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Love Languages

That quick phrase - love languages - now has become common.  Dr. Gary Chapman's book, The Five Love Languages listed the different love languages. Described how we all speak love a certain way and receive love sometimes a different way.  Dr. Chapman described ways that you can break through communication barriers with those you love simply by learning to speak with the correct tongue.

I remember easily identifying my languages as words of affirmation. I know that to be true immediately.  It always has been.  If i think back to the most important moments of my life, they have always been sweet, joyous, or painful due to the words that shaped them.
I have boxes and boxes of cards I have saved from friends that scrapbook my life.  I pull these out a couple times a year and get lost in the memories, joy, humor, and mileposts that these hallmark stamped letters represent.  If i was a collector of anything or a would be cards and books.  Of course books, because they are filled with words..
When you are married you soon realize that most likely you and your honey do not speak the same languages.  Obviously and for good reason.  If my man spoke love through words we'd never get off the runway of a day...we'd both have too much to say.
There have been a  few humorous new dialects i've learned and so has he over the past eight years and sometimes they do sound a bit foreign or ridiculous when spoken with my or his accent...
I now know how to slowly comb over a flea market or antique store and not feel the need to escape and let him mull over it.  Or I pretend to at least :)
I now do not have to make breakfast. The necessity of breakfast is a part of my DNA. You can't be a Griffin and not eat breakfast. You just can't. I remember getting up when we were first married and making hot breakfasts for my husband who simply would sit down somewhat begrudgingly to biscuits and eggs and push them around on his plate. At first I was baffled.  Somehow i had envisioned quiet moments around our hand -me - down breakfast table. Starting the day off together.  Well it was not to be, and now thats okay with me.  More time to sleep and less dishes.
 Besides the only hot beverage my husband would ever  wrap his hands around and share with me would be if anyone could invent Mountain Dew flavored arabica beans.  Then we might actually be able to share a sip.
I like the food languages we now speak, better.  Together we speak love better in crab stuffed mushrooms and creamed spinach that he makes and I love.  Way better than fluffy eggs any day!

I don't speak hunting.  I have contemplated going with him dressed in camouflage and holding a thermos in a blind (I think that is what it is called, i could be wrong?) at dark thirty in the morning scouting for that elusive eight point buck...
Well thats as far as I've made it.  Because the idea of shivering silently in the night somehow is lost on me.  I don't speak that language, but he does.

I remember a few mega arguments that we always have...language barriers and conflict conversations that seemingly never will be resolved.  I refer to ours as the turquoise rottweiler.  His dream dog painted my favorite color.  Two things that we staunchly oppose.  Its like a stymie that is never going to be breached.
And thats okay, I will never say, "Yes." to a black and copper 'roddie' puppy and he will never smile joyously as I slather all shades of teal throughout the house.
I can be okay with that.
Lost in a book this summer I read the lines that 70 percent of what married couples fight about will never be resolved.  Ever.  I think we are all in good company.

We can learn though to speak new dialects and try different languages despite feeling foreign to us.  This year for mothers day my husband was beaming as he gave me my present three days early.  I gingerly removed the tissue paper and fished for what would await at the bottom.  I pulled out a purple covered Kindle.  I had to smile.
This gift was a marriage of both of our languages.  My need for words and his love for technology.  A perfect fit.  I smiled big.  I was going to try something new. ( I have always said I would never read a Kindle or want one because I love the feel of books) But I was wrong.  My husband was trying to communicate with me using something he speaks, electronics and it worked.  I fly through books now and I think he likes watching me lost somewhere in my Kindle.  All because of Him trying to speak my language with his own twist.  It was my favorite present I've received on mothers' day. (The usual present of flowers always end up dead in 1.5 months. )

Kids have all sorts of love languages and ways to express all the childlike exuberant love they feel.  For everything.
My middle child speaks love in snuggles and mama arms wrapped around, her head on my chest in early morning.
My baby still speaks love in milk and her eyes dance when her daddy walks in the room.
My oldest child speaks love in projects, in her visions of greatness coming true.  And I am not kidding.  She is my creative, planner.  A few weeks ago after one of her newly hatched plans I smiled at her and said, "Meredith, you are a visionary."  And she nodded her dark blonde bangs in agreement, "Yes I am."
She's six.
We spent three days this past week trying to make one of her plans come true.  She found four old boxes and had to make them into something amazing, a cat bed. And Not just a cat bed, but a play house cat bed.  I try to encourage her (most of the time) in her pursuit of some wild plans.  When I can.  But this time, everyone chipped in.  After she constructed the original design, daddy stepped in and helped her make it more sturdy and then Monday night found us all at LOWE's buying carpet for this now 'legit' cat bed.
I hauled this carpeted card board box bed to Meredith's school for her weekly presentation and she was beaming.
When she pulled the sheet back and showed what her mind's eye had dreamed up and had materialized she was pleased.
Letting Meredith be her visionary self is one of her love languages.  One that can be a little bit tiring and exasperating as the plans keep morphing into bigger and better. (Imagine her plans for birthdays).
Meredith also has another love language I've named, 'Oooey, gooey brownie love'.  I had to name it this because quite frankly it would annoy me. I coined the phrase because she would come up to me laughing and endlessly hugging me repeating over and over again, "I just love you."
Thats sweet, but when it continues on and on you become a little claustrophobic.
To defuse my annoyance I one day decided I would use it whenever she decided to speak love to me in this somewhat over the top way.  Now instead of annoyed we both laugh and smile when she croons like a six year old Elvis, "I just love you."
I know she loves me and I would not want to miss the message.  I just had to learn to appreciate the language.
Isn't it interesting that God uses all sorts of languages to speak His love to us.  The skies, creation, sweet relationships on earth, and His Word that is made flesh and real to us in His Son. That the boldest way, the most total way He has ever spoken is through the bloody death of Himself.  Something we have so often failed to appreciate, failed to interpret and understand.
How many times has the love of others and our God been lost on us, lost in translation?  Because we failed to see it, missed it, refused to speak new languages, perhaps the greatest thing missing is that we need the help of the Holy Spirit to interpret love for us.

The Visionary 

The happy Cat playing with Meredith's hair curler suspended by a head band


  1. Summer,
    Your posts are so entertaining -- I read through, delighting in what you have to say! I too save cards and letters and love the written word, and what a wonderful gift from your husband of the Kindle! (I love the feel of a book in my hand too so I applaud you trying the Kindle!)

    My sister's husband is a hunter and she is a dedicated animal lover, but she has gone to stay at the hunting camp because her husband so delighted in it! :) She wears a girlie camo T-shirt, too! Loved the story about your differences in breakfasts - -there was so much richness to this post! Loved it! :)

  2. Valerie, thank you so much for your sweet words. I have to admit i think the Kindle is my favorite way to read. When I see my percentage left i press on...haha. Well I guess I need to get myself to a tree stand and speak cold November and hot chocolate with my husband in the silence. I will try to ONCE this Autumn. I'll let you know how it goes...

  3. Summer,
    What a sweet story about you and your hubby and your how love teaches us new languages :)

  4. I love this! All 4 of us definitely have different love languages. :). Life is never dull!


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