What do you love?
I love key lime pie. Or a walk down a leaf-strewn trail. I love sticky kisses (from one of my littles) or a lingering kiss from the man I love.
I love it when someone says, “I’ll listen,” and then they really do.
We all have a hidden language, ways that we feel love and ways that we show love.
We may know what makes us feel loved, but how do we show others love?
Let’s pretend for today that the actual words we speak is our primary love language.
What do they hear?
What message do we send?
What in the world does this have to do with Living a Life of Thank You?
Living a Life of Thank You changes the conversation with those we love the most.
On Monday we started to notice the good in our everyday lives.
That changes the conversation in our thought life, which changes our attitude, which changes our actions.
On Tuesday we moved into intentional gratitude in our faith.
That changes the conversation in our relationship with God, which changes us from stuck or stagnant to finding the joy in our faith.
Today, we’ll take a close look at the words we speak to those we love the best. This helps us learn how to speak words that heal, rather than separate, damage, or tear down.
If your love language is critique or complaint, you can learn a new way to speak to those you love. #livefree https://ctt.ec/fiLzh+
There’s some work involved, which is why we’ll take a couple of days to do this. I promise you there’s a few miracles waiting to take place as you do.
On Day #8 of Living a Life of Thank You, we are going to tune in to our own words. If we want our conversations to reflect a thankful heart, we need to know what we are really saying.
Listen to yourself.
A few years ago I challenged nearly 1,000 women to keep a journal for a week. I asked them to write down a couple of things they hoped to communicate that day, and at the end of the day to write down a few things they actually said.
I loved the feedback. It was real.
There was encouragement. Sincere praise. Instruction. Discipline (not punishment, but training, teaching, and consequences). Words of love. Some fun stuff like silly jokes.
There was also griping. Complaining. Unkindness. Words that left a sting. Barking out orders. Nagging. Bringing up past issues that have no way of being resolved. Pointing out flaws or faults. Yelling.
I challenged those women (and myself) to be honest about their love language — the actual words they spoke. The goal was to make a distinction between what they wanted to say, and what their loved ones heard on a daily basis.
Maybe, as you read this, you wonder what this has to be about living a life of thank you.
What is on the inside of us spills out onto the people closest. If that’s not what you want it to be, it’s worth the effort to listen to yourself, and that creates an opportunity for growth and transformation.
What might we hear if we listened to ourselves speak? Join the 21-day adventure of Living a Life of Thank you. https://ctt.ec/64Z31+
So, today we’ll pause. For the next 24 hours, listen to yourself. Tune in. Write down the sweet words, the encouraging words, the words that spilled from your lips that you wish you could take back.
What is your love language?
What are you really saying?
Day #8 of Living a Life of Thank You
For the next 24 hours, keep a journal. Listen to yourself. First, write down what you hope you communicate. Then, at the end of the day, write down what you actually said.
This is a no-guilt zone; don’t forget that. Grace, grace, grace!
Q: Are there words that you’d like to eliminate from your love language?
Q: Are you repeating words that once hurt you, and speaking them over a child or loved one? If so, what is one thing you can do to begin to change that love language?
Q: Have you fell into a trap of repeating and nagging? Describe one change you can make that might be more effective.
Do you need to reach for a resource to help you in this area? (That’s a strong move on your part!)
Q: Are you surprised at how many sincere and positive words you spoke? Celebrate that.
If you want to take this topic deeper, you might love one of these blog posts.
I wrote a book 10 years ago that I still love. It helps break unhealthy patterns we bring into our relationships with our children.
The Mom I Want to Be: Rising Above Your Past to Give Your Kids a Great Future.