Saturday, January 14, 2012

Today I cried in the middle of Subway.

I had been feeling "down" for a while now, not quite sure why.  The kids were driving me extra crazy, I couldn't seem to do anything right, and in spite of diligently counting points, the scale just wasn't cooperating.  More than that, I felt invisible, unappreciated, and unsuccessful.

For some reason, in the middle of Subway I realized the problem.

My love language is Words of Affirmation (with physical touch coming in a close second).  I absolutely thrive on words of encouragement and appreciation.  In fact, I realized while blubbering in the Subway bathroom that many of my decisions have been based on something someone other than my parents said to me.  (Mom and Dad give me encouragement all the time, and I'm extremely grateful for it, but there's just something about hearing it from someone who doesn't "have to" love you.  Know what I mean?)  This isn't necessarily a bad thing.  It's how God has wired me, and I believe He has used this to lead me.

Statement: "You're a great writer.  You really should start a blog."
Result: trying to resurrect this blog.

Statement: "You should teach college math."
Result: went to Georgia Tech for an MS instead of staying at Auburn for an M.Ed.

Statement: "You've got great legs."
Result: walking down the aisle in a white dress and saying "I do."  :)  (OK, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but he did say it, it did change my life, and it's why you won't see me wearing pants to church unless there's a foot of snow on the ground.)

I do a lot of invisible jobs these days, and they are sorely lacking in words of affirmation.  Home school teacher - no verbal affirmation except when we are doing something really fun.  Mama - mostly I hear whining and arguing and complaining about anything healthier than a corn dog.  Online teacher - I do get occasional positive feedback here, and it makes my day when it happens, but mostly it's just questions.  Blogger - I have a grand total of 12 followers, and three of those are my mother, my sister, and me.

If you don't speak this love language, this whole post will probably just sound needy, silly, whiny, or even snobby.  Why should I need to hear someone say that I'm doing a good job?  Because it's like the air that I breathe.  Without it, I start feeling completely empty and defeated.  Others of you feel this way about spending time with someone or getting regular hugs.  Others feel most loved when someone does some act of service.  Still others of you feel most loved when someone gives you a gift.

My husband is actually very well suited to meet this need of mine because he gives awesome pep talks.  He is the reason I survived grad school.  He gave the most wonderful rehearsal dinner speech I have ever heard - it was two sentences I think, but it was exactly the right thing to say.  But he realized today that he had forgotten this about me.  We have gotten so busy being parents that we haven't been spending as much time together as we should.  As a result, neither of us is feeling particularly loved.

I'm so thankful that the Lord speaks this love language, too.  I asked Him for some words of affirmation today, and this is what He brought to mind:

I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well.  Psalm 139:14  He likes how I look!

He has brought me to his banquet hall, and his banner over me is love.  Song of Solomon 2:4  He loves me!

Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.  Proverbs 31:30  He created me with this need for acknowledgment, and He has promised its fulfillment when I seek to honor Him.

But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  Matthew 10: 30  He notices me!  I am not invisible to Him.

By the way, he speaks every love language.  Just ask Him to speak to you in your language and see what happens.  He wants to show you how much you are loved.

I know without a doubt that there are some needs in our hearts that can only be met by the Lord, and it is painful for all involved when we try to get those needs met in other ways.  However, I do believe that the Lord does expect husbands and wives (and friends and family) to understand and seek to meet those needs that we ARE designed to meet.  Are you feeling unloved by your husband?  Does he know that?  Does he know what he might could change?  Is your husband feeling unloved by you, even though you may be doing or saying everything that says love to you?  Make sure you're speaking his language.

Not sure what I'm talking about?  Check out this book.

I just bought The 5 Love Languages for Children.  I want to make sure I speak their language, too.  Naturally, I give them words of affirmation all the time, but is that what speaks love to them?  I need to know this.

So today, I cried in the middle of Subway.  And it's one of the best things I've done in quite a while.

Disclaimer: This post may be linked up to one or more of the following blog parties.  Check them out! Monday: Menu Plan Monday on I'm an Organizing Junkie, Wednesday: Works for Me Wednesday at We are THAT Family, Friday: 5 Minute Friday at The Gypsy Mama, Company Girl Coffee at Home Sanctuary
Other days: A Wise Woman Builds Her Home


  1. Definitely can relate to this read. God equipped us for tears for a reason. If a woman is truly honest she experiences these moments of questioning and longing for fulfillment.I know I have. I loved hearing how the Holy Spirit spoke to you and comforted you through God's precious word. Very touching~ May you remember how deeply the Lord is in love with his bride. Blessing to you!

    1. Thank you so much for these kind words, Vicki. So true. I especially appreciated being reminded that I am part of His bride. :)

  2. I especially like what you say about God-met needs vs. our responsibility to "seek to meet those needs that we ARE designed to meet."
    Thanks for this post; it has truly blessed me.
    Jan (a Company Girl)

    1. Thank you, Jan. I think the hard part sometimes is recognizing the difference between God-met needs vs those that can be met by others. Although on this particular occasion I needed to ask for more from my husband and he has graciously responded, still other times I have gotten into trouble by expecting him to meet needs that only God is intended to meet.

  3. Very well said...and I can relate, although I have no idea of my love language, I even posted about that once, I like all of them...I think my love language is chocolate! Anyway, I can totally understand how you are feeling, especially as a home school mom...I NEVER get words of thanks or appreciation for that...mostly just a headache and putting out fires!

    I LOVE how you said that God speaks all the love completely perfect! And you are right, when you are in the depths and someone gives you just one "right" verse to cling to, it is amazing what you can get through!

    Have a great weekend!

    1. Your love language is chocolate! LOL I love that! I think my other one might be Krispy Kreme doughnuts. ;)

      Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope you have a great weekend, too.

  4. I can relate! I am a homeschool mom of four children and my top love language is also words of affirmation (my second is quality time). Those specific words of what I am doing right -- are such encouragement that I rarely get. Learning to trust the Lord and seek Him and that He will provide the here & now verbal affirmations that I need through His words in His book and through His people.

    1. Sounds like we should become pen pals of encouragement! Thank you so much for stopping by, Kathleen. Have a great weekend!

  5. Thank you for posting about love languages! I need to figure out what mine are, but after reading your post I know that I crave verbal affirmation and encouragement. I do belong to a small online group of incredible ladies, and we do our best to encourage each other as much as possible. :D I can't wait to read more of your blog!

    1. Hi Beth! Thanks for stopping by. :) I really recommend the Love Languages book. I'm reading the one for children now, trying to figure out how best to "speak" love to my children.

  6. Laura, it's nice to know other people cry at odd moments. I thought I was the only one.

    "More than that, I felt invisible, unappreciated, and unsuccessful." I'm pretty sure everyone can relate to that....I fight this feeling all the time. Wondering what on earth I'm doing - lots of things, none as successfully as I think they should be. Your encouragement hit me perfectly today. THANK YOU!

  7. I totally understand that. Words of Affirmation is my love language (right next to Acts of Service). Hubby's is Physical attention and quality time. Neither of us scored anything in the gifts department which is good because money is tight lol!!!

    So yes I get it! And I'm a new follower :-)

  8. We are all wired so differently. I don't care about words of affirmation, but I still loved this post and don't think you are being whiny!

    I came over here from Angell's blog.

    My hubs and I are reading the love language devotional ( got it free for the kindle ~ not sure if it's still free or not.

    I haven't received more touches (my love language) because of that book, but it feels good to read something together with my spouse.

    I still haven't figured out my hubs' love language yet. I know it's definitely not touch! FYI - I loved the book Captivating ~ it made a huge difference in my life.


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