Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Love: Do You Speaka Dat Language?

I arrived home yesterday from a three-week, self-prescribed sabbatical in the seclusion of our remote Smoky mountain cabin, where I was working feverishly to finish Fear, Faith, and a Fistful of Chocolate, my newest book.

F3 is due at the end of this week, although it doesn't debut until Feb. That's how publishing works: hurry, hurry, hurry only to wait and wait and wait some more.

So I pulled into the driveway and dragged my haggard carcass through the door after a 9-hour, nonstop, ate-a-crate-of-cookies-to-stay-awake, ran-out-of-audio-books-two-hours-ago drive. I was whipped.

All I wanted was to throw my luggage in a heap on the floor and myself into a heap in the bed.

But something happened to change all that. An unexpected twist to my twisted day that made my heart yodel and my feet break into a happy-dance.

There, in a neat stack nearly the height of a cereal box, on the kitchen table, were every single comic painstakingly cut from every single newspaper that had been delivered while I was gone. We're talking 25 days here.

That's a LOT of comics.

So many that it took me over an hour to sit down and read them all. But read them all I did. Why? Because I heard, felt, smelled, touched, and tasted love in every word. And I just can't get enough of that. 

Spouse knew my love language is "Acts of Service," meaning that the way to speak love to me so that I actually hear it is to perform some small service for me. One that will either save me time, money, or energy, or an act that shows that he's thinking of me - my personal needs or preferences - in the midst of the relentless busyness of his life.

He knew that the funnies are the only reason I subscribe to newspapers.
He knew that I'm too isolated from civilization (no net access either) in our mountain cabin to see a daily paper. 
He knew that it would bring me no small joy to catch up on my funny-paper friends.
He knew that regardless of how many times he said, "I love you," or "I miss you" while I was gone, that I would really know it was true by this simple, wonderful, birds-chirping-and-sun-shining deed that proved that he cares about the little, insignificant things that I care about. Because I matter. To him.

And he was absolutely right. 

What a guy.

If it's been a while since you've thought about Dr. Gary Chapman's 5 Love Languages (which was first published in 1992), I encourage you to remind yourself that we don't all speak the same love languages, and sometimes when you think you're speaking love to your spouse, friends, or children, they may be hearing - or not hearing - the message you intend. Because you hable in twisted tongue they no savvy.

Here are the five love languages Dr. Chapman identifies:
1. Words of Affirmation
2.  Quality Time
3. Receiving Gifts
4. Acts of Service
5. Physical Touch

The thing is to identify your own love language - what speaks love to you - and the love language of each of your loved ones. 

So tell me: What is your love language?




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