Love Dare – Day 40 (The End)

The final dare or challenge is listed below. If you don’t know what this is, you can start from day 1 (or at least read about it to figure out what’s going on):

(Day 40) Write out a renewal of your vows and place them in your home.  Perhaps if appropriate, you could make arrangements to formally renew your wedding vows before a minister and with family present.  Make it a living testament to the value of marriage in God’s eyes and the high honor of being one with your mate.

Kristin and I were married just over five years ago. I went back through some of my old emails to see what sort of communication we had when we planned our vows. Here’s the one email I came across:

hey there hottie!
i was doing some more work on my vows and also doing a few searches and came up with this dr. seuss inspiration.  check it out.  🙂
if the link doesn’t work, go to about.com and the title is “wedding vows inspired by dr. seuss”
love you k-bizzle,
g-funkalicious
I want to note a few funny things about this:
  • I still call Kristin “hottie” on a regular basis, but “k-bizzle” and “g-funkalicious” have become nearly obsolete
  • I’m really glad that Dr. Seuss was one of my potential inspirations for my wedding vows
  • I found this email from an old Yahoo account
  • Why did I think that “about.com” was the go-to search engine at the time?! I hope it was only the fact that the Dr. Seuss-like vows were posted on that site. NOTE: Google.com, Gmail, and other Google Apps have become regulars in my web interfacing

In the end, Kristin and I based our vows on a passage from Philippians 2 rather than Dr. Seuss. It’s the part of Philippians where Christ talks about being a servant and how we need to imitate Christ. If you’re unfamiliar with it, check it out here. For just a snippet, here ya go:

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but inhumility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of youlook not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

I don’t have any plans at this moment to publicly renew my vows, but I do want to do that someday. For now, Kristin and I have our vows and our scripture passage framed, and we hang it up wherever we live. Since we just moved from HK it’s currently in a box. However, I can assure all my readers that it will be one of the first things we hang in our new flat.

As an aside, I thought it would be fun to repost a link to my wedding photos.

Kristin, if you’re reading this, I love you, and I’m really glad we’re married. I’ve finally finished my 40 day Love Dare series, even if it took me far longer than 40 days to complete. Enjoy reading it, and know that I will continue to practice many of the things learned in my journey.

Love Dare – Day 39

Almost done!

Today I was challenged with the idea of reaffirming my marriage commitment to Kristin. I was prompted to write a letter telling her how I feel and how I plan to commit to her for the rest of my life. I suppose it was like unofficially renewing my marriage vows, except in written form and not before an audience.

I thought it fitting to remind her how much I love the fact that we’re not only married, but also best friends. Therefore, I found a lovely little card about friendship that I also filled it’s insides with mushy and gooey details describing my bottomless love for her, etc. etc.

It said,

We’re such good friends that if I suggested a long walk, you’d know I meant sitting. With coffee.
(inside) And possibly muffins.

The reality is that we like all of those things. Sitting with coffee and muffins – even walking. I told her we can do any and all of those things again anytime she wants. Anyway, the card wasn’t really the point. Rather, it was important to tell her how deep our love is for one another and how it’s based on a love greater than ourselves – the love of Christ. He is amazing, and as long as we both remain firmly rooted in Him, we’re bound to remain firmly rooted in marriage.

Love Dare – Day 38

This challenge is all about making your spouse’s dreams and desires come true. There were a lot of small suggestions provided such as buying flowers or gifts to commemorate something or cooking a special meal and making it romantic. However, the dare also pushed readers to think bigger. For example, it asked me to think about what my wife’s long-term goals and dreams and try to initiate steps towards accomplishing one or more dreams.

I spent a fair amount of time pondering Kristin’s big dreams and desires before the truth dawned on me – I’m currently helping her achieve her current, most important dream!

We’ve closed up our life in Hong Kong, and we’re moving to Princeton, New Jersey so that she can complete a Masters of Divinity degree at Princeton’s Theological Seminary.

In many ways, I have changed on behalf of my wife. A new country. A new home. A new job. A new set of friends. A new routine. Numerous people have also told me that I’m quite the good husband to be able to do this. On the other hand, I don’t feel like it is a burden at all! In fact, I’m happy to make all of these changes and adjustments. The reason for this is simple and two-fold: I love my wife, and I know that we are following God’s plan for our lives (at least we hope so!).

August 27 will mark day 01 of our new life in Princeton, and I hope it’ll be a wonderful start in helping Kristin accomplish her dreams.

Love Dare – Day 37

As the love dare challenge comes to a close, I’ve noticed the dares are becoming increasingly spiritual. This is certainly not a bad thing considering that our relationship is bound to be more stable and solid when we don’t rely on ourselves alone. We need to draw on a greater strength that can only be found in Christ.

Today’s dare is to begin a plan to pray together regularly.

Fortunately, we already have this in place. It’s not full proof, but we have a general plan or outline that we try to stick to regarding prayer. It’s pretty simple:

  • We pray before every meal that we eat together
  • We pray before we fall asleep at night

The cool part about these is that they are regularly built into the day, so there is a consistency to it. The other cool thing is that we take turns leading. The only drawback is that we don’t always go to sleep at the same time, and then our prayer time together is lost. Perhaps we should make a greater effort to hit the hay together!

Love Dare – Day 36

Challenge: Read the Bible everyday.

Though I hate to say it, this is not something that I’m doing every single day. I read it often, but there’s plenty of room for improvement. So to help my chances, I went to Bible Gateway (an online Bible with many versions and translations), and I signed up for daily scripture readings. Ahhhhh, the power of the Internet.

Now all I have to do is check and read my email everyday, and that might be the real root of the challenge! Maybe it’s time that I invest in a new pocket Bible too.

Love Dare – Day 35

NBD.

Today’s dare is to actively seek out a marriage mentor or counselor. Ha! This is quite the big deal!

While in Hong Kong we’ve been surrounded by some wonderful couples that have demonstrated honest and healthy love for one another. We are continually motivated by one particular couple, Mike and Sheri Witthoft. They’ve really helped shape Kristin and me and how we interact with one another. Though we won’t see them near as often as, we hope they can continue to influence us from afar.

Since we’re leaving HK in just over a week’s time, today is not the day to actually find a mentor. However, this task has been on my prayer list in anticipation of relocating to the US. Kristin and I will actively seek out a new couple to mentor, lead, and guide us through the ups and downs of marriage and a spiritual life together while in Princeton. We don’t know who that will be, but I trust that God will provide for the longings and needs of our hearts.

Love Dare – Day 34

Today’s Internet search for day 34 yielded a female blog. Thank you Kairos Kingdom Women for your post in assisting me with my love dare challenge.

I start this entry with a somewhat heavy heart, and I’m a little ashamed to share the content of this post.

The other day, as Kristin and I were settling our seemingly endless list of things to do before leaving Hong Kong, we addressed our Internet subscription. I made some phone calls to the broadband company, and it turns out that canceling our subscription before the contract is complete means actually paying out the remainder of our contract. In hindsight, I suppose that’s what a contract is for: agreeing to seeing terms through to the end.

But paying out our contract just sucks.

Hong Kong is such a transient place, and I believe companies such as Internet and cable providers (which have a monopoly in Hong Kong) have cleverly and unfairly taken advantage of this situation. Contracts are generally for two-year periods, and once locked in, you can count on that money lining company pockets.

Enough ranting.

The reason I write all this out, besides placating my overtly strong sense of justice, is to point out how Kristin came through in her Christian character. I realized that owe our Internet provider about 250 USD for an upcoming year of service that will never be used. I wanted to avoid this payment, and I had a plan to do that. Since we’re leaving Hong Kong and closing out all our bank accounts, there’s no way for the company to collect on what we owe them. I knew this was sneaky at the time I suggested it, but it reeks of underhandedness even more now that I type it out.

Fortunately Kristin stood up to my devious suggestion and suggested we honor our terms of agreement. She also backed up her words with a condemning stare from across the room. Boom! Convicted and shown the error of my ways. Well done hottie, and thanks for keeping me honest.