Love languages, a card in the mail, & other musings…

One of the books that helped theBean & I learn to communicate love for each other in the “language” we best receive it is called “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. In it, he identifies the 5 primary ways that people receive & give love – if you’ve never read it, they are:

  • Giving gifts
  • Acts of service
  • Quality time
  • Physical touch
  • Words of encouragement

TheBean & I discovered that we come at this whole ‘expressing love” in completely different ways: she’s a quality time & acts of service person, & I am a physical touch & words of encouragement person. Which means, by default, we often ‘communicated love’ in our own love language… & we were both frustrated. Until I discovered that all I had to do to make theBean feel loved was wash the dishes. Help out more around the house. Arrange for dates for the 2 of us to interact, face to face, with full eye contact (NOTE: sitting next to each other on the couch watching TV is NOT quality time. Trust me on this.) And she has taken to writing me notes & taking time to snuggle, hold hands, & generally grope me in the best sense of the word.

With that information as background…

Yesterday, I received something Awesome. Yes, Capital “A” Awesome. From the title of this post, you can probably guess what it was… a card from a dear friend. In the mail. Sent via the U.S. Postal Service. It’s not even my birthday.  Yet… (only 15 more days until it is. But I digress.)

Not an email. Not a text. A card you can open & read & re-read. (I save all the cards that people give/send me with the good words in them so I can ‘feed my soul’ when I need it.)

The card was sent to say “thank you.” Some really great things are happening in my friend’s life & this thoughtful friend wanted to thank me for my involvement in helping her to discover some things about herself, her giftings, & most importantly, the truth about how God sees, loves, & values her.

And she took the time to send a card. It made my day & was a great source of encouragement to me.

And it made me think about how simple, thoughtful acts like this can have such a profound impact on us.

And it made me want to take the time to do the same thing for others, encourage them, build them up, & remind them that they’re special.

And I’m thankful for them.

And so I will do that.



Day 2 – Deutschland Fall 2010

Today was Eddy’s day off, which perfectly coincided with my day too. I woke up at 7:15 to the sound of the Brandenburg Concertos, my preferred alarm. (It’s hard to be grumpy hearing the sound of Bach, even in the morning when one’s body is telling you that its really 11:15 p.m. & you should be GOING to bed, not getting up. But I digress.)

Laura made pancakes, Eddy-style, meaning they were filled with almonds, apple, & coconut. I ate to my hearts’ content, using syrup, Nutella, & apple marmalade as toppings for different rounds of pancake-ery. Good times. The coffee was excellent as well.

Beings as it was the day off & the two oldest kids were at school, it seemed like a good idea to take a nap. So I laid down on the couch with a favorite book, (Heschel’s The Sabbath,) & read/napped for about an hour. I think. :)

Woke up in time for lunch, which was raviolis. Eddy & family headed off to a birthday party & I set myself for an afternoon of solitude. Which is my favorite. Read & dozed for a bit, then decided to head towards the city, through Bockenheim, which is where the church is located. Walked past the White Tower, which is located near the university. It used to be a watch tower, a line of defense for the city of Frankfurt.

Made my way past the familar cafe’s & university dorm-style apartments towards the city center. It was quite a ways away… further than I’d remembered, which is funny, because I usually take the U-bahn downtown. And now I remember why.

This is the “Hammering Man” – he symbolizes the 24/7 work ethic represented within the city of Frankfurt.

He’s about 45 feet tall – makes me think about the Sabbath & the need for rest. (Probably because this is where God first ‘convicted’ me about my own work-a-holism…) To me, Hammer Man stands for the worst parts of humanity,  Western Civilization & how we so easily work ourselves to an early grave, valuing each other only based on what we make or produce. I know its just a sculpture, but it stands out in my mind as a symbol of what God has rescued me from.

It also makes me think about tomorrow – I’m giving a presentation called, “A Revolution of the Soul” on the topic of living life in all its fullness; talking about rest, life rhythm, & the Sabbath. I have butterflies in my stomach just thinking about it. :) Truly, God’s work in my life in this particular area has been one of the most impactful things that has ever happened to me, & the thought that I get to share what He’s done in me, & what I’ve been taught & what I’ve learned brings tears to my eyes. Sometimes I get weepy. It happens.

Came home from my walk just in time for pizza & movie night with Eddy, Laura & the boys. Then to bed early so I can get good rest & be ready for the day tomorrow.

Blessings to you!

there’s something in my eye…

I’ve been crying a lot. A LOT. Almost at the proverbial “drop of a hat.” Watching my iDoey & Reed High School’s presentation of “White Christmas.” Drinking coffee & thinking of friends. Eating breakfast. (It was a really good egg & sausage burrito.) Playing with my niece Ellie G.

Not sure why this is happening, though I think that I’ve traced the beginning to being in Germany a couple weeks back… I remember feeling overwhelmed & overcome with thankfulness, sitting around the dinner table with Shawn, Matt, & a couple of Russian/Kazakh pastors, wrestling through a couple layers of a language barrier, sharing good food & drink, lots of laughs, & the commonality of relationship with Christ. This commonality makes the most daunting cultural, language, social barrier seem like a mere crack in the floor compared to knowing & being known by Jesus Christ, Lord & Savior. It causes the most cynical part of me, the part scarred & marred by religion, religious-ness, & religiousity to be able to truly speak the words “brother” & “sister…” to the people at my table. And mean it. These words, too seemingly steeped in christian-ese to be able to be spoken except in sarcastic jest, rolled off of my lips as I embraced & was embraced by these precious men & women.

I remember being struck at how truly blessed I am. With theBean. My Pasty. iDoey. theWeez. My family. Friends – real friends.. God’s faithful provision. A church family. A job. Countless resources.

Now it seems I am seeing beauty in things & people that before I may not even have taken notice of a month ago. And its everywhere. And it is TRULY a wonderful life.

Ellie came into my office & saw me crying today – she’s 2, an age where crying only means sad. She ran out into the main office area declaring, “Tay-tay’s CRYing! Tay-tay’s CRYing!” Her mom said, “Ellie! Tay-tay needs a hug!” The precious little one came running back in & lifted up her arms: “Tay-tay! Up!”

I swooped her into my arms & she squeezed me around the neck for what seemed like an hour. Then, she patted me on the back gently, & lovingly said, “It’s ok Tay-tay.” She grabbed my face, looked into my eyes, & yelled, “Tay-tay! DOWN!”