Saturday, May 23, 2009

MY love language


Have you ever read the book "The 5 Love Languages"? I haven't actually read it, but I have listened to parts of it on an audiobook. And it's interesting because after listening to it I have started to understand myself (and Cory) a little better. I am starting to "get" why I feel the way I do about gifts. I am a gift giver. That is the way I speak my love to others. It's not necessarily the way I feel love, but it is the way I express love/adoration to other people.

Now because of this I've been having a little bit of a problem lately. See - for the most part - gifts cost money. Sure, there are homemade gifts, cards, cookies, etc - but for the most part if you want to give a gift to someone it is going to cost something. Especially if most of the people you'd want to give gifts to live long distance - and you have to ship them - that costs extra. And know what? I'm out of money....totally out of money.....

And so in a way this reduction in income, tightening of our belts, and extra budgeting, has made me not only bummed because of the things I am used to having on a day-to-day basis (like home delivery milk from Winder Dairy...eating out...) - but because in a way I feel like I'm not able to express myself to the people I love. I know that sounds dumb - but it makes me feel like in a way when I give someone something that I'm saying "I was thinking of you", "You are so awesome", or "I saw this, thought of you - and wanted you to smile."

For instance - new babies - I can't buy cute new little dresses and hair bows, nieces and nephews who are turning 8 - I can't buy them the new scripture cases I want to buy. There are several of my friends and loved ones celebrating big birthdays around the corner. I wish I could afford a big party, or a trip to visit them. Maybe even spring for a weekend away for me and some other "almost 30-year olds". I wish I had money to put togther little "happy packages" of goodies for people "just because".

If I could - I would buy my brother-in-law the coolest tractor doo-dads (he's obsessed with John Deere) to celebrate his high school graduation. Or maybe a few new ties he could use on his mission soon....

I wanted to put together a "good luck" package for my cute cousin and her hubby as they start their new adventure of owning a business. In that same package I wish I could send a great big bunch of frivilous fun stuff to my aunt to say "CONGRATS" on having her tests for cancer come back negative...

If it was possible I'd send my cute sister-in-law a bunch of cutesy flower printed fabric since she's sewing cute stuff for her little girl. I'd throw in a few of my boys favorite board books and toddler treats for sweet Genevieve and a few studying snacks for hard working Chase.

I wish I could make all of my nieces these adoreable dresses I've seen lately - several for each of them - with matching headbands.

I would buy the plane tickets to take my family to Washington for an upcoming baptism, and of course fill my bags with goodies for my nieces and nephews...

I would send my mom a new Scentsy warmer. Not because she needs a new one - but just because I saw one that is absolutely perfect for her (with kokopeli's on it!). I'd include a bunch of yummy summer scents - but none with vanilla smells (that would be my gift to my dad since he hates vanilla scented things).

I wish I could put together a "big sister" package for sweet Taylor who is a big sister now. I wish I could fill it with books, toys, things to keep her busy so that she could have fun being a sister (and stay out of Nicole's hair when she needed to).

My mother-in-law - I wish I could buy her a years worth of digital scrapping classes so she'd learn all the fun things that Photoshop could do....She does great stuff, but maybe a class would help her feel more confident in it....

Then there are books, toys, little notebooks, stickers, music, clothes....the list goes on and on.

And now for the risk of sounding like I'm a super materialistic person - I don't expect any of you to send me things. I know that "it's the thought that counts" - but if you all only knew how many times I pass an aisle in the store, or see something online and think of you.....maybe then you'd be able to even grasp how special all of you are to me.

In a way by wrapping up a gift with a bow and giving it to someone I guess I feel like I'm sharing my love and appreciation. I'm not good with words, I can't express myself to people in the way I feel - especially when I'm talking directly to them. My words seem so trite..... I wish I could write poetry, or sing songs - or express myself in some other way. But for now I feel like gifts are my way of speaking my love. So if you think I'm feeling distant just remember this - I'm probably walking the aisles of your favorite store wishing I could buy you the perfect thing to show you how I'm feeling.

9 comments:

Julia said...

You're such a thoughtful and sweet person Joanna! I promise I still feel the love! :) Man, I miss you!

Anonymous said...

Joanna I feel your love all of the time. Your gift of the digi scrap booking and like this thoughtful message today. I have to do all of my gift giving in this way.The Gabisms are so sweet. What more of a gift could I ask for.Love grandma Marilyn

The Mullen Family said...

Joanna, you are so thoughtful. We love you adn miss you tons, and defineltly feel your love.

MaryRuth said...

Hey... I feel the same way. Its so hard not to be able to give to everybody I would like to.

I loved your post. It was very thoughtful and spoke many of the things I'm feeling right now.

Kristi said...

I love reading your blog! I see how much you really love your children and Cory and all your friends and family near and far. I was actually looking through some of my paper scrapbooking items yesterday and ran across things you have sent me. I don't dare use them because I love looking at them and knowing my sweet friend made them and sent them to me. I wish I were as thoughtful. I think of you, but never act on it. I think you act on it every day through your blog and through all the great spiritual moments (ex. Child's Prayer) . It uplifts me and that is a great gift that doesn't cost anything. Thanks for all you do. kristi

Brian & Charlotte Carper said...

I soooooooo feel your pain in this area. It is so hard to not have money to share with other people. I have really struggled with this also the last few years as we have had to cut back so much.

I find myself loading up my cart with cute things for people and then realizing that: a) I can't afford the items and b) I can't afford the postage. Then I get really sad and feel sorry for myself and for all the people I was going to treat.

I haven't found a happy medium in this area yet - I know Grandma Marilyn is right - lots of times a note or a phone call is all the gift a person needs.

We all know you love us just as we hope you know that WE LOVE YOU. ! ! !

Things will get better, I promise. Love, Aunt Charlotte

Sandra said...

Joanna, You have given me a huge gift with this blog. I feel so much closer to you all, and the antics of Gabe and Hunter light up my day whenever you post them. And I think you are actually a pretty fabulous writer--I don't know where you got the idea that you can't write.

I have a similar impulse but have tried to hold it instead as a generous heart and to be generous in my assumption about people and in my actions. So I try to scatter random acts of kindness when I drive, smile as much as I can, think well of people, notice and share beauty--all things that don't cost money. And all qualities that come through in your scrapping and blogging.

And this difficult time will pass. And the lessons we are all learning about doing with less and learning to find pleasures in our lives that aren't related to consumption are ones that will serve us all well in the coming years. Love you all, Sandra

Crystal said...

You are so sweet, I know how much it sucks to NOT buy the PERFECT thing--it hurts my heart. I love giving gifts too--it's my love language! I hate holding back and passing on fabulous gifts :(
This post totally made me cry! Been there done that! You are so thoughtful!

Paul and Nicole Rhien said...

you're in luck that receiving gifts isn't our primary love language - fun to get, yes. but not necessary to know that you're thinking of us.

Love,
US