Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Being selfish -- Love Dare Day 3

Today I screwed up a bit.

I hadn't read the challenge completely and thought that I was supposed to do something nice for my husband and not be selfish. He had the day off for President's Day and we had discussed on Friday spending the day together since Sophie and Max would be in school and Carly would go to day care (she goes just one day a week).

Well, Sunday evening he had mentioned that he had to run to Baltimore for a side job he was doing and thought that I could accompany him and then we could go to lunch. I started thinking of all of the orders I had to do for my embroidery business and told him I didn't think I would be able to get everything done that I needed to if I went with him (it would have meant three hours in the car plus whatever time we spent at the job site and at lunch). I could tell that he was disappointed, but instead of making the concession, I stayed at home to work.

I vacillated all day, beating myself up one minute and then trying to justify my actions--it was the one day I could devote to my business without interruption from the kids. I had just about convinced myself that I was not being selfish, that I was being responsible, when I sat down and read more closely the chapter in the book for Day 3. I pretty much failed the questionnaire.

Do I truly want what's best for my husband? Well, of course. That's why I am doing this challenge.

Do I truly want him to feel loved by me? Again, a given.

Does he believe I have his best interests in mind? Oh, dear...

Does he see me as looking out for myself first? Uh, yeah...

Alright--so I blew it. I could have put my orders off (I was turning them around within a few days rather than the week to two weeks stated on my website), and gone with Steve--it should have been a simple challenge, but I complicated things by being selfish. I realize the purpose of this challenge is not to punish ourselves, but to show true love to our spouses and children. I resolved to do better the next day.

Then I looked at the challenge and realized I was supposed to buy something for Steve to show him that I was thinking of him. Shoot! It was already 8 p.m. What could I possibly buy and how could I sneak out of the house without anyone knowing I had left?

Without hesitation, I grabbed the keys to my car and snuck out the front door. Steve and the kids were in the basement cleaning up. I drove to the HandiMart outside our neighborhood and purchased him a Powerball ticket--he had just this afternoon told me he was going to win Powerball one of these days, "It shouldn't be too hard--I think they say the odds are 72 million to one." Good ol' Steve--always the positive thinker.

I snuck back in the house. Mission accomplished. I went down to the basement and handed him the ticket.

"Where'd you get this?" he asked.

"Oh, I had to run and get some aspirin for my hip, so I thought I'd get you a Powerball ticket," I explained.

"Thanks," was all he said.

That's it? I thought. Rather than say something like, "Gee, I thought you would be a little more grateful that I bought you something," I held my tongue.

Then I thought of how Caleb in the movie "Fireproof" could not believe that Catherine didn't even thank him for the coffee he had made for her or the pitiful flowers he purchased for her, once again, making it about him instead of his wife. Then I realized that it wasn't about me getting praise for doing something nice--it was about Steve--a small, small gesture to let him know I was thinking of him.

"Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves" (Philippians 2:3).

Lesson learned. The day was not a total loss.

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