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Breck's Thoughts: 100 Ways To Say "I Love You."

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

It's tough to be at this stage in life: trying to get a career off the ground (or in our specific case, getting through school), caring for young children who require you for their every need, saving up money to be able to care for your family.  It's a tough time for anybody at this stage in life...but it seems even tougher when you're raising a child with special needs.

We have certainly felt the tug and pull on our family, time, emotions, finances, etc.   It always seems to affect the two of us most.  "Everything would be fine if he'd just 'buck up'," I'd think. ...as though he could really do anything about it, the stress of life.


Things are better now.  Summer has arrived and school is out for a few weeks.  But somehow, stress still creeps its way back into our lives.

We are determined to keep our family in tact, our marriage strong and our awareness of God in focus.  But when stress envelopes us like a cloud, it's sometimes hard to see the road we're traveling, much less the roadbumps we're about to run into.


Recently, we sat down and apologized to each other...
- for the false blame we were placing on each other...
- and for the unrealistic expectations we had for one another...
- and for bringing up the one million things that we each did in the past but like to frequently remind each other about when we're angry.

And then, after the soft apologies and "i love you, too's", we began to refocus on how to utilize the somewhat more calm summertime as an opportunity to love on each other.

We considered counseling again (although, we don't think a lack of understanding each other is our problem)...or working through a good book (although, we didn't have a clue where to begin)...or going on more dates (but that often seems only to complicate things since money and time are stressors in themselves).

...until we came up with this idea.  An idea that seemed most perfect for our need: love from each other.


The idea?  Doing one thing special for each other for the next 100 days.

We needed a way to keep each other accountable.  And a way to keep focused on how to really provide what the other person needs.

So, we decided to create two jars.


One for him.
One for her.

Each one filled with a hundred ideas.  100 things that would make her happy.  100 things that would make him happy.


We each wrote out our 100 things (well, we could really only come up with about 45 ideas, so we took those and doubled them.  The last 10 ideas are "surprise me's" because sometimes my own ideas for myself aren't as good as those he thinks of for me).

And then we printed them, cut them into tiny slivers of papers, folded them and placed them in the jars.


After a week trip to Missouri, we will return to begin saying "I love you" 100 times over the course of three months.

Each day, we will draw out an idea from our corresponding jars.
Before the day's end, I will love him by doing one thing and he will love me by doing one thing.

I will love him by hiding a note in his car for him to find before leaving off to study.
He will love me by buying me a 12 pack of diet cokes.
I will love him by playing boardgame by candlelight after the children fall asleep.
He will love me by warming my towel while I'm in the shower.


Sometimes, it will cost money.  Most of the time it won't.

But either way, he will intentionally think of me over the next 100 days.  And I will think of him.
And we will laugh because each day it's a surprise and we like surprises.
 

But we hope the biggest surprise will be that in the end, our marriage will be stronger.
And that stress, life, kids, special needs and money will no longer be something that separates us but something with which we come together to cope.

And ultimately, we hope that in experiencing the joy of loving one another, we will experience the joy of being loved by God.

7 Responses to “Breck's Thoughts: 100 Ways To Say "I Love You."”

  1. Love it, love it, love it! Enjoy your days filled with love!

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  2. What a great posting, thank you! Such a good reminder, our marriage needs to come first. That can be hard when you have a child with special needs but it sounds like you guys have come up with a great way!

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  3. That is inspiring. Thank you.
    -Robin Hogan

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  4. I love, love, love this idea. And thank you for your honesty, too, that life sometimes makes it hard to remember to love each other.

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  5. I love this post and this idea - so good and you marriage will only benefit!!!

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  6. This is such a sweet idea!

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  7. I have just read this amazing idea that you two have come up with. I love it and wished more couples would think more on "what can i do to make you happier" rather than "what you can do to make me happier.this is a sweet idea. G-MOM

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