Mike and I are big fans of Jefferson and Alyssa Bethke. Jeff is a speaker, and both are authors and have a youtube channel. They have two children, live in Hawaii, and Mike and I have a lot of fun following their vlogs and podcasts.
Recently, Jeff and Alyssa wrote short his-and-hers books called “31 Creative Ways to Love and Encourage Her” and “31 Creative Ways to Love and Encourage Him” that are meant to help bring intentionality (and its accompanying joy, fun, and life) back into dating or married relationships. I’m going to be COMPLETELY honest right now… I knew about them, but didn’t take the leap to buy them until I learned about this contest they were holding to win a trip to Hawaii. Buying the books was one way to increase your chances, so… yeah… ulterior motives. 😉
The books came in the mail the other day, and Mike and I have decided to try going through them together over the next month. We thought it would be fun to blog our thoughts along the way. The daily activities in each book are different, so we’ll share our own thoughts on the books and the activities as we complete them. Oh, and we also thought it would be neat to stop watching TV for a month.*
*At this point, it’s important for you to know that Mike and I have terrible track records when it comes to committing to anything other than each other. This could very well be the only blog entry I write for the only activity in the book we end up doing the day before we start watching TV again, or something like that. But for today, I’ve had my tea, I’m feeling super inspired, and Day 1 has been completed.
Day 1 – Prayer
First thought: Unsurprised. Christian book? Start with prayer, naturally.
Second thought: Blahhh… do I have to?
I wish I could say I thought this because I’m already praying so much for Mike that it deemed this activity unnecessary. Yeah, no. Truth be told, prayer has been scattered for me these days, and the more scattered it becomes, the less I feel like doing it. It legitimately makes me feel uncomfortable thinking about being assigned to do it. So my official complaint for the first activity is that it can cause discomfort. How dare it.
What I did:
Today Mike tagged in with Noah and I tagged out and locked myself in our room for some peace and quiet. Peace and quiet = sitting on my bed with the cats napping next to me while I drink hot tea from one of our Starbucks location mugs and read Harry Potter. (I have not been paid by Starbucks or J.K. Rowling to endorse either of these things. I strongly endorse both.)
After my tea was finished and Harry and Ginny were chased out of the library by Madam Pince for eating chocolate, I decided to tackle Day 1. I had to hold my ears to make sure I was concentrating on my prayer instead of getting distracted by any sounds coming from the Living Room. Note: Holding ears helps with concentration.
I prayed for a few things, but found that I was mostly thanking God for who Mike is and all he does that is such a blessing to me. I was able to remember just how loving he is and how grateful I am to have him as my best friend. The way this relationship makes me feel valuable, seen, known, and loved helps me see all over again how great God’s love is in providing it. It was neat to see how praying shifted my perspective toward gratitude.
Since I couldn’t think of many things to pray for over Mike off the top of my head, I created a starter list in my journal. The book encourages continuing this activity over the next 31 days (and beyond, probably…), so the list will be helpful. A couple things (but not all) that I wrote:
- Confidence in his abilities
- Patience when things don’t go right/as planned
- Trusting in God with life plans, finances
- That he would grow in wisdom and understanding of God (the only prayer I’ve prayed consistently for him since we were dating – inspired by Colossians 1:9-10)
What I learned:
I think the biggest thing I realized is that I don’t feel very aware of the best ways to pray for Mike. General ideas float in my head, but it feels new and unfamiliar, like I’m not sure how to do it quite right. This tells me two things:
- I’m clearly out of practice. It’ll be good to try praying consistently over the next 31 days. Hopefully it’ll feel more familiar and the prayers will come more easily.
- I have to trust God even with these little hodgepodge wishy washy prayers, that He knows what to do with them. They also reveal opportunities for me to grow as I pray for Mike’s growth.
That’s everything I have from Day 1. 🙂 Oh, and at one point I unplugged my ears and heard Mike vacuuming while Noah chased him around, which just goes to show that HE IS AMAZING AND HE LOVES ME VERY, VERY MUCH. *Praise hands*
It has been 15 hours since we last watched TV.