How many of you have taken the love language test to find out how it is you feel most loved? This is not one of those magazine quizzes like how do you know he is into you or what state should you live in. This is actually pretty helpful or at least it has been for me. It’s not only beneficial to know how you feel loved, but how your friends and family do as well. Sometimes and I would venture to say more times than not it’s not the absence of love that is the issue in a relationship it is the expression of it.
Here is a link to learn about five love languages and a quiz if you would like to take it. http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/ I hope my cat doesn’t mind me sharing, but his love language is physical touch. He could care less about my words of affirmation that he is the best kitty around, but one rub of his belly and he is on cloud 9!
My love language has changed over the years. It went from quality time to words of affirmation. I have really learned this through out different jobs I have had. One school I was teaching at was a school in the city of Philadelphia that had no curriculum and I was the only Spanish teacher. I had by far the smallest classroom. I was teaching 4 year olds to sixth graders Spanish. It was challenging to say the least. I would stay up trying to create fun and interactive Spanish lessons. My students loved music and dancing and even though it was a little out of my comfort zone Señora Hackman was known a time or two to become Señora Rapman. Or sometimes my emergency phone would ring and the students and I would find ourselves in the middle of an important mystery in which we were the detectives! I rarely heard any feedback from peers or administration about these activities. I say this not to say the school didn’t appreciate me but to say working there I started to realize how much words of affirmation meant to me. It wasn’t a raise I longed for but words of affirmation. Words make me feel seen, recognized, appreciated, valued, and loved. It motivates me to keep going and to give my best.
I then taught English to adults from other countries at a college. The pay was less than my previous job, but I could still pay the bills and I was paying the bills with a happy heart. Other teachers, administration, and students often gave me feedback and words of affirmation. My students wrote me notes that brought me to tears. Their words made me feel like I was where I should be, doing what I was meant to be doing. Although I loved that job, I was finally offered the job I had been hoping for for years.
Allow me to introduce you to my new bosses.
Let me just say, I love being a mommy for so many reasons. But having said that, that is not what this post is about..But don’t think for one minute I don’t love it and have my moments where I am on top of the world!
Being a mommy of twin boys at times overwhelms me and there is not many words of affirmation..because well there aren’t too many words going on except from my mouth =) This week I have felt like I am treading water, and my bottom lip is a hairline away from making contact with the water. My new bosses are demanding and expect a lot out of me. Often when I am tired and hoping to punch out for the day is when they need and want the most. I am on call 24/7 and often am needed in the middle of the night. I am exhausted…and some days I feel like the giving tree at the end of the story that only has the stump left to give as a seat to sit on and maybe even pass gas on (literally.) I am giving, giving, giving and they are taking, taking, taking. I want to give more because they deserve it, but if I am being honest sometimesI feel depleted.
So may I ask, do I have anyone else in the deep end with me treading water this week? Am I the only one? Are you feeling emotionally drained? Physically exhausted? Sick and tired of not living up to the world’s expectations? What would serve as your life vest? Would your love language be able to help you swim? For me when people give me words of affirmation, I tread a little harder and am able to hold my head up a little higher above the water…but often I find myself getting tired again. That is where I found myself this week.
I don’t know what it is that you are giving yourself too, and I am not suggesting you stop giving of yourself. I have no intentions to give less to my kids and family. In fact, I want to give more but I want to make sure I have something to give. You can’t save someone else from drowning if you too are struggling. I am also not saying your love language serves no purpose, but maybe it goes a little deeper than that. Maybe it’s not just about you and how people love you.
So for those feeling like you are treading water for whatever reason, or maybe like the giving tree with very little left to give… I give you words of affirmation and whether it is your love language or not, I promise it can change your life. These words are not from me, and these words are not just about you.
These words are about your Creator, you know the guy that created the skies and the oceans and decided to make you too!
Psalm 139: 14 For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. 14I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.
Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
(My personal favorite)
Ephesians 3: 17-19 And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
You are loved more than you could ever imagine. You were not an accident, but a creation. You were created by a God that has a plan for you and wants to do life with you. We were not created to do this journey alone. Let these words remind us of the hand that is always extended out to us. And if you feel like you don’t even have the strength to reach your hand out remember this
“‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.” Zechariah 4:6
Sometimes it is not about who I am, but about who God is. Sometimes I don’t need to be reminded of what I can do, but what God has done and can do. Sometimes it takes moment of weakness to feel the strength of God. This world will try to sell us on the idea that we can do it all if we buy this product or that product. But we were not created to do it alone. (Sleep deprivation is a humbling experience in which you learn you are human and you in fact have limits.) We are not expected to live life solely on our strength and love. We are a vessel of God’s unconditional, perfect love and every breath we are given is a chance to inhale and exhale His love. Every day is a chance to receive God’s grace and to extend that to others as well as to ourselves. God is in the business of redeeming and making things new. So today with the promises and words of affirmation of who the God that created me and loves me is, I am going to stop treading water and I am going to swim.
Anyone care to join? I might even be up for a game of Marco Polo.