I have been reminded over and over about something this week -- so much so that I have to write it down to get it out! God has given me a very special gift. My husband, Matthew Caton. Now before you go run to the bathroom to toss your cookies over the sappy, cheesiness of this post, I will also state that I have literally been tossing my cookies in the bathroom this weekend while Matt has been holding down the Caton fort. haha
But seriously, isn't it easy to take those around us for granted? We've all thought about it here and there but I know I take things for granted all the time. Maybe it's my friends, my family, my church, my girls' wonderful school teachers, my neighborhood, my country.
So what am I going to do about it?
Well, for starters, I'm going to go back to some concepts from a small book I call "old faithful" also known as "The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman. If you haven't heard of it, go to Amazon or your library and get it NOW! The concept of love languages is that we all like to be loved in different ways -- there are five main love languages: quality time, words of encouragement, physical touch, gifts, and acts of service. Stick with me for a second -- we naturally love people in the way that WE want to be loved, but the other person may need to be loved a little differently. You don't have to be married to benefit from this information. In fact, Gary Chapman has a variety of books including love languages for children.
So for me, I know Matt's biggest love language is words of encouragement. Ouch. That does not always come natural for me. But fortunately, I've learned some tips and practiced over the past 10 years. I've gotten a lot better at nixing the sarcastic zingers that run through my head (not perfect, but better!). Sometimes I feel cheesy about saying encouraging things to people -- perhaps they will think I'm being fake or that I have an agenda. I have found this is NOT the case for "encouraging words" people. Saying something true and kind to an "encouraging words" person can give them a HIGH for weeks! (And everyone can use an encouraging word now and then, am I right??)
I have been reminded this week to keep up with encouraging my hubby. My goal is something specific once a week. There are many creative ways to do this, but I won't spoil the surprises in case Matt is reading. :) (email me if you want some ideas)
I love knowing the love languages of my friends, daughters & parents. For instance, my dad -- can we say QUALITY TIME? He could sit around a dining room table and talk/tell stories for hours! My mom is definitely an acts of service lady. She can accomplish whatever she puts her mind to! I love seeing her in her element when she takes on a "hands on" project and completes it successfully. I can show her love by joining her in these tasks or doing something to lighten her workload.
So who is a gift in your life? How can you love them better? Perhaps investigate their love language. As for the Catons, knowing our love languages paid off big time early in our marriage and saved a lot of unnecessary grief & communication problems. (Of course, we are not perfect. I'll confess more of our mess-ups some other time. Or maybe not. ha) I truly believe if we are intentional about loving those around us, it HAS to pay off huge dividends.
You can google "love languages" for a lot more info!
Click www.5lovelanguages.com for more info about the book.
Take a love language test at http://www.afo.net/hftw-lovetest.asp
Enjoy your week, friends!
Uphill both ways
17 hours ago