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Challenge Day 1 - Part 1

I want you to remember when you first met your spouse.  The feeling of butterflies and excitement you used to get when they called, texted or emailed.  The joy you felt as you went out on dates and spent time together. 

Remember the reasons you fell in love and chose to marry your spouse.  We were truly grateful we had met our spouse!

Then, life crept in.  The day in day out activities of life and your spouse’s little habits became more well known.  The butterflies flew south for the winter and the joy might have faded. 

Daily distractions can take our focus away from our relationship.  Also, resentment and bitterness may have crept in because maybe the annoying habits are getting worse and your spouse is developing new ones.

How can we see our spouse in a new light?  Through the eyes of gratitude!

Having a grateful heart changes our outlook.  I promise, it works!  I want you to at least try it for the next  7 days.

You are going to start by writing down 10 things you love about your spouse that make you feel grateful you have them in your life.  This list could include qualities and characteristics or maybe just things they have done for you.  You can do the list all in one sitting, or revisit it throughout the day.

Then, set this list aside.  You will find out more about what we will do with it later in the week.

Then, at the end of each day of the Challenge, I want you to use the Daily Gratitude Sheet to write 1 thing your spouse did that day that you are grateful for. 

By focusing on the positive, we can fight off resentment and bitterness and keep love and joy in our hearts. 

challenge day 1 - part 2

What Can I Do Today to Make Your Life Easier?

For some, this may seem easy and like something that you do on a daily basis. 

We may sometimes ask this question to our spouse, but do we REALLY mean it?

Honestly, I often fail to follow through when I ask this question.  I have SO many things going on in my day with work, school, household tasks, etc. that adding one more thing to my plate just sounds impossible.

But thoughtfulness is a big part of love in marriage.  The book The Love Dare puts it nicely by saying, “Love requires thoughtfulness – from both sides – the kind that builds bridges through the combination of kindness, patience and selflessness.”

When we were dating and engaged, we most likely were constantly thinking of our spouse.  We wanted to be with them and make them happy.  We would tell them how we were constantly thinking of them.

After years of marriage, life, kids and work, this behavior may have faded. 

When was the last time you thought about your spouse’s needs?  When was the last time you tried to better understand and demonstrate love to your spouse?

We need to think ahead to better connect with our spouse.

Today is the day to change that.  Today, ask this question of your spouse.  And, mean it.

Set aside time in your schedule for your spouse and to meet his/her needs for today.

What did you learn about yourself or your spouse by doing this today?  How can you make this a more natural part of your routine and lifestyle?

challenge day 1 worksheets