Tag Archives: random acts of kindess

The Languages of Love

Tonight at the dinner table, after we had enjoyed our meal, we each took The 5 Love Languages ® Quiz. The quiz was developed by Dr. Gary Chapman after decades of experience as a marriage counselor. I had taken the quiz about 3 years ago. My scored changed just a little. I think that this quiz should be taken every 2 or 3 years because our needs can differ from one period to the next as we move through the changes in life. You can find quizzes geared for couples, singles and even children.

  • Words of Affirmation – This includes words of recognition, affection and appreciation. Insults can be very damaging and hurtful.
  • Quality Time – Giving your full, undivided attention counts for a lot, making your loved one feel special and loved. Failure to listen can be hurtful.
  • Receiving Gifts – A thoughtful gift can show that you are cared for and loved. A thoughtless gift can hurtful.
  • Acts of Service – Things done for you to ease your burden can be seen as an act of love and deeply appreciated. Making more work for you can be exasperating.
  • Physical Touch – Hugs, kisses, holding hands, a hand on the shoulder are all elements of physical touch. This language is not restricted to bedroom partners. Non-sexual touch is greatly appreciated by someone who speaks this language as well. Neglect can be destructive.

When you take the quiz, you learn your primary and secondary languages. Even though we can be shown love from all the languages, there are some more important to us than others.

These languages can be mixed for a one-two punch. A person who needs both Words of Affirmation and Receiving Gifts can feel wonderful when they receive a gift that memorializes an achievement. A hand on the shoulder or a hug coupled with a recognition of achievement can accomplish both Words of Affirmation and Physical Touch.

My primary language is Physical Touch and my secondary is Quality Time. It is good to recognize and reflect on your own results. For instance, some of my fondest memories is when I was very young, I would curl up on my mother’s lap while she would caress my scalp and back. I really felt loved. I felt safe. Now, I know that I feel most complete when I am in close physical connection with the one I love.

It is great to know the results of the ones you love. Ask them to take the test. It will help you to understand what is most meaningful to your loved one. You might buy them lots of little gifts but what they want most is your time. Dr. Chapman found, for whatever reason, that we are often drawn to those who speak a different language than our own.

I think that it is important to realize that we change. So what a person might appreciate the most now, might not be the most important act later. A person may have self-esteem issues, so they need to hear words of affirmation. After a period of time, a few successes and accomplishments, their need for words of affirmation diminish. They now may appreciate acts of service more than compliments.

Visit the 5 Love Languages site at www.5lovelanguages.com

For a fuller explanation and a wonderful resource, buy or borrow a copy of Dr. Chapman’s book, The 5 Love Languages, The Secret to Love that Lasts

I encourage you and your loved ones to take the quiz by clicking the link below to go directly to the assessments page
Love Languages Personal Profiles

Share your results with your loved ones and encourage them to share their results with you. That will help you to understand how to best respond to their needs and let them know what makes you feel the most loved. This is a win-win for everyone. Happy loving.

Share

Happy Valentine’s Day

This day was established  by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD. It was named after a priest, Valentine of Rome who married young men and women in defiance of an order decreed by Emporer Claudius II that young men not be married as he figured that they would be better soldiers. Valentine performed the marriages secretly until he was caught and subsequently martyred in 269 AD.

This is another of those holidays that I think should come every day. Although, I believe there are certainly those who need to be “reminded” to show appreciation to their loved ones, it really should be an every day practice.

Just think about all the things that your spouse or love one does for you every day that you might take for granted. Does she make breakfast? Does he brush the snow off the car? Does he do the dishes? Does she record his favorite programs? All these seemingly little things, and many more, are little ways that say “I love you, you are important to me and I am glad that you are in my life.” I try to think about all the things that my girlfriend and sons do for me in this way.

It is too easy to take these things for granted. Sometimes, we just assume that what has gone on will always go on. We “expect” our loved ones to do things for us, to think about us, to care about us. Even if we do expect them too, they should be told that their efforts are appreciated. Take your loved one in your arms, look them in the eyes and say, “I love you. I am so glad that you are part of my life. You are truly a blessing to me, a wonderful gift from God.”  When was the last time you said something like that? If it hasn’t been lately, then say it soon.

This holiday is a bittersweet one for me. It was exactly a year ago on Valentine’s day that I last saw my Butterfly alive. She passed away a few days later. My last memories of her that day involved smiles, hugs and kisses. It was a wonderful day.

As I learned last year, you just never know when a loved one might depart. They may depart physically, emotionally or even depart this life. Nothing is permanent. Take advantage of the time you have, because now is the only time you really have. Tell those you love that you love them, not just on Valentine’s Day, but every day.

Let every day be Valentine's Day!

If Jesus Came to Your House

I was conversing this evening about old songs that I remembered. I remembered songs called Running Bear, Home on the Range, and Teddy Bear. Teddy Bear was sung by Red Sovine. I commented that I had not heard a Red Sovine song in a very long time, so I looked up another one of my favorites of his that goes well with this blog. It is one that makes you think. I am not perfect and Jesus knows I am not, but He also knows I try my best. Here are the lyrics and attached is the song. Hope you enjoy it.

If Jesus Came to Your House
Sung by Red Sovine
Written by Lois Blanchard & Craig Starrett
Lyrics copyrighted by Warner/Chappell Music

If Jesus came to your house, I wonder what you’d do.
Yes, if Jesus came to your house, to spend a day or two,
If He came unexpected, just dropped in on you.
I know you’d give your nicest room to such an honored guest,
And all the food you’d serve to Him would be the very best.
And you would keep assuring Him you’re glad to have Him there,
That serving Him in your home is joy beyond compare.
But when you saw Him coming, would you meet Him at the door
With arms outstretched in welcome to your heavenly visitor?
Or would you have to change your clothes before you let Him in?
Or hide some magazines and put the Bible where they’d been?
Would you turn off the radio and hope He hadn’t heard?
And wish you hadn’t uttered that last loud hasty word?
And would you hide your worldly music and put some hymn books out?
Could you let Jesus just walk right in, or would you rush about?
And I wonder if the Savior spend a day or two with you,
Would you go right on doing the things you always do?
Would you go right on saying the things you always say?
Would life for you continue as it does from day to day?
And would your family conversation keep up it’s usual pace?
And would you find it hard each meal to say a table grace?
Would you sing the songs you always sing, and read the books you read,
And let Him know the things on which your mind and spirit feed?
And would you take Jesus with you everywhere you’d planned to go?
Or maybe would you change your plans for just a day or so?
Would you be glad to have Him meet your very closest friends,
Or hope that they would stay away until His visit ends?
And would you be glad to have Him stay forever on and on?
Or would you sigh with great relief when He at last was gone?
Oh, it might be interesting to know the things that you would do,
If Jesus came in person to spend some time with you.

Share

Adding by Taking Away

   I just said to someone I love that my goal is to add to their life. Then, for no reason I can fathom, it was revealed to me that I add to lives by taking negative feelings and negative beliefs away.

   These are some of the ways that you can ADD to someone’s life:

  • Take away the cold and damp by giving them shelter and a warm embrace.
  • Take away loneliness by showing them friendship and caring.
  • Take away the fear of rejection by showing them that they are loved for who they are now and their potential to come.
  • Take away idleness by showing them a vision they can obtain.
  • Take away their despair by giving them hope and encouragement.
  • Take away their anger and frustration by understanding their point of view and providing different ways to see the same situation.
  • Take away their feelings of worthlessness by demonstrating that they are valued. God doesn’t make junk!
  • Take away their depression by offering love, support and understanding.
  • Take away their poverty by teaching them to monetize their talents.
  • Take away their feeling of “being lost” by giving them a safe P.LA.C.E. in your heart.
  • Take away sadness by providing joy and situations where it is easy for one to choose happiness.

   How many other negative feelings and negative beliefs can you think of to take away that will add to one’s life?

   I hope you have added good to someone’s life today. I hope someone added to your life today. God bless you.

Share

A P.L.A.C.E in My Heart

   When someone is precious to you, they have a P.L.A.C.E. in your heart; Protect them, Love them, Appreciate them, Care for them, Emotional support. This P.L.A.C.E. is much like home. Home is a place where you feel comfortable and safe. That P.L.A.C.E. is in the presence of someone special. It is easy to consider a physical place a home, but is it really? A physical place without warmth, without memories, without love is just an address, a building, a temporary structure.

   You know instinctively when you are home with someone. You feel safe and warm. You know that you can be yourself. You know that you are in a safe relationship with that person. You miss being in their presence when one of you has to be away.

   Even if you provide a P.L.A.C.E. for someone, there is no guarantee that your love and support will be returned, but that doesn’t mean that you refuse to give it. I am not suggesting that you expose yourself to an unsafe situation, but you can still let them know that you love and care about them and want what is best for them, despite their best efforts to avoid joy.

   Protect them: You cannot change a person, but you can care about them. You can guide them to a path that might be better for them. You provide counsel and direction with love and tenderness. You can ensure that they are safe. You can provide loving services like: making sure their car is in good order; provide nutritious foods; accompany them on outings where they might feel nervous; and prevent them from making mistakes with money.

   Love them: Love them unconditionally. Allow them to know that they are loved no matter what they might do, not that you will condone what they do, but that you will love, guide and support them. Don’t expect perfection but do expect them to do their best.

   Appreciate them: All of us need to feel valued and appreciated. No one likes to feel as though they are being taken for granted. There is good in everyone and we need to continually look for that good, appreciate it and reward good behavior.

   Care for them: Show interest in their well-being, physically, financially, spiritually, mentally and emotionally. Commit random acts of kindness that demonstrate your love and appreciation for them. Always let them know that you care for and love them, that you will be available for them.

   Emotional Support: Unconditional love allows a person to feel safe with you. They can cry, laugh, giggle, and blush without feeling embarrassed or afraid because they know that they are loved and accepted.

   Have you provided a P.L.A.C.E. in your heart for others? Do you have a P.L.A.C.E. in someone’s heart? I hope so. I hope that when you are in that P.L.A.C.E., you feel as if you are home.  God will always have a P.L.A.C.E. in His heart for you. My wish is that you will find a home in Him.

Share

My Butterfly Became An Angel

   My best friend passed away in her sleep during the early hours of February 20, 2010. It is not often that a person impacts your life in such a short time. I met her in October 2008. Just 16 months later, she was gone. I was attracted by her kindness and her loving heart. She was seeking the kind of love that was spiritually based. She wasn’t sure that kind of love was even possible. She appreciated all that I did which made it easier to do even more.

   We had a “safe” relationship. We could share anything with each other. She felt comfortable enough to cry in my arms and that she did often. She cried not because she was weak but as an outlet from being overwhelmed while being so strong.

   Butterfly’s children were her life. Their care and comfort were always her first concern. In the short time we had together, she learned that she could take time for herself as well. She did not get out as much as she had liked before meeting me. I made it a point to visit museums with her which always seemed to fascinate her. I even indulged her love for casinos with limits as to how much she could lose.

   Butterfly felt compelled to end our romantic relationship when she was spending time in and out of the hospital. She wanted me to move on so that I would not be tied down by her illness. I balked and argued but she stubbornly insisted. I finally agreed but could not be drawn away from such a loving heart. I kept in close contact with her by phone, texting and weekly visits.

   We continued to feel comfortable with each other. I was honored and privileged to be her emotional outlet. The most profound lesson I’ve ever learned was revealed to me when I cared for my father in the last 19 weeks of his life. You don’t help people die, you help them to live until they can’t live anymore. This was not my goal with my Butterfly as I did not realize her time with me would be so short. But this too has been a lesson. I will now help everyone live until they can’t live anymore as we do not know what tomorrow will bring. I do hope I brought joy to her life. I know that she brought joy to mine.

   I promised her that I would show her what God’s love looked like; that agape love IS possible. I hope that I had enough time to keep that promise.

   To my Butterfly,

   Although your body is here on the ground, I know your soul was heavenbound. I know you’re there in God’s loving care, no longer suffering, but at rest. We will see you soon, when we depart. We will soon again feel your loving heart. I love you deeply. I love you true. We all love you and we all miss you. You are my Butterfly and you always will be. But now you are an Angel; your soul is free. Butterfly, I love you and I always will.

   The Dash!

   There is no fiction in the words above. My Butterfly was known to the world as Laura A. (VerDow) Santelli. She was born, raised and passed away in Newark, NY. Her life spanned from 1957 – 2010. She was 52 when she passed. Hey did you see it? Did you see that dash? That dash represents a persons life. This is how Laura touched my life. This is what her dash means to me.

   If there was a special person in your life, please leave a comment about how they touched your life and what his or her “dash” means to you.

   Take care, stay well and be safe. Love to everyone. – Justin

Share

Appreciating Little Things Challenge

    As Valentine’s Day approaches, and marketing departments everywhere push their chocolates, teddy bears and cards, people are encouraged to think about their loved ones. Like most holidays, I think this one should be practiced daily.

     Take a few moments to think about the little things that people do for you everyday that show they love and care about you. It is so easy to take these things for granted and forget to appreciate them. Even regular tasks can be filled with love and often are. Someone making dinner might do it everyday because it is part of their responsibility, but there are small touches of love added. Does that person choose foods that is a favorite of one of the kids, maybe a surprise dish, a new dish to provide adventure perhaps. Yes, even the most mundane of tasks  involve love. Does someone check the oil in your car so you don’t have to? Do they change the TV channel so that you can watch your favorite show? Do you recognize these things as appreciation for you, love for you, something that says “I am glad you are part of my world.” Look for these things throughout the day and you will realize how much love truly surrounds you.

    Now the challenge: leave a comment here (if there is no comment box, click on the comment hyperlink near the top of this article) and describe what someone has done for you that shows that you are loved. You can comment on grand things as well but I ask that you concentrate on the littlest of things that someone has done for you to show you that you are loved. Read the comments of others, again, if they aren’t showing, click on the comment hyperlink or the article heading. Please accept this challenge.

   At this time, don’t write about what you have done to show someone that you care, as I hope you do many of those things. This is to help you and all of us to realize that love abounds. By sharing your examples, others will realize that love surrounds them too.  Thank you in advance for sharing.

Share

The Things We Do For Love

   I had promised my son last weekend that we would go to the movies.  He had his driving test today so I hoped that the movies would also serve as a celebration.  However, he failed his driver’s test and was certainly not happy about it.

  Those of you close to me would know that I do not like horror or scary movies.  I have a vivid imagination and I am afraid that horror images will haunt me in my sleep.  I volunteered to take my son to see Zombieland.  This movie is presented as a horror comedy.  I was hoping for more comedy than horror.  I survived the viewing.

  The beginning bothered me and my son offered me a chance to leave, but I refused because zombie and vampire movies are his favorite genre of movies.  His mother likes them as well.  I stepped out of my comfort zone, and suffered through uncomfortable images so that my son could have a great evening after a trying day.  I am not looking for any rewards, but I did think that parents do this often for their children.  The love for a child is a great motivator, a coat of armor that allows us to face uncomfortable circumstances.

   This isn’t just restricted to the love for our children.  Our love extends to parents, siblings, friends, and yes, sometimes even strangers.  This love is demonstrated by a: pastor towards their congregation; a soldier towards their country and fellow citizens; a fireman rescuing people in danger; a mother offering her favorite dessert to her children; and even a father sitting through a horror comedy for his son.  Moreover, let us not forget the love that we receive always from God.

   Whoever you are and wherever you are, know that you are loved.  Let those that love you know that you are grateful and let them know they are loved in returned.  Random acts of kindness and other acts of love surround us each day.  Take time to notice and appreciate the love that abounds.

   Take care, stay well, and be safe.

 

Share