Thursday, October 23, 2008

Love Dare

I have decided to move my "Love Dare" to "The Power of Your Love" because I know that I can only do this through God's power, strength, might, wisdom and love in my life.

So, I need to backtrack a little to Day 5. If you have been following along with me on warmHarte, you will already know that my son has told me that there is absolutely nothing that I do that irritates him or makes him uncomfortable. Now, I found that hard to believe, so I asked him to think about this a little.

I again approached me about this later in the evening, and still he had nothing. I have already posted this on Chelle's blog, but I will copy this so, that you can see what has occurred:

I asked my son what are 3 things that I do that irritate him or make him uncomfortable.

He told me, "Nothing". And then asked me why I am asking him this question. I told him that I am trying to improve my relationships because our relationships with people are very important. Then he wanted to know if I'm going to do this with his two sisters--ask them this question. And I told him that yes, I was, but later.

I asked him to think about it--surely there must be something I do that irritates him!

Then, last night, I told him that I know something that I do that bothers him. And I told him what that was--when I am upset about something I go into my room and shut the door.

And, he agreed that this does bother him because one time, many years ago, I did this and tried to harm myself, tried to take my own
life, and he still is seeing the door shutting as that incident.

This was good that I brought this up to him because I was able to reassure him that I will never, ever do anything like that again. Life just had the better of me for too many years, I didn't know where to turn or what to do--obviously I didn't have Jesus in my life at that time!

I am learning so much already--I now know that when I am feeling stressed or upset about something, that he would rather I talk it out with him than sequester myself in my bedroom having a pity party!

This was my posting to Chelle's blog who is hosting this study.

I have thought very deeply about this--this time in my life--and how much this most have hurt my children, their losing their trust in me--that my now simple act of shutting a door can evoke such terrible memories for my son. And feelings of guilt have flooded me.

I have spent much time in prayer over this. I have already asked for forgiveness for this act of mine long ago, but now I realize that I need to go back, talk this over with God again, again seek His wisdom in this, and ask Him to relieve these feelings of guilt in me and to place trust of me back into my son's heart.

This said, I will move on to Day 6 which has proved to be a most interesting and challenging day:

Day 6- Love is not IRRITABLE!

"He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city." Proverbs 16.32

I have affirmed myself with this verse: When Beth is slow to anger, she will be made strong, and God, who rules her spirit, will recapture the hearts of her children.

And here is the dare for Day 6:

Today's Dare
Choose today to react to tough circumstances in your relationship with your children in loving ways instead of with irritation. Begin by 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.

If you will notice, I have changed some wording in this dare. I have changed marriage to "your relationship with your children". It seems that my older daughter has some issues of her own that need addressed now rather than later as I had planned.

So, I'm going to try and accomplish this with both my son and my oldest daughter at the same time.

Areas where I need to add margin to my schedule:

  • Allow myself some time alone with each of them, to truly listen to what they are telling me instead of plowing ahead with my own agenda.
  • After to listening to what they are telling me, I need to think before I speak. So many times, what I want for them and for their lives just isn't on their own agenda right at that moment.
  • I need to put aside my own frustrations and feelings and consider their feelings and frustrations at this point in their own lives, and seek the wisdom of God as to how to answer them. If I answer them right at that moment, I more than likely will say something to irritate them since they have irritated me! (SELFISHNESS!!)
  • If I need to ask them for time to consider their request of me or to prayerfully consider what they are going through, that is okay. (PATIENCE!)
  • And again, patience--I need to be patient with them. They have gone through a lot in their short lives. I need to put aside my own feelings and help them deal with theirs.
  • I need to put myself aside (PRIDE!!) and ask God what is best for these children. Yes, they are adults in age, but as I'm looking and studying this, I'm seeing that in some instances their development has stopped at the teenage level. They are still living their lives in the past, and they need to be helped into the present.
Now, I'll move on to Day 7' s dare:

Love Believes the BEST!

...(Love) believes all things, hopes all things. -I Corinthians 13:7

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 children. Then do the same with negative things on the second piece. 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 the day, pick a positive attribute from the first list and think your children for having this characteristic.

I have again changed the wording of this from spouse to "your children". I'll be back tomorrow to let you know the results of this day's dare.


Chelle' said...

Beth, I LOVE that you have adapted and reposted the day's Dares. And how applicable Proverbs 16.22 is. I am committing it to memory and heart.

Thank you for sharing how the Lord is moving in and through you via this challenge. Everytime you post I know my spirit will be encouraged in this journey.

I'm so glad to be taking this 40 day Love Dare alongside you. God is able- you prove that in your comments daily.

Have a graet Day 7 Beth!!!

Peggy said...

Blessings Beth...I love how wonderful you are doing in acceptng this challenge and applying it to someone other than your spouse and doing so successfully!

Most people chose not to share their responses to this publicly because the transparency is difficult esp. with one's spouse.
You are to be commended for your introspection.(I hope that's the right word).

I appreciate your honest sharing!
I will continue to pray for your
40 day LOVE DARE with your adult children and hope God will use this & bless this to transform your lives! I LOVE YOU! I treasure your life lessons!

HisFireFly said...

Well done, well done, good and faithful servant.

I'm here, even when I don't have time to comment, I'm still reading.



Denise said...

God is moving in your life sweetie, thanks for sharing.