Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I could do that

Hubby and I read a devotional this morning about envy. As in, looking at what others have (or can do) and negatively questioning why THEY can have it (or do it) and why YOU cannot.
At first I thought - oh, I never do that, but then realized that is EXACTLY what I have been doing.
As I wrote a couple of days ago, I have been having problems with blog envy. I have been envying not only what people HAVE but also what they DO. How appropriate that we should stumble upon this devotion today.
So, what have I learned? With every ability comes responsibility - that is, if you are an accomplished piano player, it is only because you have spent hour upon hour practicing it. If you are a good cook, it is only because you have spent countless hours in the kitchen both trying and failing at recipes before you reached your current level of culinary brilliance. Also, those with these outstanding abilities are probably envious of an ability that you may have.
For example: i have a dear friend who can cook up a storm. Nearly every time I go over, there is a fresh batch of baked treats cooling on the stove. She greets people with grace and welcomes them into her home. I have often envied her ability to be so hospitable. As for me, I cannot bake to save my life (one exception is banana bread - that is one thing I can do really really well), I nearly have a nervous breakdown trying to cook dinner, and the thought of having people over to my house sends me into a massive cleaning frenzy.
I have some abilities that she does not - to keep up with an exercise program, and to clean my house with incredible precision. These things that I may look upon as curses at times are coveted by my friend, while she may not see cooking and baking as glamorous, but they are the very things I wish I had.
The moral to all of this? Envy has no point really. There is something to be said for admiring someone else's accomplishments and attempting them for yourself, but if you are just going to sit back and complain that you can't have those things too, you are only hurting yourself. Right? Right. Or so my mother always told me.
I get a daily email on how to show love to your husband. This is not because I have trouble showing love to my hubby, but because I am looking for unique ideas. The one I received this morning was all about using your mate's "love language". I have become very interested in the whole love language philosophy after attempting to discover my children's unique languages and then apply the technique for myself. Trust me, this works.
My daughter, the Mouth, for example has the love language of 'quality time' which means that in order for you to connect with her in the most deepest and intimate of ways, you need to do it with time spent with her. Not that we all don't need a little time now and then, but she seems to need a great deal more in order to feel truly loved. When I am sitting at my computer or working on some study at the table and she comes up and natters away and bugs and bugs and bugs, I find that if I stop what I am doing and FOCUS intently on her, spend some time playing Pet Shop or some other favorite activity, she feels completely fulfilled and will be satisfied for another few hours.
My oldest, the Fidget, has the love language of "words of affirmation". If you really want to show him love, you just need to compliment him on something he is doing right and you will have a super happy kid on your hands. He is completely motivated by praise, and it is amazing to see the difference this makes in his demeanor and behaviour.
Then comes the youngest, the Joker. His language is "physical touch" which means that in order for him to feel completely connected, he has to be hugged, caressed, cuddled, or sitting on your lap.
You may be thinking that these are obvious ways to show love to your children. And when I say that they have one specific love language, I am not excluding the other languages in favor of the one. What I am saying is that there is one specific way that they respond best. The Mouth is not really into the cuddle thing, unless she is really tired or sick, and The Fidget is not really into quality time. On the same note, the Joker is oblivious to compliments, but that could be because of his age.
As for me? I am an "acts of service" person - that is, I give and receive love best through things I do or are done to me. When my hubby vacuums or does a sinkful of dishes, it means more to me than a bouquet of roses. If I really want to show someone I care, I try to think of something I can do. This is where the difficulties arise - not everyone cares about acts....and so sometimes my efforts are in vain.
So back to my hubby. He is a physical touch kind of guy. And no, not every guy is a touch kind of guy. Okay, maybe they are. I think the way I will show him tonight is a giant hug and kiss when he comes home, maybe a neck rub later. Hopefully this will inspire him to do the dishes or put away his laundry........ha ha ha ha ha sorry, fell off my chair there for a second.

Lastly, I have reached the point of ultimate annoyance with my children's newly-acquired noisy toys. It has been nearly 1 month since Christmas, and I am just about ready to break out the screwdriver and take out all the batteries. Why, oh, why, toy makers, do you insist on making these toys so insanely loud? My kids feel the need to raise their voices to be heard over the toys, which leads me to raise my voice, which gives me a headache and we all end up grumpy. And the culprit? THE NOISY TOYS!!!
SO that is all for today, I am off to LOVE my kids until hubby comes home from work...and to think of ways to convince him to wash the pots & pans.

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