Welcome to week #7 of our 8-week series on Grace in Awareness.
While we had the topic of love languages slated for this week’s newsletter long ago, it seems especially apropos given the recent tragedy that has plagued our local community here in southeastern Michigan.
A school shooting. 4 young lives taken. Some students still fighting for their lives. Their worlds changed forever. In the aftermath, copycat threats closed down schools across the region, including ours. Multiple teens as young as 13-years-old are facing felony charges for their actions.
As a mom of a 12 and 14-year-old, this all hits far too close to home.
It’s a mother’s worst nightmare. My heart breaks for the families affected by this absolutely horrifying incident. I can’t help but hold my own kids a little tighter, wishing I could promise them protection. I can’t.
What I can promise is to love them with everything I have and remind them of it often. I can teach them to love one another and show loving kindness to others and pray that it spreads.
And so, with heavy hearts for a world in dire need of contagious love, today’s topic is love languages.
This week’s resources will help us understand how to keep our “love tanks” full – an actual term you’ll hear on our featured podcast episode, Oprah & Dr. Gary Chapman: The Five Love Languages. It turns out we all speak a different language when it comes to love. We all have different expectations and hence different ways of receiving it.
The 5 Love Languages are words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, physical touch and receiving gifts.
How is this helpful to moms?
Seven weeks into this series on Grace in Awareness, you’ve likely picked up the trend that becoming more self-aware provides you with a toolset to have more meaningful and effective relationships with others; namely, your kids.
Understanding how you and your loved ones give and receive love will help them feel loved in their own unique way.
As complicated as love can be, it’s easy to think that a mother’s love is obvious, unwavering, and understood.
It turns out, that’s not a safe assumption.
In this week’s featured article, “What’s your child’s love language?” author Dr. Shannon Warden of Mother.ly states, “Without these essential steps, parents can easily fall into a false sense of security thinking our children ‘just know’ we love them. Children won’t necessarily just know, especially if we’re inconsistently or rarely speaking their love language.”
Yikes! Who knew?
Dr. Gary Chapman knew.
He is the author of the book The 5 Love Languages (among others) and the creator of the Love Languages quiz (linked in the image below). We encourage you to take the quiz and consider having your partner and kids take it as well. There is a version designed for kids. It’s enlightening to discover that we all view this thing called love through our own lens.
Take the quiz…
Interesting, go on…
In addition to the article and podcast episode noted above, this week’s featured video, a TED talk by Carol Bruess, lasers in on building the “healthy mini-cultures that are our relationships.” Here’s a quote from the talk on ted.com:
Carol Bruess (PhD, relationship researcher) calls it like she sees it. And, in case you’re wondering … yes, all relationships are somewhat messy, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re doing anything wrong! The reality is most of us hide the perfectly imperfect “insides” of our relationships, sharing on social media only our cleaned-up, best relationship selves. And what’s also true: there are things we each can do to build the healthy mini-cultures that are our relationships, the likes of which might not only extend the life of the relationship itself but even the people in them. Research shows we all can live longer if we attend to the quality of our relationships.ted.com
Ugh, that last sentence… “Research shows we all can live longer if we attend to the quality of our relationships.” Those kids at Oxford High School deserved to live longer.
It will take more than quality relationships and love languages to mend the mental health crisis in this country, but maybe, just maybe, we can use our awareness of these tools to set the next generation on the right path.
🎬 Watch the video:
📖 Read the article: “What’s your child’s love language?” By Dr. Shannon Warden
🎧 Listen to the podcast episode: Oprah & Dr. Gary Chapman: The Five Love Languages | Super Soul (21:38) in the player below then…
👩🏽💻 Join us for our weekly community call this Friday at 2pm ET in The Grace Lab on Zoom.
We’ll be chatting about the featured podcast episode (noted above) as well as your quiz results and we’d love to have you!
Want a reminder for the community call? Enter your name and email address below and click the red button. We’ll send you an email reminder an hour before the Zoom (along with the link to join the call).
🎙 Enjoy this week’s Grace in the Race Podcast Playlist while you get your ship together! Select an episode below to listen on Spotify.
🤔 Curious how Amanda and I fared on this week’s quiz and what we’re doing with that information?
Rachel’s Love Language is Acts of Service.
My awareness of my love language came at a time when I needed it most. I was overwhelmed, lost in an abyss of unset boundaries, consuming personal growth books in an attempt to dig my way out of it all, and oblivious to the answer that was sleeping right next to me at night.
I needed help and my husband, Steve, heeded the call.
Something had to give. I couldn’t keep doing all that I was doing and maintain my sanity. So Steve and I had a hard conversation. It left me feeling extremely vulnerable and like a bit of a failure in the moment. In hindsight and with some much needed grace, I see it differently now…
Moms aren’t meant to carry the load of “all the things.” Sure, we do it, but at what cost?
Steve and I took an extensive look at “all the things” and recalculated who would be responsible for the various family and household tasks. Some would argue that Steve does way more than the husband of a stay-at-home-mom should, but I was defeated and depleted and if something didn’t give, I was going to bring the whole ship down with me.
When he took on more “acts of service” – helping with the cooking and the laundry, for example – he started speaking my love language. The beautiful thing that transpired was that I was able to finally start speaking his as well… quality time. This shift had a much-needed, positive impact on our relationship!
Amanda’s Love Language is Quality Time.
In our digital world today, it seems we can never get undivided attention. That little device demands (notifies) us to give it attention. One study says the average person looks at their phone 96 times a day.
This is a problem for me. My love language is quality time. And it’s not enough to just be in the same room as Joe. I sometimes want time with him that doesn’t include him glancing at his notifications.
Joe’s love language is also quality time, and so luckily this is not a complicated problem to solve! We simply have to remind each other that this is a time to focus on each other. It’s not always easy but we try to block out any distractions when we get to enjoy quality time together. We don’t go as far as turning off our phones (because we have teenagers… who drive), but we do try to use active listening skills, make eye contact, ask each other questions, and focus on the quality time, not the quantity of time we have together!