good for about you? What did you learn? I know for sure that the only thing I wanna do is be his biggest fan! period.
Day 9
Greet one another with a kiss of love...-1 Peter 5:14
love makes good impressions
Learning to demonstrate aspects of love like patience, kindness, and encouragement are not always easy but are certainly crucial to a healthy relationship. So dealing with the way you greet your spouse each day may seem inconsequential, but this small issue carries surprising significance.
The Bible has more to say about greetings than you might expect. The apostle Paul took time to encourage his readers to greet one another warmly when they met. In fact, near the end of his letter to the Romans, he asked fellow believers to greet twenty -seven of his friends and loved ones for him. He even took time to list each other by name. Jesus noted in His Sermon on the Mount that even pagans speak kindly to people they like. This is easy for anyone one to do. But He took it a step further and said that being godly included being humble and gracious enough to address even your enemies with kindness.
What difference would it make in your spouse's day if everything about you expressed the fact that you were really, really glad to see them? When someone communicates that they are glad to see you, your personal sense of the self worth increases. You feel more valued and important. That's because a good greeting sets the stage for positive and healthy interaction. Like love, it puts wind in your sails...My aunt Naomi came here for my little sisters wedding..oh mylanta! She came running outta the car across the way yelling "look at all the beautiful, beautiful sisters together!" I can honestly say I was soooo touched!! I felt so loved and appreciated! Like the prodigal son who was greeted so lovingly by his father! What kind of greetings would make your mate feel like that? How could you excite his or her various senses with a simple word, a touch, a tone of voice? A loving greeting can bless your spouse through what they see, hear and feel.
It doesn't have to be bold and dramatic every time. But adding warmth and enthusiasm gives you a chance to touch your mates heart in a subtle unspoken way..this works on your kids too...I change my greeting and have had much happier teenagers around here! Love is a choice. So choose to change your greeting. Choose to love.
Today's dare
Think of a specific way you'd like to greet your spouse today. Do it with a smile and with enthusiasm. Then determine to change your greeting to reflect your love for them.

Questions for you:

  • When and where did you choose to do your special greeting?
  • How will you change your greeting from this point on?

Congratulations so far! I may post comments in the comment boxes for you so check in there too. Thanks for stopping by! love ya! mean it! Stephanie

image country living book excerpt Alex and Stephen Kendrick

Sunday, January 16, 2011

love dare / day 8/ love is not jealous..

Oh! love is in the air!! Glory to God for His great mercy and grace! That by His hands we are blessed and our hearts are filled with the love for our spouses! Granted, with the help of the Holy Spirit, may it always be we cannot do this alone! Love believes the best...was yesterday's dare..I enjoyed this one as I do try to look at the positives about my hubby rather than dwell on the negative..I don't like to talk or think about Danny in a depreciating way..I have seen what it can do to can kill love..I know what I am and if he can do that for me and overlook my negatives..well, I am his biggest fan! I want him to feel his best and know I support him no matter what (even when I disagree). I want to build him up! Not tear him down! What goes on with him is a reflection of me, I believe. I like that. Day 8... what you got for me? Day 8

Love is as strong as death, it's jealousy unyielding as the grave, It burns like blazing fire.-Song of Solomon 8:6 (NIV)

Jealousy comes from the root word for zeal and means "to burn with intense fire." The Scripture pointedly say, "Wrath is fierce and anger is a flood, but who can stand before jealousy?"

(Proverbs 27:4)

There are two forms of jealousy: a legitimate jealousy based upon love, and a illegitimate jealousy based upon envy. Legitimate jealousy sparks when someone you love, who belongs to you, turns his or her heart away and replaces you with someone else.

The Bible describes God as having a kind of righteous jealousy for His people. He is not envious of what we have (since he already owns all of that) It's that He deeply longs for us, desiring for us to keep Him as our first love. He doesn't want us to let anything take precedence over Him in our hearts. The Bible warns us not to worship anything but Him because "the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God" (Deuteronomy 4: 24)

With that established, we will shift our focus to the illegitimate kind of jealousy that is in opposition to love- the one that is rooted in selfishness. This is to be jealous of someone, to be "moved with envy".

Jealousy is a common struggle. It is sparked when someone else upstages you and gets something you want. This can be very painful depending how selfish you are. Instead of congratulating them, you fume in anger and think ill of them. If your not careful, jealousy slithers like a viper into your heart and strikes your motivations and relationships. It can poison you from living a life of love God intended.

If you don't diffuse your anger by learning to love others, you may eventually begin plotting against them. The Bible says that envy leads to fighting and quarreling, and every evil thing.(James 3:16, 4:1-2).

When you were married, you were given the role of becoming your spouses cheerleader and captain of his or her fan club. Both of you became one and were to share in the enjoyment of the other. But, if selfishness rules, any good thing happening to only one of you can be a catalyst for envy rather that congratulations.

Because love is not selfish and puts others first, it refuses to let jealousy in. It leads you to celebrate the successes of your spouse rather that resenting them. It is time to let love, humility and gratefulness destroy any jealousy that spring up in your heart. It's time to let your mate's success draw you closer together and give you greater opportunities to show genuine love.

Today's Dare

Determine to become your spouse's biggest fan and to reject any thoughts of jealousy. To help you set you heart on your spouse and focus on their achievements, take yesterday's list of negative attributes and discreetly burn it. Then share with your spouse how glad you are about a success he or she recently enjoyed.

Questions for you:

  • How hard was it to destroy the list?

  • What are some positive experiences that you can celebrate in the life of your mate?

  • How can you encourage them toward future successes?

I want to say before I go..please keep checking in here and sharing if you can, how things are going..remember even if there are things that are hard to do right them anyway..if you need prayer please allow for others to pray for you..lets hold one another up and be blessed! thanks for stopping by! love ya mean it Stephanie

P.S. check back in the comments I may leave you special messages there!

image countryliving /book excerptsAlex and StephenKendrick

Saturday, January 15, 2011

love dare/ day 7/ love believes the best..

I have been so busy today that I almost forgot to post! Today was good. I know that stress is a real issue for me and it can throw me over the edge pretty fast. So just being conscience of it is helpful..I took a nap and feel back in the game! Are you ready for day 7? Day 7
(Love) believes all things, hopes all things.-1 Corinthians 13:7
Love chooses to believe the best about 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 true, love makes every effort to deal with them and move forward. As much as possible, love focuses on the positive.
It's time to start thinking differently. It's time to let love lead your thoughts and your focus. Your spouse is a living, breathing, endless book to read. Dreams and hopes have yet to be realized. Talents and abilities may be discovered like hidden treasures. But the choice to explore them starts with a decision by you.
You must develop the habit of reining in your negative thoughts and focusing on the positive attributes of your mate. This is a crucial step as you learn to lead your heart to truly love spouse. It is a decision that you make weather they deserve it or not.
Today's Dare
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 each day, pick a positive attribute from the first list and thank your spouse for having this characteristic.
Questions for you to answer:
  • Which list was easier to make?
  • What did this reveal about your thoughts?
  • What attribute did you thank your spouse for having?

This is a good dare! Blessings to each of you as you continue on in the love dare challenge! Love ya mean it! Stephanie

flickr image Alex and Stephen Kendrick book excerpt

Friday, January 14, 2011

love dare/ day 6/ love is not irritable

What a day! I hope your all doing good..I am going to have to get back to you on how my dare #5 went..I am posting really early because I have so much going on today..I had to text my questions to Danny because I haven't seen him or talked to him except briefly on his breaks..and I wont be seeing him 'til later tonight on the way to a wedding..So we shall see..On we go! Day 6
He who is slow to anger is better that the mighty, and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city.-Proverbs 16:31
Love is not irritable
To be irritable means "to be near the point of a knife." not far from being poked. people who are irritable are locked, loaded and ready to overreact.
People become irritable for two key reasons: Stress. Which weighs you down , drains your energy, weakens your health, and invites you to be cranky. The other is selfishness. When your irritable, the heart of the problem is primarily a problem of the heart. Jesus said," Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks" (Matthew 12:34 nkjv)
Being easily angered is an indicator that a hidden area of selfishness or insecurity is present where love is supposed to rule. But selfishness also wears other masks:
Lust, for example is the result of being ungrateful for what you have and choosing to covet or burn for passion for something that is forbidden.When your heart is lustful, it will become easily frustrated and angered(James 4:1-3). Bitterness, takes root when you respond in a judgemental way and refuse to work through your anger. A bitter person's unresolved anger leaks out when he is provoked(Ephesians 4:31). Greed for more money and possessions will frustrate you with unfulfilled desires(1 timothy 6:9-10) coupled with dissatisfaction will make you lash out on anyone in your way. Pride leads you to act harshly in order to protect your ego and reputation.
These motivations can never be satisfied. But when love enters your heart, it calms you down and inspires you to quit focusing on yourself. it loosens its grasp and helps you to let go of unnecessary things.
Love will lead you to forgive instead of holding a grudge. To be grateful instead of greedy. to be content rather that rushing into more debt. Love encourages you to be happy when someone succeeds rather that being envious. Love says "share the inheritance" rather than "fight with your relatives." love ultimately lowers your stress and helps you release venom that can build up inside. It then sets up your heart to respond to your spouse with patience and encouragement rather than anger and exasperation.
Today's day
Choose today to react to tough circumstances in your marriage in loving ways instead of with irritation. Begin by making a list of areas where you need to add margin in your daily schedule. Then list any wrong motivations that you need to release from your life.
Questions for you to answer:
  • Where do you need to add margin in your life? (to reduce stress)
  • When have you recently overreacted?
  • What was your real motivation behind it?

You are all amazing me! Thank you for your comments it really inspires me! It takes me about an hour to do these posts! I have lots of kids who pop in and ask questions so it takes awhile to get it done..but it is worth it! Your worth it! Thanks for stopping by! love ya mean it! Stephanie

image who knows book excerpts Alex and Stephen kendrick

Thursday, January 13, 2011

love dare / day 5 / Love is not rude..

Hello! I am soooo enjoying this! And I can tell you are too! So, our dare was to do something thoughtful..I chose to call my sweetie and make plans with him in the built anticipation and really helped make the day go by..I try to do something helpful and thoughtful everyday..I believe it is a love language we both speak and it works. One thing he loves is when I dish up his dinner and bring it to him..he never asked me to, I just did it and when I saw how cared for he felt... I knew I had an easy way to please him everyday!
It makes me feel good to do something that helps him unwind from the day and feel at home when he gets here.

Day 5

He who blesses his friend with a loud voice early in the morning, it will be reckoned a curse to him. -Proverbs 27:14

Love is not rude

Nothing irritates others as quickly as being rude. Rudeness is unnecessarily saying or doing things that are unpleasant for another person to be around. To be rude is unbecoming, embarrassing, or irritating. In marriage, this could be a foul mouth, poor table manners, or a habit of making sarcastic quips. Rude behaviour may seem insignificant to the person doing it, but it's unpleasant to those at the receiving end.

As always love has something to say about this. The bottom line is that genuine love minds it manners. good manners express to your wife or husband.."I value you enough to exercise some self-control around you. I want to be the person who's a pleasure to be with."When you allow love to change your behavior-even in the smallest ways- you restore an atmosphere of honor to your relationship. People who practice good etiquette tend to raise the respect level of the environment around them.

For the most part, etiquette you use at home is much different that the kind you employ with friends or even strangers. You may be barking or pouting around the house, but if that front door chimes, you open it all smiling and kind. Yet if you dare to love, you will also want to give your best to your own....I have a terrible memory when I didn't have self control and was yelling, I even said a swear and a friend of mine came into my home and "caught" me..I still cringe when I think of how humiliated I was that she saw my behaviour but more ashamed that I was treating my family to such an unbecoming part of myself..I am glad that God allowed that painful time to happen because it became a lesson for me I never want to repeat..Having habits like this can be hard to break..I am not perfect but in my heart I want desperately to be thoughtful of times when I become rude and to change my selfish way. If you don't make changes in your behaviour, the quality of your marriage will suffer for it.

There are two main reasons why people are rude:ignorance and selfishness. Neither, of course is a good thing. A child born of ignorance needs help with training..Adults on the other hand display their ignorance at another level. You know the rules, but you can be blind to how you break them or be to self-centered to care. In fact, you may not realize you are unpleasant to live with.

Treat yourself with these questions:

  • How does your spouse feel about the way you speak and act around them?

  • How does your behavior affect your mate's sense of worth and self esteem?

  • Would your husband or wife say your a blessing, or that your condescending and embarrassing?

If your thinking that your spouse- not you- is the one who needs work in this area, your likely suffering from a bad case of ignorance, with a secondary condition of selfishness. Remember, love is not rude but lifts you to a higher standard. Do you wish your spouse would stop doing the things that bother you? Then it's time to stop doing the things that bother them. Will you be thoughtful enough to discover and avoid the behavior that causes life to be unpleasant for your mate? Will you dare to be delightful?

Here are three guiding principles when it comes to practicing etiquette in your marriage:

  • Guard the Golden Rule: Treat your mate 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, co-workers and friends.

  • Honor requests. Consider what your husband or wife already asked you to do or not do. If in doubt, then ask.

Today's Dare

Ask your spouse to tell you three things (gulp) 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.

Questions for you:

  • What things did your spouse point out about you that need your attention?

  • How did you handle hearing it?

  • What do you plan to do to improve these areas?

Listen, this is scary..don't I know it. But when we face things about ourselves we always learn and that's a good thing.. besides, our marriages benefit from it.. so its worth it. Your probably wonder why you got yourself into this..Be Brave! We knew it was gonna get hard..keep going! Do not give up because of fear or humiliation.! It is a tool of the enemy my friends..shine God's truth and light on and into those secret will be blessed!! I look forward to hearing from you.. I love you! I mean it! Stephanie

imageflickr book excerpt Alex and Stephen Kendrick

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

love dare/ day 4 / Thougthfulness

I am loving your comments ladies!! Your all doing great! Sounds like some wonderful things are happening! It is exciting for me to hear the details of what you doing! Good Karen, I love that you left a message on the mirror! And Julie, nice going sending that picture message across the miles! Lisa, doing this on your daughter is excellent! As for me, today I hardly get to see my man so we have been talking on the phone when he gets breaks..its been great..I can tell in his voice that he is happy and excited to share his attitude helps alot..he is feeling the support and that helps make all the sacrifice of self feels great for everyone. Are you ready for the next dare? I Day 4
How precious also are your thoughts to 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 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 sweet memories of the time you spend together, you honestly confessed,"I cant stop thinking about you."
But for most couples, things begin to change after marriage, the wife has her man; the husband has his trophy. The hunt is over and the pursuing done. You drift into focusing on you job, your friends, your problems, your personal desires, yourself. After awhile you unintentionally begin to ignore the needs of your mate. If you don't learn to be thoughtful, you end up regretting missed opportunities to demonstrate love. Thoughtlessness is a silent enemy to a loving relationship.
Lets be honest. Men struggle with thoughtfulness more that women. A man can focus like a laser on one thing and forget the rest of the world. Whereas this can benefit him in that one area, it can make him overlook other things that need his attention. A woman, on the other hand, is more multi-conscious, able to maintain an amazing awareness of many factors at once. She can talk on the phone, cook, clean house and know where the kids are all at once. Adding to this, a woman also thinks relationally.
Both of these are examples of how God designed women to complete their men. As God said at creation, "It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make a helper suitable for him."(Genesis 2:18) Don't ya love that we are suitable? But these differences also create opportunities for misunderstanding.
Men tend to think in headlines and say exactly what they mean.. But women think and speak between the lines. They tend to hint. A man often has to listen for what is implied if he wants the full meaning.If a couple doesn't understand this about one another, the fallout can result in endless disagreements. He is frustrated wondering why she speaks in riddles and doesn't just come out and say things. She is frustrated wondering why he is so inconsiderate and doesn't add two and two together and just figure it out. Oh mylanta!
Love requires thoughtfulness- on both sides- the kind that builds bridges through the constructive combination of patience, kindness, and selflessness. Love teaches you how to meet in the middle, to respect and appreciate how your spouse uniquely thinks. A husband should listen to his wife and learn to be considerate of her unspoken messages. A wife should learn to communicate truthfully and not say one thing while meaning another. But to often you become angry and frustrated instead, following the destructive pattern of "ready, shoot, aim." You speak harshly now and determine later if you should have said it. But the thoughtful nature of love teaches you to engage your mind before engaging your lips. Love thinks before speaking. It filters words through a grid of truth and kindness.
When was the last time you spent time thinking of how you could better understand and demonstrate love to your spouse? What immediate need can you meet? What is the next event (birthday, anniversary, holiday) can you be preparing for?
Today's Dare
Contact your spouse sometime during the business of the day. Have no agenda other than asking how he or she is doing and if there is anything you could do to help them.

Questions to answer:

  • What did you learn about yourself or your spouse by doing this today?
  • How could this become a more natural, routine, and genuinely helpful part of your lifestyle?

The photo I chose on this post is a example of how much care and thought we might put into a special event or time even our homes..what if we took this much care on our spouse? How beautiful it would be! A delight! I have assumed that only women are doing this dare..if there are men out there doing rock! Hey, if you think this is something that your friends would enjoy post about it! Remind your followers too! Blessings to each of you! Love ya mean it! Stephanie

flickr image excerpts Alex and Stephen kendrick

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

love dare day 3

What an amazing time we are having! You ladies are inspiring! Well done on your love dare! Today, my specific act of kindness was to bring Danny his favorite candy bar home. I had to stop and grab a few things from the store and in the checkout I thought "hey this would be unexpected" So I grabbed one up and was rewarded with a that. I do have to confess I was a bit tired today and felt cranky as the day went dog has been barking for two days straight and I have become a bit edgy.. I found that I too was getting a bit snippy and once again caught myself grumbling about that "stupid dog". My hubby made a comment and I started to nip a bit and stopped..I realized that things that are out of my control are causing me to be unkind. wow! How often does this happen and I don't even realize it? Yes! This is working! I want to be honest here because if we all behaved as we should this dare wouldn't even be necessary... lol How often do we stop, really look and correct ourselves? I wonder how often we justify and don't "count" what we do but have no problem naming the faults of others? I raised my hand just so ya know! lol Dare 2- thank taught me that things I cant control dont justify my being day 3
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor.
Romans 12:10
Love is not selfish
"If there were ever a word that basically means opposite of love, it is selfishness. It is something that is in all of us from birth. Almost every sinful action ever committed can be traced back to selfish motive. It is a trait we hate in other people but justify in ourselves. Yet, you cannot point out the ways your spouse is selfish without admitting that you can be selfish too. That would be hypocritical.
Why do we have such a low standard for ourselves but high expectations for our mate? the answer is painful..we are all selfish.
When a husband puts his interests, 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-those who are enjoying the full purpose of marriage are bent on taking good care of the other flawed human they get to share life with. That's because true love looks for ways to say "yes."
One ironic aspect of selfishness is that even generous actions can be selfish if the motive is to gain bragging rights or receive a reward. If you do even a good thing to deceitfully manipulate your husband or wife, you are still being selfish.....the bottom line is that you either make the decision out of love for others or love for yourself...
When you prioritize the well being of your mate, there is a resulting fulfillment that cannot be duplicated by 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 mate, you get a chance to lose yourself to the greater purpose of marriage.
Nobody knows you better than your spouse. And that means no one will be quicker to recognize a change when you deliberately start sacrificing your wants and wishes to make sure his or hers needs are being met.
"Do nothing from selfishness or empty conciet, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important that yourselves"(Philippians 2:3).
Today's dare
Whatever you put your time energy and money into will become more important to you. Its hard to care for something you are not investing in. Along with reastraning from negative comments, buy your spouse something that says" I was thinking of you today."
Sorry it took so long to post but I want to fill you in with how I am doing too! Blessings for your day! Thanks for stopping by! love ya mean it! Stephanie
flickrimage/book excerpts from Alex and Stephen Kendrick

Monday, January 10, 2011

love dare day 2

I love it!!!! Thanks so much to you gals that are checking in to let me know how the first day of the love dare went!!!! Please anyone who wants to check in.. even to hold yourself accountable.. do it! I love, love, love to hear that your all being blessed!!! Today, I did good too..I found myself making a sarcastic remark and caught myself and we both laughed so hard!! Danny is giddy with all this attention he is getting..what a goof ..he already knows I'm doing this so half the fun is when I "catch" myself doing the dare! lol Day 2
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Chris also has forgiven you...Ephesians 4:32
Love is kind

"Kindness is love in action. The Bible keys in on the importance of kindness:"Do not let kindness and truth leave you: bind them around your neck,write them on the tablets of your heart. So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man." Proverbs 3:3-4

Kindness in four basic core ingredients:
  • Gentleness: Operating from here, you tend to treat your spouse carefully. Your sensitive. Tender. Knowing even as you rebuke or challenge, you make it as easy to hear as possible. You speak truth in love.
  • Helpfulness:being kind means you meet the needs of the moment. Kindness graces the wife with the ability to serve her husband without worrying about her rights. kindness makes a husband curious to discover what his wife needs, then motivates him to be the one who steps up and ensures those needs are met- even if his are put on hold.
  • Willingess: Kindness inspires you to be agreeable. instead of being obstinate, reluctant or stubborn, you cooperate and stay flexible. A kind husband ends thousands of arguments by his willigness to listen first rather than demand his own way.
  • Initiative: Kindness takes the first step. Be the one to smile first, serve first, forgive first. Kindness doesn't require the other to get his or her act together before showing love.

Jesus creatively described the kindness of love in His parable of the Good Samaritan. When years of racism had caused strife and division, one act of kindness brought two enemies together, Gently. Helpfully. If it is difficult to demonstrate love when you feel little to no motivation. Remember 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..."

Today's Dare

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

When you have complete today's dare answer these questions:

  • What discoveries about love did you make today?
  • What specifically did you do in this dare?
  • How did you show kindness?

There it is! Blessing to you all and thanks for stopping by! Love ya mean it! Stephanie

imageflickr /book excerpts from kendrick, Alex and Stephen

Sunday, January 9, 2011

love dare. Day one

I want to start this challenge with a few things to let you know how I am going to do each days dare. I will, on the night before each challenge, post the next days dare. So, todays dare was posted Sunday night. My motivation is to be done by, on, or near February 14, Valentines day. Even if you don't start on day 1, please feel free to join the dare at any time. Also, if you want to share how you are doing please do so in the comments as everyone can benefit and we can encourage each other as we go! DAY 1
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift if prophecy, and know all the mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.....1 Corinthians 13:1-3
Love is patient
Today is the first day of the Love Dare challenge. As we follow the book written by Stephen and Alex Kendrick we must acknowledge that we cannot do this on our own accord..but with the help of the Holy Spirit we are able to see ourselves as we are..sinners in need of grace. That is why patience is a perfect place to start...
Love will inspire you to become a patient person because you desire to be loved. We all do. It motivates us to go against our selfishness and be selfless. "Love always does what is best for others and can empower us to face the greatest of problems. When you choose to be patient, you respond in a positive way to a negative situation. You are slow to anger. You choose to have a long fuse instead of a short temper.Rather than being restless and demanding, love helps you to settle down and begin to show mercy to those around you. It is a choice to command your emotions rather than allowing your emotions to control you. Anger is usually caused when a strong desire for something is mixed with disappointment or grief. It is often and emotional reaction that flows out of our own selfishness, foolish or evil motives. (ouch. right?)
Patience, however, makes us wise. It doesn't rush to judgement but LISTENS to what the other person is saying. I like how the authors put it here: Patience stands at the doorway where anger is clawing to burst in, but waits to see the whole picture before passing judgement. Patience allows your spouse to be human. It understands that everyone fails. When a mistake is made, it chooses to give them more time than they deserve to correct it." I want to say here as a note that sometimes patience is letting go of your spouse and letting God do the work that is needed..some things take the power of God to fix and we can get in the way..being patient while the Lord takes over can be the challenge.. just to let go and let God!
So, moving on.."What would the tone and volume of your home be like if you tried this biblical approach: "See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another" 1 Thessalonians 5:15
"Few do patience well, and none of us do it naturally. But wise men and women will pursue it as an essential ingredient to their marriage relationship. That is a good starting point to demonstrate true love."
Today's dare
The first part of this dare is fairly simple. Although love is communicated in a number of ways, our words often reflect the condition of our heart. For the next day, resolve to say nothing negative to your spouse at all. If the temptation arises, choose not to say anything. It's better to hold your tongue than to say something you will regret.
When you have completed today's dare reflect on these questions:
  • Did anything happen today to cause anger towards your mate?
  • Were you tempted to think disapproving thoughts and let them come out in words?

Ok. The first step is always the bravest I say..I wish you the best as you take today's challenge..please share with us if you can how you did and what you learned..we can really encourage each as we take each day at a time..Thanks for stopping by! love ya mean it! Stephanie


Thursday, January 6, 2011

take the love dare challenge!

The Love Dare Challenge

Are you up for a dare? A love dare? I would like to host a Love Dare challenge every day until February 14! For forty days we will- with the guidance of the Love Dare book by Stephen and Alex Kendrick with Lawrence Kimbrough, be challenged to commit one day at a time to enriching our marriage in a positive way..the challenge can be difficult on days where you feel like the last thing you wanna do is bless your is a look at ourselves and how we impact our marriages on a daily may find out more about yourself than you ever realized..the first page in the book gives a warning..and here it is...

Receive this as a warning. This forty day journey cannot be taken lightly. It is a challenging and often difficult process, but an incredibly fulfilling one. To take this dare requires a resolute mind and a steadfast determination. It is not meant to be sampled or briefly tested, and those who quit early will forfeit the greatest benefits. If you will commit to a day at a time for forty days, the results could change your life and your marriage..consider it a dare, from others who have done it before you.

I love how the authors write "It will take courage. If you accept this dare, you must take the view that instead of following your heart, you are choosing to lead it. Jeremiah 17:9 says "the heart is more deceitful than all else"and it will always pursue what is right at the moment...this dare is not about changing your spouse rather, this is a journey of exploring and demonstrating genuine love, even if your desire is dry and motives are low. Love is a decision and not just a feeling. It is selfless, sacrificial and transformational." Now these three things remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13:13

My marriage has been blessed from day one..The Lord knew the man I would need would be a very special man..I love him deeply and have felt loved every day of my marriage with him and I thank God for him every day.. I would like to bless him in the next few weeks and challenge myself to find new and exciting ways to express it...I'm realistic... after all, I am a woman with five kids with daily duties I attend too..I wake up in ugly moods and am not fit for social consumption some days but, I soldier on realizing that without Christ I am unable..I hope that no matter where your marriage stands you can choose to give it to the Lord and be strengthened in the knowledge that He is in control. Please share this challenge on your blog and link back here so we can all do this together..I will start the challenge on Monday January 10th. I will do a summary of the chapter and give the dare at the end with some questions for you to answer. You may remain anonymous if you like...if you have a question you would like me to post, I can do that..comments and thoughts are always welcome. However, I will not respond to cruel and unusual inquires that do not benefit this blog and it readers. This challenge is here to inspire not to debate..if you have questions or suggestions please let me know..I'm excited for us! What do you think? Are you ready for a dare? Thanks for stopping by! love ya mean it! Stephanie


clean recipe

Sparklingly clear windows can be yours with a simple and inexpensive home recipe. Using a funnel, pour three tablespoons of ammonia and one tablespoon of vinegar into a one-quart screw-top or spray bottle, then fill with cool water. For safety, remember to label the bottle. If your windows have a low-e coating on the exterior surface of the glass, leave out the ammonia and increase the vinegar content from one to two tablespoons. Use newspaper to polish your windows! My mother in law Judy shared this recipe with us girls in the family and I'm sharing it with you!
I want to thank you commenter's for your thoughts and ideas..I love you gals! I just treated myself to the latest issue of Country Living magazine which is my favorite mag to read and became inspired! So, let see what comes of it all! Thanks for stopping by! love ya mean it! Stephanie
image / recipe paragraph from country living

Monday, January 3, 2011

I love this mirror image..its like you could walk right through it no? It says to me..look what's ahead, while it reflects back at me..funny isn't it? How mirrors work? I'm trying to be hopeful about 2011..but I can't seem to grasp it, like it seems everyone else has managed to do...I have been thinking about the things I would like to accomplish and do...I'm a bit overwhelmed..I think..I should like to improve my blog for one..but not sure how..would love to have a camera so I can use my feels more personal and I feel inspired to do crafts and project to share with you..but since mine has given herself over to the grave..I have lost interest a you have any thoughts on this my friends? How are you doing with your blogs? Are you lost in blog land trying to be inspired too? I want blogging to be fun again....thanks for stopping by! love ya mean it! Stephanie

Sunday, January 2, 2011

MONDAY after it all...2011 here i come....