It's Week 1 of the Completing Him Challenge running this summer at Women Living Well! I'm excited about participating, and I hope you'll join in too, if not publicly, at least by reading the challenge each Monday and doing them on your own. This weeks challenge:
I wonder, are you still captivating or has pleasing, pursuing, touching, loving, listening and feeding you relationship been lost somewhere in the busy shuffle of life?Our dating story began in April of our sophomore year in high school. My dad, mother, and I had just moved back to our hometown after a 3-year period in another state where my dad had pastored. One of my best friends introduced me to Wes after he noticed me in church. We became good friends right away. About a month after we met, he asked my dad for permission to write to me from the camp he'd be working at over the summer. My dad agreed, and Wes wrote me every week while he was gone. I still have those letters!
It's Week #1 of the Completing Him Challenge. If you are a blogger - share your dating pictures and story (save the wedding ones for next week!).
Consider: How much time do you spend on a daily/weekly basis cultivating your marriage now? In what ways can you regain some of what has been lost in the daily shuffle of life?
My mother passed away that summer. Wes arranged to come with another family to the funeral home to see me during the viewing, and then he came to the funeral. He was there, but he didn't try to work his way into getting my attention or anything like that - he was just there. Later, he sat and listened as I told him the story of my mother's last days and hours. He's not a big talker, but he's a very good listener. We joke now about his enforced listening skills (because I talk so much!), but back then I was so impressed that he just let me talk, didn't offer any advice or try to fix anything - just let me talk about her. That was good medicine for my heart when my heart really needed it!
I seem to only have Christmas photos of us during our dating years. Wes said that's because Christmas was the only time we were around my aunt, who is the family picture-taker! ;)
We dated throughout our junior year of high school. Our first date was chaperoned by my dad! ;) He went out to eat with us, and then we went to indoor mini golf course/arcade. I can't remember if we all three played mini golf, but I do know that at least Wes and I played, and then he and my dad started playing video games for quite a while, sending me to get change for the machines! LOL At the end of our junior year it was determined that I would change schools, and as we were so young, my parents encouraged me to not tie myself down to one guy, so I told Wes I'd like to just "be friends." I later learned that he was really upset about our breakup, but I wasn't terribly upset about it. I went through my entire senior year with no dates other than asking a young co-worker of my dad's to take me to my Junior/Senior banquet. After graduation I got a job and went on about my life, until another guy asked me to out with him the next fall. During the course of the date, he said, "You used to date ol' Wes, didn't you?" Well, at this point, ol' Wes was looking pretty good to me! Wes was sharing a house with my best friend's brother, who was also a co-worker of mine, so I sent one of my senior pictures to Wes through him. According to my friend, Wes ran around the house shouting when he got my picture, but Wes denies being quite that exuberant! We began dating again in October, 1983. By Christmas of that year I knew that I loved him. He asked me to marry him in April, and we were married in October of 1984. If you're doing the math, we were quite young when we married - just 19. We knew we loved each other and were making a lifetime commitment with no turning back, and now we've been married 25 years.
The "Looking-Glass Roses" my sweet fiance sent to me!
It took me a bit to honestly look back and see what I did then that has fallen by the wayside now. The Lord brought to mind two things: I smiled most of the time and I looked at Wes like I thought he was wonderful.
I think my husband may have been attracted to me partially because of my personality, which is naturally happy, smiling, and usually optimistic. There have been times in our life together when I lost my laughter and didn't do a lot of smiling. Once was just before I was diagnosed with diabetes. I was just so sick, but I couldn't figure out what was wrong. I thought there was something spiritually wrong, and I lost my joy during that time. The latest time has been the past couple of years as I've begun dealing with the normal hormonal swings that go with my phase of life. There have been days when, honestly, I didn't like my husband, I was unhappy, and I didn't do a lot of smiling at all. When I finally asked my doctor about it, he ran some tests and found that my hormone levels were showing the beginnings of change, and he recommended hormone replacement. Please don't shoot me here! I began using a very, very low dose of estrogen . . . and began to feel normal again. Then the price of estrogen shot up, and I sought another alternative. I found Estroven, which is a blend of vitamins and herbs for menopause. It has worked for me! All that to say . . . if something about you has changed, start with a visit to your doctor: it could be a physical problem. I read in Created to Be His Help Meethow that a man loves to see his wife happy and smiling, and as I thought over these things last night, I realized that I really do need to work on smiling more and letting him know that I am happy and satisfied with him and our life together. Even though smiling and laughing come naturally to me, I still need to consciously smile at him!
Now for the "looking at him like he's wonderful" part! I remember one particular time when we were engaged when I looked at him and was overwhelmed with how much I loved him. It must have shown on my face, because he grinned and wanted to know what I was thinking! :) Nowadays, he actually looks puzzled and says, "What?" when I look at him like he's the greatest thing since sliced bread. Sure sign that I need to work on that! I've seen over the years how the look on my face can affect him and how he feels about himself and my attitude toward him. My facial expression can build him up or tear him down in an instant.
So those are the two things God brought to my mind. I purpose this week to smile more at my husband and to purposely express to him that I think he is a fantastic man.
What things did you do when you were dating that captivated your husband? Are you still doing them? This was an excellent exercise for me, even though we have a wonderful marriage. There's always room to improve!