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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Learning his language

Following the post I did last Sunday, I found myself not really going to bed that happy. I woke up the next morning only to bawl my eyes out to one of my friends. I had really convinced myself that I wasn't a good mom and that I couldn't do it. She was cute and told me to think about what I had just taught in Relief Society on Prayer. I listened and continued to sob even after she left my home. I was in such despair that I disregarded everything she had said to me and was sure that I truly was the loser mom.

I woke up that morning only to read a post by a friend about her bff starting a blog to record 1000 moments of joy in the next year. I was sceptical. In fact, it lasted for days. All I could do was find myself taking pictures of the edamame scattered all over the table, the bathrooms not thoroughly cleaned, toys everywhere, chalk in the grout lines, etc. My anger continued to grow. I knew that that wasn't a good state to be in. I needed to make some changes. My attitude needed to change.

I found the book, "The Five Languages of Love" at Savers this week. I've heard about it for years. I couldn't wait to get home and glance through it. Well, I quickly took the test to see which language I was. I am acts of service. All of a sudden, I got even more ticked off. "No wonder I'm always ticked off! I don't feel like anyone is speaking my language of love." At that point my thoughts were totally irrational, convincing myself that I never got help. Which is stupid because the kids and D really do help me. In fact, I can't say enough about how good D is to me for letting me go on all my trips, mopping and doing the dishes often, helping with the girls, etc.

As soon as D got home, I asked him to take the test to see what language he was. It turns out that he likes the language of physical touch. I got thinking..."I know dang well that I don't speak that language to him nearly as much as I should, yet, he's not walking around all ticked off." All of a sudden a light went on, (of course I really know what it was) and I decided that rather than getting resentful about my own language, I would give D more of his language. It's been fun. It's made me happier knowing that I'm making him happy and showing him that I love him in the way that he speaks love.

That was a wonderful thing, because not only did I snap out of that, I snapped out of the loser mom thing too.

I looked up some things and found some words of encouragement along with some scriptures. Here's one of them...

"Do the best you can through these years, but whatever else you do, cherish that role that is so uniquely yours and for which heaven itself sends angels to watch over you and your little ones." -- Jeffrey R. Holland

Isn't that beautiful?

I took the 1000 Moments of Joy challenge and it's already making a difference. I enjoy what I see because I'm LOOKING for the good that brings me joy. After all, there is Joy...It's all around me! (check out my new joy blog)

4 comments:

Dr. Dude said...

As always, I enjoy the blog, and reading about your family. I think something you may have missed - and may know - but didn't comment on, is the fact that every time D. goes to work - he is performing acts of service - to both you and the family. The reason you and your family have the lifestyle they do - is because of the service he performs every day. You get to stay home, and be a mother - due to that service.

Regardless of what he says, and the fact that he chose his profession - there are hundreds of things he would rather do than go to work. However, being a great provider - he chooses to go to work to provide and serve those he loves.

Long story short - next time you think of how much you love being home, and doing this - or doing that with your children and your family - realize that D. is at work making all of that possible.

Way to go D! You da man!

Amy said...

5 Love Languages saved Jake and I's marriage years ago. Its a wonderful tool.

One thing Dr. Dude is missing is that speaking your spouse's love language means that you do it deliberately to communicate love to them.

I have no doubt that my husband does what he does every day because he loves our family. Yes, he's a pilot and he loves what he does, but there are many days he'd rather do anything else than be at work. Yet he goes to work to provide for those he loves.

May he have plenty of credit for that. D too for that matter.

But what we've learned through the 5 Love Languages is that we all have things we do each day for the ones we love. Many of them are responsibilities, some come naturally and others not, but we do them to tell/show our spouse we love them. But often times the words, or service, or gift goes unnoticed because the other person doesn't understand that particular language.

Because of this it is important to know and learn each other's love language. And then speak it regularly. The joy you will find through this is truly immeasurable.

No doubt D is serving you and your family by providing for you. But it would be my guess that if his language is touch, that when he sees you stressed or needy or overwhelmed, he uses his language to communicate love. Because that is what he would like {and needs} in return. That is what makes sense to him. Just as you work to serve him in order to show your love.

Jake's language is Acts of Service. He'll do dishes, clean house, change diapers, go grocery shopping all to show how much he loves me. I appreciate those things, but because my language is words of affirmation, I just want to hear him say he loves me. And so I'm constantly telling him how wonderful I think he is. But to him, words don't mean much. He needs his language {Acts of Service}. We can both be shouting "I LOVE YOU" in our own language and the other won't even know what is being said.

It almost brought an end to our marriage until we figured it all out. Now when I see the service Jake does regularly for me, I understand he is saying "I Love You". And then I look for ways to serve. And when I'm fawning over him with words, he remembers that I like to hear that too.

Whew. Too many words for a "comment" but I really wanted to share this.

In summation... :) {DId I mention I am wordy?}

D goes to work and it is definitely service. But there are Acts of Service that he can do that will speak to you much more clearly. Just as there are things you can do for him that will speak more clearly than Acts of Service. The goal is effective communication.

Okay. I'm done now! It truly is a great tool. I'm looking forward to hearing how it goes!

Jake said...

Tonia,
Great post. As you can tell from Amy's comment, this book is near and dear to our heart. I disagree with Dr Dude about going to work as an act of service. It is, in my opinion, an act of responsibility for the husband to go to work and provide for his family.

There are certainly days that I don't want to do it, yet I am fortunate to do something I love which makes it a little easier. Even so, if I hated what I did, I would feel compelled because of my responsibility to my family.

When I express my love to my wife through acts of service, I don't ever think of running off to work, but rather what act of service would bring her joy.

My hat is off to D for putting in the countless hours of study and dedication that it must have taken to become a dentist and be able to provide well for your family.

Jake

Erika said...

Oh I can so relate on the mom thing. It's hard sometimes. And you have almost double the amount of kids I do. I don't want to even think about all that extra work. Phew! You've gotta be one busy woman.

It's hard because being a mom is hard and crazy and then you turn around and it's the funnest most joyful thing you've ever done. And it's like that constantly. I guess we can all relate which makes it nice!