Happy Valentine's Day! And thanks again to all the wonderful comments and encouragement on my blog! I appreciate all the help and suggestions. I think that is why we are here---to help each other! That is what being a MOM means, doesn't it!
Valentine's Day is such a mine field for the guys. How much, how many, what kind...and the advertizing bliz designed to make them feel guilty since January...I know our Walmarts have had Valentine's Day chocolate in the stores since Christmas. They literally took the Christmas chocolate down and put up, stocked the shelves with Valentine's Day chocolate.
And since some Arab countries condemn Valentine's Day as evil, that oughta be a sign that it is good to us as Christians, in my opinion. Yes, there is a lot of red and pink everywhere you go these days, and I am sure the teachers are relieved that this year, it fell close to a weekend, to get the sugar high children a weekend to recover.
My dear husband knows my love language is quality time---if you are familiar with the Five Love Languages, quality time means he knows I love it when he takes the day off and hangs around with me at home on Valentine's Day and my birthday, and on our anniversary. Instead of expensive gifts that just need insured, and instead of chocolate and sweets that make me even fatter, and instead of silly cards...well, I kinda killed that one in him. I think Bob's love language is "words" as in written words of affection. And he used to write to me (that is one of the reasons I married him), and he used to give me funny cards, but I squashed that in him early in our marriage before I knew about the five love languages. Just like I squashed his efforts at gifts of clothing by being way, way too practical and taking them back when I did not think they fit. I should have noted what clothing he liked and kept them. And worn them.
If you don't know the five love languages, here they are in a nice, neat acrostic that I made up to help me remember. Sometimes high maintenance women have more than one, or a combination. And since Jesus is perfect, He is perfect at all five, and probably has a thousand more ways He shows us His Love. There is a Christian author that came up with these five:
H is for HEART, and H stands for Hugs---physical touching, holding hands, kisses, and knowing that my lover enjoys his back scratched, his scalp massaged, and (well--we better keep this PG)
E is for extra special, or extravagant gifts. I suspect my firstborn's main love language is this one as he loves shopping and picking out just the right thing, and he loves receiving gifts.
A is for acts of service. For example, one of my neices just loved for you to get down on the floor with her when she was little and "play Barbies" with her. I appreciate it so much when Bob mows, and does the heavy hefting jobs like plumbing. Recently, he reset both potties on new wax rings. And our house is old, and the plumbing is old, and the bolts are rusted in the front bathroom, so it was a major struggle to try to get them aligned. I am thankful for the miracle invention of indoor plumbing, but why don't they design a potty that is not so back wrenching to install, service, and clean?? But, I digress...
R is for woRds. wRitten woRds, caRds, letteRs, emails, epistles, notes on sticky papeR, SCRABBLE, any game dealing with wRitten woRds, books, prose, poems, and all things vocabulaRy. My dear husband loves to play SCRABBLE, and spends time caRefully cRafting beautiful stoRies on his blog, and while I can cRank out a letteR and beat him in volume, his wRiting reflects insight, objectivity, saRcasm, and the heights of humoR I could neveR see on my own. I think I missed capitalizing a few Rs, deaR, can you spot them? You see, Bob is also a patient, gentle, and thoRough editoR, too. I think our James, our middle son also has this pRopensity for woRds in that he, too, likes to play SCRABBLE and at the end of the game yesteRday, he was compelled to fit the lost, left over tiles into woRds before we coveRed the finished masteRpiece that was our game. Just like his Dad does. It was so cute. This acoRn did not fall faR fRom the tRee at all, in my opinion. And I know they get tiRed of heaRing me say it, but Bob and James and veRy much alike in some wondeRful ways.
T (did you think we would never get here?) T is for TIME, quality time. Time spend talking, and sharing, and eating out, and walking, and talking, and being together.
There you go. H-E-A-R-T. It is interesting to see how your children fit into one or more catagories, and then get off their backs when they don't show appreciation for some lame gift you give them when it is not their love language. Our youngest, Ben-Ben, enjoys fish. So, when we let him chose the place to eat, it is a fish place. Ben-Ben enjoys making stuff and figuring out how things are made, and he is always thinking, and will turn your house upside down if you want him to. It was fun staying a step ahead of him as a little kid. He would have meltdowns at the store, as a toddler, and he was the clingiest of the babies. He felt secure in our arms, and when holding a silkie---so all three of our boys had blankies and silkies. Firstborn Andy, to this day will "silkie" the satin behind his neck ties or on a blanket edge. So, as a baby, I would guess Ben's love language to be touch. But, since reading was a challenge, and sometimes just too hard, he overcompensated in elementary school with hearing, and fooled many a teacher by understanding audibly, but was unable to express it verbally or through written form. Ben has given some big, expensive gifts to his Dad in the tool department, and is generous and helpful in fixing stuff. So, I have to conclude that our youngest has a good mix of many of the five love languages.
Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hills Church in Seattle pointed out on one of his online sermons that sometimes a woman's love language will change with the coming of children, and her need of help around the house. A mom needs a break sometimes, and helping her with the kids is a fantastic gift. I remember being so worn out at the end of the day that I had not the strength nor good attitude to do the nighttime story. And I so appreciate Uncle Roy demonstrating how it can be a fantastic teaching tool, and Bob then picked up that gauntlet and told the boys great and mighty bedtime stories.
Happy Valentine's Day, and I hope you receive what you do not deserve, and remember how God is Love, and how Jesus demonstrated as God the Son the greatest Love by taking our place and dying on the cross so that He can Love us forever in heaven if we accept His Gift of salvation. He gave us His Word and the gift of family and friends for all those hugs, and words of encouragement, and help. Jesus is our example, and it never ceases to amaze me how His Word, the Bible, is a Love Letter to us that is alive and powerful. And He even gave us God the Holy Spirit who convicts us and guides us and gives us His Love so that we can love our family and friends unconditionally, and thoroughly, and when He empowers us with His love, we amaze the world and get their attention because it is not something that comes naturally, nor can the enemy duplicate it except in perverse ways.
Thank You God, for the gift of Love, and that one of Your many attributes is Love. Please give us Your perfect Love and the wisdom to not enable, but to truly bless others. In Jesus name. Amen.