Dare: Choose today to react to tough circumstances in your marriage in loving ways instead of with irritation. Begin by making a list below of areas where you need to add margin to your schedule. Then list any wrong motivations that you need to release from your life.
Background: This dare is all about being irritable. We do not want to be irritable…irritable people are not fun to be around. Kendrick points out two main reasons people become irritable: stress and selfishness. Even if you do not feel stressed, you can be. Stress is not just caused by having too much to do or too little time to do it. Stress can be caused by bitterness, lack of nutrition, lack of rest, lack of exercise, arguing, overworking, and overspending. We need to learn to balance and prioritize to help us live a less stressful (more fulfilling) life. Selfishness also causes irritability. Analyzing our motives for keeping certain things in our life can help us see the areas we are being selfish in. Some motivations can never be satisfied, so cutting them out will help us feel better about our life and ourself. Love should be our motivation for all things. Kendrick states, ” Love will lead you to forgive instead of holding a grudge. To be grateful instead of greedy. To be content rather than running into more debt.” Look at the things you do and list why you do them. Can the desire you want ever be met? Are you giving something more important up in exchange for that desire?
My Experience: I have said it before…I am BUSY. Many days I feel like I am too busy. I thought I could not cut anything out, even though my husband and I were unable to spend any time together. Then I read this dare. Here is a list of everything my schedule is comprised of:
- Grad School
- Girl Scouts
- House Work
I think I got it all. And I did not include the things I like doing, but hardly have time for (sewing, reading, etc.). The biggest area of selfishness right now is Grad school. It takes so much of my time, and it is not necessary at this time in my life. With my BA and teaching certificate, I would be hirable as a teacher if I ever needed to get an actual job. I am still young (just turned 25 today!!!), and I can always go back to school when my children are older and more self-sufficient. My husband and I have had a long talk and I have decided that not continuing with my own schooling would be a good decision for our family. Although my husband graciously offered to do whatever it took to keep me in school, I have decided that I am not willing to sacrifice my time with him or my children to earn a degree I do not need in the immediate future. While I am a little sad, I feel a HUGE burden lifted and feel much more relaxed. I still have many things on my plate, but I am hoping careful planning and consolidation will help me feel like I have more time to spend with my family.
In which areas do you need to add margin? Will it be hard for you to give up?