Archive | November 2012

The Languages of Love

Years ago, reading Gary Chapman’s ground breaking book, The Five Languages of Love, changed my relationship with each of my children. Gary Chapman discusses 5 main ways of showing and receiving love: physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, and gifts. Although it’s important to meet all five, most people will feel loved if their primary and secondary love languages are met.

My two children who were the easiest for me to understand were the ones that perceived love the same way I did—through words of affirmation and physical touch. My “quality time” child also didn’t take much effort because that’s my third language.  However, my “gift” child was a real challenge. I often had to pray and ask the Lord what to “get” her. I used to get frustrated with her when she was little because she was always asking for “things.” But when I became aware that her Love language was gifts, I started remembering the myriads of times she had used her B-day money or allowance to buy things for others.

 I was thankful I didn’t have an “acts of service kid”.  But looking back, I realize I was continually serving my family—so maybe I was learning that language all along.

This year, I feel as though I am taking “acts of service, course II”—not only with helping family, but also in other ways God is challenging me to “give of myself.”  But isn’t that what Jesus did?

It is obvious that Jesus operated in all five love languages.  He touched the adults and held the children. He spoke life to a dead girl and spoke truth to the masses.  He not only spent time with His disciples but also with sinners. He made blind eyes see, the lame walk, healed a woman with a seven year infirmity, and yet humbled himself and washed feet.  He gave gifts of healing and deliverance to many, gave wine as a wedding gift, and ultimately gave the greatest gift—His life.

And Jesus is still speaking all five languages today as He holds our hearts, encourages our spirits, shares His presence, picks us up when we fall, and provides our needs. Jesus doesn’t just speak love languages; He embodies them—for He is love—and that’s a language all in itself.

The Washer and the Whirlpool

The past couple of days I feel as though I have been in a washing machine. It’s as if the Lord went through the closet of my heart, stripped a few garments off the hangers and tossed them in the “nope, their still dirty” pile. Thankfully, after the detergent of the truth that brings freedom was dumped in with my “dirty laundry,” God didn’t forget the “Always remember I love you” fabric softener before He turned on the agitator. Did I mention the water was hot?! The wash cycle was tough. It pulled out all kinds of grime—more pride, self-sufficiency, rebellion, and shame—for starters. But now I recognize the dirt and have been thoroughly rinsed by the Spirit, I seem to be stuck in the spin cycle.

The funny thing is the other day I was talking to a friend about how to get out of a spin, but it was about a whirlpool, not a washer. I was sharing information a police officer told me. The officer said the best thing to do when caught in a whirlpool is to dive down and swim under the current. Tonight when I googled the same question I found only one person who agreed—and his response was in an “I think this might work” format. So how do you get out of a whirlpool? The most popular answer was to swim in the direction of the current in order to gain the most momentum with the least amount effort and then swim out diagonally.

That sounds like that might be my solution as well. Maybe instead of using all my effort to combat my fears, I need to swim in the direction of the current and agree with them—to an extent. I heard a counselor once say that when she was afraid, she played the worst case scenario out in her mind. In the end, she would either die and be with the Lord, or God would carry her through and work “all things for good.” Maybe instead of telling myself “I can’t go through this again,” I need to say “I can go through this again because I have Jesus and He will give me the grace.” Then with the momentum of “His grace is enough” and the strength of knowing that “He will never leave nor forsake me” I can cut through the current of confusion and swim out of the whirlpool.

Yes—It’s time to stop spinning. It’s time to face my fears and trust God for His grace—and leave both the washer and the whirlpool.

II Corinthians 12:9 “And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (NJK).

Thank you, Lord, that your GRACE is always enough!!!!

Have a blessed day!
Jeannie Diane