Recently, our family was shown an amazing amount of love, kindness, and faithfulness from God. To be honest, I have never felt like any situation in my life was too much to bear. Even at the points in my
life where I was furthest from God, I still knew that He would bring me through whatever I was facing. The huge mountain we were facing as a family was no surprise, we knew it was there, but as it came closer and closer, I became overwhelmed. I was stressed, short with my family, angry because I was looking at the mountain. I am generally a pretty level person, and this was causing me to be an emotional wreck, and consequently, flowing over into every aspect of my life.
I said all along that God would make everything work out the way it was supposed to. Deep down I believed that, but the mountain was getting closer and emotions set in. It wasn’t that I thought the situation was too big for God to handle, but what I knew lie ahead was too much. Too much to talk about. Too much to think about. Too much
to even look at through faith. Then just like that, the mountain was gone. I hadn’t demonstrated complete faithfulness in this. I was on edge because of what was coming, but still tried to trust that everything would work out.
It was a time of rejoicing and a time of recognizing God’s love, kindness, and faithfulness. I hadn't lived anywhere close to perfection through this situation, however, God was still there with His hand on everything. He opened up the floodgates of faithfulness on us and gave us a demonstration that the kids could sink their teeth into. They have seen his kindness and love firsthand, maybe in the most tangible way in their lives so far. The best news ever is that there is no need to be perfect when it comes to God’s grace and providence.
The Lord spoke to Dad and I in very different ways during our two weeks of studying the chapter on Encouragement. On the outset, I felt that this was a chapter that maybe I didn't need a lot of work in. I'm a natural cheerleader and one of my favorite things about being a Mommy is diving in and helping our kids find their strengths and help them figure out where to use them.
Dad and I have gone through the 5 Love Languages for our own marriage and use the principles on a regular basis. It's a constant go-to for when things feel a bit rough and one of us isn't exactly feeling loved or appreciated. Never had I thought of using it for my kids. After all, I'm their mom. What in the world could a quiz tell me about the children I birthed? Nobody knows them like me, right?
Oh my word, was I wrong! I am so thankful that we took the time to have our children take the 5 Love Languages quiz. I thought I knew them so well and was certain that I knew exactly what their primary language was. NOPE! WRONG!
One of our children is Acts of Service. What!?!? I was certain that his language was physical touch. He always wants back scratches, his hair ruffled and though he play balks at it, he always gives extra hugs and kisses at night. Touch wasn't even in his top two! Once I knew that Acts of Services was his primary language it illuminated so many issues that we quickly addressed.
Same story different language with our daughter. I was certain that my clothes-horse child felt loved through the little cute tops, dresses and accessories I often pick up for her on a whim. The shopping trips and money spent were clearly indications that she was a gifts girl. Right? WRONG!
Again, not even in the top 2! My baby is a words of affirmation girl. This one hurt my heart very deeply. As I read her results, all I could think of were the multiple times she had needed a compliment or verbal encouragement and I was too busy or distracted to stop and say anything. I literally had flashes of different incidents where I just didn't have time for a few words.
Once you have knowledge, it's important to put it into action. Knowing and not doing is a deadly sin trap that many of us fall into. We know what needs to be done but patterns, habits and life preclude us from putting what we know into action. I felt our son was an easy correction to make but my sweet girl needed more than just a course correction.
She needed my repentance. Dad and I both spoke to her and repented of all the times she needed words from us and we didn't give them. It's important to me as a mom to repent to my children. I make a lot of mistakes. I fight selfishness…a lot.
After our little love language discovery the Lord has given me a lot of opportunities to make conscious decisions to love my kids in the manner in which they are God-wired to receive love. I'm thankful to Him for that.
DAD and MOM
A funny little thing happened during our Love Languages time. We discovered that ALL of us have the same secondary love language. We all feel loved through Quality Time. How amazing that God knit our little Family together, made us so unique but at the same time gave us such a beautiful common thread to run through each of us. We do spend a lot of quality time together but we have made concerted efforts to ramp up the quality time factor in our Family.
Mom is a stay-at-home-mom and Dad can get pulled into very long hours at work at. A couple of months ago (long before we took the love languages test with our children) we recognized that the kids were really missing out on good quality alone time with Dad. Dad adjusted a few things in his work schedule and now takes each school-aged child to breakfast, individually, each week.
It is a precious gift that is already paying dividends in our Family. The individual one-on-one time has bolstered each child’s confidence and security. We are so thankful that God spoke so clearly to us of our kids' needs.
God really did answer such a huge prayer of ours this month. God has truly shown our kids how much He cares for their individual concerns and hurts. We are so thankful for Tracie and Elizabeth's book. The changes we see in our Family are eternal.