25 February 2016

I Have Never Known Such Kindness

I will never stop being amazed by the kindness of this man I get to call my husband.

I have never known such kindness. I'm so, so thankful for it every day.

Here are some examples while traveling...

I realized some of my belongings were not in my bag (in the hotel).
They were right in the safe. Danny had already thought to gather my things.

I couldn't find my rash guard before our trip to the Galapagos.
Once there, Danny insisted that I get one. I was hesitant to spend the money. He wouldn't take it and kindly started to put his shoes on to head out to the shops and said he wanted to see what he could find.

We needed to sign some documents related to our condo in Brooklyn. While I was cozy on the bed, Danny jumped up without even a moment of hesitation and got the documents all ready to go and to fax them from the hotel.

Some examples while at home...

I blog.
Danny knows that cooking can get on the back burner for me and so he makes meal after meal after meal. He's made as many meals as I've written blog posts!

We were watching a movie.
Danny suggested that he massage my back. (Best thing ever!) He said we really should do that more often instead of just watching a movie. (See what I mean here?! :)

I needed to pick-up a delivery in El Centro, but had a dentist appointment at the same time.
Danny said cheerfully that he would LOVE to pick-up my delivery and was so happy to do it.

Oh, dear readers, I hope that all of us can find ways to be more KIND. I want to work on this more myself!! Whether it's a kind compliment or extra affection or picking up a surprise or preparing something in the kitchen or planning our Valentine's dinner out (pictured)- I've been more conscious of it lately. Because I am lucky to know there is nothing better than being on the receiving end of kindness.

What is the last kind thing you either did or received?


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  1. This is great! I feel like I offer lots of kindness to my husband but seldom get some in return... How can initiate/encourage this in him? In the past, I've called him out on it, but I don't want to be the nagging wife, and I definitely want it to come from him, out of love. Any advice would be appreciated! :)

    1. Oh, this is so tricky. My heart goes out to you. I think the key is to first try to make peace with the idea that he may not offer kindness in the way you want. And then move forward with some other tactics. Making peace first will greatly affect the energy you have when talking about it or the energy you might have when offering him kindness yourself. It will create the most receptive environment for him to hear of your desires and possibly make an effort to be more kind. But I think as long as we approach someone with the energy of pressure or disappointment - or with the feeling that OUR happiness is dependent on THEIR behavior, people don't respond well. They feel forced into it, they feel manipulated (even slightly), they feel shame, and their heart isn't in it.

      Also, in regards to making peace w/ it - perhaps there are other things you could relish in and be grateful for...other things he does or gifts he has. Perhaps focusing on those aspects and cultivating gratitude for them could be a way to change your energy. Another idea is to build up your self-worth in a way that it is not dependent on him or his behavior - instead it's separate from him. I think our self worth is SO tied to other people that we feel threatened or insecure as a person, wife, woman when that person disappoints us (that just leads back to the cycle of us putting more pressure on them and them retreating or retaliating.)

      Also, what we call "The Language of Love" is helpful in situations like this. So if he doesn't offer kindness - you say something like, "I know it's hard for you. That's ok. I see you you love you and I know you have a good heart." (Or something that is sincere and true.) Basically, you see someone's humanity; you remove expectations; you see them as a child or as God would see them; you offer your love and acceptance even though they are not perfect. And just wait and see how they react. :)

      Essentially, we all desire and crave this kind of love and acceptance - especially in our weakest moments - and it's really satisfying and beautiful to be able to offer that to someone else.

    2. Thanks Mara! I really appreciate your reply. I will definitely try to factor that in to a planned discussion we have about this topic tonight. I am just getting so angry and fed up with feeling unloved... I have a hard time accepting it and not always wanting a divorce (or saying to him that I want to divorce as a threat).

      I believe marriage should really be worked on, and in my case I don't think divorce would be the answer at this point.

  2. I absolutely LOVE this topic. Whether it's in regards to spouses, friends, or just to everyone, kindness is always worth focusing on.

    I haven't been feeling the best lately. I have my good and bad days, just winter I guess. Due to this, my kitchen and house can get a little cray-cray. I'm so grateful my husband has not hesitated in telling me to go rest or that he'll take care of our three boys or do the dishes for me. He can't tackle everything (just like i'm not able to), but he doesn't make me feel guilty or bad for not having the perfect house. Which is huge for me because I am the queen of feeling guilty for anything and everything :)

    An extra thought- isn't it so hard to recognize and give credit to ourselves when we are the bringers of kindness? It's like, DUH, of course I would do that! It's nothing special, just being a nice human (which we all should be...).

    I am currently serving in the young women organization in our church and we are having "issues" with girls being kind to one another. I feel like I'm being guided in what to tell these girls to help them realize kindness is always better than judging, harsh teasing, or ignoring. So thank you for this post to help me keep this topic on my mind and be more aware to be the kindness in other's lives. I feel a kindness challenge coming on...

    1. Loved your comment! Thanks so much for sharing! It is true about seeing our own kindness - - I am guessing that most people are more kind than they give themselves credit for. And then as I say that, I'm like - no! I want to be kinder! Ha.

      Also, love that you work with the YW. I did that for many, many years and loved it so much. Some of my best days were with those YW and fellow leaders. And good for you for trying to teach them kindness.

  3. It wasn't the last thing but it was one I will never ever forget. It's always the small stuff that matters. I got a hand-me-down car to use for school the day before I started my junior year in high school. I was super excited and REALLY wanted to spruce it up with a fresh wash and vacuum for my first day. (Although nothing fancy, I knew my friends would be excited to see it and I was looking forward to showing it!) Unfortunately there was so much going on in preparation for school that I just didn't have the time. In order to get to my early morning church class I had to leave the house at 5:30am. I shuffled around in the dark getting ready, said goodbye to my mom (assuming dad had already left for work), and ran out the front door. I was startled in the driveway by my dad in his work suit polishing off the last bit of bumper. He'd been out there in the middle of the night, by the light of our street lamp, detailing every last inch of that messy little starter car. It was immaculate inside and out. The whole thing was so unexpected I was speechless! He gave me a kiss on the forehead, opened the front door for me and wished me off on a great first day of school. I still get choked up thinking about it! That moment changed me. My dad was always generous with his "I love yous" but as a nervous, insecure, still-figuring-life-out teenager facing an intimidating new year of school, that act of kindness was a comfort to my soul. Not because I had a clean car but because I drove away into the morning deeply assured that I was loved. Thank you for spreading the word - kindness truly makes this world a better place for both givers and receivers. -M

  4. Danny is awesome. Mara, I wondered if you might do some ideas for high school girls going to prom. I'm sick of all the frumpy ugly options and love your style. Please! It would be so kind! ;)

  5. You are both so inspiring and cute with each other! I love that you look for the little things that you appreciate about your spouse and share them with each other, and us. That is something I need to do more often.
    In the past, I have felt much like the first person that commented, and it's hard to feel like you are the only one making an effort in the relationship.
    I had a major paradigm shift after having a mentoring session with you both, and you explained that a lot of my expectations that I had for my spouse were things that were complete sand, lesser identities that cannot bring real happiness! Talk about a frying pan to the head! I needed that advice. Now that I am aligning with virtues that are not built on expectations and sand, I am a lot happier inside and my spouse sees it, and is responding in a very positive way. It was the best advice I've ever received! Thanks so much for what you do!

  6. My boyfriend had off yesterday and was hanging around my apartment for the day until I came home from work. I came home to: dishes washed (because he knows how much i HATE to wash them!), a few grocery items purchased that he bought intending to share, and cookies that he bought specifically because I said "oh man, wish I had thought to tell you to get me cookies." He's a gem.

  7. I love this so much, Mara. I feel the exact same way about my sweet husband. I didn't have the best home environment growing up, and was genuinely shocked to meet someone who cared so much about me. We've been married for 8 years now, and he is just as kind today as he was when we first met. I consider myself so incredibly fortunate.

    And you know what's so interesting? Being around someone so kind has also turned me into a kind person - it totally rubbed off on me! I find myself constantly surprised in the way I react to situations that would have upset me in the past. Kindness really is contagious.

    1. So as me. This does not only focuses on spouses but also on friends, right? Kindness is for everyone :)

  8. Mara, you two are adorable. I admire the nurturing relationship you two have :)
    Mieke de Bruin


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