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Continual Nourishment

I love each of you with the same love that the Father loves me. You must continually let my love nourish your hearts.” John 15:9 TPT

Jesus wants to nourish our hearts, continually. Not just once. Not occasionally. Not just when He feels like it. But continually!

But the kicker here is we have a choice whether or not to receive His love and let us nourish us or not.

How do we receive nourishment from His love?

1. To get the love nourishment we need to grow, we need to read and study about His love in the Word.

So what does Jesus’s love looks like? Check out the gospel of John.

What does love mean? I Corinthians 13 for the Biblical definition of love & I John is good too.

2. Then we need to believe He loves us. Not just know it as trivia or a random fact. But to believe it so much, meditate on it and marinate in it so regularly, that it changes how we see ourselves.

Let it give you confidence in who the Father created you to be, and help you grow into the very best version of you.

Point to ponder while you wander… Today ponder what nourish means in the context of John 15:9 TPT

nour·ish (verb) to provide with the food or other substances necessary for growth, health, and good condition
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Love is a Verb:  Acts of Service

Last week I told you a long and rambling story of how love languages came to the forefront of my ever cluttered mind. In that vein, I’m doing a blog series on the 5 love languages as described by Dr. Gary Chapman.

I remember reading his book and thinking that it wasn’t a 100% accurate theory, but I was inspired by thought behind it and the good doctor’s intent. It encouraged me to pay even closer attention to those I love and try to love them in a way that made them feel loved. Many times we love people how we want to be loved. We do things for other people that we want done for ourselves. Thinking they want and need what we want and need. Unfortunately, it’s not always the case.

I always appreciate it when people offer to help me or are willing to do things for me. I have been on my own for a long time, and am used to doing things for myself consistently. Therefore, I’m not always great at accepting help. I have to put serious effort into allowing others to help me. It is important because this may be their way of showing me they care, and if I continually reject their offers of assistance, they may feel rejected or unloved.

I believe love is a verb. An action. Not an emotion. I believe love is a choice. A decision to be kind and patient, even when we are angry. To deliberately, and purposefully put your selfishness on a shelf and focus on someone else’s need.

There are many kinds of love. A parent’s love for a child. A sibling’s love for another sibling. A friend’s love for a friend. A general concern for other humans in the world. Passionate love of those in a coupledom. The English word for love just isn’t sufficient to describe all the ways we can feel and show love.

Keeping the many kinds of love in your mind, think about acts of service as a language in each of those kinds of love. How we can choose to love each of those in our spheres by choosing to serve them?

Dr. Chapman defines those who give and receive love as an act of service as: “For these people, actions speak louder than words.”

So if a person in your sphere is speaks in the “acts of service” language, how can you show them love?

For general human kind…holding a door, paying for coffee or a meal for the person in line behind you, allowing a mother with a stroller to enter the elevator before you, cleaning the snow off the car for your roommate or neighbor, offering to babysit for a sibling or a neighbor so they can run errands or have a break…and the like. Showing up on time when you say you will, as actions speak louder than words.

For spouses…taking the trash out without being asked, cooking dinner or cleaning up after dinner, and sharing in other household tasks. Being willing to do the things they would normally do, but are too busy to do that day.

For parents towards teens…modeling serving behavior by teaching them how to give of themselves inside and outside of the family, driving to their games, meets, concerts, and other activities without compliant, and attending the events they participate in even if you have zero interest in said event. Many of the things you do for your teens are acts of service.

For kids towards your parents…offering to do household chores without being asked, and actually doing them, or doing any other similar type task without attitude. Being willing to obey rules, I would think, also falls under acts of service too.

For parents towards small kiddos… This is rather evident because you need to serve the small ones otherwise they would not live to be a year old. Diaper changes and feedings, and pretty much every single thing you need to do for them. But as they grow they will want to “help” you. Part of it may be quality time, wanting to be with you, but it also may be them wanting to do things for you to show you that they love you. Allow them to show you they love you with an act of service, and always remember to thank them.

Funny story…When I was small, maybe 5 years old, I wanted to help NaNa in her garden. So she put me in a section that needed to be weeded and told me what to do. So I “helped” her by pulling up every single plant in the vicinity. I was very thorough and pulled up the vegetable plants too. NaNa realized what I was doing, and said “Ah! No. Stop!” I was really upset because I wanted to help her. She smiled at me and said, “I have a new job for you Jill-o Maguillo.” And she put me in the potato plants and showed me how to kill potato bugs by cutting them in half with my fingernails. Then she went back and replanted all the veggie plants I had dug up.

This pic was taken around the time the story took place, spring 1980. This is NaNa, me, and my little sister, Bettie-Jo.

I remember this experience and how NaNa handled it vividly. After we were done and washing up, she thanked me for helping her and for all my hard work. Despite the time she lost weeding her 1 full acre garden, because she had to replant a section due to my thoroughness in plant pulling. So even though I made a mistake, I didn’t feel like I failed. I felt like I helped NaNa, and she appreciated my help.

I know a few people who have serious servant hearts, and are always looking for ways to help other people. Sometimes they get burned out or feel like people take advantage of their generosity. So please say thank you, and acknowledge their actions.

There obviously needs to be some boundaries in all relationships, so if this is your language, don’t allow people to run over you and take advantage. Healthy relationships have give and take.

Be on the look out to do something nice for those in your sphere. Not for a reward, but just to show them they matter to you. Pay attention to people who do things for you, and remember to say thank you and that you appreciate it. Try to reciprocate by helping them in an area that they may need assistance. If someone finds joy in serving you, dollars to donuts, they’d feel loved if you did something for them as well.

Point to ponder while you wander… Jesus said that He came to serve, not to be served. We should all be willing to serve others. He also said, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’ friends.” John 15:13 NLT

Of Massages and Love Languages

I often carry bags full of books and notebooks.  I tend to sit with one foot tucked under the other leg or sit completely slouched over while reading.  My posture is not ideal.  My hips like to come out of alignment.  Soooo….getting massaged or chiropractically adjusted regularly keeps me out of pain.  

I say this because I had my first massage with a new masseur yesterday.  Whenever I am forced to find a new person for hair or massages or eyebrow waxing…I tend to pray the whole voyage there because a bad massage, haircut, or brow wax makes me a very sad Jill.  I am happy to report WOW!  This guy!  Dear God in Heaven…AH-MAY-ZING!

All that to say that while I was getting all my kinks and sore spots rubbed out I started thinking about the power of touch.  Depending upon the type and intention of the touch it can inspire/encourage or destroy someone.  

Random thoughts through my massage…

Yes.  This is my happy place.

Why do people hit each other?  Deal with your inner crap. Don’t inflict it on others.

I still remember being stunned when an ex-boyfriend backhanded me for calling him out on his bad behavior.

I remember being stunned again when another ex who saw what happened jumped in to protect me.

Everyone’s lives would be better if they had regular massages.

Kids need a certain number of hugs per day for survival and 12 hugs a day to grow.  I told my nephew this.  His response involved an eye roll and a compromise….”Can’t you just hug me once and count to 12?”

Ow.  Wow.  Didn’t realize there was a muscle there that required stretching. Dang!

I wish I were taller so I could still give my niece, Hally Jo, spinny hugs.  The last time I tried, her feet touched the ground and we biffed it spectacularly in front of people.  Not awesome.  We were both in dresses.  She told me a few weeks ago she missed my spinny hugs. My heart melted.  Love that girl.

I know my hair will be greasy and all over the place…but yes…please use pressure points on my head and neck.  Ahhh. Bliss

I miss being able to hug my nieces and nephews.  I miss my people.  I miss sitting next to my sister on her couch.  We both are touch and quality time people so we can just sit next to each other and talk or watch Hallmark movies for days and be at the utmost of contentment.

If I were independently wealthy I’d hire this guy to be my own personal masseur.  #dailymassages #goals

Ahhh…my fave part of a massage is when they massage between my elbows and wrists and hands.  

Hands. When is the last time someone held my hand? Ack. Too long.  

Touch and quality time.  Love languagues.  I think those were my top two.

Stop random thoughts here.  Carry on blog post in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…

Have you read about the 5 love languages?  It’s written by a Ph D wielding therapist named Gary Chapman.  The premise is that people give and receive love differently depending upon what they value most.  I bought the book ages ago and read it.  It wasn’t a perfect theory, but it did give me a heart check on how I love other people.

Since it had been a while, I retook the test.  Quality time is my biggest one.  Followed by touch.  Exactly what I remembered, just in backwards order.  You can take it here.

I love alone time.  I need more of it than most people I know.  When I am with people I prefer to be one on one or in small groups so that we can really talk or bond or what have you.  I alternate between being alone and being with my people one at at time.  When I can do this, it fills me up quick.  It’s how I best show that I love someone, by giving them my time and undivided attention.  But with my recent move, I cannot always do that. 

My second love language is touch.  I sat and thought a lot about this one during my massage and into today.  If I don’t know you, or don’t trust you and you touch me…it makes every part of my insides scream and crawl.  I do not like to be touched by people I don’t trust.  Not even a little bit.  On the reverse side, sitting with a kiddo in my lap reading a story, holding someone’s hand, sitting next to someone I love, hugs, and the like also fills my love tank.  Insert “My name is Olaf and I like warm hugs.” quote here.

I believe love is a verb not an emotion.

For the record I can also speak the other 3 languages…words of affirmation, acts of service, and receiving gifts.  I love to encourage, helping others, and give gifts I think people will really like.  I’m not always awesome at receiving encouragement, people doing things for me, and receiving gifts.  

Words… I love written words.  So I appreciate when people say thank you or that they appreciate me, or send a card telling me that.  And who doesn’t enjoy being told they are loved?

Gifts… I appreciate when someone buys me a random gift that shows they know me well and were thinking about me.  I’m not super big on forced gift giving on anniversaries, holidays, or even my birthday.  I’d much rather just be with the people doing something together.  That’s the best kind of gift to me.  

Acts of service…when I lived with other people I appreciated them picking up after themselves or helping me with yard work and cleaning.  Now I appreciate people who call me when they’re going to the store to see if I’d like to go.  I wait for those moments to buy heavy things.  Carrying multiple 12 packs of LaCroix home a half mile from the nearest store is serious exercise.  😉

Not sure if you’re interested in learning about love languages, but it helped me to pay attention and try to love people the way that they need to be loved.  I’m a big believer in love being a verb not an emotion.  So in that vein.  The next few Terrific Tuesdays will be about love languages.  

Would love to hear any input about what makes you feel loved or ways that you show other people you love them.  Comment away friends.  Comment away.

Point to ponder while you wander… Spinny hugs.  A spinny hug is akin to a secret handshake that started between Hally Jo and I when she was anti-hugs…somewhere around age 5.  I bend down and we give each other something akin to a bear hug. Then I stand tall at 5’2″ and pick her up.  Now the fun part…we spin as fast as I am able to rotate.  Giggles generally ensue here.  Hally Jo insisted that her cousin, Abbe, also about 5, be included in the spinny hug club.