Thursday, October 20, 2011

How Is Your Love Tank?

Have you ever asked that question of your spouse? Silly as it may sound - the idea presented itself to me while Dave and I read through the 5 Love Languages Book back when we were dating. The point of the question is to tap into your spouse and find out if you are meeting THEIR needs. Not satisfying your own desires but filling their love tank in the way in which they feel loved. This book was amazing for us because we were able to learn that both Dave and I feel loved in totally different ways. And I realized I was trying to fill his love tank the way that I wanted mine filled. Kind of confusing but if you are intrigued - I encourage you to read the book. There is also a website you can access and take an online test to discover your personal love language.

Anyway, about a year or so ago, I decided to read the 5 Love Languages of Children in an attempt to learn what love language Mattea was speaking. Quickly I realized she is a quality time kind of girl. She loves spending one on one time with both Dave and I. It isn't that she doesn't like hanging out with her sister. I just happen to think that she is feeling deprived of that special time now that her days are spent at school. Because of this lack of quality time, I have seen behaviors emerge from Mattea that I had never experienced before. We were looking at some serious discipline problems. So I decided I would try and use the one week off of school that she had to really meet her needs and fill her emotional love tank.

We celebrated her school break at the salon with a wonderful pedicure. I was hoping this would satisfy that desire for one on one time and also boost her mood. Attending first grade has meant that she has had to make adjustments to her prior lifestyle - and she hasn't exactly been thrilled about it. Life ain't like it was in kindergarten baby! As the year progresses, things are improving but in those first few weeks, I would hear a lot of whining and complaining about how she no longer gets to play because we "make her go to school." Or sometimes I would hear, "I never even get to see you mom, I'm ALWAYS at school." My heart broke 2/3 of the time. My poor baby was missing me and the time we had together. The other 1/3 of the time I was annoyed and told her to "buck up, this is your new life. Get used to it." Yep, not the most compassionate mom.

So seeing and recognizing opportunities to meet and fill Mattea's love tank has been on my priority list. She is a much more pleasant child when her emotional needs are met. And who can blame her, so am I? I know when my love tank is filled and my emotional needs are met, I'm a much happier person. Funny how that works. So, the salon trip was a success. We both had fun and we both left with pretty toes. Now, to try and tackle the overwhelming task of interpreting Miss Paloma's love language. Wish me luck....

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Whole New Me

For those of you who may not know my background, let me fill you in. I grew up going to a Lutheran Church when I was younger but was deficient in all things God. I learned the Lord's Prayer, I learned about Noah and the Ark, and I learned about sin, but during that time, someone failed to tell me about Jesus.

Nobody really told me about the remarkable sacrifice that was made for me nor how incredibly special I was. They forgot to tell me that Jesus was my friend or perhaps how I need to call upon Him during times of trial.

It wasn't until high school that a friend of mine took me aside and explained the "big" picture to me. Aha! I felt like the light had been turned on. I was 16 at the time. I made a commitment at that time to live my life in a whole new way. I would live it for Christ. I would follow the 10 commandments, speak wholesome words, and deny all things bad for me. Yep, I was going to do it and I did - for about 6 months. Then the fleshly "fun" life I had had before seemed much more appealing. I started college and lived with a group of wonderful Christian girls that provided me with good examples but still I was having much more fun sinning day in and day out. Whether it was my thoughts, my words, or my actions, I was not representing Christ in a good way. Many knew I had made my commitment to Christ yet my lifestyle didn't reflect it.

Skip ahead a few years to a situation in which brought me to my knees. Not really wanting to elaborate on it now, I decided at that very moment, my life would change. It had to. I had no other choice. I could no longer continue on the path that I was currently walking. I once again surrendered my life to Christ and the rest is history.

Fast forward 17 years, there was a life changing event that happened in my life and that of my husband. At that moment it hit us - life is unpredictable. Life is short. Life is not promised tomorrow morning. We decided it was time to get our act together, set an example for our children, and become baptized as commanded by God. It was an amazing and life changing weekend for me and I know it hit Dave hard as well. Dave's testimony is a bit different than mine but simply his story to tell. I hope that one day he will become more open about it - but for now, this is my side of things. My children have inquired about baptism, bragged to their friends about it, and practiced baptizing their baby dolls in the bathtub. God is working miracles - and the work He started will continue. Oh happy day!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Wondeful Words to Ponder

I looked at the older woman and wondered what it meant.
Do we tell with our body about the life we have spent?

The wrinkles on her face, the posture of her back.
The fingers softly bent, the joy in her laugh.

I'd seen other faces marked with a frown and scorn.
Their presence seemed quite harsh, their spirit very worn.

But in this woman was a beauty, despite the evidence of time.
Peace in her cloudy eyes and laughter behind her laugh lines.

She had a grace about her, though her body was now slow.
For she had learned the joy of being, and in her heart she knows.

She spent her life in celebration, choosing joy to be found
In whatever life gave her she stood on His solid ground.

Lord, may the markings on my body be like hers in some way
That I loved and laughed and gave and celebrated every single day.

Lisa TerKeurst
Am I Messing Up My Kids?