Round 5 Day 18: This one didnt get done per the letter of the book. I had picked up my oldest immediately after work and ran down to church so he could do his youth group get together. I didnt know if I was going to stay for the entire 4 hours and watch or what, but as we got closer to the start of things I was asked to help out, so I did (I had no clue what I wouldve done otherwise, I have family that live close by there, and a few friends, no plans). It was a great time. The only contact I had with Emily was when I picked him up she waved, she called during just to ask when we would be done and I would be dropping him off (I shared that I was helping out, she kept the call short), and she thanked me for taking him when I dropped him off. She never left the front steps to come down and talk (I think OM's car being there might have had something to do with that). I did find myself upset a little bit again at the situation (her with OM and such). It wasnt until after I left that I did (couldve been because I dropped him off close to 10pm and the OMs car was still there). It is tough to wade through the pool when you cant see the other side. I let it out to Him, though. He's got me doing this for a reason that He knows. Someday I might be let in on it ;-). But the dare was about understanding my wife. I found out today that she really did have her daycare license since she started posting ads on craigslist for her in home daycare, the state was just 20 or so days slow in posting her license up. I am proud of her for getting that and will congratulate her on it soon.Day 19: Todays dare didnt involve her, and sometimes on these dares we have the best days. My contact with my wife was brief again, but it was good. I had all four kids for my time today. Earlier in the day, I got the bug in me to look for a different car. Mine is fine for what I need, however I would like a bigger vehicle when I put all the kids in there with me, and one with air conditioning (mine is a 2007 Kia Sportage). I was looking online around the area and came across a 97 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Emily and I used to own one. We traded it in in 2005 when we had our third son born so we could get a minivan. So I was seeing added benefits also of not only being bigger, and having AC, but being able to tow things, 4x4 (I love to ice fish in the winter), and the payment would be lower than what I am paying now. I called the dealership and told them I would be in later after dinner. At work I also was blessed with having 4 hours of overtime on the next day. Someone had to take off quick and I was asked to work for them. In addition to that, during the day I was called by a doctors office that I owe around $600 too, and they said they wanted to settle the account for half of what I owe! I had been making small monthly payments to them, but this is great! When I picked up the kids, I shared what I found with Emily. She seemed happy about the possibility of me lowering payments and having AC. So we went to the dealership and looked at the vehicle (yep I took all 4 kids with me). It seemed decent enough, a few issues, but nothing I couldnt fix. The sales lady and I talked about me trading in my car for it. She was unsure if they would be able to give me enough money for my car loan to be paid off enough because........wait for it.......my car doesnt have AC, lol. She told me she would call me on Friday or Saturday and let me know, so at this point I knew it was all in His hands. When I dropped the kids off, Emily was cleaning out the van. She was planning on taking the kids to wisconsin to visit her family after all. I think thats good. Its not very often that they get to see that side of the family since it is a long drive (6 hours one way). As I said goodbye to the kids I reminded them that they can call me at any time over the weekend. I also asked Emily if I could get a shovel because I am planning on helping an elderly woman with some yardwork over the weekend. She said I could go get what I needed out of the shed in back so I did. I was looking for a particular tool when she came back there to rush me along. She also said there was a snake in the backyard and to be careful. I left the house that day in a really good mood. I also saw a free desk in someones driveway on the way back, I needed one for my computer and to sit at and do bills and such (been using the dining room table). I was surprised and thankful when it fit into the back of my car! I took it home, and now I have a desk!Day 20: I love this dare and I love seeing how He works during this day too. I was able to focus on Christ for a larger portion of the day than I normally have (even though every breath is the goal!). In my morning prayers I remembered to completely submit and die to His will. Work was good, 12 hour day, and I got some stuff done. No contact from Emily at all, so I assumed she had left with the kids to go to her family. This is her Dad's side of the family they are visiting. Her aunt on this side I had talked to a few months ago. I explained to her aunt that I am standing for the marriage and not giving up on my vows. Now a few months ago was early in this process, and I havent talked with her aunt since. After work I went home and made up some steaks for me to eat. Got in touch with a friend of mine and went over to his place and we played some video games for a while. I havent played video games since I left the house. I liked playing them with him, but afterwards I definetly recieved the reminder that I cant get too caught up in them like I was.Day 21: Great day, only couldve been better if I had Emily and the kids with me (or talked with them). I woke up and did my reading and devotionals, made some bacon and eggs for breakfast and went over to the elderly woman's house to help her out. She had a bunch of thorny bushes to be removed down by the lakshore on her property. It didnt take long to clear the area out, but it felt really good to help her out! Shes an 85 year old woman, who lives by herself and needs some help. We talked for a little bit; the volunteer agency had told her I am getting divorced. I told her I came to Christ in the past few months and am standing for my marriage. She mentioned she wanted to get divorced from her husband a few times too. The funny thing is, I noticed she was still wearing her ring. Afterwards I went home, washed up, and after lunch I met up with my buddy at the gym. Had a great workout, then got ready for church. At church the message was fantastic, it spoke to me at three different times, in different ways than the pastor was referring to as well. First, this is just practice for your one shot. I immediately thought of right now....this is practice for my one shot at loving Emily, as in He is preparing me to love my wife right, so when I get that one chance to do so (or one more), I wont mess it up. The pastor was referring in this case to your life being the practice for your one shot to get into heaven. He used a hunting analogy. He is preparing for a year to go hunt some sheep up in Alaska because he will only get one shot at these sheep (the trip is might expensive too and was gifted to him by someone at church, lifelong dream for this guy that is being fulfilled by one of the flock, awesome!). The second thing that hit me was when my pastor mentioned he used to not be so excited about going to heaven. I get that, in fact I felt that way a few weeks ago. But it hit me that John primarily described what he saw of heaven. It was full of splendor and he only used one of our senses to explain. Imagine how our other senses would feel! The book 90 minutes in heaven helped me with that a bit too. The third thing placed some urgency in me. The theme was Jesus is coming, be ready. The last few verses of the Bible was the reference. Our pastor basically explained that the last words in the Bible are really the most important. Jesus is coming, not everyone will be saved, be ready. I prayed for Emily's soul on the spot, and thought of the rest of my family as well that seem to not be close to Christ. As we were walking out of church I ran into the guy I had given Fireproof to last week. He told me he hadnt watched it yet, so I lovingly chastised him for it and told him to get his butt in gear. I gave him my phone number should he have questions or need to talk about the dares. After we said goodbye, it hit me how this moment in time related to the last part of the sermon, the urgency of it. We went out to eat and to see Total Recall. I liked the first one way better. With the guy's wife it reminded me of Emily right now. The guy "wakes up" and his wife changes from this loving gal to one that wants to kill him. Emily doesnt want to kill me, but since I "woke up" her venom has been worse than I have ever seen in all the years I have known her. I didnt see much else of the movie relating though. After that I went over to his place and we drank some wine and played some more video games. My buddy and I had some great conversation about church and urgency and what not. Its awesome to be able to talk with someone face to face about Christ on an almost daily basis. Ended the day with that, and prayers for Emily, the kids and the OM. It was a really busy day for me, but a really good one. One that I felt Christ more than in others.Jason
Praise GOD for all his love and strength he gives you to complete the dares. Just keep focusing on him. Especially when she lashes out with the venom that's when you can deliver your best testimony that GOD has been working so patiently on. Look at how far you have come! Praise GOD!
Build on that great day with a ton of praise... This is where the blessings flood in. Giving Him the praise for everything and everyday to walk with Him