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Day 19 – Love is Impossible February 17, 2010

Posted by poetiscian in love.
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I can remember quite vividly the day I turned 14, almost 29 years ago. I thought to myself, only four more years to go and then  I will be grown.  I’ll be able to do what I want, when I want, and how I want and that definitely included going to church almost every single day of the week.  Well, when you’re young, it seems like every day – Saturday mass, Sunday school, Tuesday Catechism, Wednesday Bible Study, Thursday Prayer meeting and then all day Saturday running from some type of church function.  It just seemed like every single mom in the world devoted their lives to church, church and still more church.  At 18 I just knew I would finally be rid of this church hopping thing that was consuming every waking moment of my life.

Fast-forward to now.  Without the foundation of Christ in my life at an early age, I am not really sure where I would be today.  I believe that this is true for a lot of people who have earnestly embarked on this journey of love.  If God is not a part of our make-up, then I do believe that it will be quite a task to love unconditionally. I don’t mean just being in love with someone, I am talking about your whole being in love with those whom you established relationships. To just love with your own heart for the sake of loving will require a greater power that is implanted within us – that power through Christ our Lord.  You see, God is the source of love, the type of love that has no boundaries and requires nothing, not even love itself returned. He loves us because He promised that he would. Even when we fall out of communion with our Father, He never forsakes us.  He justly loves and forgives us, so that we may do the same unto others.

When we find ourselves in broken and often times abandoned relationships with those that we love, we need only repent our shortcomings and either turn back to God or continue faithfully moving in His light. The most significant and major flaw that we can allow to go unattended is “guilt.”  This emotion will stop us from truly witnessing the goodness of God and others around us.

I hope that this concept is quite clear and you don’t take it to mean that it is impossible to love, because that is not the message.  Love is impossible – only if you are attempting to do it by yourself and without the assistance of God.

A few critical thoughts:
Agape love is not something you can do – only God. We have all fallen short of God’s command. God is the source of love. When you surrender self to Christ, His power can work through you. Put your trust in God and see what he can do in your marriage.

Biblical Verse(s):
1 John 4:7 – Let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
Romans 6:23 –
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
John 15:5 –
I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
Ephesians 3:20 –
Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us.

Resources: The Love Dare by Stephen Kendrick and Alex Kendrick

Challenge:
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.


Q: Do you believe that God is real?

Have a blessed day, I love you!
Dawn

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Day 11 – Love Cherishes February 2, 2010

Posted by poetiscian in love.
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Would you cut off your hand because your fingers were hurting?  How about agreeing to just go blind instead of going to see an eye doctor?  Leave your house because the boiler broke or quit your job because they rearrange where you sit?  All of these situations seem a bit drastic; however, this is what we do when we abandon our relationships.  When the relationship hits some rough spot, which it will do from time to time, we bail.  The ship is sinking and in reactionary mode, we think, well gotta go before I drown.  It is important to remember that relationships tie us to one another.  When your partner is in trouble, you come to the rescue and do not allow them to suffer by themselves.

That is the awesome power of marriage, it binds ye to one another.  There should be a desire that drives you to cherish your partner during sickness and health.  You are joined as one and at all times should think not of each other as single entities, but as partners with a common purpose of doing well for one another. When you look in the mirror, you should see your mate.  At that time, be able to relate to their situation and instinctively want the best for them; treat them as you would treat yourself. That is how God treats us in our daily relationship with Him.  He is not selfish in His love for us for He cherishes the time that we spend in devotion with Him. It is quite reasonable to love Him with no boundaries. God would never break this significant bond with us, so neither should we with our mate.

We often let our culture dictate our relationships.  We live in a “right now” climate that demands that things occur “right now.”  No patience, no waiting, no pause for thought or consideration, just give it to me “right now.”  This in fact is not the face of love, and not the way to show consideration for the people in whom we profess to love.  This may be a difficult concept to some, but it most certainly is not unrealistic.  You can start to identify areas in your partner’s life where you lack the ability to show how much you cherish them.  It is never too late to reconnect possible rips in the fabric of our relationships.  It starts with love and ends with altering our behavior towards the people that we love.

A few critical thoughts:
Relationships are priceless.  When in a relationship, you are part of one another. Care about issues that affect one another in both body and soul. Marriage is a beautiful gift created by God. Love one another regardless…

Biblical Verse(s):
Ephesians 5:28-29

Resources: The Love Dare by Stephen Kendrick and Alex Kendrick
Online Resources:

Challenge:
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!”


Q: When you mistreat people within your relationships, are you able to see that you are in fact mistreating yourself?

Have a blessed day, I love you!
Dawn

Day Nine – Love Makes Good Impressions January 27, 2010

Posted by poetiscian in love.
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Oh how easy it is to be nice when everything is going great in your life.  Children are doing fabulous in school, no calls to the principal’s office.  You are being challenged at work and you are simply loving it – because it allows you to really shine and show your stuff.  Home life just couldn’t get any better, your partner is actively participating in the relationship and god knows this is what you have been praying for, so greeting them with a warm smile and big kiss every day is not a problem. Lets be honest, you actually look forward to waking up to them.  Basically, all is well in the wonderful land of Oz.  Hey, Oz is only a fictional tale and unfortunately every day is not like this. As a matter of fact you can’t remember the last time you were able to make it through a day when your spouse did not get on your last nerve. Come on – mama said it’d be days like this…

What exactly is going on when you rise to the sun with such a nasty disposition?  You went to bed upset and rose even more upset, as though the devil chased you all night long.  It is during these times of turmoil, when one our greatest asset should be the behavior that guides our attitude. Making a good impression on the person whom we love the most should be a key priority. Smiling when we are not feeling our best may induce feelings of love and gratitude from our mate.  They may be going through their own personal hell and our greeting of love just snaps them right out of that “funky” mode.

We often make good impressions on those that we know nothing about, or co-workers and neighbors whom we only share a small part of our daily lives.  We greet them cordially, speak words of endearment and even go so far as to offer them friendly conversation.  But then we get home and bark at those that we love.  Jesus teaches us to be humble and courteous!  Just as the Parable of the Prodigal Son teaches us to forgive, it also shows us how we can greet those we love in a different manner. No matter how far the son traveled, and no matter what he did – the father still greeted him with open arms and love. We are capable of extending our selves to allow love to overflow from us onto those whom we share intimate and personal relations.  Put all of your energy into greeting those that you love – a smile goes a long way in this economy.  I dare you to try it!

A few critical thoughts:
A loving greeting can bless your spouse.  A good greeting puts wind in your sails.  Use a positive and warm greeting in the morning, during the day and at night.  Love is a choice, so choose to change your greeting.

Biblical Verse(s):
1 Peter 5:14 – Greet one another with a loving kiss. Peace be to all of you who are in the Messiah!
Luke 15:20 – So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

Resources: The Love Dare by Stephen Kendrick and Alex Kendrick
Featured Bloggist: Dare to Take Risks by Robin Easton

Challenge:
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.


Q: When was the last time you had an opportunity to greet someone with love whom you had not seen in a while, but choose not to?  Why didn’t you and how did you feel after the moment had passed?

Have a blessed day, I love you!
Dawn

Day Seven – Love Believes the Best January 26, 2010

Posted by poetiscian in love.
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5 comments

You may as well get your non-fat mocha latte, or your black with only sugar coffee, or your diet coke, or bottled water cause I got a lot to say on this subject…

I need to know – is there a room in your house that is locked and you only visit it during times of pressure, depression, frustration and/or confrontation?  The room that you sneak off to when you don’t think anyone is looking.  You know what I’m talking about, the room of under-appreciation.  When things simply are not going your way in the relationship, you hide-away in this room where you have written awful things about the people who you love.  In this room you reflect on what an awful husband you have because he does not appreciate you.  You are able to sit in your high and mighty chair and review the many failures of your wife.  Here in this comfortable place you are able to clearly see the weaknesses of all of your friends.  Now you know the room that I am referencing, sure you do – we all have one that we retreat to during times of turmoil, heartache and hurt.

Maybe it is time that we relabeled and remodeled that room.  Pull down those drab curtains and put up some new mini-blinds in an extra bright color to match the sun.  Lets call this the appreciation room – where we spend time remembering and cultivating only positive thoughts about people whom we are sharing relationships. When your mate does hateful things, instead of retaliating with harmful words, show them love.  Don’t allow their bitterness to overtake the love that you know they share for you – even if they are not exhibiting it at that time.  It is emotional fallout that destroys relationships and consequently ends marriages.  After years of being together, this is not how you really want the relationship to end, therefore, you must sit in this room when things are a bit rocky on the outside.

Realize that we all fail at some point and that it is not love when we devalue those that we love. It is only our selfish pride that insists we are not at fault and that everything we do is good, honest and upstanding. Don’t be a hypocrite and say you love a person, but then rush to the “depreciation room” every time you are confronted with a negative situation and then bad mouth your spouse.  No one is perfect except God!  Today you can start thinking differently about how you show respect for your spouse.  Choose today to not put all of your relationships under a microscope and pick out only the negative aspects.  Love can believe the best all that it wants, it is up to you to put those words into action!

A few critical thoughts:
Love focuses on the positive.  You are able to reign in your negative thoughts and to let love lead those thoughts.  If you visit the depreciation room – write the word love on its wall. Meditate on positive thoughts.

Biblical Verse(s):
I Corinthians 13:7 – Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Resources: The Love Dare by Stephen Kendrick and Alex Kendrick

Challenge:
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.


Q: How do you cope with people in your relationships who continue to downplay their own negative behavior?  Are you this person and if so, what can you do differently now that you know better?

Have a blessed day, I love you!
Dawn

Day Six – Love is not Irritable January 25, 2010

Posted by poetiscian in Irritability, love.
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Oh how many times within a given day has just about everyone within your inner space just really pissed you off?  You’re already experiencing a bad day, and nobody is doing anything right.  It seems that you are carrying the burdens of the world, and nobody, and I do mean nobody understands just how much you do for everybody.  You are clearly frustrated, but just don’t know how to bring your mannerisms down a few notches.  You are walking around with the chip of irritation on your shoulder.

Stop, breathe, consult God and then re-focus.  It is important to remember that love is slow to show anger and quick to forgive.  When we are upset, expressing our emotions in a negative capacity will not help the situation.  You must exercise self-control all of the time and at all cost.  Flying off the handle because your partner has not lived up to your expectations isn’t showing love.  Neither is over reacting to minor problems just because you are on edge the way to show love.

Examine why you are irritable and you will find there is an explanation at the root of the problem(s).  First, there is stress.  Stress weighs you down and causes you to act in irrational ways.  It is tandem with bitterness.  Bitterness towards the ones you love may also cause you to be irritable.  And lastly, over extending yourself and taking on more responsibility than you can handle.  This is a sure cause for one to be irritable.  Within our relationships it is wise to figure out exactly why we are irritable with those whom we profess to love so much.  We can’t continue to justify our behavior by blaming others for the way we constantly react to situations.

Take some time today and just allow yourself to rest from all the pressures and stresses of the day.  Don’t be so quick to take your anger out on your mate, they should not be the punching bag for your emotions.  Be grateful for the companionship that you have, for the friends that surround you with love and the people who just smile at you for no reason at all.  Love teaches us to prioritize things in our lives, so that we are able to live fulfilling lives.  Simply, love responds to irritable situations with kindness and patience.  I realize that it can be very hard to forgive those who seem to have wronged us; however, that is only pride speaking and not love.  Stand up to irritable situations and people by demonstrating love.  The Higher Spirit is constantly loving us no matter what we do, so we must constantly love those around us – CONSTANTLY!

A few critical thoughts:
Bible teaches to let love guide.  Lust means being ungrateful for what you have.  Love calms you down.  Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Loving people exercise self-control.

Biblical Verse(s):
Proverbs 16:32 – He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city.
Matthew 12:24 – So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.

Resources: The Love Dare by Stephen Kendrick and Alex Kendrick
Online References: Activating Energy by Beki Rosenthal

Challenge:
Choose today to react to tough circumstances in your marriage 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.


Q: Do you over-react to situations?  You know – make a mountain out of a molehill?  Share some of your experiences so that we can become better life partners.

Have a blessed day, I love you!
Dawn

Jack and Jill From my Perspective… January 24, 2010

Posted by poetiscian in love, Reflection.
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Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water, Jack fell down and broke his crown and Jill came tumbling after.  It is amazing how a simple grammar school rhyme can have such an eloquently hidden message.  If only the true meaning associated with Jack and Jill was discovered during adolescence. This is a rhyme about relationships…

No matter if you replace Jack with Jennifer or Jill with John, or leave as is – the message is still the same.  When one partner falls in a relationship, the other is sure to follow.  How did I get that from such a simple school yard chant? Let us analyze this together.

The two are a couple in a relationship of some sort and they start off together, thus Jack and Jill went. The hill is synonymous for everyday life occurences – bills, the kids, the job, in-laws and the list goes on, up a hill.  They are doing what it takes to keep up their household, to fetch a pail of water. One person in the relationship looses their balance – laid off, sickness, family crisis, and such, Jack fell down.  Whatever the material thing that was in his possession is now lost, destroyed, fractured and/or broken, and broke his crown. During this time of crisis, the partner that was following closely also is caught up in the landslide, and finally, and Jill came tumbling afterwards

Whatever happened to the happy couple that started up the hill of life together, merrily swinging their pail?  Did they get up and brush themselves off and regroup to head back up that hill to successfully get that water?  Is Jack still in search of his broken crown and thus had to abandon his relationship?  Maybe Jill climbed that hill by herself only to discover that no water even existed at the top.

I want to believe that Jack and Jill landed at the bottom and realized that they forgot to take the Holy Spirit with them on their journey.  They landed at the bottom on their knees and together they prayed for the right foot holes to make it back to the top of that hill.  They tossed the Bible in the pail so that when they were weak, they could read about how He is a provider during the midnight.  I want to believe that the couple made it back up that hill and once at the top they witnessed another who had also traveled the steep hillside.  There was Boo Peep helping Jesus attend his sheep for she too had some challenges in which she overcame.

I found a Jack and a couple of Jills’ who concurred to the testimony of love during our first five days of the Dare to Love Challenge.

Love is Patient:
Relationships only work and have longevity when one becomes disciplined and mature enough to take SELF out of the center. “Patrick”

Love Shows Kindness:
Sometimes the very people who are not kind to us, are the very people that we need to release from our inner circle. “Poetiscian”

Love is not Selfish:
I was being selfish to my own dreams…As woman we sometimes fail to see how much we sacrifice ourselves for many things. “California”

Love is Thoughtful:
I’ve resolved to say If someone can’t treat you right,love you back, and see your worth LET IT GO. “Walking on Faith”

Love is not Rude:
I really enjoy reading your words of wisdom and encouragement. “Shae”

I hope you are enjoying a very blessed Sunday and that you are keeping our Lord constant in all that you do and say!  I look forward to blogging with you tomorrow as we continue our 40-Day Challenge by Daring to Love.

I love You (unconditionally).
Dawn

Reflections of Love – Where is the Party? January 23, 2010

Posted by poetiscian in Kindness, love, Patience, Relection, Rudeness, Selfishness, Thoughtfulness.
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2 comments

Made it through five days of daring to love.  At first I wasn’t going to blog today, as it is Saturday, but then I realized that love does not take the weekend off – so neither shall I.  Instead of doing a day six, I decided to use the weekend as a period to reflect on the lessons of the week. 

Let me do a commercial break real quick:  I watched the Matrix today, and I just need to say this – I so don’t get it.  Lots of kung fu type fighting, heavy erotic scenes and people disappearing through brick walls. And the Oracle? If anyone understands this movie and I did watch all three, please just help a sista out. At the end of the trilogy, all I could muster was –  WTH.  I also watched Lovely Bones and it was simply awesome.  I have only cried twice while watching a movie, “Beaches,” (I have a best friend since six and I can not imagine my life without her), and “Imitation of Life,” (I understand the heart-breaking love of a mother trying to teach her daughter to just love herself). 

Break over:  So what did we learn about love this week and how did we do on the challenges? I’ve collected some words of wisdom and inspiration from my fellow bloggers.  Some of you guys never told us how you did on each challenge, please feel free to blog this weekend as I am very interested in your experiences!

Love is Patient:
Relationships are a partnership. And I don’t always mind not getting my way when I see that trying things my partner’s way will make him happy and feel supported. But its a two-way street. “Denene”

Love Shows Kindness:
When dealing with all my relationship I put kindness out in front. Hey, sometime it’s difficult. People will take you there but I’m responsible for my actions. “Darentiz

Love is not Selfish:
Whenever someone appreciates you , pls say thank you because they are not only admiring you but also admiring your creator. “Shawn”

Love is Thoughtful:
I will make it my duty to be more attentive to the things that people want to do for me in my life. “Cat”

Love is not Rude:
It really makes us as parents stop and think about how our children see us….We are suppose to set good examples for them… “Cynthia”

Please keep loving with me and remember that if we just Dare to Love each and everyone whom we come in contact with, oh what a mighty day.  Each of us is capable of challenging ourselves to a higher level of being.  The kind acts that that you do every day, no matter how small, will in fact, affect someone.  So, please never stop loving.  Until next week, I love you with all of my heart and soul!

Have an awesome weekend!
Dawn

Welcome! January 17, 2010

Posted by poetiscian in Irritability, Kindness, love, Patience, Reflection, Rudeness, Selfishness, Thoughtfulness.
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7 comments

This is my first attempt at blogging. At 6am (CST), I decided that I needed to create my own little space in the world, outside of facebook. I was inspired to do so based on the movie Julie/Julia. Yes, I do love cooking, however, not enough to simply blog about it. I am fascinated by relationships of all kinds, and I do mean – ALL.

Before we get started, we need to set some rules, I think.  We should always be respectful when sharing.  This is about learning to love unconditionally, so we must be loving.  We can agree to disagree, kiss and write more.  I am learning my way around this thing, so if I fumble, help me up.  I hope to become a better writer, but more importantly, a better person.

Thank you,
Dawn