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Love is a Verb: Quality Time

Between all the “have tos” in life is this precious substance called time.
Time is finite. Only 24 hours per day. 7 days per week. 52 weeks per year.

Time is not guaranteed. You do not know how many of these 24 hour days you’ll have.

So each of those days has so much value.

Yet we groan every Monday and beg for Friday to roll around. I’m just as guilty, believe me. I love the freedom of my weekends. Sleeping in. Alone time. Bliss.

Being introverted…I NEED alone time. And trust me when I say all y’all around me should cheer that I take alone time. I’m nicer as a result. 😉

But quality time with my people is priceless and delicious, and I need that too. I feel loved and show love by giving people my time. I do my very best to have one on one time with each of my nieces and nephews. To pour into them. To listen to them. To find out who they are and see where I can support, encourage, or dream with them. I find out how to pray for them. And let’s face it…they are a blast those kids. Seriously fun. I love them. More than they can possibly imagine.

Quality time doesn’t have to be long periods of time. But you do need to be engaged with the other person. Focused on them. Not the tv. Not your phone. Not social media. But actively listening and talking with the other person.

Quality time can be as simple as taking a walk with a friend. I miss the Walkie Talkies I used to have with my friend Kate (I moved so we are several states away now), and the deep meandering discussions I had with my friend Rachel on our walks together. Quality time can be going to breakfast the same time every week for decades, like my Papa did with his big brother, Bob. Quality time can also be a weekend away or a road trip.

But here’s the tough part about quality time, we simply do not have enough time in the day to give quality time to every single person we know. It is physically impossible. So with limited resource of time and the 2 commandments of Jesus (loving God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and loving our neighbor as ourselves), how can we best invest our quality time?

Well…the best example of time management was a man who only lived for 33 years on this earth. His name is Jesus. Jesus loved with all that He had. He knew how to be a servant. He spoke words of life. He gave the ultimate gift. His touch healed every single person that He touched. Literally every single one. And He understood how to balance His time.

He rested, and invested in Himself with alone time. He spent time with the Father. These two things are essential if you want to have anything to give to anyone else. Quality time with yourself + Quality time with Father God = A Filled Up You. Therefore, a better you at work, school, or where you “have to” go every day. If Jesus couldn’t love the World without alone time and God time, neither can you.

A filled up Jesus was then capable of pouring the love He received from the Father out into the world. Jesus loved everyone He encountered. But it was the love He first received from the Father.

But despite this, Jesus did not invest quality time in every single person He encountered. And neither can you. No matter how much time you spend receiving from God.

Jesus invested His time into 12. Out of the whole world, 12.

But the majority of his quality time was reserved for 3 people. 3.

Remember that when you’re scheduling out your time. Who are the people in your circle who are the top priority? A friend in crisis? Your kids? Your spouse? Your inner circle of friends? A person who you’re mentoring? Who ever those chosen few may be, don’t forget to carve out some of your precious time for them. Quality time=love.

Point to ponder while you wander…Papa God is all about quality time with us. He asks us to seek Him, then promises that He’ll show up every time. And He’ll fill you with His love. He’ll reveal who He is, and give us help with our day. What He did for Jesus, He’ll do for you.

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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.