Day 26: I Like the Way

I like the way;
You keep me looking forward to another day, baby.
–Hi-Five

There are moments in marriage, at least in our marriage, when we look at each other and say to ourselves, “Is that really how you would do that?” Take me for example, I do not like to feel like I’m going back and forth when I drive. So I will drive to the farthest location first and then work my way back. Sometimes I make decisions about where to go based on what side of the street the business is located on! I also tend to never use navigation after my first time going somewhere new; I feel like it prevents me from knowing where I’m going.
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Now my husband is completely different when he drives. The map is always on, and the priorities on his route have little to do with how the places are located in relation to each other. He’s chatty while driving; I tend to zone out and there is just white noise in my head.

At times these things could have frustrated us, but we’ve learned to love and appreciate our differences–the things that make us different from each other.

So for Day 26, I focused on the quirky, cute, unique, sexy, and funny things that he does that I love, or have grown to love. I posted just a peek of my list. I’ve already added a few more, but I’m trying to leave room for those things that come to mind in our upcoming interactions.

What are the things that you, and maybe only you, like about your spouse? Share in the comments or via #WriteLoveChallenge!

Bonus Love: Everybody likes ice cream. Bring home a flavor for your spouse that reminds you of them! 

Day 22: Proud Moment

The glory of young men is their strength,
    but the splendor of old men is their gray hair.
–Proverbs 20:29

Sometimes my husband and I sit and marvel that we have known each other for close to a third of our lives. The time has been so rich with experiences. There have been challenges that have made certain seasons longer than others, but it always “seems like yesterday” that we were first getting to know each other.image

I love reminiscing not just over the moments we have spent together, but how we have grown up and matured together. I am thinking of some of my favorite moments today–focusing on those times when I have gotten a chance to just sit back and watch my husband grow to lead, mentor, guide, publish, and more.

If I had to pick just one event, I would write that am super proud he has a new text book coming out. That is a big deal! But more than professional accomplishments and work products, I love the way he has grown as a father and am proud of how he’s stepped up to serve as a mentor and big brother to youth in our city. It does my heart good every time I see him walk in his faith; he inspires me and motivates me all the time.

How does your spouse make your proud? I’d love to hear via #WriteLoveChallenge or in the comments.

Bonus Love: Proud parents often post things they are proud of on the wall, refrigerator, or up on the mantel. Think about a way you can display a part of your spouse’s life that you are proud of!

Day 20: Name Doodle

My one close girl cousin drew the best bubble letters. They were round and graffiti-like, and they added to her older cousin coolness. I will always remember the afternoon we spent chalking up the sidewalk and the street in front of my mom’s house with slogans and words. She would mostly outline them, and I would help color them in. But as a young preteen I can remember wistfully wishing not only that I could letter like her, but also for a boy’s name to doodle.

Sheesh. We are so socialized in fantastical notions of romance and love that I thought as a kid I was supposed to doodle some guy’s name all over my street and notebooks, scrawling out Mrs. So-and-So and S0-and-So + Mon 4ever. I gave up on the fantasy pretty quickly and settled on the notion that I would never marry before I was out of high school. I never dreamed of a wedding or a marriage or a house with 2.3 kids and a picket fence. Too many things (good and bad) happened after those days of childhood innocence.

But thank goodness that the love of God is a pursuing love. He pursued me and opened me up to the idea of love and ushered in the man designed just for me to love. And the funny thing is, now that I am Mrs. John, I don’t doodle his name! imageSo for a fun Saturday journal entry, I went with the name doodle theme to spend some time being artistic and reflecting on the name of my husband–which of course I barely use because we call each other all sorts of lovey-dovey nicknames (as well as just Mom and Dad). I think I should write and say his name more often!!
Happy Saturday! Have fun being creative! 

Bonus Love: Do you know the meaning of your spouse’s name? Look it up if you don’t and think about a gift for your future gift list that represents their name!

Day 18: Encouragement

They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb.
 Psalm 19:10

Every year, our church starts with a series that encourages us to begin the year with recommitting to studying God’s Word. imageUsually the series is a week or two, but this year, we are starting with a five week study of Psalm 119. Each message has been a wonderful reminder of the blessings that come from meditating on scripture. The series for me has been right on time!

Late last year, I stumbled upon Illustrated Faith and the Bible journaling community. It has enriched my spiritual and creative time so much. But an unintended consequence of switching back to a print Bible has been that I don’t have marked all the verses I had amassed over the past few years in my digital Bible.

So I used this entry to write out some of the verses I had marked for my husband. I’ve given these to him via notes and texts and have quite a few more marked with him in mind. After Sunday’s message on the importance of memorizing scripture, I wanted to make sure I wrote these down so I can continue to work on committing them to memory and perhaps encourage my husband to learn them with me.

 

How do you best encourage your spouse? I’d love to hear more ideas in the comments or via #WriteLoveChallenge!

Bonus Love: Just ask. Ask your spouse when s/he feels the most encouraged by you and just listen.

Day 17: Date Night

Since the first few years of our relationship were mostly long distance, my husband and I sometimes feel like we are still catching up on dating. We are always eager for our next date out, but are content enjoying having dates at home imageafter the youngin goes to bed or those rare occasions we can get together for lunch or a matinee while he’s still in school.

On the opportunities we can get out for a date in the evening, we love to try new places and new food. This past week we had a double date–something we don’t do enough–and had a great time celebrating a friend’s birthday and laughing the night away.

As I have gone through this challenge, I’ve wanted to have my journal be a place where I could keep little momentos from dates and events, but of course, I forgot to get something from the restaurant this first time! Next time, next time.

How are you at dating your spouse? Do you need ideas? Check out Dating Divas, Tonight’s Better Together, or Marriage 365 for lots of ways to remix your dates! Tell me about your favorite date in the comments or via #WriteLoveChallenge!

Bonus Love: Write your honey an invitation for your next date, even if it is Netflix and hot cocoa!

 

Day 14: Comfort & Support

One of the many great things about marriage is that together, we are a team. We encourage each other, root each other on from the sidelines, and are there for each other for hugs and comfort when things do not go as we had hoped.

I love that my husband has my back and that he trusts me to have his as well. We have had a good, full Valentine’s Day together (I hope you and yours did as well) so I did not have a lot of time to write in my journal this morning. Originally, I was thinking I would focus on comfort for this entry, but after such a positive day, I’m thinking about all the good ways we support each other and decided to make this a quick entry with a picture from the summer of 2014.
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That summer was our first time as residents at a writer’s colony. It was a wonderful experience for me to keep some momentum going on my writing that I had started that year and to finish a project (which is accepted for publication and forthcoming–whoot!). I am a solo writer, and I loved the week of being locked away in the quiet woods with my books, my laptop, and a big picture window. My husband was working on his book at the time, but as I have mentioned here already, he is quite the extrovert, and he got cabin fever pretty soon into the process. He managed it fine and got an unexpected project finished while there (which is also now in press–whoot!), but it was clear that after a while he was there to support me and cheer me on.

This picture is from our dinner out “in town” with the other residents at the end of the week. It was an experience we will always remember for many reasons. I am keeping this here to always remember that my husband is indeed my support system!

How do you and your spouse support each other? I’d love to hear in the comments or via #WriteLoveChallenge!

Bonus Love: Pick up a mini pom-pom or make a mini megaphone this week and let your spouse know you are their biggest fan!!

 

Day 13: Most Attractive

being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.–Philippians 1:6

My page today almost started with, “my husband is most attractive when,” but as I begin to complete that sentence several ways in my mind, I found there was too many options to put a “most” on it. So in thinking about him, I recognize that he has many attractive qualities. But one thing that seems to be at his core that I love is his confidence. image

His confidence does not begin with an inflated ego–it begins in understanding that he can absolutely depend on God. He is a man of tremendous faith and no matter how things are going, he always wakes up confident that the Lord will make a way even when we can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. I love the way he prays confidently and expectantly–knowing we will hear from God.

That confident faith becomes the foundation for so much more. It gets expressed in his belief in and support of me, his encouragement to our son to try new things and face challenges, his stability during our deepest loss, his kindness and hospitality in social relationships, his investment in community work and mentoring–work that is often under-utilized and under-appreciated, and more. His confidence definitely pushes and encourages me to grow in this area, and I am grateful that we are so well matched to complement each other.

How did you tackle today’s theme? A list? A personality trait? A physical feature? There were a lot of ways to approach this one. I’d love to hear about your take in the comments or via #WriteLoveChallenge!

Bonus Love: Leave an unexpected sticky note for your spouse. Maybe on an item in the refrigerator that only they will pick up!