Monday, June 29, 2015

I have Two Love Languages?

I love to reread books. Being an avid reader, I want to read as many books as I can. This year, I increased my goal to read 22 books. I have read 12 so far. Rereading a book counts for me. Sometimes I catch something that I didn't the first time I read it or my opinion is a bit different. I also remember why I loved the book so much.



Rereading The Five Love Languages so I could post a review for it was fun. I loved revisiting this book. I read it back in 2010; two years after K and I were married. I loved Gary Chapman's idea of love languages and how each person has one. His idea is that you want love displayed in your particular language:



First I want to address his idea of "being in love" vs. "real love". I really think he is onto something here. When you fall in love, you can't control your feelings. You constantly think about the person; want to always be with them...they are always on your mind. You don't see their flaws or the mistakes they make are funny. I remember when I knew I was in love with K. When we met, we became close friends and then started dating and went to each other's proms and dances. I was never one who worried about ruining a friendship with a guy friend by dating. I knew it would only make it better. I am a firm believer in being your spouse's best friend. Anyway...He was consuming my mind and we were talking everyday on the phone and trying to see each other as much as school, work, and our parents would allow. It still amazes me how much time we did get to spend together in such a crucial part of our lives: graduating high school. We attended each other's graduation ceremonies and the parties after. We were sitting together talking and laughing like we still do and he looked over at me while he was playing with my hair and said "Do you know how much I love you?" It was the first time he had said that to me. I had been feeling a deep connection to him and knew I was falling in love with him. But that just sent me over the edge. Hearing it out loud was something I still can't describe. 

After 15 years of being together and 7 years of marriage, I still am completely in love with my husband. The initial feeling of being in love isn't always there, and Gary Chapman describes it beautifully of what it turns into:

"We can recognize the in love experience for what is was-a temporary high-and now pursue "real love" with our spouse. That kind of love is emotional in nature but not obsessional. It is a love that unites reason and emotion." (Chapman, 35)

We can't control falling in love, but we choose everyday to love our spouses and that this love is true. We go through hard times together, everyday routines, endless things that interrupt and take us out of the "in love" feeling, but real love survives all of that. We have to choose to love our spouses through it all. By learning your spouse's love language, you are choosing to love them unconditionally and make your marriage better.

In 2010, I took the test to see what love language I had. I didn't give the test to K; I figured his love language was physical touch. My result was Words of Affirmation. So when I took the test this time, I assumed my results would be the same. And this time, I wanted K to take the test too. 

Surprisingly, K and I have the same love language. We both value Quality time. Spending time together, no matter what that might be is very important to us. 

"By quality time, I mean giving someone your undivided attention. I don't mean sitting on the couch watching T.V. together. When you spend time that way, ABC or NBC has your attention." (Chapman, 59) 

Chapman goes into further explanation that there are different dialects to the love language quality time: quality conversation and quality activities. Quality conversation deals with talking with each other about thoughts and feelings and having intimate conversations (no interruptions) and quality activities involve doing things that you both enjoy. Both are equally important to me. I like to make sure K and I keep the T.V. off for at least 20-30 minutes after he gets home so we can talk about our day without any distractions. And we have found many things we love to do together. 

I was also surprised to learn that I scored equally in physical touch as my love language. (K's second language is also this one...there was a one point difference.) I never was a "touchy" person. Hugs and affection didn't come easily to me at first, but it is very important to K. I have been working on being more affectionate to K, and now it happens a lot more naturally. He is very affectionate...he always reaches for my hand and he gives the best hugs. 

"Physical touch is also a powerful vehicle for communicating marital love. Holding hands, kissing, embracing, and sexual intercourse are all ways of communicating emotional love to one's spouse." (Chapman, 115)

I am going to leave this topic for now; I plan to explore this topic more in my next post after I studied Song of Solomon Chapter 4. 



Overall, this a great book and an incredible tool for marriages. I learned so much about K and me and will probably revisit it in a few years. I want to make sure K's love tank is full, so I choose to do what I can to make that possible. Definitely 5 stars and should be read in every marriage.

On a side note, I am still doing really well with my challenge of fighting the frump. I have been wearing t-shirts, but dressing it up with earrings and makeup and no cotton shorts. I feel great! :) K has definitely appreciated it! 

Until next time...have a great day!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

I feel pretty...

I have mentioned several times that I love Sheila Wray Gregoire's blog, To Love, Honor, and Vacuum. I have learned so much from her and have gotten some great marriage tips and ideas for this blog. In fact, I may even sound like a broken record. But you should check out her blog. It's really amazing. I don't always agree with everything she says, but I don't expect you to always agree with me either. :) Well, I have been inspired yet again by her. And this time I am challenging myself. She posted a blog titled Fighting the Frump. It definitely hit me at the right time. Lately, I have been wearing frumpy shorts and old t-shirts and no makeup. It was the easiest and most comfortable and I had just really focused on taking care of my grandma and didn't care. After reading her post, I realized I need to care. I had lost respect for myself and what I looked like. It wasn't fair to me or to K. He doesn't say anything...he even tells me I don't need makeup. But I don't feel good about the way I have been looking. And I want him to like what he sees.

Taking care of ourselves should be important to us as wives. Now that may mean different things to you. Whether it's wearing nice clothes, wearing makeup, accessories, whatever it means to you, it should convey and show respect for ourselves and our husbands.



This is what fighting the frump means to me: I am challenging myself to only wear cotton shorts or pajama pants if K and I are having a pajama day. And here's the real challenge: for the duration of the summer. Why might this be a challenge? Because I am off of work and won't return until September. I want this to become a daily habit. I want to feel better about myself. I don't plan to dress up; I will stick to casual dress like blue jeans or blue jean shorts. I mean,this is South LA...it's hot. But I can make a pair of blue jean shorts look cute ;) And I love a good fitted t-shirt. So that maybe a look I go for on a stay at home day. But I plan to dress it up and stay away from frumpy. I challenge myself to start wearing makeup more. I like wearing makeup. I have gotten lots of tips from my sister (check out her blog...she is an amazing makeup artist). But even something as simple as powder, eyeliner, and mascara can go a long way.

So, this is me starting my challenge today! Here I am with no makeup...


 And here I am with my hair brushed, a little powder, eyeliner, mascara, lip gloss, and simple jewelry.

I have to say, I am excited and motivated to do this challenge. I will post periodically with pics and keep you updated on how I am doing. I am doing this for K, but I am mainly doing this for me too. I love feeling good about myself and feeling pretty. And I don't think there is anything wrong with something that will help us and motivate us to feel pretty :)

So what about you? Will you join me in this challenge?

Until next time...have  great day!


Monday, June 22, 2015

A Lesson in Communication

Have you ever read the book the Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman?


I plan to reread it and post a review on here...I love this book. It not only taught me about myself, but it taught me a lot about how a man thinks and what they want from their wife in terms of love. My love language is words of affirmation, which means I love above everything else words of encouragement, compliments, a simple thank you. I love when K tells me that I smell nice or he likes how I look. I struggle with my image and compliments lift my spirits and I want to know that he appreciates what he sees. I like looking nice for him. Sometimes he struggles with the compliments and I have to remind him how important it is to me, but he never fails to thank me for something I have done for him. Even if it is something small like fixing his lunch in the morning. That will set my day just right. 



The reason I wanted to talk about this today is because this morning I spent sometime with God and studied the second chapter of Song of Solomon. These two lovers knew how to talk to one another and compliment each other. This chapter tackles serious topics like not rushing love and intimacy, but the main thing I appreciated about this passage was their way with words about each other. 

I think communication is one of the foundations to a great marriage. I have posted about communication before, but it goes deeper than just what to talk about. It's also how we talk to each other that is so important. 

"Like the finest apple tree in the orchard
Is my lover among other young men." (Song of Solomon 2:3)

The young woman is basically saying her lover is the best thing in the world to her. According to the notes, middle eastern climate is very hot and intense and a tree can provide shade and be life saving. It's also a sensual image. She continues praising him by commenting about how he is her provider and talks of the desire for their intimacy. 

He responds with words of wanting to see her:
"Let me see your face;
let me hear your voice.
For your voice is pleasant,
and your face is lovely." (Song of Solomon 2:14)

I try to give K compliments often. Since it is important to me and my "love language", I convey it to him. I make sure to thank him when he does something nice for me, and if I think he looks nice, I tell him. I don't think we should keep things like that to ourselves, or "assume" they know how we feel or think. (I really struggled with this when we were first married...I had to learn the hard way that he is not a mind reader.) I don't think compliments and encouragement should stop once we are married; on the contrary, I think on our journey as husband and wife it is even more important. They need to know how important they are to us and how much they mean to us. Just because we think it, doesn't mean they know it. 

Great communication also shows our respect for each other: in the way we talk to one another and even argue. I try really hard when K and I argue never to insult him or cut him down. We also don't yell. With this practice I am showing him that even though I am mad and upset, I still respect and love him. I also show respect  for K by not talking badly of him to others. We all have faults and make mistakes, and gossiping about his to others is not a way to show him respect. 

We can learn a lot from the language of this couple and how to communicate with each other. They used very romantic poetry which I don't expect us to use, but I got the underlying message. And that is what I really enjoyed about this chapter of Song of Solomon. It reminded me of how important it is to communicate my appreciation for K. 


Until next time, have a great day!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

What Will You Choose?

After reading a post by Sheila Wray Gregoire about daddy issues and  a conversation I had this morning...this post sparked in my head and I prayed about it. My first post explained why I wanted to do this blog, but it went deeper than that and now I feel it's a good time to elaborate on it.

Marriage wasn't an easy topic for me. My parents divorced when I was 2 and both remarried. I also saw divorce in other areas of the family and wondered if it was going to be possible for me to have a happy marriage. I even went through a brief period before K and I got married where I was scared to get married. I didn't want to fall into another failed marriage listed in my family. I wondered if I could really do this?? 

I had one serious boyfriend before K and I thought I was in love with him. But, I knew in my heart he wasn't the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. After we broke up, I had in my mind what kind of man I wanted to date. God blessed me with K even when I wasn't looking. When the fear crept up about marriage, I prayed about it and decided I was going to have a good marriage. That K and I would have not just a good marriage, but a great one. Just because I had seen a lot of divorce and failed marriages didn't mean I had to fall into the same category. In fact, I was going to make sure we didn't. I was determined my relationship was going to be different. 

Now K comes from the opposite side of the spectrum. His parents have been married for 48 years and have a great marriage. He has family members who just celebrated 60 years of marriage!! And they couldn't be cuter! 

So you maybe wondering why I am posting all of this to you? Well, I want you to know that I have a happy marriage because I choose to. And some of you maybe thinking several things: it's easy for you to say you choose a happy marriage, you already have one or you don't know what I am going through and what I have to put up with. And you're half right. I have been through a lot to know that marriage isn't easy and some situations are really hard. And I don't know what you are going through. But I just want you to know that I am praying for you and a happy marriage is possible if you choose to make it that way. It doesn't have to be miserable.

One thing K and I live by is there is no plan B. We are going to work at it no matter what we go through in this life. God put us together for a reason and we will see it through together. So while we are at it, we are going to have fun and laugh a lot. (That's a biggie.) God has helped me so much and helped me see that a happy marriage is possible. I have given many many tips in the past year on what makes K and I happy together and I plan to give plenty more. It all comes around to choices. We can choose to be happy and have a happy marriage or we can choose to be miserable. What will you choose?




Until next time, have a great day!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Cha-Cha-Cha-Changes



Are you a creature of habit? Do you like routine? Do you work better with a schedule? All of the above applies to K and me. We thrive off of routine, habit, and schedules. I've even posted about our habits before. But, this week we are experiencing change. And it has made me realize how important it is to lean on each other.

My grandma had knee surgery Monday. And now that she is recovering, she is staying with us. She is doing well with it, but it is very demanding on her. She has a lot to do with physical therapy, so I stay busy being her nurse.

I think it is very important during a season of change to lean on each other and not forget you are married. K has been very helpful picking up anything if I need him to, and just being available if I need something. But it has to go deeper than that. I am taking time to myself. Like right now, she is napping, so I am doing a few things I love (like posting this blog.) I read, check email, catch up on housework, check pinterest. As a couple though, we also need to find time together. We need to remember to be affectionate and laugh at the little things. We try to stick to some habits...like texting each other during the day and eating supper together. And communication will be a key...we will need to communicate about mundane things...how our days are and how we are doing in general. It's these important things that will help K and I stay connected during the changes.

Until next time, have a good day!