mettle/ˈmɛtəl/ noun 1. courage; spirit 2. inherent character 3. on one's mettle, roused to putting forth one's best efforts

I feel like we are doing very well.  I mean, as far as I know.  She seems more happy than not and we've had no major blow-ups since I can even remotely remember.  Confession time.  Reality is, I am comfortably clueless.  Despite all I speak, coach, and encourage, when it comes to my own beauty, I am not really sure.  To be completely honest, I am not sure I want to know.

Every experience of rejection regarding the fairer gender seems to be on the tip of my heart when I venture into this unknown.  What would happen if I asked her how things are going?  I mean, based on the effort I am honestly offering, how could it be any good.  She might say ...

  • great...nowhere to go from there, but down
  • good...but not quite good enough...will I ever get this right?
  • bad...worst fear realized
  • terrible...let's craft the survival's over, let's try to hold it together for the kid's sake

It just feels like that no matter what she responds with, it is going to be yet another challenging report card with a lot of work in front of me.  How would I even go about asking if I wanted to?

And this morning, a friend sent a well-intentioned, but very disruptive e-mail with some questions to pose to my bride.  I don't know who else he assaulted with them, but they cleanly hit the bullseye with me.

Communication - How well am I making you feel loved and cared for through our communication?

Secure - How well am I doing at making you feel safe and secure?

Physical Touch - How well am I doing at making you feel loved through non-sexual affection?

Romance - How well am I doing at making you feel like the number one priority in my life?

He then wanted me to ask her to rate each category on a scale of 1-10 and ask in what ways she though I could improve.  Come on!  Are you kidding?  But despite the terror and trepidation I am feeling at even the thought of this, I am going for it...wading in all the way up to my neck.  All the way out to the third set of sand bars in this ocean.

I spent most of the last weekend pleading with some men to believe that there is more.  That He is more.  That the desperate desire of His heart and the very reason He sacrificed on our behalf, was for that more.  I have committed my life to finding the more and convincing as many people as possible of that very thing.  It is in the excavating the unpleasant that leads to the treasure just beyond.

How can I shrink from this?  Surely I have the mettle to see this through.

I'll catch back up to you on the other side.  My heart and experience tells me that victory awaits, but my enemy is already whistling a different tune.

Anybody care to join me?