Monday, March 29, 2010

Book Review: The Five Love Languages

Title: The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate

Author: Gary Chapman

Categories: Relationships [child/parent, husband/wife, friend/friend], Love, Self-Reflection, Marriage

Synopsis: Everyone has a love language.  What is a love language?  It is the way in which you perceive/receive love.  There are 5 love languages:
  1. Words of Affirmation
  2. Quality Time
  3. Acts of Service
  4. Receiving of Gifts
  5. Physical Touch
While you may immediately think, "Hey, I like all five of those!" chances are only one is your primary love language ("PLL").  Chapman writes, "My conclusion after thirty years of marriage counseling is that there are basically five emotional love languages--five ways that people speak and understand emotional love."

After some introductory chapters, Chapman then gives each love language its own chapter where he describes the love language in detail and gives examples from couples he has counseled over the years.  Chapman then gives the reader an opportunity to determine what their love language is.  Here are a few waysto determine what your PLL is:
  • think of how you mostly express love to others.  This may evidence what your PLL is.  i.e. you express love the way in which you wish to receive love.
  • think of your complaints of your friends/spouse or ways in which they make you feel unloved.  That may reveal what your PLL is. i.e.  You always complain that your spouse does not tell you how much he/she likes the way you dress, how you cook, etc... this may be an indication that "words of affirmation" is your PLL.
  • Chapman writes "what makes you feel most loved by your spouse? what do you desire above all else?  If the answer to those questions does not leap to your mind immediately, perhaps it will help to look at the negative use of love languages.  What does your spouse do or say or fail to do or say that hurts you deeply? . . .  If your primary love language is used negatively by your spouse--that is, he does the opposite--it will hurt you more deeply than it would hurt someone else."
  • think about what you request the most from your spouse.  this may indicate your PLL as well.
Chapman then discusses how "love is a choice" and talks about the importance of selflessness in the marriage relationship. speaking your spouse's love language even if they aren't speaking yours.  He ends his book with a short chapter about understanding your child's PLL. He talks about how your child, at a young age, develops a PLL unintentionally and how speaking your child's PLL is very important. He also notes that chances are if you have more than one child, each child's PLL will be different so don't try a "one size fits all" solution for all of your children.

My Thoughts:   There are a number of things I liked about this book.  First, I actually learned something about myself (always a PLUS!).  Coming into the book I was pretty sure what my PLL was.  BUT after reading the book, my PLL is actually not what I thought it was (I just knew I spoke QT, but it turns out my PLL is acts of service and QT is my secondary language).   So, learning something about myself gives this book a plus for sure.  I also found it interesting to see how I rank the five languages in significance. 

Second, although Chapman doesn't really discuss love languages outside of the spouse and children context, I really believe this applies to any close relationships that we have.  However, I also think that our PLL may vary depending on the relationship.  At least mine does.  For my friends, my PLL is quality time.  Receiving a gift, words of affirmation, acts of service, and/or a warm embrace when I'm down from a friend is great.  BUT, for me, it really means a great deal when friends make time for me.  Not just time, quality time.  Likewise, it really hurts a great deal when friends don't make quality time for me.  Thus, I learned that my PLL in my most important (female) friendships is quality time. 

Like I said, Chapman does not go into the friendship relationship, but it was very easy for me to assess my PLL in all of my relationships through this book.  Do you perceive love differently from friends? parents? spouse? or do you have the same PLL for all of those people?  I'm sure, for some, you may speak the same PLL for each of those relationships.  But I learned that I do not.

Third, Chapman really focuses on selflessness.  Which, in my humble opinion, is one of the most important words in the marriage relationship.  He really talks about the importance of learning and speaking your spouse's love language even when you do not feel as though they are speaking yours.  Some of his examples from couples that he has counseled were quite moving.  By focusing on what others' PLL is, the book reminds the reader that "it's not always about you!"   Trying to learn the PLL of your friends, family, spouse may help you express love in ways you never have before.

Recommend?  I would definitely recommend this book to any couple that is engaged.  But honestly, I can see how many married couples could also benefit from this book.  And like I said, I was able to take Chapman's analysis/discussion of the 5 love languages and apply it outside of the marriage context.  So really anyone could read the book and learn something.  However, I'd say the target audience is engaged and/or married couples.

Rating (A-F): Solid A

If you've read The Five Love Languages please let me know your thoughts!!


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Master Makeover Part I: Inspiration & Paint

One big project that we're working on (v e r y   s l o w l y) is our master bedroom.  I want to paint the walls and change out our bedroom furniture.  This makeover, however, is going to take some time.  So, let's start at step 1--be inspired!  CHECK!

These two bedrooms below have inspired me and I look at them at least once a day! 

This first picture exudes clean, crisp, and calm vibes!  All vibes I want our master bedroom to give off.  A place to relax at the end of a long day.  Almost like a 5-star hotel feel.  But, at the same time...

We want the room to have a "comfortable to live here/cozy" feeling which I think this picture definitely has. 

So, check for inspiration.  Step 2--pick a wall color!  

I am really enjoying the medium blue tone on the wall, the question though is what shade of blue...who knew there were so many options in the blue hue?!! WHEW!  So now our bedroom wall looks like this...

 the colors aren't showing accurately with the flash from the camera

We're testing out paint colors galore for a wall color.  So, stuck in step 2 for a while but stay tuned!!  

Trying to decide which blue hue to do,

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Contact Sports...

Nope, not talking about football or wrestling, I'm talking about trying to place pretty contact paper in my kitchen cabinets & drawers!!  It felt like a sport.  My knees hurt (bending to cut contact paper and insert it on bottom cabinets), my fingers ached, and I screamed at least three times! lol  Why didn't anyone warn me that putting down contact paper was so tricky?!  Trying to avoid the air bubbles & wrinkles proved to be quite the challenge and it's just so sticky!!! BUT thanks to some of my handy dandy sewing tools, I finally figured out a way to beat the contact paper system.  So the final score was Shunta 1, Contact Paper 0!

I ran across this purdy contact paper at Target and thought it'd be perfect in our kitchen.  I like the concept of contact paper because not only does it beautify the inside of the wood cabinets and drawers, it also protects the wood as well as the items that I place in the cabinets.

See how purdy...

 It will definitely compliment the greens I plan to place around the kitchen. 

After finishing two cabinets, I took a week off from contact paper. I was that over it!!  I even solicited help, but no one came to my rescue!! (well, Sonja said she would but we ended up spending about three hours in Bed Bath & Beyond and Marshalls Homegoods instead that day) 

Then, one day, it dawned on me--why not use my fabric rolly cutter (not it's official name) and my self-healing mat to cut the contact paper into the exact measurement needed.  That really helped me a lot!!  ::insert angelic "AHHHHHHHH" sound!::  It was just like my 1L year of law school when I finally figured out what consideration was!!  (this will mean nothing to my non-law school readers...but trust me, it's a great feeling!! LOL!!) 

So those are a few pictures of some of the cabinets/drawers...see how nice the contact paper is! Definitely takes the cabinets from a B to an A+!

I did something very similar in the hallway closet as well.  Except, I learned my lesson and used the non sticky decorative stuff.  See the drastic before & after!  This cute paper can be found at BBB!

Anywho, this was one of my first projects in the house!  Stay tuned for more!  What are some of your favorite ways to add a little more personality/character to your storage areas around the house?  Do share!!


Monday, March 15, 2010

There's No Place Like Home!

As of February 2010 we are home owners!! Praise the Lord Jesus!  It's truly been the most adult thing I've ever done in my life (so many papers to sign!!)!  So it's been more than a blessing to share the entire experience with Troy and learn all about home buying together.   We've been humbled by how smoothly and problem-free the entire process was, how our new home fits our wants and needs, and how the Lord really had a door open for us and through our lives of obedience we were able to just walk right on in as stewards of our charming home!  

Our fab realtor gave us this very nice card & gift card on the day of closing.  Funny, I've been to Home Depot more times in the past two weeks than if you counted every trip to Home Depot in my entire life!! (today at Home Depot--yes I went today!--one of the ladies who works there noted how often I've been in lately! lol)

Now you see why I haven't been posting as much as I usually do (thanks to Sonja & Jameela who actually emailed me to see what was up with the lack of postings!! That made me feel pretty cool!).  But hoping to really get back to it soon because I have SO many fun things to post about!  In particular, I have to show you pictures of the outcome of my battle with contact paper in the kitchen cabinets!  It was touch and go for a while, but I came out on top!  Anywho, stay tuned because there will be TONS of decorating, DIY projects, etc... posts coming this way!  

P.S. for those of you with very critical eyes, you'll notice that the pictures from the previous post of me in the kitchen are from our apartment while the pictures of the pillows are from our new home (hardwood floors give it away)!!  I was hoping no one would notice until I did this post! 

P.P.S. I had to wait until this week to post about the house because Troy & I wanted to surprise Regina with the house during her visit to Greenville last week!  She was surprised!!  And now that she knows, I can share with everyone else... 

To Jesus Christ alone be the glory!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Say It Aint Sew!

Sew, you wanna know where I've been?  Well, I have a number of answers to that question (I'll share more answers later!), but one in particular is I've taken on a new hobby--sewing!!  And my first project was to create some nice throw pillow covers to liven up our living room furniture (I was SO over the huge pillows that came with the couch).  

So, Ruth (my brand new sewing machine), Naomi (my new yard stick), and I have been trying to make pillow covers that accent the green in the sofas.  Here are some pictures of the process:

When I finished my first project I was so happy I danced around the house all night! Here's the finished product!

Well, this is just the tip of the iceberg...stay tuned for some exciting news!!

Staying busy,