Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Recovering Jerk...

Edited to add: Author of Love Dare is Stephen and Alex Kendrick, B&H Publishing Group.

Randy Pausch, a professor at CMU, died July 25, 2008 of pancreatic cancer. He left behind a wife and three young children. He was 47. Soon after he was diagnosed he gave a talk to his students, "Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" but most people know it by the title, "The Last Lecture" because it's been made into a book that has sold millions of copies. (I intend to ask Santa for my own copy this Christmas.) Randy had many wonderful, wonderful things to say to his students in that lecture, but here's my favorite:

"I'm a recovering jerk, and I married above myself."

To which I'd say,


Of everything Randy had so say, and there was much worth mulling over, those two statements hit me smack dab between the eyes. I mean, really, aren't we all basically jerks a lot of the time? My approach to getting over being a jerk has been to read The Love Dare, absorb it and hopefully, prayerfully, have it ooze out my pores into my marriage, and maybe even into other relationships. The book - Love Dare (which I mentioned on my other blog) was written AFTER the movie FireProof (which, by the way, is still in theaters, and well worth paying $9.50 to see - with your spouse). Yes, it's a bit cheesy and still worth seeing. In this day and age, a little cheesy won't hurt you or me.

Every night, tucked into bed with a cup of tea, I've read one more day of Love Dare, determined to take on the challenge the next day. Since beginning it, I've been better at greeting DH - in the mornings and when he walks in the door. It made me aware I'm not always that chipper. I've held my tongue, which continues to make me aware how seldom I normally do so. I've kept some of my sassy opinions to myself, realizing I'm normally very quick to share them. I've tried to respond rather than react. It's easier to react. I've taken time to call during the day, just to see how DH's day is going. I've given gifts (which yes, he paid for but I don't have any money), turned off my computer (which shocked him and that alone said something) and watched football (keeping it honest - it was while knitting) instead.

Here are a few gems from Love Dare:

Be a joy, not a jerk. (the book repeats Randy here....)

Am I a calming breeze, or a storm waiting to happen?

Why do we have such low standards for ourselves but high expectations for our mates? (We are ALL selfish.)

Will you dare to be delightful?

Your spouse is a living, breathing, endless book to be read.

Unfortunately, stubbornness comes as a standard feature on both husband and wife models. Defending your rights and opinions is a foundational part of your nature and make-up. (In marriage) it's like driving with the parking brake on. Gracefully bend.

If you're irritable, it's because YOU CHOOSE to be. (someone did NOT 'make you'.)

It's time to remember why you once fell in love. To laugh again. To flirt again. To dream again.

Love Dare (day 14 of 40) has made me aware, just a little bit, of how far I have to go in being the kind of person I'd like to be married to. Like I said -

"I'm a recovering jerk, who married above myself."


Kelly said...

I had to go grab my copy and flip ahead to day 14:-)

Rusty and I are doing the Love Dare together- his suggestion- and today is Day 1. (which is divine intervention, if you ask me, since I made a mistake that will test Rusty's patience with me, for sure!!).

So glad you suggested this book, because I picked it up before we even saw the movie, and afterward Rusty asked if we could do it together. I am looking forward to seeing how we grow through this, although frankly I have a lot more to learn than he.

In the intro they say "instead of following your heart, you are to lead it...if you are not leading it, then something or someone else is". Wow!

That really spoke to me and makes me wonder what is my motivation in loving my husband. Sorry for the ridiculously long comment... I don't know anyone else reading this book, so I'm glad for the chance to "chat" about it.

Katrina said...

I just picked up Love Dare this weekend and look forward to going through it. Well, "kind of" looking forward to it, since I'm sure there'll be plenty of conviction along with the encouragement. :)

KM said...

I picked up one copy at Mardel on Saturday. Really just because of your previous post about it. My marriage is in need (LET ME SAY, I AM IN NEED) of a big lift...and just felt I needed to buy it. When I checked out, it rang up ridiculously lower than the price because of a sale. So I reached over and got another copy so we can each have our own copy. Hubby laughed when I explained that surely that was the Lord saying you can buy 2 for the price of 1....invest in your marriage! Hubby agreed to read his--will make it easier without us checking up on one another to see if we've read. You've made a difference for me sharing this. thank you!

Kristi in texas

Gretchen said...

Wow...this is goodness. Pure goodness. I need time to digest, repent, and ask God for a Mulligan.

My name is Gretchen. I'm a jerk, and I married above myself.

Oh, right. I need to do that every day. :) Thankfully His mercies are new because my mouth and attitude needs them. This post reminds me of a little gem I got from Sarah's blog--you may have heard of her. If not, go check her out. She described her daily schedule, and said something to the effect of: "At 4 p.m., I run a brush thru my hair and put on some lipgloss and mascara. No use looking how I feel." A gem.

Barb said...

That last statement - about being the kind of person you'd like to be married to - is perfect.

Susanne said...

This book sounds perfect to something hubby and I could do together. Do you know the author?

Renna said...

Great post, Bev! I'm anxious to get my own copy of Love Dare, and I loved Fireproof!

joan said...

I haven't picked up the Love Dare yet but have gone to see Fireproof(loved it). It sounds like something every married person should read.

Dawn said...

I just loved the movie, and need to get the book - and one for the kiddoes (unfortunately, it's to late for Kristen and her soon-to-be-ex).

I don't go to movies, but was glad for the ratings, so we don't waste money on rentals. I dislike Brad Pitt so much from his personal life that I don't think I'd ever watch a movie of his. Angelina, too, except her new one looks really good. Hmmm. Might have to break that rule.

So you may or may not know that I have had to go private (long, sad story - related to above statement about Kristen). If you'd care to have the option to stop by once in awhile, please send me your e-address and I can invite you. I'm at dawn.carlson@colostate.edu.

Love the new place!

sempleanswers said...

This book is great----our training in Florida was based on the book! We watched his Oprah episode and then talked about what "stuff" we could all live without. "It's just a thing". Love this book!!