Thursday, May 24, 2012

Love languages demystified

On the way home from Chicago, I flipped on Moody radio.  It's always good to get me through rush-hour traffic--nice Moody.  Whatever they are playing is better than the "outbound Edens" at 5:00 p.m.

My daughter, Joanna, and I had just dropped off her friend, Sara, at the Union Station, after spending a delightful time at Navy Pier.  It was a gorgeous 70 degree day with low humidity and a slight breeze.  My northern body loves this weather.  My northern eyes love the Lake Michigan view.  Give me lakes and more lakes, and I'm happy.

The radio was featuring Gary Chapman's love languages and how it relates to children.  I found it to be good, insightful and enough to get me to the Des Plaines Oasis.  I used the facilities, filled up my water and picked up a bucket of chicken.  Jo promptly fell asleep in the car and slept the entire way home.  No surprise to me--after such a blissful and exhausting past few weeks.

She woke up at home, and it was 7:00 p.m.  I had long forgotten what we had listened to two hours prior, but she didn't skip a beat and wanted to talk about love languages.

Emily, sensing this was important, just by the way Jo was handing this, chimed in..

"Mommy!!  I want a love language!"  -

(Like there is some way to obtain it or lose it..)

"You do have a love language, honey..  We all have a love language.."

"But I'm not sure I have one.  What if I don't have one?" (real anxiety in her voice!  )

At which point she stopped and thought about it.

"My love language is... friends!  I like my friends!"  (a quick sense of relief!)

(and I'm making some mental calculations to assess this quickly.. quality time?  words of encouragement?... hmmmm...)

At which point Jamie burst into the conversation.

"I know exactly what my love language is!"

"Oh really?  What would that be?"

"BURGERS!  Five Guys. and Burgers!"  (spoken from a true stomach of a college student..)

Well, now.  Why do the big Ph.D's of our day need to write books anyway?

I could gather up all of Emily's friends and her big brother, Jamie and take them out for burgers and the whole equation of loving your kids would be solved.

Except I have 3 other kids--not to mention--a husband to take care of.

So, while I'm trying to solve the massive equation of loving my family, something happened to me that just touched me so much that I have to write about it.

Will has a work friend that is a field-service rep who lives in Atlanta.  We've known about him for years, but I have no recollection of actually meeting him.  The reason we knew him is because between our family and he, we were both trying to share the Gospel with the same person.

"S" had a very aggressive form of cancer and was a hardened fella.  Through the persistence of "D" (our friend from Atlanta) and our input, "S" became a believer, but died shortly thereafter.

About 8 years have passed since this event, and "D" is back in town for a class that Will is teaching.  We had him over for a delightful meal and time of fellowship.  After the visit, I had my usual things to do and quickly absorbed myself into the next happening.

(And I hesitate to write the next part for fear of being misunderstood.. but I will anyway)

So, yesterday, my attention is drawn to the account funds low notice in our email.  It was not surprising since there were extra expenses with the party and the car breaking down.  I just put on my "survival" hat and was determined to find a way to make it for the next week and a half..

I knew God would provide because that's just the way it is.  And if we have to suffer a little bit, so be it.

But doing anything "frivolous" was completely off the radar, even though our anniversary is this weekend.

So, Will tells me that there's a card for me on the seat of the car.  Even though I pestered him, he gave no indication to whom it was from.

I opened a card addressed directly to me with words of thankfulness.  And inside the card was a $50.00 gift certificate to our favorite restaurant.

As soon as I saw it, I burst into tears, with thankfulness to God.  It was so unexpected.  so generous.  so everything.

And sure enough, it was from the friend who was at dinner at our house.  He had no idea of our circumstances, of our anniversary, of our low funds or anything.  He was just following God and his leading.  Will had no idea of what he was up to either.

And I have no idea if gift cards are my love language, but I can tell you this--that even if you do not know someone very well and even if you have no idea what could bless them, that just by listening to God and following his leading, we can let God love through us.

And God was telling me this: Even though you may think you have a lean time coming up, I am here to carry you through it.  In fact, I am going to use this time, to show you my love all the more.

It's like I don't even want to cash it.  I just want to frame it as a reminder of God's unexpected goodness.


Barefoot Hippie Girl said...

you know, if you haven't spent your card yet, you still can, AND frame it too.=) They usually ask you if you want it back because some people just reload them.

Mrs. Parunak said...

That. is. so. great. What a wonderful God we serve!

Organizing Mommy said...

Amen! I think I will spend it and have them write cancelled on it, and then frame it. What a good idea. Because.. like.. we need to eat. LOL.

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