Saturday, 15 January 2011

Walnuts and a tin of buttons!

I’ve had an amazing week. It’s so great to be back at Barney’s hanging out with all my friends again! This morning was made extra special by an unexpected present from a wonderful friend, a dusty tin of buttons and a bag of crushed walnuts.

Now I can hear you all thinking, what kind of a present is that? Well, to me it is just the best and most thoughtful present. I love walnuts, but they are quite pricey so I don’t often treat myself, and my friend knows that I am a jewellery making nut and so a dusty tin full of beautiful, colourful buttons sends my creative thoughts rushing off skywards! My thoughtful friend knows how to fill up my love banks.

Do you know how to fill the love banks of the people you love? Do they know how to fill yours?

I have to recommend to you the fabulous ‘Five Love Languages’ books. In his books, for couples, singles and children, Gary Chapman describes how everyone expresses love in different ways and he has identified five specific languages of love: Quality Time, Words of Affirmation, Gifts, Acts of Service and Physical Touch. What speaks volumes to you may be meaningless to your partner, friend or child. The key is to know your love language and those of the people most close to you in order to fully express your love and to feel truly loved in return. At the back of each book is a simple quiz that you take in order to find out your love language.

If your love language is Words of Affirmation then unsolicited compliments mean the world to you and hearing the words, “I love you,” are important. If it is Quality Time then nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby. The person whose love language is Receiving Gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift, not the monetary value. Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely to a person whose love language is Acts of Service! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. And finally a person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face—they can all be ways to show concern, care, and love.

We have Gary Chapman’s books in our Barney’s library, please feel free to borrow them to find out what your love language is. Or you can look at where you can check online.
I highly recommend it, I know that my husband’s principal love language is Acts of Service, so my ironing his shirts each week fills his love bank, mine is Words of Affirmation, so tell me how much you love me and I am a happy bunny. Molly’s is physical touch, I love giving her hugs and Alice’s is Quality Time, so a ten mile bike ride with her makes her happy (and my bottom hurt!).

Some of us long for tender words. Others, a gentle touch, a thoughtful gift, a kind deed, or some precious time spent together.

Only when we have learned each other’s language have we truly learned to love.

God says “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.” Jeremiah 31:3 NLT

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