Love Dare Day 3

Love Dare – Day 3

Love is not selfish

“We live in a world that is enamored with “self.” The culture around us teaches us to focus on our appearance, feelings, and personal desires as the top priority. The goal, it seems, is to chase the highest level of happiness possible. The danger from this kind of thinking, however, becomes painfully apparent once inside a marriage relationship.

If there were ever a word that basically means the opposite of love, it is selfishness. Unfortunately it is something that is ingrained into every person from birth. You can see it in the way young children act, and often in the way adults mistreat one another. Almost every sinful action ever committed can be traced back to a selfish motive. It is a trait we hate in other people but justify in ourselves. Yet you cannot point out the many ways your spouse is selfish without admitting that you can be selfish too. That would be hypocritical.”

“Why do we have such low standards for ourselves but high expectations for our mate? The answer is a painful pill to swallow. We are all selfish.”

“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 decisions out of love for others or love for yourself.”

Today’s Dare

Whatever you put your time, energy, and
money into will become more important
to you. It’s hard to care for something
you are not investing in. Along with
restraining from negative comments,
buy your spouse something that says,
“I was thinking of you today.”

Material taken from The Love Dare by Stephen and Alex Kendrick, copyright © 2009 by B&H Publishing Group.

Love Dare Day 2 – Love is Kind

Today’s Dare

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

As many of you may have noticed, I am…ah… rather exacting over the meanings of words and sentences.  I don’t do vague in day-by-day communications. The sentence means what it means.  A ridiculously simple example would be the construction truck with the warning on the back – Working Vehicle Do Not Follow.

Okay.  So the truck is working – usually a dump truck so I *assume* the fear is the back will give way and drown the close-following car in dirt or whatever happens to be lucky enough to be enclosed within.

Then my mind goes to work. (And yes, this will relate to the subject eventually…. sort of.) My first thought is, ‘So you can’t follow the truck…. for how long?  A mile?  Forever? Never?”  Will all the traffic suddenly come to a stand-still while the truck drives off into the distance alone?’

The sign doesn’t even give you the respect of clarifying, ‘Do not follow behind this truck any closer than 60 yards. You might get smushed.’  There is still some vagueness here but never mind for now.  You can undoubtedly see the point.  I’m anal about words and grammar.

And now here is where I am going to make a flourish with my hands, say TA-DA, and suddenly spring a ‘new’ subject on you, even if I did  just give you a hint of what was to come.

What does the Love Dare mean by Kind?  Am I kind if I bake you cookies? How about if I mow your grass just because?  Pick up your child from school so you don’t have to miss work?  Send a card?  Call?  Flowers?  Does kindness mean that I have to do something for somebody else whether physical, mental or emotional?

Or can kindness also be not doing something?

I thought about the ways and means of kindness this week, trying to figure out what kindness I could offer to my sons.  Their suggestions would mostly likely cover the money or food avenue of giving them something of monetary value.

So, yes, kindness can be giving but must it always be giving?

Doing their chores for a day? What chores?  The ones I have to threaten bodily harm to get done?  Those chores?  They wouldn’t even notice.

Take them to dinner?  A dinner out would be kind if you mean kind as in ‘nice.’  But is nice what the Dare is asking me to be?

Nice is a ‘nice’ word.  The sky is nice today.  Tells me nothing about why the sky is nice.  Or the clouds or the sun or your spotted dog. Nice really tells nothing more than the speaker doesn’t have the ability, time, care enough, or is afraid to, to say what is really meant.

I don’t want to be just *nice.*  I want to show kindness with action or actions that are real and solid and meaningful. I want them to be able to say, ‘Wow, Mom sure was kind to me today.  She…. fill in the blank as you wish.’

But kindness shouldn’t need shouting from the mountaintops.  Kindness isn’t something done for praise.  So maybe kindness should slip quietly into one’s life like a shadow, maybe not even realized until later.

Last Friday, as always, my oldest picked me up from work.  He had just recently painted his room and I’d told him I would buy him a new rug. I was tired. I didn’t want to go to the store then, but he wanted to go and every other time I was off he had plans.  So off to Kohl’s we go.

Found the rugs.  He liked.  We’re done.  Right?

Ah, no.  He’d been hinting that he needed shoes but I explained to him that was why he worked – so he could buy his own shoes.  But I could tell he wanted something so I suggested maybe he might like to look at the clearance clothes.  Instant smile and off he goes.

And there, in the middle of Kohl’s, I found myself in the middle of kindness.  There is a reason why we disagree on clothes but it isn’t something I’m comfortable with at the moment.  Suffice it to say, the greatest kindness I could have shown him at that moment was to tell him he could get clearance clothes and then walk away. To remain silent when he came up to me with clothes in hand, waiting for me to give the Mother’s ‘No.’

I said nothing except ‘do they fit’ and ‘do you want them.’  And then, ‘let’s go pay.’

At that moment, I was enfolded in the arms of kindness towards another person.  Silent.  Warm.  And filled with overflowing love.

At that moment, I was kindness and isn’t that what the dare was really asking…

JSW Prompt 4-30-2015


If you want to respond, please do so in the Comments and I will post on the site.  Thanks.

Struggling With Reality –

“So: if you buy the notion that reality consists of the things in your freeze-frame mental image right now, and if you agree that your now is no more valid than the now of someone located far away in space who can move freely, then reality encompasses all of the events in spacetime.

-Brian Greene

I blogged the above as my “Quote For The Day” yesterday after reading it several times over, attempting to wrap my brain around the *reality* of Mr. Greene’s statement.  Something in my head keeps bulking at acceptance.  I know reality is not what we believe it to be, but is it “all events is spacetime?” Can one person’s reality be the same reality as a star so far away we don’t yet know of it’s existence?  Accepting that means accepting our reality is not really our own, but instead is the reality of the Universe.

Would that distance star’s reality be the same as my reality?  Does it accept the cars and 9 to 5s and the joy of the family?  I’ve always believed that everyone’s reality is different.  I don’t go so far as to insist that whatever I can see and feel and taste and know is the only reality available. I’m more of the mind that all people live in the same general reality, just as all stones live in the same reality, animals in their own, rivers and seas in yet another reality.  Parallel universes, maybe, overlapping and connect at all points yet still separate.

Do I know the reality of a stone?  I can imagine, but I can never know.

Somewhere in all these separate realities there has to be something, a spark of some unknown magic or science, that binds all realities together, bonding everything into one.  Where?  Is it invisible? Is it even really there?

I know I am made of star-stuff, so does that means the star is made of my-stuff?  What if we are all one? I am the star and the star is me. I am the river and the river is me.  Is this, then, all a dream? Is the star inside me dreaming or am I dreaming inside the star?

Or, maybe, the reality is both are true?


I just realized my ‘Quote For The Day’ is my 300th post!  WOW!  Time has really flown, reminding me I can sustain a writing project longer than a week or two. Okay, not that short a time, but you know what I mean.  When I started this blog, I was stuck in the rut of feeling I’d never be able to sustain anything creative for a long period of time. I’d forgotten how, or so I thought.  I *was* limited on posting from about October to January because my computer died, but somehow I found a way to sneak a post or quote in as often as possible.

Thank you to all who have read my blog since the beginning, those who are just now finding me, and all ya’ll in-between.  Thank you for the comments and challenges and for letting me know I haven’t lost the creative part of my spirit. And, thank you for sharing your posts, many of which made me sit up and see the world in an entirely different way.

See you on the blogs!

Quote For The Day 4-27-2015

“I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth is more potent than history. That dreams are more powerful than facts. That hope always triumphs over experience. That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death.”
Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

Quote For The Day 4-26-2015

“So: if you buy the notion that reality consists of the things in your freeze-frame mental image right now, and if you agree that your now is no more valid than the now of someone located far away in space who can move freely, then reality encompasses all of the events in spacetime.”