Unwrapping Love

Me @ 03-APR-2006

Me @ 03-APR-2006If you hang around Christians long enough, someone is certain to start talking about their love language.  Soon after that, they’ll ask you what your primary love language is.  If you have no clue, don’t worry–just go here and find out.  It’s more about how you receive love than it is about putting you in a box.

While my score is pretty static across 4 of the 5 expressions, one is definitely more pronounced than the rest.  Receiving gifts is the way I feel most loved.  It doesn’t have to be a big gift, but it does have to be a thoughtful gift (of course, big gifts are very welcome, too.  I’m an equal opportunity receiver.)  When I first learned that was my love language I felt kind of bad. It felt like I had the most demanding and unreasonable of the languages.

I’ve since learned they can all be demanding and unreasonable if they’re taken to the extremes.  Receiving gifts isn’t any worse than feeling loved by acts of service, physical touch, words of affirmation, or quality time.  It’s just different.  I can live with that.

My family is fairly fluent in all the different love languages, but–for the most part–we speak gifts.  When I returned from Africa the first time, my brother and I bought a few things for our parents–like a new toaster and a few other small kitchen things to make life a little easier.  We were concerned that Mom and Dad would insist we return them.  So we hatched a scheme to help them accept the gifts.

We decided to start a tradition of Tuesday Presents because, after all, who doesn’t need a valid reason to celebrate and give and receive presents?  We settled on Tuesday because it was the only day of the week that lacked any recommendation. Monday is sometimes part of a long weekend, and if it’s not . . . well it’s not exactly celebratory.  Wednesday signals the beginning of the end.  Thursday is celebrated when it’s the last workday before a long weekend.  Friday?  Well it’s always at least partially counted in the weekend.  Saturday and Sunday are their own happiness.  Tuesdays?  They’re either the Monday ofter a long weekend or nothing.  So we started celebrating Tuesdays.

Not every Tuesday gets celebrated.  That might seem excessive.  However, any Tuesday is open for celebration.  It has become the day we give “thinking of you gifts.”  Once in a while a package will arrive emblazoned with the directive, “DON”T OPEN TIL TUESDAY!!!!!!”  It’s especially bad when those packages arrive on Wednesday, but it’s also fun to anticipate what might be in the box.  There are also days when you get a Tuesday present on another weekday.  Those are very good days, too.

My nephews have taken to making videos (with the help of their very patient father) as gifts for my mom and me when we were both very sick this summer.  It’s a great combination of love languages that winds up in the form of a present.  If missed the masterpiece they made for me, you can check it outI’m joining the Faith Barista’s jam again this week.  Leave me a comment and then hop on over to the Jam and see how others are Unwrapping Love today.  You won’t be sorry.

photo courtesy of migs212 on Flickr Creative Commons

8 responses to “Unwrapping Love”

  1. Thanks for your words, Sheryl. Your family is phenomenal with presents! My language is definitely time- face to face is the best, but some of my most cherished moments have been conversations on the phone. I can’t wait to see you this summer, ’cause I also love hugs!

  2. I’m so proud to be the mother of someone who really enjoys Tuesday presents. I like them also and enjoy every one. I’m even more proud to be the mom of one daughter who loves giving to others. You give of yourself so freely that at times your love tank gets depleted. I know God is teaching you muc about taking better care of yourself. Some lessons never get mastered, but to God’s honor, you keep trying. God is faithful, He is good and his love for you is never ending. Love you much.

  3. Love the Tuesday gift idea My kids tend to give me things but never on a specific day Granddaughter Rori likes to make pictures for our family etc Last weekend she made a heart out of beads at AC Moore or Michaels I don’t remember which one but it’s hanging on the tree Small Christmas tree is still up and waiting to be decorated for Valentine’s Day Her little heart she made is already on it Now for grandma and Rori to get busy and make more Have to ask Sue if she has any heart material left from the heart wreaths we recently made Every day should be LOVE day with Jesus as our friend God bless you Sheryl

  4. Soul,
    I think my language is more quality time… Maybe also affirmation. I didn’t take the test. I find I have to really school myself to love the people with your love language in my life… I just don’t think of gifts that much. I’m glad I know about Tuesdays now.

  5. “Unwrapping love” — what a great way to look at lots of things in life. My mom shows gifts through love too, I think. She would often turn around in the car seat, facing us and unwrap a tiny package of m&ms, sharing them evenly with us. Tiny gifts shared unwrap love, huh? Sweet. It makes me miss her more. She is still in Senegal right now.

    Happy Friday. 🙂

    Jennifer Dougan

  6. Wow! I’m loving all the gifts of words on here! Thank you. You kind of made my weekend.

    Ginger–I’d say you’re pretty fluent in gifts, too. Your presence this summer is a huge gift to me. When you come to the family’s CA gathering spot, you always bring gifts–be it dinner, books, really cool toys, yourself or one of your sons. 🙂 You’re very good at gifts. I can’t wait to hug you this summer–and maybe even sooner . . . like at Follies!

    Mom–I’m glad to have a mom who appreciates Tuesday presents! Thanks for the reminder of what God is doing and who he is. You know I need it.

    Joanne–thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! It sounds like you and Rori have a blast together. What a precious gift that is!

    Soul–No pressure to give Tuesday gifts. REALLY. You’re right it can be work to learn to speak others’ language. Sadly, quality time is my least fluent of the languages. I’m learning though. I remember being stymied when people wanted to come and sit with me when I had malaria. It took me years to figure out that usually that meant they were fluent in quality time and were expressing love to me. I’m getting better at it, but I still have a lot to learn.

    Jennifer–It does sound like your Mom is a gift person. I think a lot of the gift idea is easily adaptable to appreciating the other gifts. If I know your primary love language is words of affirmation, then when you verbally affirm me, I need to accept that as a gift. I guess it’s all in the attitude. I’ll bet you miss her. Senegal isn’t exactly around the corner–though there are many days I wish it were!

  7. I LOVE the 5 Love language books. It has helped me ‘love’ on the others in my life the way I know will mean the most to them. While I love a good gift too, mine is more affirmation.

    Loving those in our lives well is what it’s all about!
    Thanks for sharing!

  8. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Alecia! Loving people well–it is what it’s about! Some days it’s much easier than others, isn’t it? I think learning the way another receives love is so crucial. It may feel awkward at first, but I doubt they notice how awkward we are!

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