Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Love Languages

Last week, I had an epiphany of sorts! It's amazing to me that I can be almost 50 and am still getting to know what makes me the way I am. I've been thinking about this all week and have to write this down, mostly for myself, which is why I am posting some beautiful garden photos for you to enjoy while I ramble on.
I always love when the amaryllis bloom on the side of the house.
They were one of my mother's favorite flowers and always seem to bloom on Mother's Day. 
Last week, Andrea Scher (you can find her Superhero Life Blog here) mentioned on Facebook how she is really bad at giving gifts and that it's not one of her love languages. What?! Love languages? How had I not heard about those.
Our jasmine in full fragrant bloom! 
I could so relate because I am absolutely horrible with gift giving. Always have been (I think most everyone in my family is challenged that way). The finding of something appropriate, the feeling good about what I've chosen or made, the wrapping of it, the sending it off on time if I have to mail it, the card that should be included - it is and has been a super stressful thing for me my whole life.
The oak leaf hydrangeas are magnificent right now. 
Not that I don't like to give gifts or receive them, it just doesn't come easily to me. That's why my favorite holiday is Thanksgiving - all the joys of cooking and getting together with family and friends and NO GIFTS! It is the only holiday I feel completely relaxed about.
A new hibiscus. 
So, when Andrea mentioned Love Languages, I took the test (you can find it here).  And guess what "receiving gifts" (and the flip side of that: giving gifts) is at the very bottom of the list of what's important to me. It is not one of my love languages. No wonder I have never felt like I knew what I was doing when it comes to giving gifts. It is not a language I speak well at all.
The gardenias are starting to flower. They smell so wonderful! 
What was first on my list? Acts of Service! And isn't that the truth?
The other morning, I walked into the bedroom to make the bed and came to find that Daniel has already done that for me. To me, that spells love! Or he'll clean the kitchen for me while I am at the store to get groceries. No gift would mean as much to me as that.
Last week, we were visited by a rare albino raccoon - it was amazing to watch!
Almost as high on my list was "Quality Time." And again, that rings so true.
And here a "regular" raccoon moving around in one of our trees. 
I love nothing more than to spend time with Daniel. Of all the people I know, he's the one I most love to be with. It was that way when we met 30 years ago and it is that way now.
That, too, is more important to me than any gift he could give me.
I'm knitting a summer top for myself with some stretchy yarn and a fun pattern. 
Somehow knowing about my love languages has brought me great relief! And it has made me truly aware that we all don't speak the same language when it comes to expressing love and affection. It's also wonderful to know that there are others who are terrible at the whole gift giving thing. That said, I do have friends and family where I suspect that giving (and receiving) gifts is one of their main love languages, which means I'll always keep trying hard when it comes to gifting because they are important to me.
A favorite moment from last Sunday - one of those that was just perfect in every way! 

With lots of LOVE,



  1. This was very interesting. Mine was the opposite of yours -- receiving gifts was my highest score, and my bottom 2 scores (tied) were acts of service and physical touch. I'm not really that big of a hugger, but I do love gifts, both giving and receiving! No surprise there. :)

    1. Ha, Beth! I KNOW you love gifts - receiving and giving!! :) You are right -- no surprise at all! :)

  2. Although I have not taken the test, I know that giving gifts is something I greatly enjoy. I also love receiving gifts, but it is not the main thing about occasions such as my birthday; on such a day, what matters most to me is to have my friends and family around and host a great (cocktail) party for them.
    Whenever I think of something that friend X or family member Y may like or need, I note it down on the notepad feature of my mobile phone. Then, when their birthday or Christmas is coming up, I look at the notes I have taken throughout the year and choose what to buy for them.
    I also very much love putting together my Christmas parcel for the family in England; it is one of my rituals during Advent that I do not want to miss.
    As for your husband making the bed or cleaning the kitchen "for you" - is it not just as much for himself when he does that? Don't you two both live in the same house and enjoy having it nice and clean and tidy? Just a thought :-)

    1. See, just from that I can tell that you love giving and receiving gift. By the thought you put into it all year round and how you look forward to the occasions of giving them, probably also the packaging and wrapping of them. It's so the opposite of me. I can put a system in place, but it's still a huge source of stress in my life that I never feel sure about - the best months for me are those when nobody has a birthday and there is no gifty holiday. :)

      As to Daniel doing these things for me, they truly are for me. Because he works full-time, we have division of labor in our home. The inside is pretty much my domain, whereas his is the garden. So, him making the bed truly is a little love note as is me cutting off all the dead roses in our yard last week, a time-consuming task for him. Instead of actual love notes and gifts and flowers, that is what we do for each other. :)