Thursday, October 27, 2011

Now You're Speaking My Language

Yesterday I made a phone call to John to talk to him about something that was weighing heavy on my heart. He took the time to walk out of his office (cell in hand) and gave me his undivided attention. He provided his wisdom, listened intently, and gave me caring advice. One piece of his advice was to consult with a dear friend of ours. Not by coincidence, she had sent me a text while I spoke with John. I called her and we made a quick lunch date. Again, I had the undivided attention of an important person in my life. This morning I am still reflecting on that. I feel loved through quality time. 

Not long ago, John and I read the book The 5 Love Languages. The book offers a way to understand the way in which you best receive love. I scored equally in Words of Affirmation and Physical Touch. However, after reading the book and retaking the assessment, I have learned that Quality Time is really important to me. I feel loved when I have a person’s undivided attention. No television buzzing in the background, or my least favorite, having someone texting someone else while I’m sitting right there. I like eye contact and knowing that the person I am with sees me as important enough to put other things aside. 

Yesterday proved my theory, which is…sometimes, assessments give us a false positive; we have to dig deeper for the correct result. Digging deeper showed I had a hidden Love Language.  Had I told John and my friend what was on my heart then received a hug (Physical Touch) I don’t think it would have had the same effect as the Quality Time did. Having Quality Time with two people that really matter to me left me filled up. Having them speak Words of Affirmation while giving me their Quality Time was like hot fudge on the best sundae! 

Knowing my Love Language helps me gauge why sometimes I feel low, and many times it’s because my tank needs filled with Quality Time. I’m sure everyone goes through those feelings when you need another person to "speak" your Love Language to you. When you know what your Language is, it becomes easier to seek out what you need to feel loved. 

I’ve been missing my younger sister something awful this week. Florida is way too far away from Virginia. I’m longing for some Quality Time with her. I’m thankful for unlimited talk and text plans because it does lessen the ache. And, perhaps with the holidays growing nearer, we can plan a visit. Tonight I have plans to spend some Quality Time with one of my very best friends. I’m feeling loved already just having these plans made. I wish our plans involved jumping on a plane to fly to Florida together. 

Keep in mind though that most people close to you don’t “speak the same language.” This means that in order for your spouse or best friend to feel love from you, you’ll need to speak their language. I’m fascinated by finding out a person’s Love Language because we all want to feel loved and give love to those we care about. 

You can take the assessment online here:  I should add though that reading about your language may also show that you have a false positive. :o)

I’d love to know what your Love Language is. Leave a comment after you take the assessment so I can better “love” you. 

Thanks for reading. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Defeating Chocolate Cake

The last post I wrote was about tradition.  In it I mentioned we joined a gym; and have we ever been taking advantage of it.  I have the sore muscles to prove it!  I went Friday morning to an abs class.  It was a 30 minute class.  I had every intention to head to a nice relaxing yoga class afterwards.  I saw two friends that convinced me to forgo the yoga class and try the Cross Training class.  Today is Monday…I am still sore.

This class was a serious adventure in pushing limits.  I did a level of exercise that I didn’t think I was capable of.  As I pushed myself through the course set up by the instructor, I was tempted to skip a few pushups and lunges.  However, I knew that if I completed the class having not stopped short, I would feel a sense of achievement, even if my body felt like Jell-o.  And, it did.

I’m impressed by John’s ability to find peace through exercise.  The amount of exercise he can do in one visit to the gym just baffles me.  Truth be told, I’d rather camp out on the couch.  If I didn’t do much more than walk our dog around the block I would be perfectly content. 

The instructor of the class I took was attempting to motivate us by telling us “there is an inner athlete in all of you!”  In my head I heard the response, “Um not so much.”  Is there a competitor in there?  You betcha.  I think I have to figure out how to use my appetite for competition to push me when my heart rate needs elevated.

I wonder too, how many people have this struggle?  I heard John say in a lecture once that the “hardest part about going to the gym is going to the gym.”  Putting our shoes on and getting out the door is a challenge some days.  

So, here I am admitting that I married an exercise physiologist and I struggle with exercise.  Shouldn’t there be some sort of support group for a person like me?  I imagine sitting in a circle in a room full of similar people.  The lights are bright, my shoes are that white that’s almost blinding, and I’m wearing workout clothes that haven’t seen sweat.  I use only my first name to admit that I am not a “gymaholic,” but rather a person who struggles to exercise and enjoy it.

However, there is a flip side to this.  I read a book recently called Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst.  In it she writes about how we can learn to “satisfy our deepest desires with God, not food.”  Do I crave exercise?  Not really.  Do I crave chocolate cake?  Yes…well, I think I do.  What I learned from the book though is that I don’t really crave chocolate cake (I’m still struggling with this though).  I think what I crave is the feeling chocolate cake provides (while I am eating it).  And, as Lysa points out...I "crave" a deeper relationship with God that food or anything else cannot satisfy.  More importantly too though is that I cannot really feel a sense of peace through chocolate cake.  Because, once the cake is gone the guilt arrives.  Perhaps though, through sore muscles and a stronger body I can find satisfaction—I can feel a sense of peace.

The band The Fray sings a song that says “sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same.”  Man, does that ever speak to me!  It’s so easy to love chocolate cake.  In my day dreams I shrink down and swan dive into a Wegman’s chocolate cake.  I swim in the frosting.  I would prefer backstroke for this event.  In my real life I push myself in classes that make sweat run into my eyes.  And the reason is because it’s the right thing.  I think most of the time the right thing and the hardest thing are the same thing, but I also think there’s a pretty good pay off for choosing the right thing.

I pray my way through exercise.  I pray myself away from chocolate cake and other temptations—it’s what Lysa teaches in the book.  I know I was made for more than a cycle of defeat.  Some days I am better at this than other days.  And, I promise you there are days when the cake wins.  I’ll keep you posted on my progress.   If you want to listen to the song, follow this YouTube link:

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness…For when I am weak, then I am strong”.  2nd Corinthians 12:9-11

Thanks for reading.